28 Oct 2013
Hi folks. Spring is here in a big way! Days are longer, temperatures are higher and we’ve hardly had a chance to breathe here at Oasis Design. Things are moving along nicely now in Plattekloof with some of the areas being planted already. We’re about to start some creative pathway sculpting at the back before we plant this area up and move on to the pool terrace.
Lots of work to get through here if we’re to complete this project this year but the house is really coming together nicely.
15 Aug 2013
Well at least the dams are nice and full! One has to focus on the positives at this time of year and I suppose at least we shouldn’t have to endure water restrictions with the amount of rain we’ve had over the last few weeks.
We’re looking forward to a busy summer here at Oasis and have been busy trying to finish off a couple of current projects before getting fully involved in a big project in Plattekloof, which will keep the boys’ busy for a large portion of the rest of the year.
We finally completed a successful project in Camps Bay and some pics will be uploaded shortly. One of the most striking parts of the project has to be the balcony planters, which turned out beautifully.
Quite strenuous work this was in the end. The team spent a good couple of days carting loads of potting soil and drainage stone up to the site in order to bring the boxes up to the required finished level. The boxes had to be thoroughly waterproofed before and filling could be done and then large drainage holes had to be drilled near the base to prevent flooding. As with any planter, drainage is vital and cannot be overlooked. Once the boxes were ready we filled them with a 100mm layer of drainage stone. Just remember that if you’re going to build something similar it is vital that you wrap the stone in a geotextile fabric. This prevents any small stone from clogging up the drainage points and thus causing flooding.
The next step was to install the irrigation system. This is vital to this application as the planters were covered by the precast slab of the floor above and thus rain water would not be able to get to all parts of the planter box. Which brings me to another point; at this time of year make sure that you don’t stop watering the parts of your garden that are protected from rainfall by the eaves of your house. I have seen the results of this countless times, where people forget to water in these areas due to what would seem like sufficient winter rain.
Once the boxes were brought up to the required level and a good amount of compost was added we could begin planting. We chose low-growing species as we didn’t want to impede the beautiful view of the ocean beyond. We also chose to plant in drifts, as this makes such a bold, striking impact and complements the clean-lined, unfussy design of the house. We added slate stone for an aesthetic “pathway” through the garden and voila! Complete. Now we just need to wait for it to fill out.
15 Aug 2013
Here is a simple guide to getting great roses in spring. Many people believe roses to be a difficult plant to look after. The general rule of gardening and in fact life itself is; what you put in is what you get out! With roses, following this simple strategy will give your bushes the bases they need to make a very large impact in your garden and give you the prolonged flowering display worthy of their reputation. You can apply these techniques to most of your deciduous shrubs that need to be pruned during this season, another example being your hydrangeas.
You will need a good pair of secateurs, decent gloves, a spray mask, a sterile seal, organic mulch, organic rose food and organic sprays for funguses and insects.
My rule of thumb is to cut off 2 thirds of any branches that are thicker than a pencil, depending on the eventual size you want your plants next year and the maturity of the plant.
You can clean off lateral shoots thinner than a pencil but don’t be as harsh with them as they still need to reach a potential to give the plant good ramification i.e. bushiness.
You want to cut the plant just above the nodes of the stem coming from the base of the plant upwards. You can identify the nodes as they are swollen points of the stem where the growth hormones are most concentrated.
Cuts are to be made at a 45 degree angle to encourage more lateral growth and so that excess water does not settle on the cuts and cause rotting.
After you have finished pruning your roses apply the sterile seal to the cuts thicker than a pencil and spray the plants with the preventative dosages indicated on your selected sprays, unless your plants already have either a fungus or insects attacking it.
Finally carefully remove all the stems with leaves containing black spot (if you have it) off the ground on the fallen branches, apply your organic rose food around the base (I like using ‘sudden impact’), and give a good mulching around the base of the plant.
If it has not rained for a long time give the plant a good deep water, remember roses like fewer applications of water but for much longer periods.
You should now have great roses next year if you follow my simple and easy guide.
Let’s Go Outside
02 Jul 2013
Just a quick one to update on the progress at Camps Bay. We’ve been busy with this project for some time now and it’s finally close to completion. The civil works are complete, driveway is paved, beds are built and many of the plants are in.
Not too much work to do here before we complete another successful project.
We look forward to posting some pics of the completed garden soon. Now if this rain would just stop we could get on with it!
01 Jul 2013
It’s July and its cold! The shortest day of the year is behind us though and the Oasis boys are soldiering on with some exciting stuff.
We are only days away from completing a beautiful garden for the Paddocks and it’s really looking good! The hardscaping has come along nicely over the last few weeks and it’s almost time for us to bring the garden to life with some carefully- selected plantings. The insitu concrete pathway, cobbled driveway and courtyard, planter walls and timber seats are a huge success and we can’t wait to get the lawn down and turn this space from a building site to an urban oasis.
On the other side of our city we’ve been busy getting to grips with our Plattekloof project. The guys from Stefan Antoni architects have designed a beautiful off-shutter concrete style home and construction is well and truly underway. Our challenge this last week was to get a 2.5 ton White stinkwood tree all the way to the top of the site. The 7 metre tall tree had to be carefully craned over the site and into the pre-prepared hole. Just one of several challenges that await us on this project!
Before too long we’ll be running irrigation lines, moving earth and creating levels as well as placing large boulders around the garden. But we’ll talk more about that in the next post.
Until then… keep warm. And although it’s winter…
Let’s go outside
Wayne and Nick