Spring Gardening Tips - attracting butterflies

    Brightly coloured butterflies can be a welcome addition to your wildlife garden, not only because of their beauty, the timeless entertainment they provide for the kids and adult nature lovers, but also because of their usefulness in the pollination of your garden flowers.

Attracting butterflies involves incorporating plants that serve the needs of all life stages of the butterfly. The insects need places to lay eggs, food plants for their larvae (caterpillars), places to form chrysalides and nectar sources for adults.
  • Plant type and colour is important : Adult butterflies are attracted to red, yellow, orange, pink and purple blossoms that are flat-topped or clustered and have short flower tubes.
  • Plant good nectar sources in the sun : Your key butterfly nectar source plants should receive full sun from mid-morning to mid-afternoon. Butterfly adults generally feed only in the sun. If sun is limited in your landscape, try adding butterfly nectar sources to the vegetable garden.
  • Plant for continuous bloom : Butterflies need nectar throughout the adult phase of their life span. Try to plant so that when one plant stops blooming, another begins.
  • Say no to insecticides : Insecticides such as malathion, Sevin, and diazinon are marketed to kill insects. Don't use these materials in or near the butterfly garden or better, anywhere on your property. Even "benign" insecticides, such as Bacillus thuringiensis, are lethal to butterflies (while caterpillars).
  • Feed butterfly caterpillars : If you don't "grow" caterpillars, there will be no adults. Bringing caterpillar foods into your garden can greatly increase your chances of attracting unusual and uncommon butterflies, while giving you yet another reason to plant an increasing variety of native plants. In many cases, caterpillars of a species feed on only a very limited variety of plants. Most butterfly caterpillars never cause the leaf damage we associate with some moth caterpillars such as bagworms, tent caterpillars, or gypsy moths.
  • Provide a place for butterflies to rest : Butterflies need sun for orientation and to warm their wings for flight. Place flat stones in your garden to provide space for butterflies to rest and bask in the sun.
  • Give them a place for puddling : Butterflies often congregate on wet sand and mud to partake in "puddling," drinking water and extracting minerals from damp puddles. Place coarse sand in a shallow pan and then insert the pan in the soil of your habitat. Make sure to keep the sand moist.

Spring tips - attracting butterflies

Inspired by dna

A duo of creative artists that are really making a name very fast for themselves in the photographic industry are Desmond and Antonia of dna photographers. This husband and wife collaboration started a few years ago when Desmond decided that his love for photography overruled his love for electronics and resigned from his job to start freelance photography full-time instead of part-time and on weekends.

His then soon-to-be-wife Antonia accompanied him on his shoots, assisting and giving creative direction and learning on the job. Her overflowing enthusiasm for anything creative and Desmond's knack for making any situation into an beautiful photo soon got clients lining up for a space in their calendar. Added with Desmonds' sunny disposition and Antonias' skill for PR, dna photographers has really taken off and is doing very successful in the already saturated photographic market.

They have just recently completed some creative shoots in Norway and Germany, and are presenting at the Cape Town Creative Showcase at the Biscuit Mill on 3 November 2012.

Visit their website, their facebook page to see some of their photo's or Cape Town Creative Showcase.

DNA Photographers

Technological advancements - fragrances

Can a fragrance be innovative, sustainable, technological, interactive AND a delicately-blended, olfactive tour de force created by a master perfumer? Yes, yes it can and to prove the point The Fragrance Foundation partnered with Perfumer & Flavorist to re-define the categories for the 2012 FiFi Technological Breakthrough of the Year Award to better reflect different types of technological innovations as they relate to fragrance.

Member companies who submit entries for Technological Breakthrough of the Year are required to make a presentation and be judged by a distinguished panel of technical experts. Submissions for this award are judged on the following criteria: the innovation must have been created in the previous year, must be original and must have the potential to move the industry ahead as a whole.

The 2012 FiFi Technological Breakthrough of the Year category was broken down into three sub-categories: 1) Fragrance Ingredients, Formulation & Testing 2) Packaging Technology & Delivery Systems and 3) Information Technology.

Fragrance Ingredients, Creation & Testing

Includes innovations in production, formulation & testing; methods of ingredient extraction; new ingredients; sustainability efforts as they relate to ingredients, formulation & finished fragrance; and basic research as it relates to formulation, product application and stability.

Packaging Technology & Delivery Systems

Includes innovations in fragrance delivery systems; fragrance sampling technology; controlled release technology; design/manufacture technology re packaging components (e.g. glass, pumps, caps, cartons) and sustainability efforts relating to packaging materials.

Information Technology

Includes tablet and smart phone apps; computer-assisted programs that provide data analysis designed to assist companies with fragrance development and creation; and interactive information technologies geared to educate and assist consumers with selecting fragrances.

In this competitive industry, where celebrities are bringing out their own fragrances and the demand for new fragrances and a competitive edge in packaging is on the increase, this type of competition is a great idea to push the boundaries further and to incentivise artists in the fragrance industry to think out the box.

Source: FiFi Awards 2012

perfume technologies

The new ceramic braai - in time for braai day

The secret to the efficiency of any ceramic fireplace, braai or pot lies in the thermal capacity of the clay body and its ability to store and radiate thermal energy. The clay unit will continue to radiate heat even when the initial fire has burned low and will stay hot for up to two hours after the fire has gone out.

The unique clay body of a clay pot or fireplace has been scientifically formulated to achieve a coefficient of thermal expansion of zero i.e the initial firing takes place at a very high temperature and thereafter the clay does not expand or contract at all. The ceramic body therefore won't crack or rust, smoke or smell.

The latest in outdoor braai's - the Big Green Egg - is designed to function as a complete outdoor-kitchen-in-one and is as versatile as your indoor oven. Thanks to a number of really great features - namely its airtight ceramic cooking shell, infinitely adjustable airflow and precision thermometer - you can grill, smoke, roast, slow cook or bake. It's perfect for anything from pizza to ribs, Sunday roasts to desserts.

Modeled on and derived from an ancient clay cooking device known as a "kamado" (the clay cooking vessels used by the Chinese 3 000 years ago), this ceramic braai is designed to withstand enormous temperatures and insulate far better than other open top or kettle braais.

As air is drawn through the base and out through the lid, the charcoal lights quickly and is ready for cooking in about 10 minutes. Plus, its thick ceramic walls hold heat so well that about 80 per cent of the charcoal remains intact after cooking and can be reused. It is also rustproof, easy to clean and the grill is designed to fit inside most dishwashers.

Grilling or searing the perfect steaks, pork chops or burgers can be easily done by using the two dampers for accurate control, lowering the heat to a more moderate temperature for other grilled foods. Fish and seafood turn out moist and tender with a flavour-packed taste unmatched by other grills.

For more information visit The Big Green Egg, Monolith or the Fire Pot's websites.

Ceramic Braai's

Soak up the natural beauty

Swellendam is the third oldest town in South Africa and has many interesting cultural-historic features. One of them being the Marloth Nature Reserve, named after the pioneer botanist who, together with a deputation of Swellendam residents in 1928 petitioned the Minister of Lands and Forestry to set aside a part of the mountain (190 ha) as a nature reserve.

The reserve itself lies in the majestic Swellendam mountains, between the towns of Swellendam, Ashton, Barrydale and Suurbraak. The reserve is 14 123 ha in extent and is managed together with another 16 532 ha of privately owned proclaimed mountain catchment land. During 1981 the reserve was enlarged to include the rest of the State Forest land and the Swellendam Hiking Trail was opened.

Beneath a spectacular kloof in the Marloth Nature Reserve and within walking distance of historic Swellendam, lies Gaikou Lodge, an upmarket country lodge that offers the perfect location for a family holiday in Swellendam within easy access to the N2, Overberg and the Garden Route.

Their family villa consists of 2 bedrooms, one with a king size bed and the other bedroom with 2 single beds. Air conditioning and heating facilities, coffee and tea facilities, electronic safe, fine linen and luxury towels, DVD player, hair dryer, mini bar, satellite TV and a private veranda are some of the luxuries one can enjoy while staying there.

Each of their large B&B rooms also offer either king size beds or twin beds and enjoy full ensuite facilities. The B&B rooms offer air conditioning and heating facilities, coffee and tea facilities, electronic safe, fine linen and luxury towels, DVD player, hair dryer, mini bar, satellite TV and a private veranda with breathtaking views of the mountains, river and forest.

Guests can soak up the natural beauty around the swimming pool and enjoy hiking and walking trails on foot or on horseback at Marloth Nature Reserve, which adjoins Gaikou. There are two attractive dams at Gaikou; the lower pond stocked with fish and surrounded by indigenous flora. Guest will be able to indulge in lure or fly fishing a pace away from their villas, and there is a river trail on the property.

Tranquillity and fresh air in an artfully landscaped setting will ensure that you will want to linger longer than just a quick weekend away.

For more information visit the Gaikou Lodge website.


Hot News

Spring has sprung

Spring is arbour month - plant an indigenous tree or shrub in your garden / childrens' school / local community.

Arbour month

Syzygium cordatum (Water Berry) is 2012's Tree of the Year.

Featured Plant

FMackaya Bella

Mackaya Bella
(Forest Bell Bush)

Family :


Description :

Indigenous shrub to 3 m with white fragrant flowers.

Flowering time :


Conditions :

  • Light shade
  • Average water
  • Semi-deciduous
  • Sheltered warm position
  • Frost tender
  • Well drained soil

View more detailed information on this plant in our plant directory.

Wine of the month

Wine of the month

Jacques Bruere Cuvee Brut Rose MCC 2006

Winery : Bon Courage
Winemaker : Jacques Bruwer

Description :

A newly released classic blend of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay with a delicate salmon pink hue and fine creamy mousse.

Aroma : Enticing aromas of raspberry and lemon with hints of toasted brioche.

Palate : The nose leads onto a rich and expansive palate with fresh, generous berry flavours and a silky richness followed by a long elegant finish.

Winemaking : 2 hours of skin contact gives the beautiful colour with 8 months lees contact providing the perfect balance between fruitiness and complexity. Laid down for 48 months and an additional 9 months on the cork.

Food Pairing : Delicious on its own or with oysters, grilled salmon or tuna, prosciutto or sushi and asian dishes, as well as an extraordinary match for red fruit desserts.

If you want to purchase or require more information on this wine, or if you are interested in a private or corporate tasting, please email Karen or visit her website.

Planting Guide

Herb or Veggie

Seeds can be sown or plants can be planted for the following herbs and veggies this month:


  • Beans
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Lettuce
  • Mielies
  • Peppers
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish
  • Squash
  • Sweetcorn
  • Swisschard
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnips
  • Herbs

  • Basil
  • Coriander
  • Chives
  • Chamomile
  • Dill
  • Mustard
  • Oreganum
  • Parsley
  • Rocket
  • Thyme
  • Watercress
  • View our full planting plan in our resources section of our website.

    Brain Teaser

    We all love a chance to test our own brain capacity with brain teasers. Try see if you can figure out this one...

    Brain Teaser

    August's Teaser Answer :
    "Hand in hand"


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    Contact Cheral:

    Cell: 082 82 509 82