The landscape design at Elaleni is being led by a small and unassuming indigenous succulent plant, the Spekboom. Also referred to as Pork Bush, or by its Latin name Portlucaria affra, it has been thrust into the arena as it is one of the best Carbon conversion plants on the planet and can convert vast amounts of Carbon to Oxygen- a vital weapon in the fight against climate change and the warming of our planet. As a self-sustaining plant, it requires very little water, can grow in extremely harsh conditions and can even propagate itself without putting down roots- plants which are under duress due to limited resources will simply grow more branches and leaves rather than flowering in order to survive while conserving precious energy.
Throughout Elaleni there is barely a single planting area where Spekboom isn’t present and several hundred square metres have been planted and more than 1200 specimens introduced to Elaleni. With his passion for Elaleni and bringing an aesthetically tasteful yet considered landscape design to life, landscape architect, Lucas Uys has brought a unique and finer touch to the estate with the inclusion of several 50-year old Spekboom Bonsai trees placed at the entrance of the estate, which he cultivated from small specimens himself.
Lucas explains, “Spekboom plays a major part in the landscape philosophy of Elaleni-we wanted no nonsense plants that are hardy and self-sustaining with minimal maintenance and which are evergreen. What was especially important is that we wanted something that can reduce the carbon footprint of the estate as a whole and Spekboomwas the answer! The Bonsai trees at the entrance of the estate add a stylistic and serene touch and the supine twists of the trees mimic the soft ebbs of the water below- it is a very peaceful and welcoming sight.”