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Improver

M A R C H 2 0 2 1

PICTURE CHRIS SNOOK/HOUZZ—THE WASHINGTON POST

Bathroom

splash issue

Also inside: A palatial home •

Gardens that will grow on you


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NEWS

AGENCY

PUBLISHER: Vasantha Angamuthu

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EXECUTIVE EDITOR:

Vivian Warby

PICTURE MAX VAKHTBOVYCH

EDITOR HOME IMPROVER: Vivian Warby

vivian.warby@inl.co.za

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kim.stone@inl.co.za

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

MARCH is one of those special months –

the inbetween phase where summer

is reaching its end and winter is peeking

over our shoulders. It is a time when we

in the southern hemisphere begin to go

more inward.

Not that we needed any more inward

movement after a year that will for ever

be known as the pandemic year; the year

that saw our homes having to serve as the

venue for everything from work to school

to recreation.

This month our focus is on

bathrooms. Anyone who has been in

lockdown with extended family – or who

has children – will know how the space

can serve as a sanctuary.

With this in mind, we wanted to see

how we could recreate this functional

space as a wonderful getaway spot

providing you with both luxury and calm.

We have also taken a look at trends

in decor and gardening for this year. And if

you are looking for something to aspire to,

don’t miss our Home of the Month.

There are a host of nurturing and

absolutely beautiful trends emerging as we

– as a society – try to make sense of this

new world in which we find ourselves.

I hope this magazine adds to a sense

of calm and provides a space to dream

and inspire.

Please keep in contact

Vivian Warby

Vivian.Warby@inl.co.za

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contents

MARCH 2021

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28

Letter

Contents

2021 decor trends

Bath in luxury

Bold bathroom styles

Bathroom revamp

Q&A

Bathroom makeovers

DIY bathrooms

Before you renovate,

do this

Property trend alert

28

Home of the Month

Organic gardening

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T R e N D S

2 0 2 1

Cape Town-based international interior designer Gina Munro

of StudioMunro gives us her five top trends for this year.

WORDS AND IMAGES GINA MUNRO

COLOUR AND PATTERN: Earthy, neutral tones will always make for a timeless palette, however colour is making a big comeback.

Bright statement colours are a sure way to keep our spirits up. Combining colour with bold patterns, whether on a feature wallpaper or an

upholstered occasional chair, is a wonderful way to highlight key areas in a living, working or leisure space. It isn’t about inserting colour everywhere

but rather about using it as an accent which brings an entire scheme together. If you’re afraid of colour and pattern, apply the notion to loose items

such as cushions, a statement vase or striking rug. Think blues, greens, reds, pinks.

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MORE THAN JUST GREENERY: People have become obsessed with greenery and this trend is definitely not going away anytime

soon. Bringing the outdoors in continues to be a growing trend, especially for those who don’t have large gardens or green fingers. But it doesn’t

need to stop there – now is the time to get creative with planters. From pedestal options to textured and over-sized ceramic planters, it’s all about

what your plant lives in. Table-top solutions are definitely on the up, especially when curated in large eclectic groups. Planters themselves can also

be beautiful stand-alone accessories, even without a plant – a great sculptural option in an entrance hallway or enclosed balcony.

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CUSTOM PIECES: Over the past year, we have become a lot more sentimental about our personal spaces, and with that we seem to be

paying more attention to how we use furniture at home. We have come to learn what does and doesn’t work, and there is a definite shift from simply

wanting off-the-shelf items to customising key pieces or even hunting for unique items. Not only do we want aesthetically pleasing furniture but

there is now a much bigger demand for items that are also practical.

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KITCHEN & DINING MUSTS: The kitchen is often the heart of the home but this isn’t the case for everyone. Over the past year,

many small food businesses have popped up, providing delectable home-cooked meals to those who don’t feel confident in the kitchen. If anything,

the past year has seemed all about food. Whether you’re cooking yourself or getting meals catered, how you present your food is important. Collect

key kitchen items such as crockery and focus on how you plate what you eat. Signature serving dishes, sculptural cutlery and handmade vessels

are talking points on their own. This gives us a chance, when entertaining, to express our personal style through simple day-to- day items.

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REVIVING FORGOTTEN ITEMS: Decluttering our lives seems to have become a trend in itself and, through this cathartic

experience, we are finding unused sentimental bits and bobs that have been hidden away and forgotten. It’s time to shift our mindsets – instead

of “out with the old and in with the new”, let’s think, “bring the old into the new”. It could be an artwork that’s been flat-packed in the back of a

spare-room cupboard and needs a more modern frame. Or perhaps it’s hand-me-down vintage dinner plates that could be mounted on a wall in the

dining room. Older, sentimental items can find their place in 2021 and tell their own story.

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PICTURE TARYN ELLIOTT

Bathroom

escape

Gone are the days when bathrooms were dull,

functional places to take a quick shower. The trend

now is towards a luxury space where you can spend

time washing away the stresses of everyday life

ATHROOMS are increasingly becoming places of

refuge and relaxation where we can release the tension of

the the day, say interior designers, adding that glamorous

is

the is the name of the game. For instance, don’t be afraid

to

add some velvet via a 1950s chair (if you have the space),

with mirrors with backlighting. Simple, basic bathroom design

has been replaced with new trends and accessories, such as heated

towel rails – perfect for drying damp towels in winter, luxury soap dispensers, vibrating

ceiling showers, Jacuzzi baths and even a place for a television set. However, people

are also wanting to bring elements of nature into their homes and in some instances

are creating living walls with greenery and blooms or adding nature-focused 3D floors.

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PICTURE ANTON DARIUS

B

R

A

V

E

Designer Will Engelbrecht, owner and creative head of

WillDesign Solutions gives us top bathroom trends for the year

B

A

T

H

R

O

O

M

S

PICTURE KAROLINA GRABOWSKA

THE KIT KAT TILES

Skinny vertical tiles are all the rage. You can

create the look with subway tiles – last year the

trend was to lay them horizontally but this year we

are going vertical and stacking them to create a “Kit

Kat” effect. This adds a hint of art deco glamour

and intrigue to a bathroom. Stephen Pellerade of

Pellerade Design House adds that full-wall cladding

in artificial stone or resin is also a trend.

EMBRACE BLOOMS

Having a big statement wall with wallpaper

printed with huge over-the-top blooms and foliage

in your smallest room will make a bold impact.

This is not the year to be scared to explore colour

and design and it’s certainly a good time to add a

touch of quirkiness to the bathroom.

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PICTURE MAX VAKHTBOVYCH

PICTURE COTTONBRO

THE GUEST BATHROOM

This is your splash-out room. Use your guest loo to

fulfil your biggest decor fantasies – do something

you may be too nervous to try elsewhere. Think

flowered tiles, all-black walls or walls that are all

mirrors. These powder rooms have become secret

pocket rooms that give your guests a thrill when

they discover them.

SEE THE LIGHT

Layered lighting is important. Think high-hats,

sconces and decorative fixtures all in the same

room. A chandelier in the bathroom might be an

oldie but it’s still a goldie. Think different textile

shades juxtaposed beside each other. Get

the lights on separate switches and always-on

dimmers to create an atmosphere of allure.

FLOOR FANTASY

Accent tiles with geometric patterns work well on

the floor. There is also a trend to replace traditional

rectangles with other geometric shapes, such as

hexagonal tiles. Ceramic tiles that are printed with

wooden grain can seem warm and natural without

the problems of water stains on a real wooden floor.

Another biggie for the adventurous is 3D flooring.

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B A T H R O O M

Confidential

International interior designer Daun Curry answers your design questions

WORDS JURA KONCIUS

PICTURE RYAN CHRISTODOULOUH

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Q: There is room on our vanity to add

something in addition to soap and a

tissue box but I’m unsure what else

to put there.

A: Think of accessories that are not

necessarily meant for a bathroom. Some of

my favourites for a bathroom are plants and

natural elements such as corals and shells,

candles and luxury linens.

Q: Your tips for designing tiny bathrooms?

A: The first factors to consider are an

absolute needs for function. Make a list as

you go through your daily routine. Consider if

you truly need a bathtub; this can be a huge

space saver. Medicine cabinets are great for

storage and options can be vertical storage

on walls. And remember that bright colours

will open up the room.


Q: How do you choose whether a

bathroom should have lighter surfaces or

a darker theme? Does either light or dark

make a space seem bigger than the other?

A: Lighter bathrooms tend to feel fresh and

clean, whereas darker ones have a moody,

sexy vibe; it just depends on what you’re

going for. Powder rooms are great candidates

for a dark, moody palette.

Q: I want to resell my home in a few years’

time but in the meantime want to redo my

bathrooms. Any advice?

A: Keep everything white and fresh and don’t

get too decorative. I do think that people look

for a double vanity in the master bathroom,

so that would be a great investment. I would

not suggest wall-mounted toilets, because

they are very specific and not for everyone.

PICTURE ANDREW NEEL

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Q: We need to replace

the floor tiles in our main

bathroom, and I have fallen

in love with a marble tile.

I’m worried the marble will

be hard to care for and

will look stained or worn

quickly. Do you have any

recommendations for caring

for marble or should I try to

find a porcelain that looks

like it?

A: Marble and natural stone

always top my list because of

their timeless beauty but there

always needs to be a balance

between beauty and durability.

You can seal marble, but over

time, it will show wear and

patina which, in my opinion, is

part of the beauty. Porcelain is a

great option and there are many

wonderful products out there.

Q: What design considerations

do you take into account when

weighing the use of large or

small format tiles?

A: The size of the bathroom is

definitely a consideration but you

can use large- and small-format

tiles in the same bathroom.

Shower floors need small tiles to

protect against slipping. I love

large-format tiles on walls and

the main floor areas.

PICTURE MAX VAKHTBOVYCH

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PICTURE TARYN ELLIOTT

Q: How do you choose

a bathtub? What are the

benefits of a free-standing

tub versus a built-in? I love

free-standing tubs but I

always worry about the

potential mess.

A: If you have the space for

a free-standing tub, I think

it’s a beautiful look, and the

benefits far outweigh a little

water on the floor.

– Washington Post

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BEFORE

Freshen up

When he made over the bathrooms in a Granger Bay

home, designer Will Engelbrecht used the

seaside location as inspiration for the main bathroom

but let his imaginative side come out when he redid

the guest bathroom in funky style

Main bathroom

When designer

Will Engelbrecht,

owner and creative

head of WillDesign,

was commissioned

to revamp this

seaside Granger

Bay home he let

the outdoors guide

his indoor palette.

The main

bathroom,

which had been

multiple rooms,

one of which had

plumbing, was

gutted.

“I used stone

and speckled grey

tiles to pick up

the feeling of the

boulders in front

of the home,” says

Engelbrecht.

“We went for

luxury finishes so

that the bathroom

became a feature

of the home. I

used darker tiles

on the floor to

try and deflect

the glare of the

ocean away from

the house. I also

removed old

porcelain tiles to

create a fresh,

more modern,

look.”

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BEFORE

Guest bathroom

“Here we went wild

and glamorous,”

says designer Will

Engelbrecht.

“A guest bathroom is

a wonderful place to

pull off some daring

decor moves. I used

a luxury and funky

wallpaper to create

some drama and then

filled it with mirrors to

create space.

“A guest bathroom

is a place you can let

your decor fantasies

run wild.”

M A R C H 2 0 2 1 HI | 1 7


PICTURE DIANA GRYTSKU

Bathroom

can be tricky for

a DIYer to revamp but David

Jacobs, a regional manager for

the Rawson Property Group,

says even small updates

DIYBATHROOMS

Doing a revamp, even if

it’s as simple as giving the

space a fresh coat of paint,

is a good way to help your

house sell faster

can make a big difference in

getting a fast sale.

“Do try a fresh coat

of paint on your walls and

ceilings and replace old-school

towel rails and accessories

with more modern versions.

You can also refinish your

bathroom cabinets or replace

your vanity. Adding stylish

mirrors or display shelves can

be a great idea as well.

“Retiling makes a huge

difference but it’s a pretty big

DIY and it would be best to

get a valuation on your home

before you make any big

investments because you may

not get your money back.

“If you’re not up for a

project of that scale, you

could consider refinishing

your existing tiles using the

specially formulated tile paints

now available.”

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When making home improvements,

ensure intended savings don’t turn into

massive unforeseen expenses

EXPERT: HANDY MAC AKA DON Mc ALISTER

Invest some

time &

save heaps

BEFORE jumping into a home renovation project, Handy

Mac urges you to ask yourself these questions:

1 COSTS How much will this cost, and how much value

will this add to my home? For those answers, you will

need to talk to a contractor regarding expenses, and an

estate agent to find out if it is worthwhile forking out a

huge sum of money to upgrade your home if you won’t

get it back on resale.

2 DISCOMFORT During a renovation you will be

inconvenienced. There is no way around this. First, ensure

you are dealing with a reputable company that takes

Covid protocols seriously. Consider how you will manage

without the facilities in the room being renovated, the

time of year and how uncomfortable you might be during

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Never pay in full or

upfront. A contractor who

requires this is probably

scamming you

construction. Consider moving out for the duration of the

renovations, if you can. If not, plan ahead to ensure the

discomfort is minimal.

3 INVESTIGATE During the planning, interview

many contractors and ask for costs. Check out their

communication style. Does it work well with your

communication style, or will you find yourself getting

irritated by it? If so, maybe this contractor is not for

you. Also ask about insurance and get as many

references as you can. Most importantly, ensure all

contractors are accredited.

4 HISTORY If you have your home’s original plans, plus

plans that include home improvements and additions

over the years, offer them to the contractor. This can

really simplify the job.

5 THE LEGAL STUFF Before starting any work that will

affect your finances, ensure you have a contract in place.

6 BILLING Ask for itemised billing as opposed to a lumpsum

fee. This way you can keep a handle on how your

money is being spent.

7 WARNING Never pay in full or upfront. A contractor

who requires this is probably scamming you.

8 DIY Be realistic about how much you can do yourself

and when you need to call in professionals. Many a DIY

job has required extra money to sort out what you broke.

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The world’s wealthiest are favouring sumptuous ‘whole life’ homes where they can

seclude themselves from the Covid-19 pandemic and other disasters

WORDS VIVIAN WARBY

The ultimate

L U X U R Y

PICTURE TARYN ELLIOTT

THE ULTRA-RICH have turned to “whole-life” homes – places

in which they can live, work and play without having to set

foot in the “real” world.

Some of these homes even have nightclubs (yes, you read right)

and theatres in them and are certainly not the dark and heavy bunkerstyle

homes sometimes built in times of pandemic.

Experts say high net worth Individuals (HNWI) worldwide are

spending millions to acquire one or more of these “whole-life” homes.

Alternatively, says Rory O’Hagan, head of the Luxury Portfolio

division of marketing agency Chas Everitt International, they are

upgrading their existing properties, turning them into self-contained

safe havens where they and their families can ride out the current

pandemic or any future world disasters without loss of income or

major lifestyle adjustment.

Pellerade Design House chief executive Stephen Pellerade says

these whole-life homes are highly-customised, luxurious retreats

which often resemble seven-star boutique hotels.

Some of the “extravagant necessities” most favoured by the

owners and buyers of such properties, he says, are spas and gyms;

hairdressing salons; home cinemas; cigar and champagne bars;

bowling alleys; double kitchens; cold rooms; multi-layered security

systems; smart home-automation; clean-air systems and water and

power back-up systems.

One such local home, known as Gatsby, designed and furnished

by Pellerade Design House, fits the bill and is on the market for

R64.8 million, says O’Hagan.

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A private palace

Perched on a ridge above Joburg, with views over the city and beyond, is a luxurious

house which takes its inspiration from around the world

WORDS VIVIEN HORLER AND VIVIAN WARBY

Marble and bronze

statues from

Argentina and

France grace a

dozen fountains

in the formal,

terraced gardens.

Gatsby House,

set on Houghton

Ridge in Joburg, is

breathtaking.

PICTURE RYAN CHRISTODOULOUH

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Antique and modern pieces

blend seamlessly in the

glamorous bedroom suites.

OVER a century ago, Randlords

built impressive homes on

Houghton Ridge, using the

fortunes they made from gold.

Some have stood the test of

time, with beautiful teak window

frames and eye-stretching views.

Gatsby, set on the ridge, has all

the luxuries the Randlords would

have wanted, plus every mod-con

besides.

The house has taken its

inspiration from around the

world, with gardens reminiscent

of those in St Petersburg, Venetian

chandeliers, a Paris-styled

“night club”, modern American

sculptures and a white marble

angel sculpture found in an

antiques market in Brussels.

But the house is also firmly

based in Africa, with sculptures

from the royal Zulu household,

and, on a good day, views as

far as the Pilanesberg near Sun

The decor of the

nightclub in this superhome

is based on the

Buddha Bar in Paris,

with its rich colours and

dramatic fabrics.

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The grand bathrooms

feature marble floors

and vanities, spa baths

and steam showers.

ABOVE The main entrance stairway with its glorious marbletopped

balustrade is a fitting introduction to this grand house.

BELOW Built on four levels, Gatsby features a heated indoor pool

as well as this training pool-with-a-view on the terrace.

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City, as well as the Voortrekker

Monument in Pretoria.

The grand house belongs to

Pellerade Design House chief

executive Stephen Pellerade

whose vision is to be seen

everywhere in it.

The home offers 2 000m² of

lavish living space set over four

storeys, with eight elegant en

suite bedrooms, a magnificent art

collection and expansive outdoor

entertainment areas and gardens.

There are also business and

conference facilities.

We asked Pellerade what

influenced his design, both

indoors and outdoors.

“We decided that the

furnishings and the design palette

would be totally international;

not regional, local or specific to

one particular genre.”

“If there was one word to

define Gatsby, it would be

‘neo-classical’,” he says.

“This means Venetian crystal

chandeliers live together with

sculptures of the royal Zulu

household. Grand masters’

oil paintings are displayed

in the same room as modern

American bronzes; as are gigantic

contemporary black-mink wingback

chairs in the hall. And we

mingle Chinoiserie with midcentury

Barcelona chairs … and

so on.”

His favourite room is what he

calls the “niteclub” on the outside

pool terrace level.

“It’s inspired by an evening

spent at the Buddha Bar in Paris

with my daughter when she

was 20; she chose the chocolate,

pink and red colours for this

sophisticated entertainment area.

“The red billiard tablecloth

is striking and the room has two

pink chandeliers above.


Gatsby boasts an array of

sumptuous entertainment

spaces, such as this day-bar,

with bespoke furnishings, rare

art and design pieces from

around the world.

PICTURES SUPPLIED

BELOW Floor to ceiling expanses of glass optimise the

spectacular views from Gatsby’s reception rooms.

“Chocolate velvet curtaining

contrasts with oversized bright

pink velvet wing-back chairs.

“And a silver-leafed Buddha

statue presides over it all. This is

an incredibly eclectic space with a

real wow factor.”

The Randlords would have

yearned for the fabulous paintings

and antiques spread throughout

the house’s various levels. So,

which are Pellerade’s favourites?

“Well, I’m not sure if they

count as antiques, but since they

date from the 1920s, perhaps they

do. They are the 4m high solid

oak doors sourced from a palace

in Buenos Aires.

“The building was erected

in the 1920s and recently many

of the building’s fixtures and

finishes were being auctioned off.

The doors are the Buenos Aires

building’s original front doors.”

But in a Joburg home full of

M A R C H 2 0 2 1 HI | 2 5


The formal dining

room is one of

several glamorous

indoor and outdoor

entertainment

spaces and the

bespoke table

seats 16 in luxury.

so many riches, Pellerade has

trouble deciding his favourites.

“There is also the white

marble angel statue just off the

grand room – that’s a favourite.

This was sourced from an

antiques market in Brussels.”

The house is magnificent

and it is set, like a precious

stone, in glorious grounds.

Pellerade says the gardens

were inspired by those at the

Peterhof palace in St Petersburg

in Russia. And creating them

was no easy task.

“The terraced levels

are specifically designed to

maximise the awesome views

and took five years to create.

“Massive rocks had to be

blasted with dynamite and

some 30 000 tons of soil had to

be brought on to the property.

It was a huge engineering feat

and incredibly costly.

“The landscaping with

tall, slim conifers, buxus

hedging and several fountains

and sculptures is Italianate in

design.”

And, of course, that’s not all.

The Gatsby house has its

own spa as well as a heated

indoor pool, salt-water outdoor

training pool, a library and

gymnasium. There is also

automated climate control,

music, lighting and security

systems that can be operated via

a cellphone from anywhere in

the world, says Rory O’Hagan,

head of the Luxury Portfolio

division of marketing agency

Chas Everitt International.

A place like this needs staff

and Gatsby has accommodation

and garaging for au pairs and

assistants.

The Randlords thought they

had it all – but Gatsby is enough

to make them weep into their

pink gins.

Rory O'Hagan +27 83 328 8888

Chas Everitt Hyde Park & Sandton


The world’s wealthiest are favouring sumptuous ‘whole life’ homes where they can

seclude themselves from the Covid-19 pandemic and other disasters

WORDS VIVIAN WARBY

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PICTURE PRESSFOTO

t &

WORDS VIVIAN WARBY

HE HOME garden – whether year – even if it is just

planted with veggies or flowers a container on a window sill.

– became many a family’s safe But the biggest trend by far

space when the pandemic – and one set to continue – is

hit. The garden served to

kitchen gardens, with many

supplement the menu, provide households planning and

an escape for children and those growing their own vegetables.

working from home after long www.lifeisagarden.co.za gives

hours on the screen and, as beginners this advice:

anyone who has got their hands

dirty in soil will know, function DON’T SHY AWAY FROM

as a way to help people mentally HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

exhale.

For your first growing quest,

Trend analysts foresee start small. Think about whether

gardening activities growing this you want to use containers,

GET DOWN

GET DIRTY

Planting your own organic vegetables not

only gives you food for your table, it is also a

rewarding and relaxing outdoor activity.

Here are some tips to get you growing

plant straight into the ground or

use raised beds.

Consider your space and

available time to guide your

growing style. Sowing a couple

of seeds in an empty space in

your flower beds is as good a

beginning as any.

Be careful not to

overpopulate your space. Your

veggies will increase in size and

need room to grow and climb.

Planting too close together

will also cause veggies to shade

one another. Refer to the seed

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PICTURE SIGMUND

Your veggies

will increase

in size and

need room

to grow and

climb

packet or the handy garden

centre guy for advice.

LOCATION, LOCATION

Veggies love the sun and will

flourish in open areas that

receive lot of sunlight. Avoid

areas with big trees throwing

shade.

Examine your space

through eco-eyes – take note

of the sun’s movement, the

surrounding foliage, and the

expansion space needed as your

greens grow.

Location is also important

in terms of watering. Make sure

your veggies are within reach

of the hose pipe or irrigation

system and can receive as much

rainfall as possible.

If you’re planning to grow

veggies on the stoep, make

sure your containers have good

drainage and expect to have

some water flowing from under

the pots, which is something to

consider when placing them.

CHOOSING THE BEST VEG

Seasonal veggies (meaning the

ones to plant for that season)

are your best bets for success

as these greens are naturally

adapted to the climate of the

given time.

Also, consider how the

particular plant grows – some

grow like ground covers

(pumpkin) and need plenty of

space, while others like to climb

(beans) requiring support, and

some veggies need deep soil

(potatoes) and appear bush-like

on the top.

M A R C H 2 0 2 1 HI | 2 9


PICTURE VALERIA AKSAKOVA

GROW YOUR PATIENCE

PORTIA MBAU (above), owner of The Africa Cafe, chef

and author of The Africa Cookbook, and her daughter

Lumai de Smidt, a visual storyteller, author and graphic

designer, gave our sister publication Simply Green these

useful tips for anyone starting their own kitchen garden:

1 Start by growing herbs

They are generally forgiving and can be grown in a pot

on your windowsill.

2 The garden is a process of constant learning

We’re always researching, googling and talking to

friends about how to help our garden grow.

3 It starts in the soil

Preparing your soil with compost and fertiliser is

essential to the quality of your produce.

4 Make your own compost

Compost can be expensive if you have a large garden.

Compost your organic kitchen waste.

5 Be patient

Things will die but that doesn’t mean you are a failure.

Only last year did we get an orchid to flower again –

our previous plants never bloomed twice.

For more please do read our garden issue of

Simply Green here: https://bit.ly/33Gusrd

MARCH SOWING SUGGESTIONS

Gauteng:

spinach, lettuce, beetroot and carrots.

Kwa-Zulu Natal:

cabbage, broad beans, turnips and radish.

Eastern Cape:

spinach, beans, beetroot and carrots.

Western Cape:

cauliflower, celery, peas and onions.

3 0 | HI M A R C H 2 0 2 1


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