Having grown up in Cape Town and graduated from UCT, Megan Mackenzie worked for a while in advertising in Johannesburg, until she decided that growing things was her first joy.
Megan then embarked on a garden landscaping career.
For the past 18 years, Megan has been designing and installing gardens in Gauteng and in the Cape. Her work includes private gardens, townhouse developments, a farm in Franschhoek, and lately the Johannesburg Country Club in Auckland Park. Her work has appeared in various magazines in South Africa and she has won Gold and Silver awards from the South African Landscape Institute (SALI).
Megan has worked for many years with Posy Buckland, Daniel Makgoba and Simon Zondi, all of whom will be part of the team assisting with the planting of the Flower Show garden entitled LIVING ROOM.
Talk us through why we need to have a Flower Show in Cape Town?
Cape Town has one of the most diverse and rich floral kingdoms in the world, and as such is a fitting city to showcase the flora from the Cape and the rest of South Africa. This, combined with the beautiful and historical Castle on the slopes of Table Mountain, will offer visitors a wonderful experience of Cape Town.
What will your ‘show’ garden be about? How will you interpret the brief?
The title of my stand is LIVING ROOM and is designed for the small townhouse or flat garden which incorporates everything you would need to live in a garden – a paved seating area, a firepit, a stone wall for extra seating, a small herb and vegetable growing area, trees for shade, a water bowl for birds, all planted with indigenous grasses and shrubs. The garden is backed by a meandering oxygen-generating spekboom hedge, and the heart shape picked up in the paving emphasises the living aspect of the design.
What knowledge or experience would you like visitors to the Cape Town Flower Show to take away with them?
My work spans a variety of genres, from Highveld grass gardens, koppie gardens, English gardens, rose gardens, fynbos gardens, woodlands, farmlands, vegetable gardens, to water gardens.
Is there a sustainability quotient to what you do?
Gardening now, locally and internationally, is all about being sustainable and organic and increasingly, after the recent droughts, there is a distinct move towards drought-tolerant planting in South Africa.
The central idea was to create a small courtyard Living area for a townhouse or flat garden which incorporates everything you will need to live in the garden – a paved seating area, a fire pit, a stone wall for extra seating, a small herb and vegetable growing area, trees for shade and a water bowl for birds. All backed by a meandering oxygen-generating spekboom hedge. The planting is indigenous with a mixture of grasses, salvia, scabious, artemisia, dierama and many more shrubs and plants, providing a palette of greens, rusts, pale peaches, creams and pale blues and lilacs. The paved area will be furnished. The trees will be planted on mounds to add extra dimension and height to the garden. The heart shape picked up in the paving emphasises the living aspect of the design.
Life Landscapes is partnering with Megan to produce the garden for the Cape Town Flower Show. Life Landscapes is a SALI award-winning corporate garden company which specialises in maintenance and garden installations in southern Africa. The company was founded in 2005 by Deighton Clegg, Ida-Marie Strydom and Oscar Lockwood who have over 100 years’ experience between them. They have an acute awareness of the environmental responsibility that comes with maintaining gardens.
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