Spring Gardening Tips - household liquidsThe urge to garden in early spring is primal. Re-connecting with the earth is affirming, renewing, promising. Waking up the garden to a new growing season is about more than soil and seedlings, this rite of spring is a tonic to the gardener as well. As an avid gardener you don't have to look further than your kitchen for some gardening maintenance resources.
The Welsh-born artist trained as a glass blower on the Isle of Wight. In 1984 he emigrated to South Africa and shortly thereafter established a studio in Worcester to apply his trade. In 1992 he moved to a renovated 1790's barn that became his present studio, where he exhibits his work alongside the paintings his wife, artist Lorna Reade creates, in their Barn Gallery, a well-known destination for any glass and art enthusiast.
David makes his own glass using an old English recipe. His design process starts by drawing rough sketches of what he wants to achieve. He then moves to his workbench and begins forming shapes. The challenge is not only to create a flowing form but for it to be functional too. The colours he uses are imported from Germany in the shape of rods and he uses free-blowing and casting techniques for the creation of unique sculptures and functional art glass. He applies colour during the final stage of the production process using various techniques such as fusing, where two coloured rods are separately heated and than joined together. Working with architects and art galleries around the world, David's designs are clean and classical and have a simplicity of colour and form. His glass sculptures are inspired by the mountainous environment he lives in, the seas around the Cape coast and the deserts of Namibia.
David has also created a magnificent flawless brandy crystal decanter for Van Ryn's Limited Edition AU.RA Brandy. Only 107 decanters of AU.RA were created, with each crystal decanter being a dedication to the 107 years the Van Ryn's distillery has been crafting the world's finest brandies.
Never before has so much craft, patience and attention to detail gone into a single decanter of brandy and the crystal decanter is a masterpiece in itself. Each and every decanter was individually handcrafted by David, and is adorned by a signature teardrop shape neckpiece plated in fine silver, designed by jeweller Bridget Zietkiewicz. The stylish outer case crafted from solid oak was handmade by world-renowned furniture designer James Mudge.
The crystal decanter had to hold the precise amount of liquid. The brandy needed to be encapsulated, almost suspended, in the glass. The shape, evocative of a drop, is represented both in the stopper and in the inner form of the decanter. This was an extremely challenging process, as each time the measurements had to be precise. Eventually, after many tests, David managed to bring all the required factors into the design. Each decanter is individually made by hand from liquid glass, without the use of a mould; just calipers and a well-trained eye.
David Reade has exhibited all over South Africa and collectors locally and abroad seek after his work. David's work is housed in private collections and art museums such as the Gilby's Collection, Cultural History Museum Cape Town, Durban Art Museum, Pretoria Art Museum, Pietersburg Art Museum and Stourbridge Glass Museum.
By using new gene sequencing methods, a team led by Thomas Givnish, a plant ecologist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, created a phylogeny (the evolutionary history of a group of organisms, especially as depicted in a family tree) of orchids with an unprecedented 75 chloroplast genes from 39 species, representing almost all major groups of orchids, as well as from 96 distant relatives among all flowering plants. Using the estimated ages of fossils of 17 flowering plants, including the few known orchid specimens, they were able to date the main branches in the phylogeny and calculate the rate at which new species appeared.
The evolutionary timeline begins 112 million years ago, when the first orchids appeared. About 90 million years ago, the major living lineages started to split from each other. Then, sometime before 64 million years ago, a key innovation occurred: Orchids developed a way to lump their pollen into sticky balls, called pollinia, so that pollinators would not lose any grains before reaching other orchids.
Next, some orchids evolved an aerial lifestyle. By 35 million years ago, many had become epiphytes (plants that cling to trees). This shift opened up many new areas to colonize and new environmental conditions. To make up for having their roots exposed, some lineages adopted a kind of water-saving photosynthesis called crassulacean acid metabolism that likely helped them survive only on fog and rain.
The biggest boost, however, came in lineages that moved into tropical mountains such as the Andes and the New Guinea highlands, where they found many new opportunities for diversification. The rate of speciation among these cloud forest dwellers rose 24.9% compared with lineages that stayed in the lowlands.
Source: Science Magazine
The contestants were all local residents with an interest in gardening and the effort and care they took in getting their gardens ready for judging day was very evident. Creativity flourished in the forms of materials being recycled - soda bottles for hanging planters, bottle lids for decor items, tyres for pots; and focal points - murals on the walls, fish ponds, painted art, and even a mannequin - adorned these gardens for that touch of individuality and personality.
The plants and gardening materials utilised in their gardens were all donated by companies and individuals in the greater Cape Town area and landscapers and volunteers gave their own time to come to this fun and friendly town to teach the participants how to create a garden.
Cheral Kennedy, alongside Fay Silverman and Anita Murray, spent the Wednesday before the festival traveling around the town to the 24 contestants homes and reviewed each individual garden on 10 criteria ranging from structure, colour, flow, focal points, groupings of plants, to creativity utilised. Each garden was entirely unique and the personalities of the contestants shone through in their interpretation of a Spring garden, filling this viewing and judging day with visial pleasure, but on the other-hand making the decision-making process that more tough to come to a consensus.
Wendy Ackerman, recognised by SA Nature Foundation for outstanding achievement and contribution to environmental conservation and also acknowledged by WWF as a Diamond Custodian of Table Mountain, had the privilege to award the 3 top gardens their prizes at the Mamre Wildflower Show and Spring Festival on Saturday 19 September 2015, while 8 other contestants received special certificates of merit for a specific attribute in their garden that made theirs outshine the rest.
Enjoy lunch off their daily specials board that is filled with yummy unpretentious home cooked country fare. Everything is cooked from scratch with the freshest ingredients and there is plenty to choose from with very good variety. The menu changes depending on what is in season, so no matter if you are first timer, or a seasoned diner, you will always taste new delicious meals.
Cheral Kennedy (owner of Living Matter) had the absolute pleasure of being one of the judges of Mamre's first Spring Garden Competition that was held mid month.
Read our article below for more information on the competition.
Clivia Miniata var citrina
Description :Sub shrub to 70mm with showy yellow flowers.
Flowering time :Spring
View more detailed information on this plant in our plant directory.
Create a neat and modern twist on the traditional veggie or herb garden with a strong structural element using geometrically shaped boxes on a wall, with horizontal lines on the facade to give it a neat contemporary feel.
Or install large metal containers in long lines to present a minimalist look in a neat organised layout. Raised boxes make gardening and harvesting easier, and a metal finish adds a modern twist to the design.
Simply let the containers be the feature of the veggie or herb space, bringing in an architectural element and elegant style to a traditionally messy farmstyle look.
Seeds can be sown or plants can be planted for the following herbs and veggies this month:
View our full planting plan in our resources section of our website.
We all love a chance to test our own brain capacity with brain teasers. Try see if you can figure out this one...
August's Teaser Answer :
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