We chat with landscaper Wihann Felstead, designer of ‘Ubuntu’ our sponsored garden at this year’s Garden World Spring Festival which won gold medal and the Water Wise prize
Why did you choose this career?
Landscaping is the best way to fulfil my passion for art and nature.
Where did you study?
At the Tshwane University of Technology.
If you hadn’t become a landscaper what would you be doing instead?
I studied veterinary science for two years. My second option was architecture or interior design.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
My mother, a florist, definitely sparked my interest in plants and design – floral arrangements and landscaping go hand in hand. The same principles in floral arrangements such as working with colour, textures and different heights also apply to landscaping. A local designer or actually internationally known landscaper I admire is Leon Kluge. I worked for him and learned a lot about being a rebel when it comes to design and the use of plants.
What has been the highlight of your career?
The smile on my client’s faces.
Which do you prefer: Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, and why?
Instagram! A picture’s worth a thousand words.
Top tip for anyone wanting to become a landscaper?
Know your plants – plant knowledge is crucial to any design, client or area. Design, lay out and installation will follow with experience.
Favourite plant in your garden right now?
Any ornamental grass makes me happy, most definitely Stipa tenuissima.
What is your favourite current gardening trend?
Meadow planting. I think most South Africans don’t understand this trend. Meadow planting is a perfect way to soften modern minimalistic concrete buildings and is definitely low maintenance.
What are you working on right now?
I’m currently busy with an installation at Steyn City on a residential property.
What’s the best thing you ever bought?
A book called 1000 Garden Ideas by Stafford Cliff.
What’s your indispensable tool/accessory/gadget?
Every landscaper or garden enthusiast needs to have proper secateurs.
What’s your dream project?
A project that will leave a legacy in the landscaping industry.