John Richardson Gardens   Garden Design and Construction

Project Boutique Lodge

Although the brief for this brand new four star hotel in the vibrant heart of Cape Towns' prime party suburb was mostly decorative, there were some specific requirements from the design.There was an entrance courtyard that needed planting and a side garden with a high wall that required screening. There was also a deck off the first floor private art gallery and some planting in pots for the penthouse suites on the top floor of the hotel. 

The entrance courtyard was designed to create a sense of separation between the steps leading up to the reception area and the breakfast patio to the right of it. We wanted to add planting here to confirm and support what the architecture of the space was already saying and so added form in the shape of a African cycad (Encephalatos altensteinii ) that functioned both as a dramatic statement at the entrance as well as a natural divider. 

We also wanted the cycad to be slightly elevated and set into a 'craggy, rocky outcrop' so as to give the very slow growing plant a head start. We also relished the opportunity of using the beautiful dark black Malmsbury shale to give the courtyard an organic element and provide some relief and texture variation to the finer finishes of the building.

On another level we also hoped that for some international guests, perhaps enjoying a Kudu burger and Hansa for the first time on the breakfast patio, full of excitement and anticipation for the coming trek into the wilderness of Africa, that our Brood Boom on its own little koppie, here in the heart of Sea Point, just flip-flop away from the beach and boot -squeak from the famous mountain, would, in some way provide those intrepid travelers with a snap shot (nay… a micrograph) of all the wonders and discovery to come on their forthcoming journey into the hinterland.(or wherever…..Green Point perhaps)


The garden off the first floor art gallery required a hedge to be planted in the planters on the perimeter. The indigenous, wind resistant hedge plant is Rhus crenata accompanied by some equally tough miniature Agapanthus sp (added on the façade to provide some colour and change in form). River boulders and a deck complete the picture of a neat, useful, windless and sunny space to enjoy the art on display.

On the roof terrace we used the gnarled, thorny, poisonous and old indigenous Naboom (Euphorbia ingens) in pots. In the side garden we planted the beautiful Rauvolfia sp. trees to screen the wall and perfume the breakfast patio in spring and early summer.


Click the image for a view of: Deck, agapanthus and river boulders
Deck, agapanthus and river boulders
Click the image for a view of: The gnarly old Euphorbia ingens on the roof top.
The gnarly old Euphorbia ingens on the roof top.
Click the image for a view of: The roof tops of Sea Point.
The roof tops of Sea Point.
Click the image for a view of: The African cycad with the Malmsbury shale 'koppie
The African cycad with the Malmsbury shale 'koppie".
Posted: 8/26/2009 (12:57:11 PM)

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