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Our new designer, Melanie Durrheim, graduated with a Master’s in Architecture (Professional) UCT 2018. She is also currently underway with her Landscape Design postgraduate studies (British Royal Academy of Landscape Design). Her master’s thesis, titled Domestic Feral, focused on biodiversity regeneration in our living spaces, both architecture and landscape. She is all about creating living spaces. With a deep passion for biodiversity, indigenous flora and the benefits that Nature has on humans, her designs speak to individuals who want to create spaces of sanctuary for both themselves and Nature alike.

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Melanie’s Ethos

Melanie is a firm believer that everyone should have access to some green space, whether it be a magical greenified corner in your apartment, or a full bloom garden. No space is too small to bring Nature back in. She designs with both the human client and non-human clients in mind, taking into consideration the birds, bugs, and other creatures that may want to visit the site in question. This can lead to some fun and unique designs customised for your space.

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For a garden space to flourish it must be living in all ways possible. It must be teeming with ecosystems, both small and big, from bugs to predators. The more biodiversity regenerating living spaces we have in our urban framework the more chance we have of creating connectivity corridors that aid in healing our broken biodiversity links. No space is too small to give back to Nature. When you have a space that attracts a bird or gives sanctuary to a butterfly, you are not only aiding in biodiversity but also healing your soul, there is an innate human-Nature connection that needs to be replenished for our Earth to heal.

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Design Service

Melanie offers a full design service for private and corporate clients wanting to embrace our indigenous Nature and nurture wellbeing.

Melanie provides creative solutions for inside spaces, balconies, rooftops and gardens. Through artistic principles and technical design solutions her aim is to encourage biodiversity in your garden spaces. Depending on the scope of the project, Melanie works with our full range of indigenous, organically-grown plants, and styles with additional pieces and accessories that are eco-friendly, locally-sourced, and ethically made. Custom made bird houses, bug boxes, chicken coops, composting systems and many other elements that aid in creating a Happy garden can all be included into any design. 

Where necessary, Melanie collaborates with external service providers, including bespoke trellis’s, irrigation, and lighting, etc, to enable an integrated solution.

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Design Process

Step 1: Get in Contact

Contact Melanie using the Design Request Form below, and provide a brief outline of your project, along with any images or sketches of the space.

Step 2: Site Visit & Brief

We will visit you in the space you would like designed. During the visit we will document the space by measuring, drawing up the area, and taking photographs and videos. We will also ask you questions about the space and clarify your brief (needs, wants, scope, etc). All biodiversity key benefactors in the area that your site is located in will be noted and added to potential design implementations, such as barn owl boxes. There is a fee of R850 for the Site Visit & Brief. You will be invoiced after the site visit has been completed.

Melanie will be in contact following up on what was discussed on site, noting any areas that were mentioned and creating a form work for the design process, included in the email will be the quote for the design of the project. Once this is approved we move on with the design.

Step 3: Concept Design 

Depending on size and scope of the project the lead time for this is generally 2 weeks from approval of the quote. 

The Concept Design Document is a full design booklet including plans, sketches and 3ds if needed. Along with moodboard, visual images and precedents to fully illustrate the direction of the design. Any custom made elements will be included here. Garden spaces will be mapped out and given full description on design elements and layouts. A basic planting scheme and palette will be provided for each area. Colour palettes and where need be interior elements such as finishings and furnishings will be given as well. This step is concluded by a 30- 45 minute presentation to the client going through the plan and concept document in detail noting any changes or additions. 

Step 4: Design Development

Using all the information from the previous steps, the final design is then drawn up in plan, elevation and sections. At this point a full plant list will be curated and mapped to the plan. At this stage we also provide you with a comprehensive quote for all plants, planters, materials, labour and other custom designed elements. We can also suggest staging the installation or other ways to work within budgets. 

Final quotation of cost will be sent through to the client.

Step 5: Installation & Planting

Once the quote has been approved, we will send you an invoice. A 50% deposit must be paid for the project to proceed. We then set a date with you for the installation and planting. Lead times will vary depending on the preparation required and the plants and planters selected. Upon completion, the remaining 50% of the invoice will be due.

Step 6: Follow-up & Maintenance

Two weeks after the installation we will visit to check in on the plants, and address any concerns or queries that may have arisen.

A maintenance plan will then be drawn up if need be. 

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Design Request Form

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