World Water Day

Today is World Water Day. “The Answer is in Nature.” How can we reduce floods, droughts and water pollution?

By using the solutions we already find in nature.

Conserve water in your garden this Autumn. An important principle is to always plan the overflow route and manage surplus water as a resource. You can use earth shaping, planting and mulch to create a living sponge(s) in the landscape.

In summary, the most logical, cost-effective strategy to maintain a garden or landscape requires the following 3 steps:-

1. Harvest rainwater and runoff with appropriate earth shaping so that water infiltrates the soil.

2. Set yourself a goal of zero storm water runoff: consider storing rainwater in tanks and treating it for use in the house.

3. Consider treating and reusing your “grey” water in the landscape.


STARKE AYRES LANDSCAPING DIVISION operates out of the Starke Ayres Garden Centre in Rosebank, Cape Town and consists of a dedicated team of designers and core staff. Our team consists of John Sharpe (ND Horticulture 1986) and Charlotta Carollisen (ND Landscape Technology 2007, BTech Environmental Management 2008), and a team of talented staff. John’s interests include Protea propagation, permaculture, mountain hiking and classic car restoration, while Charlotta enjoys swimming and camping, is a beginner surfer, and loves the Cape town markets and wine tasting.

Together, John and Charlotta have a good eye for design and detail. They have 44 years of combined experience in the horticultural and landscaping industry. John and Charlotta can walk you through the entire remodelling process of your garden, from one-on-one consultation to CAD and hand drawn designs (for those adventurous clients who wish to experience the joy of installing their own gardens).

Should you, the client, wish to have our team install your garden or parts thereof, we offer a complete installation service.

Some of the areas of expertise that we can assist you with are:
• Consultations
• Scaled landscape drawings – CAD and hand drawn
• Suitable plant selections, including indigenous and contemporary selections
• Irrigation design and installation
• Timber decking
• Hard landscaping including paving and small retainer walls
• Ponds and water features
• Rain water harvesting, water tank supply and installation
• Roof top gardens
• Interior plantscapes
• Seasonal garden maintenance and feeding programs
• Outdoor trellises and garden accessories

Contact John or Charlotta on 021-685 4120/1
or via the following emails:

Principal Member of SALI
(The South African Landscape Institute of South Africa)


EXHIBITION NOW LIVE, from today, 15 March till the end of April 2018, only at Starke Ayres Garden Centre Rosebank.

Red Seal Design Studio began operating in Barrydale in 2006 in an old warehouse. Clay was sourced from local farmers, locals were trained and trials began to manufacture ranges of flower pots for the South African market.

Today, they are a team of 9 resident potters and we employ local residents on a part time basis for our raw material sourcing of clays and recycled cardboard that we add to the clay to prevent cracking in the drying process.

They also use local ‘doppe’ (grape seeds and residue from the wine industry) mixed with sawdust and specialized clays to manufacture compostable pots that bio degrade when planted with the plant in the ground.

They have developed a Raku firing process based on Eastern traditions where we re-fire the pots in sawdust and wood chips to create texture, colors and crackles that are not able to be achieved in the electrical kiln firing process. Their focus is to attempt to make pots that compliment the plants and not to compete with it.

The exhibition depicts Red Seal Design Studio’s commercial pots as well as from their studio in Barrydale.