That’s me and my dad, Charl. We love plants and the art of garden-making. Our dog Jasper loves gardens too, but mostly for taking naps.
It was mid-2016 when I finally decided to take the leap and pursue my own endeavour.
I’d been involved in the tourism industry for over 7 years, from hospitality, tour operations in the Western Cape and events at the stadium, to eventually taking a senior position as tourism development officer in the small town of Riversdale. While my job had introduced me to the world, I felt like something essential was missing: I craved the simplicity of soil and getting my hands dirty as part of a good, honest day’s work. The kind that knocks you out as soon as your head hits the pillow. The kind that my grandfather did, farming in Jonkershoek, and the ones before him in other parts of the Cape Winelands. The more I thought about it, the more I realised that I wanted to return to the rhythm of the land that they seemed to know so well and reconnect with nature.
Simultaneously, my dad found himself newly retired after 41 years of service as a horticulturist for the City of Cape Town and not nearly ready to embrace the life of leisure his younger colleagues so envied.
It posed the perfect opportunity: his ongoing love for hard work, plants and gardening, combined with my yearning for more grit and eagerness to learn would be channelled into our brand new family business.
But maybe – as Paulo Coelho says in The Alchemist – it had always been written. For as far back as I can remember (okay maybe not as far back as the photo on the right, but you get the idea), working in the garden with dad was as much part of my being as going to school or getting up to mischief with the neighbourhood kids. Initially, my duties entailed anything I could get done (or, in retrospect, more likely, which of my dad’s careful work I wouldn’t be able to wreck too badly) with my little plastic rake and shovel. As time went by, it evolved into more intensive chores like cutting up a neverending stream of branches as dad cleaned the garden and stuffing them into bags or filling up the trailer – chores often performed under duress, as skateboarding loomed large on my list of priorities.
However, even in the midst of my most rebellious teenage years, I always held dad’s strong work ethic in high regard and have since aimed to emulate it in every aspect of my life. Along with our shared love for greening, we’ve brought the art of doing things thoroughly into our work, giving equal attention to the big picture and the small details that go into the preparation of a garden.
And so, Marais Landscaping has sprung forth out of our combined desire to add value through a committed and mindful approach to the work we love best. – Guillaume
What We Do
The Design Process
Whether you plan to enhance just part of your garden or transform the whole area we can tailor our garden design service to suit your requirements. The design process is briefly outlined below.
1. Onsite consultation
During this initial onsite consultation, we define the scope, brief, and budget of the project.
2. Design proposal
Following the initial meeting, a summary of the project is sent along with a fee proposal for the design work.
3. Concept plan
A conceptual plan is developed for the general layout of the garden to clarify how spaces will be arranged.
4. Design development
Once the concept is finalised, additional documentation can be developed to bring your garden to life. This can include a master plan, planting plan and schedule, working drawings and other construction details.
5. Quotation for implementation
Following the completion of your design, a quote for construction and implementation will be handed over for your consideration.
We implement your garden design, along with any additional specialist contractors as required.
Once the garden is complete, we can provide specialised garden management on a regular or ad hoc basis.
- Formative pruning
- Specialist pruning of roses, hydrangeas and fruit trees
- Small to medium tree pruning and tree surgery
Soil improvement and optimising growth
- New and additional planting improvements, transplanting or seasonal planting
- Sourcing suitable, quality plants for various conditions and garden types (coastal, indigenous/water-wise, small spaces) from a variety of reputable wholesale nurseries around the Cape
- Planting following tried-and-tested horticultural practice
- Selective herbicide application for annual broadleaf weeds and grasses in turf areas
- Non-selective herbicide application for weeds on paved and stone areas
Pest and disease control
- Insecticide and fungicide applications to combat pests, fungal and bacterial diseases