Patchwork | August in the Garden

Spring is in the air, even though every last drop of rain we can get is greatly needed at the moment!

The temperatures are warming up and that means it's time to start planting.

As we head into Spring/Summer, the plant list just gets longer and longer!

This month, here's the plant list:
Basil, Broad Beans, Beetroot, Butternut, Cape Gooseberry, Cauliflower, Carrots, Chard/Spinach, Celery, Chives, Chilli Pepper, Cucumber, Eggplant, Kale, Kohlrabi, Globe Artichokes, Leek, Leaf Mustard, Lettuce, Onion, Parsley, Parsnip, Peas, Potato, Pumpkin, Radish, Rhubarb, Sweetcorn, Sweet Pepper, Turnip, Tomato, Watercress, Watermelon.

Dental Care for Pets - Kenilworth Vet

Looking after your pets’ teeth is just as important as looking after your own and yet many pet owners neglect this essential
part of their pets health. This month we are going to look again at dental care and why it is so important .

As humans we are able to brush our teeth as often as we like. We know that by doing this we are removing bacteria that can build up on the teeth causing tooth decay and gum disease.   
The same thing applies to your pets teeth but because most of us don’t brush our dogs teeth bacteria is always present.

How tartar builds up:
When bacteria dies it becomes calcified and forms a hard substance called tartar or calculus on the teeth.
Once this foundation has been laid down calculus can continue to build up on itself eventually forming a hard covering on the teeth. It pushes the gum away from the tooth opening up areas for infection:

This results in:
gingivitis - inflammation of the gums
The gums look very red and bleed easily. As the gum becomes infected and inflamed it loses its ability to protect the tooth. This exposes the root cavity to more infection. Eventually the tissue surrounding the tooth is destroyed and the bony socket holding the tooth erodes away, teeth can become loose or can even become ankalosed – fixed in a bony mass.
Dental disease can have serious side effects on your pets’ health,  the presence of bacteria can lead to systemic infection causing:
  • lack of appetite –reluctance to eat
  • general ill health
  • heart problems – bacterial endocarditis

Your pet can have severe dental problems and appear to show no symptoms. The amount of dental pain an animal suffers is not fully understood but your pets’ health will still be affected.

What can you do?
Although there are finger toothbrushes and special toothpastes available we don’t expect everyone to suddenly start brushing their pets teeth! However, there are lots of things that can improve your pets dental hygiene.

i) chews and pellets can help to remove tartar. There are even dental chews available designed to do this
ii) get your vet to check your pets teeth even if you are going to visit for something else.
ii) be aware- if you notice your pet has bad breath , salivates more or doesn’t seem to be so keen to eat.

NB : Cats can be particularly intolerant to teeth brushing and suspicious of dental treats!

What can we do?
The Vet will normally check your pet
thoroughly when you visit for your pets
annual booster vaccination. This is often
the time we pick up problems that the owner may not be aware of, depending on the severity of the problem we can do various procedures :

Dental Scale and Polish
If there is just a build-up of tartar on the teeth we can clean and polish them. Just the same as a your visit to the dental hygienist!

Teeth that have been compromised can be extracted and your pet will be treated with antibiotics if necessary.
In severe cases a patient may need to be referred to a dental specialist.

It is important to note that almost all dental procedures are performed under general anaesthetic.
So keep your pets’ mouth healthy  !

Harfield Village

Are you drinking enough water?

Our bodies are made up of about 60% water, and because our bodies lose water through the day, you have to drink water every day!  Water is lost through the kidneys, faeces and skin as well as through breathing.  This amounts to about 2.3 litres in a day in normal conditions.  We can replenish this lost water through drinking and eating.

It is not always easy to be know when you are thirsty, especially if you are not drinking enough water.  The following as a general guide:

Body weight in kg divided by 10 PLUS 2 = amount of glasses of water (1 glass = 250ml). 

You may need more or less depending on how active you are, how hot it is, and whether you are in an air-conditioned office.

Water is the best hydration liquid, but there are quite a few varieties to choose from:

Tap water undergoes treatment which ensures it is free of harmful micro-organisms and contaminants and is therefore perfectly safe to drink.  South Africa’s national standard of water quality compares well with the World Health Organisation standards.

Bottled water is also a good choice.  However, most people choose bottled water because they believe that it is safer and healthier than tap water.  The regulations for bottled water are not as strict as those for tap water as FDA rules often don’t have the same prohibitions that municipal water has.  It has also been stated that 40% of bottled water originates from the tap, with added minerals or filtration!

Sparkling water is carbonated with carbon dioxide under pressure.  This will cause the body no harm, but may produce a small amount of flatulence and possibly gastric distension.  If those symptoms don’t occur when you drink sparkling water, then this water is just as good substitute to still water for some variety.

What about cold water versus warm water.  There is no difference once the water reaches your stomach.  Whether ice cold or boiling water, just make sure you serve yourself the water in a way that will make you drink more, not less!

Flavoured and vitamin waters are the one’s you need to be careful of.  The reason they taste so good is because they have added sugar (yes, even the vitamin water!)  The amount of sugar is equivalent to 8 teaspoons of sugar!  This makes them very ‘expensive’ from a calorie perspective.  Even if you are happy with your weight, these waters give you nothing but energy (no extra vitamins, minerals and other goodness), so they would not be the best nutritional choice. 

There are other ‘fluids’ that you can choose which will rehydrate you.  They include milk (it goes without saying that this should be low fat or preferably fat free), fruit juice (just watch the calories if you are weight conscious – 125ml = 1 fruit) and herbal teas.  Try not to drink Ceylon tea, coffee and fizzy drinks too often as they contain caffeine which stimulates water loss.

Tips to get into better water drinking habits:
  • Keep a jug or bottle of water on your desk – when you see it you’ll be more likely to drink it
  • Drink from a larger glass. Psychologically you feel like you are drinking less!
  • Start your day with a glass of warm water with lemon slices or sliced ginger or mint leaves
  • Drinking first thing in the morning will get your system ‘awake’ and boost your metabolism
  • Keep a water bottle in your car or while traveling and drink from it to and from work
  • Drink a glass of water every time you make a cup of tea/coffee
  • Delegate and ask someone responsible (PA, spouse, colleague) to encourage you to drink water or to make it available
  • Use a phone app to remind you to drink water regularly
  • Add lemon slices, mint, parsley, any fresh fruit or small amount of fruit juice to flavour your water
  • Make herbal teas using lemon slices, orange slices, apple, mint leaves, parsley, ginger, etc… and allow them to cool. Add ice and enjoy!

Phone: 021 674 4666
Cell: 084 206 2715

Lyn's Recipe - Microwave Chocolate Cake

This cake is quick and easy and wonderfully moist.  It is baked in an ice cream bakkie.


250mls flour
37,5mls cocoa
2 eggs, beaten
20mls baking powder
50mls oil
250mls caster sugar
250mls hot water
5mls vanilla

Spray ice cream bakkie.

Mix cocoa, water and vanilla
Add eggs and oil
Add wet to dry
Whisk for one minute

Cook on high for 7 minutes.

Lyn Staples
Tel +27 21 674 1120 / +27 82 846 0739

HVCID - August News

Dear Residents

We unfortunately had an incident of attempted hijacking in the Village recently. Luckily the resident was not harmed and the suspects were disturbed before they were able to steal the vehicle. There are some basic security tips which you can follow to lessen your risk of being a hijacking victim:
  • 2km from your house strategy. Be extra alert. Switch off the car radio and concentrate on your surroundings.
  • Remember to stop your vehicle just on the inside of the gate and select reverse whilst waiting for the gate to close. This creates confusion and may buy you a few seconds for the gate to close completely behind you.
  • Check your driveway and street before you leave or enter your premises.
  • Make sure your driveway is well lit and clear from shrubbery where perpetrators can hide.
  • Be aware of unknown pedestrians close to your residential address – if there are, do not turn into your driveway – pass and go back later.
Click here for more information.

There are a handful of phone recovery or anti-theft apps which can be a lifesaver in case you lose your phone or, even worse, it gets stolen. But many people might only realize that there are such apps AFTER it got lost or stolen. Then, it usually is too late and you have to face the ugly truth that the phone is gone for good.
For more information on how to track your android smartphone click here or for your iphone click here.

Kind regards
Manager - Harfield Village Community Improvement District (HVCID)            +27 (0)81 412 6109


Disputes relating to a landlord's rights with regard to the return of a tenant's deposit on termination of a residential lease agreement reach our offices with increased frequency. Most of these could have been avoided had the parties appreciated how critical it is to follow the prescripts of the Rental Housing Act with regards to the keeping of a deposit and the ingoing and outgoing inspections. In the note that follows, we provide a guideline of the applicable principles.

1. Is a deposit obligatory?
No, our law does not stipulate that in order to be valid, a lease agreement must provide for a deposit. However, it is practice to make provision for a deposit as it safeguards the landlord to a great extent.
The Rental Housing Act does determine, where a deposit is called for in a lease, that the amount thereof must be disclosed in the agreement or be agreed to between the parties before the tenant moves into the premises.

2. Amount and purpose of the deposit
Tenants often query the reasonableness of the deposit required by the landlord. In law there is no limit on the amount that the landlord may prescribe (provided it does not constitute an attempt to discriminate against potential tenants on the basis of their sex, race, religion, nationality, age and other prohibited grounds of discrimination).

The deposit is essentially a tool with which the landlord covers the risk of loss on termination of the lease. The risks generally lie in collection of money owing, incurring expenses to repair damage caused by the tenant and recovery of outstanding arrear rentals. Related to the last-mentioned, tenants often think that the deposit may be used to pay the last month's rental or to cover a month's skipped rental. But this is generally nor allowed and unless the agreement makes provision therefor, a tenant cannot apply the deposit in this way – understandably, as the landlord then loses the availability of the funds for their safeguarding purpose.

The deposit is usually equal to one or two months' rental, but in high-end rentals it can be much more so as to be aligned to the increased cost of repairing the designer finishings and fittings of such premises.

3. Landlord's obligation to invest the deposit
The Rental Housing Act requires the landlord to issue a receipt and then to invest the deposit in an interest bearing account for the benefit of the tenant. The interest may not be less than the rate applicable to a savings account with the financial institution where the deposit is banked. The interest accrues for the benefit of the tenant and the landlord must account to the tenant. The landlord is obliged to provide written proof of the accrued interest to the tenant upon request.

There is an exception where the deposit is kept by the landlord's estate agent. In such instances, and in accordance with the Estate Agency Affairs Act, the default position is that interest accrues to the Estate Agents Fidelity Fund and not to the tenant. This is however negotiable and it is therefore important for a tenant to discuss this aspect and arrange that the interest accrues for the tenant's benefit, before concluding the lease.

4. Return of the deposit and importance of ingoing and outgoing inspection
In terms of the Rental Housing Act, a landlord (and/or his appointed agent - which is usually the case where an estate agent manages the lease) and tenant must do a joint ingoing inspection of the premises before the tenant takes occupation.
The purpose of the joint investigation is to record (in writing) all visible defects and/or existing damages in the premises, both on the inside and the outside. The ingoing inspection forms part of the lease agreement and should be annexed to the lease, signed and dated by both parties.  (Ideally, the parties can also choose to photograph the premises beforehand, as additional record. With modern cellphone technology, this is quite feasible.) The ingoing inspection must be done thoroughly and accurately as it forms the basis of determining damages caused to the premises by the tenant during his/her tenure.

The outgoing inspection is equally important as it is at this time that the damage to the premises that are for the tenant's account and which the landlord is entitled to claim from the tenant's deposit, if any, is determined. In essence, the condition of the premises on termination is compared with the condition on commencement, using the ingoing inspection report as a basis to identify damages for which the tenant is responsible.

But landlords, beware: the Rental Housing Act provides that should the landlord fail to inspect the premises jointly with the tenant within 3 days prior to termination, then it is deemed to be an acknowledgement by the owner-landlord that the premises are in a good and proper state of repair. The landlord will then have no further claim against the tenant and the full deposit and interest must be returned to the tenant.

5. When must the deposit (and interest) be refunded?
The Act sets out specific time periods within which the deposit must be refunded. The length of time is dependent on the repairs necessary, as follows:
• 7 days after expiration of the lease if no repairs are required;
• where repairs are necessary, 14 days after the repairs have been effected.
Note that if a tenant refuses to carry out a joint inspection of the premises before the lease expires, the landlord has 7 days in which to complete an inspection of his own. The landlord must thereafter attend to any repairs that may be required and refund the balance of the deposit, if any, to the tenant within 21 days of the expiration of the lease.

The landlord must keep a record of all receipts as proof of the repairs carried out as the tenant is entitled to inspect what amounts have been deducted from the deposit.

The importance of properly and thoroughly executing the ingoing and outgoing inspections cannot be over-emphasised in avoiding disputes in respect of a landlord's claim against a tenant's deposit.

For assistance with all your property-related queries, contact Martin Sheard at or at 021 673 4700. STBB Claremont

Winter pruning for roses - Julip Landscaping


Rose Care - Winter pruning

Why should you prune your roses?

Pruning roses helps to maintain the shape and health of a rose bush. Dead or unhealthy wood is removed, beautifying the bush, as well as eliminated pest infected limbs. Pruning also encourages new, healthy growth and inspires larger, better-lasting blooms.

When is the best time for pruning?

In the Western Cape, a hard winter prune is best in late July to early August. Pruning too soon will mean any tender new growth may take strain in the cold, windy weather. Pruning too late will delay the spring blooms.

General pruning and shape maintenance can take place year-round. Remove any disease infected limbs and dead-head regularly.

How to prune?

Make sure your shears are clean and sharp. Start by removing any and all soft new growth. From there, work your way down to the hard, old stems. Take your time as to not injure yourself on any thorns.

In general, for any bush rose, the aim is to cut the rose down to half of its full-summer size. New growth will grow from these older branches, so be brave and cut away. In the end, you should end up with a couple of bare branches sticking out of the ground, like in the pictures below.

Climbing roses are the same. Prune back until only the main stems remain. It can be difficult as the branches lock together when intertwining, so prune what you can reach.

Standard roses, prune back to main stems, as with bush roses.

 What else?

Not much else needs to be done. Wait for spring before feeding again, to avoid forcing the rose to bud early. Make sure all main climbing branches on climbing roses are fanned out for the best effect. Remember, with roses, the more you prune, the greater the growth and reward.

Bush rose- hard pruned:

Climbing rose- Pruned to main branches

Need help?

For all of your rose-care needs, feel free to give Julip Landscaping a call on 079 660 2063. 

Pop down to Ludwigs roses at chart farm for the best rose selection.