07 Jun 2013

JUNE 2013

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With the changing of the season we once again find ourselves exploring new ideas with a full Victorian restoration. The Paddocks (having made their first home purchase) have asked us to create something special in the way of a pet-friendly outdoor entertainment space that will someday be a nurturing ground for their little ones.

The challenge: Victorian theme, modern outdoor facilities, pet-friendly, security conscious with an outdoor nursery…

No problems!


Design drawing of the proposed front garden


Beautiful tumbled granite representation cobbles have been used for all visible paved surfaces, mimicking the old Victorian walkways indicative of Colonial times. Instead of setting in precast pavers, we have linked areas with raw in-situ concrete slabs, keeping to the contemporary finishing of the outdoor entertainment spaces. A raw aesthetic allowing for low maintenance. A concrete edging has been the preferred choice keeping to the Victorian feel, with large segments of lawn to cater for the budding brood. We have selected Dovyalis Cafra as a hedge, for a great security perimeter, which will encapsulate the herbaceous borders and act as a security barrier to animals as well as to intruders.

Wisteria-covered pergolas, brass tap water features and floating timber seating all finish off and complement this beautiful design. We look forward to uploading all the latest pics as soon as this project wraps up in mid June 2013.

For the second half of June and the remainder of the winter season we are collaborating again with Stefan Antoni Architects. We will be bringing to life a massive masterpiece in the hills of Plattekloof. In our July update we will be bringing you the results of the Paddocks home as well as the challenges that lie ahead in Plattekloof.

Looking forward to updating you all.

Let’s go outside…

Wayne and Nick



With the invention of pesticides, controlled growing environments and growth hormones; it is difficult to determine which foods are seasonal anymore. Seasonal eating is important, not only because the foods are so apt for their season, but also because this is when they contain their most nutritional value just before harvesting. It reduces on freighting and cold-storage of imported foods, which is costly and not very environmentally friendly. In light of this here is a list of the best crops to be planted in your culinary garden during the month of June:


Artichokes, beetroot, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chives, horseradish, kale, leeks, lettuce, onions, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkin, radishes, spinach, squash, turnips, peas and sweet potatoes.


Oranges, lemons, grapefruits, naartjies, limes, guavas, cape gooseberries and apples.

Note how many of these are Vitamin C- rich fruits, great for combating illness in winter.


Mint, sage, thyme, marjoram, oreganum, rosemary, parsley, fennel and bay leaves.

Here is a recipe for easy vegetable soup, using some of the seasonal foods mentioned above:

1 TBspoon olive oil

1 Onion chopped

2 Celery sticks

2 Carrots sliced

2 Cups mixed vegetables chopped (cauliflower, parsnips, peas, sweet potato, radishes)

1 Teaspoon salt

1 Small handful thyme

1 Small handful oreganum

1 Sprig rosemary

2 Bay leaves

8 Cups water

3 Cubes vegetable stock

1 Tin chopped tomatoes



Heat oil in a large soup pot.

Add onions, carrots and celery and fry until onions are soft.

Add the rest of the vegetables followed by the salt, thyme, oreganum and rosemary.

Add the water, stock cubes and bay leaves and bring to the boil until stock is dissolved.

Add tomatoes and allow to simmer until the vegetables are cooked.

Remove bay leaves and blend for a smooth consistency if required.

Serve with hot, buttered bread.

18 Jan 2013

Summer Lawn Care

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Make sure your grass is getting at least 15 mins of water/ day early morning or evening in the heat of summer, and if the wind is really up you could do 20 mins .

For a quick boost you can use your 7:1:3 fertilizer-nourishing not only the leaves of the lawn but stimulating roots too. This is perfect if you have guests arriving in a day or two and want to put on a show but it only sustains for about a month  and requires vast amounts of water when applied. For a more sustained feed use gentle organics which your local gardens centre will advise you on, normally consisting of chicken manure. This will give you lawn a natural slow release feed that does not require as much water which means burning your lawn is close to immpossible.

To treat the weeds use a selective herbicide, which if you take a sample into your nearest garden centre they should be able to prescribe you with correct product. In most cases a broad spectrum  broad leafed selective herbicide will be prescribed, but take in a sample just to be sure. Once you have cover sprayed the weeds its best to spike roll the lawn to help absorption of any nourishment you wish to apply. You do this either by taking a garden fork or spike roller and piercing the surface at 30cm depths over the entire suface area of the lawn. Next to fill the dead gaps, apply a lawn dressing available in cubic loads or bags and spread it evenly over the surface of the lawn with a plastic rake making sure the blades of the existing lawn are still showing. In the case of bags 1x 30DM bag should cover about 3 square meters.

You can then feed the lawn as discussed earlier and follow this by a good deep soaking, generally about 30mins/area. Follow a strict watering program for the next week and this should revive most lawns to allow cutting the following week.

Look out for over watering by spotting the appearance of fungi in the form of mushrooms in the lawn. If your lawn is too thick and you can’t run the mower over it without leaving brown scraggly patches in places you may need to rip the lawn. For more advice on this process you can contact me at wayne@oasisdesign.co.za as this is a slightly more complex process.

For any other queries don’t hesitate to call or email Wayne at the contact details available on the site and I will do my best to assist you. Remember a picture paints a thousand words.

Thanks again and enjoy! Your garden, it should bring you boundless pleasure… never pain.


Wayne Doucha

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