Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Meet the Designer

At Servest Landscaping we consider ourselves people’s persons. The part we love most about our field of work is that we get to interact with a variety of clients with different needs, and to fulfil those needs we have a rather interesting scope of staff. We’d like to introduce you to our Johannesburg Landscape Designer, Gina Switala.

Gina grew up in the lowveld area of Nelspruit, among the citrus farmlands and wilds of the surrounding game farms. This is where her love of the outdoors was nurtured, lending her a keen eye for things that are naturally aesthetically pleasing. With Matric under her belt, she enrolled at the University of Pretoria and completed a BSC in Landscape Architecture with two years of Post-graduate studies.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Water filtration and Irrigation Systems

For the layman, ‘irrigation’ could be defined as a good quality hosepipe and perhaps an orange clip-on sprinkler for good measure. But for professional landscaping services working on a much larger scale, watering has to be planned meticulously. Most commonly, water filtration and complete irrigation systems are employed as the most efficient and cost effective watering methodology.

Landscape irrigation systems are generally split into four main categories:

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Geometry of Landscape Aesthetics

"1. Mathematics is the language of nature. 2. Everything around us can be represented and understood through numbers. 3. If you graph these numbers, patterns emerge. Therefore: There are patterns everywhere in nature." – From the film Pi, by Darren Aronofsky

It is a proven fact that in nature, we find patterns. Whether it’s in the crystalline shape of a flake of snow, or in the never ending spiral of a coiled fern, as human beings we relate to the aesthetics that patterns present. While we may nod appreciatively at an ordered whirl of petals on the head of a flower, in science there is actually a term for this innate mathematical beauty; that of Fractal Geometry.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The History of Landscape Design

Outlining the history of landscape design is quite a tricky endeavour. To pin down exactly what point in time green spaces were planned to aesthetically work with buildings is basically impossible. People have been doing this all over the world since the day dot, but it was never formalised or given a name until the 18th Century. Maybe that’s a sensible place to start then?

Pre-1800 landscaping was basically seen as the design and maintenance of gardens for manors, palaces, religious buildings and the like. The gardens were complex, ornate, enormous areas that took years to construct, a good example of which would be André Le Nôtre’s park of the Palace of Versailles, designed for King Louis XIV of France.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Styles of Landscaping – Modern

The Philosophy of Modern Landscaping

Traditionally, a garden was made up of a lawn edged with flowerbeds, the occasional bird bath and a few trees for shade. But in modern times where the outdoor areas of many homes and offices comprise courtyards versus acres of garden, and there is little time for large-scale maintenance, a contemporary style of landscaping has evolved.

Modern landscaping naturally followed in the footsteps of modern architecture with the credo of ‘form follows function’. This can conjure up a myriad of ideas in people’s heads, from pure minimalism to space age gardens.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Stretford Park Project

If one had visited Stretford Park in Orange Farm, Johannesburg, earlier this year you would have found a community park that was looking for some much-needed care and attention. Johannesburg City Parks earmark local parks such as Stretford and work towards upgrading these important community facilities. In June 2011, with the design expertise of Karien Hanekom of KH Landscape Architects, Servest Landscaping was offered the task of upgrading Stretford Park and the results were wonderful.

The project called for a full upgrade and provision of new facilities. We installed sporting facilities, including a sand soccer field and a sand volleyball court, as well as a new ablution block.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Environmental Art - Art in the Landscape

Landscaping is without a doubt an artistic pursuit. It takes creativity, an eye for aesthetics and a genuine passion to be a master of this art. There is however, a whole other level of creative interpretation of the outdoors which has inspired contemporary landscaping, and it is very much worth knowing about.

Enter the ‘Environmental Artist’. It is quite hard to pigeonhole environmental art, and for all intensive purposes there actually isn’t a handy description for it. But that is in keeping with the theme of the genre of environmental art, which is typically transient, fleeting and unattainable.



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