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Monday, 22 February 2010

Durban Heat

Durban is famous for many things; a collection of Art Deco buildings to rival Miami, some of the best beaches and waves in the world, the Sharks rugby team and a whole lot more besides. But one of Durban's hottest inventions is the bunny chow.
A quarter loaf of bread hollowed out, and filled with a tasty and extremely spicy curry. It's a meal of indistinct origins from the 1940's, but definitely worth experiencing on a trip to Durban. You know that it has to be good, if most Durbanites don't mind braving its spicy heat even in our ridiculously hot and muggy weather.

Working in the garden in Durban in Summer is also not for the feint-hearted. We've been seeing temperatures in the mid 30's (C) over the last few weeks, and combined with 80% humidity it makes for tough working conditions.
But this last week things have been hotting up for us even further. Having 5 of our 6 machines break down on our garden care service in a single day would always put the pressure on, but even more so during the season that sees our fastest growth. Throw in a few deadlines, and its no surprise we've been sweating quite a bit.

An ingenious garden feature that was used in North African and Mediterranean gardens to cool things down is the Rill. Its a narrow channel that was used to irrigate the hot courtyards in Arabic or Moorish style gardens.
As the water runs along the channel to water the fruit trees or gardens, it helped cool down the sheltered courtyards. Its a device we've used in our recent Sica's Guest House garden as a device to link the pool, and water feature along the main axis. It creates strong lines, and is ideal in a formal or contemporary garden.
Unfortunately, its not working just yet, so we'll have to brave the heat for a little longer.

I must admit I'm hoping this next week will be far more normal. Or at least a little cooler weather-wise. Maybe a bunny for lunch will help?


Diana Studer said...

That rill looks very inviting. Post again when it is planted?

Alice Joyce said...

You've managed to convey a sense of sweltering!
I'm a huge fan of rills... wish I had one;-)

ryan said...

Water features: so nice when they're finished, so frustrating when they are not quite finished. Whenever we design a water feature, I first try to find someone else to build it, let them have the money and the headaches. I do like them when they're done, though. The rill looks like it should be great when it's done.

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