Simply Pierre Cronje

Last year Neil Stemmet approached me to landscape famed carpenter, Pierre Cronje’s showroom in Wolfe Street, Chelsea Village.

Neil and I share similar views on collaborative creativity and on lifestyle and decor trends. One specific trend is going back to our roots, calling for simpler times and reinvesting ourselves into our homes and kitchens, quite literally bringing the outdoors, indoors.

I had a blank slate to work with and rather than turning the garden into a ‘farm’ I tried to work into the established landscape, we kept the indigenous trees, removed the aliens and then planted around them.

I wanted to share that growing vegetables could be done anywhere and worked into ones existing landscape, lettuces between your shrubs, grandillas along the fence line, tomatoes between the agapanthus etc.

The only gratuitous liberty I took was growing climbing beans and cucumbers up the indigenous acacias trees, which were literally brimming with edible gifts, a sort of summery Christmas tree.

I pulled out the perennial basil lining the window boxes and planted up 20+ varieties of vegetables and herbs, providing an edible feast to both clients and staff alike.

Over the course of 3 months I would do weekly pruning and place the harvest inside the showroom for clients to help themselves to.

All this culminated on Thursday night with the official launch event with Jacques Erasmus from Hemelhuijs cooking up a storm with ingredients I had picked from the garden early in the day with all the decor and styling under Neil’s careful curating.

I was delighted to see that Pierre also picked up a Design Indaba award for his Simply Pierre range, the day before I delivered a Petcha Kutcha talk there on, you guest it, collaborative creativity.

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