This property is a regular holiday home for a Johannesburg based client and his family, so it needed to be simple and low maintenance.

Being part of an estate, there were specific guidelines that also had to be adhered to. Specific limitations in terms of levels, materials and the use of only specified indigenous plants had to be kept in mind during the design process. The overall look of the landscape needed to blend into the surrounding mountainside and had to work with the natural environment of the estate.

Click on the buttons below below to see what the area looked like prior to design and implementation.



The property is located on a mountain slope in an estate. The area has good soil in the top 1 metre and consists of clay below. This had the potential to cause major drainage issues if not addressed during the design and implementation process.

For the 2 years while the architectural plans were being drawn up and the building built, we collaborated with the architect and site foreman throughout our design process right through to the end of the building process. This made the implementation of the landscape a success, as no alterations had to be done afterwards to accommodate any irrigation pipes or lighting conduits.

Style Guide

The clients' holiday home was being designed to have strong linear lines, open spaces and high class quality finishes. The environment that it would be housed in would be very natural and unstructured and therefore the design style should merge these two aspects together symbiotically.

We therefore specified in our style guide that strong visual lines should be used closest to the house to continue the flow of the structured feel from the house out into the garden, while more rugged, less structured planting schemes were to be incorporated further away from the house to blend the property into the natural environment.


The property was divided into 3 separate areas, each with its own functionality and purpose, but with a common thread being continued through all three of them through the use of similar plants and planting schemes.

The exterior living space was expanded to include a bathing deck next to the pool and a level lawn area for the children to play on.

Effective use of lines and levels were used to create a sense of space, depth and an overall balance to the property.


  • Excavation of foundations
  • Retaining walls
  • Agricultural drainage installation
  • Stone cladding
  • Soil levels and slope
  • Soil fill in for retainers
  • Top soil for lawn and beds
  • Bed edging
  • Lawn installation
  • Planting and irrigation
  • Electrical and lighting
  • Rocks and loose stones
  • Building work - Client's Contractor
  • Decking - Client's Contractor
  • Lighting - Client's Contractor
  • Landscaping - Hedgehogs Landcaping
  • Designed and Project Managed - Living Matter

    Project just completed

    See our Partners page for implementation partner contact details


The calm open plan interior is reflected outside in open spaces and the selection of soft plants. The exterior living space, the finishes and night lighting tie in perfectly with rest of the house, while the strong lines in the garden compliment the lines of the house, creating a modern but comfortable homely feel for the home-away-from-home.

The natural stone and earthy colours used in the landscape compliment the environment and the plants blend in with the mountain side and other properties in the estate.

Professional photographs are scheduled for 2012.