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South Africa

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Midsummer Night’s Dream

Text and styling: Candice Dos Santos. Photographs: Christoph Hoffmann. Article from the February 2012 issue of Garden and Home Magazine.

This transformation of a dull concrete space is an inspiration to everyone with a less than ideal backyard.

This tranformation of a dull concrete space is an inspiration to everyone with a less than ideal backyardAlthough we don’t usually feature commercial spaces, the transformation of a bare passage outside the Home Fabrics showroom in Johannesburg has many clever ideas that can be used in townhouses and clusters where high boundary walls are the norm.

To create a lush green environment, Bernadine Drath from Indigo Landscapes covered one wall with sloping retaining blocks each planted with indigenous varieties including Asparagus densiflorus ‘Cwebe’, A. ‘Nana’ White, Dietes grandiflora and Plectranthus madagascariensis. In addition two raised planting boxes, linked by built-in seating, were built to break up the long passage effect and a rectangular planter added at the far end in which large Mackaya bella shrubs were planted to add height.

Wild olive trees were planted in the two smaller retaining boxes and underplanted with D. grandiflora, P. madagascariensis and A. densiflorus ‘Cwebe’.

“We had to keep in mind that due to the subterranean aspect of the site, there are three drains that had to remain functional,” says Bernadine. To disguise them, massaranduba decking, treated to protect it yet allow it to grey naturally, was installed around the plant boxes by Dorsett Timber Decking. The rest of the floor space was gravelled to allow rainwater to filter through. “To make this easier to walk over, we cast in-situ concrete pavers’ placed like stepping stones,” explains Bernadine.

Patio MakeoverWeatherproof wrought-iron daybeds and tables from Leonardo Design supplement the built-in seating which is all fitted with cushions in distinctive black, white and yellow prints from Home Fabrics’ latest outdoor collection of fabrics, Get Out by UV Pro Outdoor. “Not only is the fabric resistant to sun and moisture, it’s environmentally friendly due to the fact that it contains no harmful chemicals and is recyclable,” explains Haidee Kramer of Home Fabrics.

With the addition of a wooden Dio chair, baskets and lanterns from La Grange Interiors, the area now has an ambience that’s both modern and romantic.


Dorsett Timber Decking 082 377 2302 Home Fabrics 011 266 3700

Indigo Landscapes 082 452 1463 or 011 792 3933 La Grange Interiors 011 444 5379

Leonardo Design 011 264 0053

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