By Jan-Willem Blok

A feeling of house: The Gardens of Jan Blok presents an intimate travel via a few of South Africa's so much breathtaking inner most gardens, designed by way of certainly one of South Africa's most famed backyard designers, Jan Blok. The booklet is a visible pride, showcasing a number of backyard types that communicates the essence of undying layout. no matter if set inside of a lush, well-wooded suburb or aloft an eleven-storey house block, every one backyard displays a superb experience of house. The architectural proportions and evocative use of color and texture are ideally fitted to the houses and life of the folk who stay in and luxuriate in those appealing gardens. This ebook will encourage garden-lovers all over the world.

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Designed to honour the integrity of the architecture, each garden is nevertheless very different in its style to satisfy the individual taste of the owners. However, the palette of mostly indigenous plants chosen by Jan for this estate, features consistently throughout each of the four gardens, demonstrating the versatility of South African plants across different styles of gardening and tempering the Mediterranean-styled architecture with a hint of the African landscape. LEFT Mature specimens of the indigenous shrub Buddleja saligna – reminiscent of the European Olive tree, with their gnarled trunks and silver-grey foliage – line the communal driveway.

OPPOSITE TOP LEFT Tumbled Lesotho stone is the perfect showcase for sculptural plants. OPPOSITE BOTTOM LEFT Echeveria elegans, a befitting name, conjures a dramatic contrast against the fine-leaved Zoysia tenuifolia. ABOVE Used correctly and sparingly, synthetic turf is practical for a rooftop garden. In this setting, it softens the predominance of hard surfaces. indd 36 6/17/09 9:46:44 PM Villa Borghese F our very distinct gardens within a gated community on the Highveld just outside Johannesburg, Gauteng, each won garden designer extraordinaire, Jan Blok, a gold medal from the South African Landscapers’ Institute (SALI).

Strelitzia reginae, South Africa’s national flower, and the Rain Iris, Dietes grandiflora, are layered beneath these statuesque forms, while Tulbachia violacae gently fringes the circle. indd 34 7/6/09 12:56:31 PM The less protected western aspect is subjected to strong winds, and so it was appropriate to choose a low planting of mixed grasses. A combination of the purple Pennisetum setaceum ‘rubrum’ and the indigenous Aristida junciformis create waves of movement in even the gentlest breeze. Plumes shimmer in the long, warm rays of the late afternoon sun; their silhouetted forms bid farewell to the day as they slip once more under the cover of night.

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A Sense of Space: The Gardens of Jan Blok by Jan-Willem Blok


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