Gorgeous Green House

The Renovation Journey of a 1940’s ‘Traditional’ to 2015 ‘Contemporary, Green & Gorgeous’


Staying Motivated and Keeping the Vision Alive

The Gorgeous Green House property was purchased about 4 years ago.  In October 2011 the architects were briefed and it felt like the dream was beginning to materialize.  Since then endless planning approval issues and delays have been taking their toll on general levels of energy and enthusiasm.  I don’t want this space to be a whining forum so you will be spared the details until they can be condensed into a useful guide to navigate the new SANS (South African National Standards) 10400 building regulations.  I decided I needed and injection of happiness and positivity and a reminder of what this project is all about.

'Forest' Walk

Indigenous ‘Forest’ Walk

I invited some special ‘green orientated’ friends for a picnic in the garden.  We started with a stroll through the indigenous ‘forest’ to admire old trees and newly planted ones.

Picnic Freinds

Picnic Friends

Fascinating Beetle

Fascinating Beetle

We marveled at an extraordinarily beautiful beetle then relaxed on the veranda and oohed and ahhed at the bird and butterfly life.

Newly Resident Egyptian Geese Family

Newly Resident Egyptian Geese Family

We ate  a delicious picnic and talked about the future food that will be grown here, meals to be shared and parties to enjoy and about how absolutely fabulous this urban farm/nature reserve is and how utterly blessed my family is.

The house WILL come when the time is right 🙂

Pavetta lanceolata (Bride's Bush) in full bloom

Pavetta lanceolata (Bride’s Bush) in full bloom

Thank you wonderful people.  It really was a great reminder of the bigger picture and a bolster for the ongoing challenges we have in getting the house aspect of the project underway.


Induction Geysers: are they a green option if you have no sun?

induction geyserThe Gorgeous Green House outbuildings are in deep shade. Their distance from the main house means that running water from the solar geyser is not viable.  I’ve been looking into an induction geyser as an option just for the outbuilding.

How it Works

Using a magnetic induction process, the water is heated more rapidly than conventional water geysers.  The electrical supply to the generator in the unit is converted into a magnetic field which heats the water.   There is no direct alternating current (AC) in close proximity to the water, which makes the unit safe.  Quality unit includes a high density thermal insulation layer, to sustain the water temperature.  multiple protection measures usually in place: dry burn, overheat, low/high voltage, surge and overheat protection

Electrical Usage

  • To heat a conventional 150L geyser from 20’C to 65’C takes two and a half hours and uses approximately 7.8kw of electricity
  • To heat the same amount of water via an induction heater will take approximately 1 and a half hours and uses approximately 3kw of electricity
  • Operating cost Approximately 1/3 of the cost of a conventional geyser
    Substantial water saving due to location of the unit


  • Easy to install
  • Quick access to hot water
  • Only uses power while heating
  • Saves water
  • Saves electricity
  • Saves space
  • Exceptionally safe
  • Requires a 15 Amp wall plug – just plug in and switch on


  • The unit needs to be placed close to the are of use as heat will be quickly lost through the pipes.
  • If the unit is at a distance, water pressure will also be impacted


I need to purchase a 75L geyser as I will be operating a shower for one person everyday and a second shower for occasional visitors.  The cost is aprox. R6 000.00 ($700.00).  Much the same as a conventional geyser.

Looks like an easy decision to make!

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How Green is Your Washing Line?

Pumkin washing line

pumpkin washing line

Air dried laundry is obviously seriously greener than energy guzzling tumble dryers (smells better too). Using it as a trellis for your squash gives you extra green points!  I can’t really take credit for the idea though.  A pumpkin self seeded  and it was fun watching what it was up to (mostly trying to get vertical) so I gave it a helping hand.  Now I just have to decide where to hang the washing.