Karen Chapman | | , , , , , , , , ,| By
EdiblesPaula has been experimenting with growing edibles in a variety of ways including companion planting, trellising and layering. This area can be seen especially well from the roof top terrace which Paula kindly allowed us to visit. There is also a small citrus orchard close to the home laid out in a grid pattern, the strong geometry complementing the homes architecture.
IrrigationWhat at first looks like a lap pool or ornamental pond is in fact an irrigation reservoir that holds water from the well. Solar power is used to pump water during the day so that they can run the irrigation at night. The bronze sculpture was commissioned by Athol Moult. He was inspired by all the birds (hens, owls, parrots) at Le Poirier so the sculpture is a representation of a falling feather. (There's a much better photo of this on the artists website). They also made use of a drip irrigation scheme called Responsive Drip Irrigation or RDI, which I found interesting and need to do further research on. Basically it is a 'plant-responsive water and nutrient delivery system'. If you've got any experience with this I'd love to hear from you.
Design ElementsAs always, I look at the overall design of any garden we visit to glean ideas and gain a better understanding. Le Poirier was fascinating.
TransitionsWe entered the garden through the pear orchard – the wildest part of the property, with vegetables growing on mounds beneath the fruit trees using RDI irrigation mentioned above. From here a small bridge provided a transition to more naturalistic plantings which acted as an entry sequence to the primary entertainment area. These beds were rectilinear in shape which made a pleasing contrast to the loose plantings and fine textures. Boulders and columnar evergreens punctuated the plantings, creating focal points.
Use of AxisOne of my favorite design elements is the use of sight lines – or axis, so I was thrilled to see several strong examples in this garden. The view above can be appreciated from the roof top garden too: Mystery is another intriguing design ploy and suggested in this next image. The pathway/axis is evident – yet somewhat concealed by virtue of the tree-like vine which is growing in it.
Shadow PatternsFiltering light to throw shadows on walls and floors adds an additional artistic detail. This can be done with pergola crossbeams, foliage or a mixture of both as seen here.
Indoor-Outdoor ConnectionBotanical inspired light fixtures and tactile art were the perfect addition to this light-filled home, which incidentally was magazine-worthy gorgeous (and especially delighted our four guests who were architects!) We were all entranced by the magnificent wall hanging which depicts the native fynbos together with the pear trees. The artist, Gabriella Kruger creates these dimensional works by painting in acrylics on plastic, then peeling the paint away. Her website has more examples and information about the technique she has developed to produce such dimensional art works. The front door was made using recycled pear wood and was set within the white washed archway – a perfect, personalized entry to Le Poirier. If you'd like to earn more about Le Poirier you can follow them on Facebook and on Instagram.
Would you like to visit with us?We are planning a return tour to South Africa (with an extension to Kenya) in 2026. Newsletter subscribers are always offered priority registration – this tour filled with a waiting list in just 5 days…..so be sure to sign up for my newsletter below! Can't wait that long to travel? We have lots of other small group tours planned including England, New Zealand and the Hudson River Valley before then. Sign up below (and receive a useful, travel-savvy free gift)
Interested in Garden Tours?
Be one of the first to hear about upcoming trips by signing up for my newsletter.
Enjoy this blog post?
Subscribe to Receive Blog Posts
Gardening inspiration delivered right to your inbox from Le Jardinet
Welcome to My Garden Adventures
I'm a serious plant-aholic. In other words I'm usually covered in a layer or two of soil, I drive everywhere with a large tarp for impromptu plant purchases and I'm truly passionate about sharing the joys of gardening.