Herbs at the kitchen door

I think its best to plant a Potager garden near your kitchen. 

 

The other day we installed a kitchen garden and whilst working, our lovely client, Lauren came outside to pick some mustard leaves to go with a beef roll she was making for her son's lunch. Now that's what I love about Potager gardens. They are beautiful, aromatic and practical. 

 

They also brighten up dull, uninteresting areas, like courtyards where you hang washing. Where the gas bottles are located. Why are these areas often neglected? They're essential parts of the home. Are visited daily. And should not just be functional, hidden away spaces. 

Celery, perennial pink basil, lemon thyme, green in snow mustard, sage and dill
Celery, perennial pink basil, lemon thyme, green in snow mustard, sage and dill

Imagine in a few weeks when everything has settled in, just in time for Spring. The stoegas lavender will be in full bloom and the parsley, red reuben basil, green peas and bright light spinach will be ready for picking.   

 

 

This is what it looked like before
This is what it looked like before

Here's another example of a kitchen garden that we installed that works. Before it was a barren space. It came alive once we installed a Potager garden.

Before
Before

We disguised the gas bottles with a trellis and a planter filled with black beauty eggplants. In an old pot we planted Tecoma capensis (Cape honeysuckle) which grows rapidly and in time will cover the trellis. 

Design

There are so many cool things going on in our workshop. 

 

Alex and Kevin
Alex and Kevin
Our carpenters; Alex, Mlue, Kevin & John
Our carpenters; Alex, Mlue, Kevin & John

We're getting ready for Decorex Johannesburg which is taking place at Gallagher Estate from 6 to 10 August. Decorex have asked us to decorate their Herb Cafe and their Gourmet Restaurant. In the Herb Cafe we're installing five Wall Planters and in the KWV Gourmet Market our display consists of re-purposed pallet trestle tables with old crate wine boxes. Each planter will be filled with a mix of spring herbs. 

Kevin & John
Kevin & John

Ndlovu Table

We had some wood left over from a job and I coerced Alex Ndlovu, my carpenter, to make me a kitchen table. Not just any table. A succulent table. I've wanted one for as long as I can remember and finally I have a living table which we've called Ndlovu.

Ndlovu means Elephant in Zulu. Alex is small in stature yet big in heart and filled with passion, much like an elephant.  

It took Alex only a little while to create and because I was excited and wanted to see it in situ, I scrambled the plants together hurriedly. Luckily succulents are easy and don't suffer from rough handling. 

I love the raw, knotty texture of the wood. 

My Ndlovu table is now my most favourite piece in our home. Thank you Alex.

We're being industrial

A client wanted us to build planters to fit outside her shop window. Originally the plan was to paint them with black board paint but whilst Alex was making them, I decided that this industrial style is more to my liking. I think the raw wood with its knots and flaws is beautiful.

 

filled with white eggplant and marigolds
filled with white eggplant and marigolds