Creating a perfect space, bit by bit

THE second of the two homes in the Pearson Garden & Art Spring Festival which had both garden and artworks on show belongs to Jaco and Elizna Parsons.

Here Elizna explains what attracted the couple to the house, how they developed the house and garden and her interest in artworks:


What makes your house and garden so special?We moved to PE in 2007. When looking for houses I just knew that this was the house for our family of four.

We knew what we bought would be our family home for 20-plus years.

Although it needed lots of attention and restoration, we started out by fixing it up bit by bit.

I had a vision of what it could look like and started working on that.

Every year we did some renovating, starting with the kitchen and entertainment area, then the bedrooms.

In August 2012 we started the final phase of our renovations, which included the bathrooms, extending the fourth bedroom into a studio where I work from, changing the old garage into a playroom for the children and adding enough garage space.

The house's exterior finish was facebrick and we had the whole outside plastered to give it a modern look and feel.

We re-did the swimming pool and deck area around the swimming pool. The project was completed in March this year.

Did anyone help you with the design?I had lots of expertise involved in this project so that we could do this right the first time: Andre Rahl Architects; Renaissance Construction (Laurie van Huysteen) as the builders; Trish Strydom (Interiors), who advised and assisted with changing the bathrooms, some interior decorating solutions and interior paint colours; Roche Fourie from Four Rooms, who built my studio, bathroom cabinets and other cupboards; and Werner from Landsberg Landscaping, who assisted in the garden.

What feature makes you happy?I am a work-from-home mother and needed a studio where I can work from. I am also a scrapbooking teacher and also import lifestyle crafts and memory box dyes for scrapbooking and cardmaking. I now have lots of work and storage space for all my scrapbooking goods. This makes me really happy!

Who designed the garden?

When we moved in the back garden was very overgrown and needed a good cut-back.

Beautiful larger plants were already in place that I could work with.

I removed truck loads of bushes and scrubs from the back garden, including two large trees.

Werner and his men worked in some good soil and planted some larger plants for me.

I then started filling in with more indigenous and waterwise plants.

Where do you buy your plants?

I love to shop at Bloomingdales as they have a good variety of plants and very helpful staff. It was hard to establish a "new" garden when we were not allowed to water it for approximately three years but the indigenous plants did very well.

Who helps you in the garden?Boetie, who helps me in the garden, is a star and keeps the garden in shape. Today I have a healthy, green and easy- to-maintain garden.

What advice would you give to home owners who want to re-do gardens?Keep it simple and plant indigenous!

Work with a reliable landscaper to make the right decisions.

Choose a few strong form plants and make use of bark and pebbles to cover the soil.This will help to minimise the growing of weeds and keep the soil moist.

If you do not have time to work in the garden for hours, you should plant shrubs and not seasonal plants that need replacing.


Who is your favourite artist?We were fortunate to have Mia Brand on Saturday with an exhibition of her beautiful artwork. I love her work and own a few of her artworks.

When and why did you start collecting them?

Iwould not call myself an art collector ... I buy artworks that are beautiful to me and they also have to work in my space.

I own a few artworks of Lienkie Lombard, because I love the way she captures children.

I also own some artwork of Elzette Welgemoed. I love the rich colours she uses and the simplicity of her work.