Environmental Landscape Design Specialist

  Creating Bio-Diverse Indigenous Landscapes and Gardens   

  Nature conservation begins at your own front door

indigenous landscape garden design specialist design consultant ecoman Durban

Michael Hickman Indigenous Landscape Design Specialist

Curriculum Vitae


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Indigenous Landscape Design Specialist Creating and Managing “Proudly South Africa” Landscapes and Gardens

we are the experts at bringing nature back into your garden.

I design “Proudly South African” indigenous gardens that are nature friendly as well as being pleasing to the eye, I always apply the basic principles of good landscape design and the highest international standards learned both in South Africa as well as in Germany to create an aesthetically pleasing garden that at the same time satisfies the living requirements of the target creatures that I would like to attract. My speciality is to attract birds, butterflies and solitary bees.

I am without a shadow of a doubt the most knowledgeable and experienced Green Roof design specialist in South Africa so let me design your green roof for you. See Bio-Diverse Roof Gardens.

Date of birth:

Place of Birth: 








Durban, South Africa

psa  ID. No. 521223 5033 087

I once had New Zealand residence

I am fully bi-lingual, I speak read and write                           English    and    German

I read and understand                                                          Dutch      and    Afrikaans

I speak, read and understand a little                                      Zulu

I have build and maintained my own computer systems including networking since 1988. I have a good working  knowledge of many of the major programms commonly used such as windows, Microsoft word, internet explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Netscape explorer outlook express, Adobe Photo Shop, Adobe Go Live, Skype. I have a good working knowledge of web design and web hosting I do all my own web design, hosting and SEO (search engine optimisation). All work that I do on my computers is done primarily in German although I am just as capable in English. Most of the software that I use are in German although I do have and use English versions as well.

Contact me
PO Box 60
4345 Mount Moreland
South Africa
Tel: +27 82 061 2593

Flying:  I was the holder of a South African private pilots licence from July 1971 until August 1999
I was the holder of a German private pilots licence from July 1998 until August 1999
            I owned and restored vintage aircraft
Sailing: I sail ocean going yachts

Plants birds and the natural environment
Science and Technology
Human Psychology

Tertiary qualifications:
National Technical Certificate in Horticulture (Three year course) Technikon Pretoria 1973

National Diploma in Parks and Recreation Administration Technikon Natal (Durban)1979

Other qualifications and training:
Four year horticultural pupilage - Parks Recreation and Beaches Department, Durabn City Council (Now Ethekwini Municipality)

Certificate in Turf Grass Management (Cum Laude) - Technikon Pretoria 1984 (Award for Top Student)

Numerous operational training courses

Paid Employment:
Horticulturist - Durban Parks Department 1971 to 1998

Section Manager (approx. 18 years)
Main duties:   

Planning of horticultural development (LANDSCAPE PLANNING AND DESIGN) as well as the horticultural maintenance of several suburbs, including: Parks; roadside plantings, native vegetation reserves (including coastal sand dunes), storm water and wetland projects, recreational amenities, sports fields (12 rugby/soccer and 3 cricket pitches)

Line manager for 25 staff
Adviser to industry and community groups on environmental issues.

District Manager approx. (5 years)
Main duties:   
Strategic development advice landscape planning and design as well as the supervision for section managers.
Line manager for five section managers.
Appointment of staff.

Key projects:  
Re-creation of coastal sand dunes: several kilometres of sand dunes were re-established and planted with suitable native vegetation. Boardwalks were designed and installed to allow beach access without disturbing the dunes.

Durban Municipal Open Space System: planning design and implementation of various parts of a continuos green corridor linking significant areas of natural vegetation across the city, including the establishment of walking trails and re-creation of wetlands and native ecosystems.

The transplanting of large trees

Storm Water Projects: 

1) I produced the concept, lobbied for and gained approval to create a storm water retention pond and wetland using native vegetation which successfully alleviated a storm water drainage problem that had required the Durban City Council to buy and demolish several houses that were subjected to frequent flooding. The alternative would have been to build a multi-million SA Rand tunnel to dispose of the storm water to prevent flooding of an adjoining road and houses. 
2) I was also involved in the design and implementation of a storm water diversion project to prevent a local river from flooding Durban City's main fresh produce market and surrounding factories.

Training of Parks Department staff and trainee horticulturists: Development of curriculum and presentation of training.

 Examiner of Technikon students for national examination board. (see below

Self Employment engagen in while in the full time employment of the Durban City Council

Bluff Tropical Nursery (197, my involvement continues to present)
Equal joint partner in wholesale and retail nursery, selling a range of native and exotic, outdoor and indoor ornamental plants.
Private consulting (approx. 1975 to 1998)
Key projects:    Bluff National Country Club golf course (1985)
Interior plantscaping
Fountain Hill Estate, Wartburg, Natal (Client - Ernst Taeuber)

Special interests:
Orchids in particular South African native Orchids.
Native plants and plantings, Key areas. South Africa, Western Europe, New Zealand.
Re-naturalisation of eco-systems
Gardening for wildlife - in particular birds and insects
Urban conservation
The planting and transplanting of native trees

Membership of professional institutes
The Institute of Parks and Recreation Administration

Training of and Examination of Students
The Parks Department of the Durban City Council together with the Durban Botanic Gardens Trust undertakes to do practical and theoretical training of Students studying Landscape Design as well as Horticulture students. The Parks Department also undertakes to facilitate and host  the practical and theoretical Examination of Landscape Design and Horticulture students for the National Examination Board.

Below is a sample of my involvement in the training and examination of Landscape Design and Horticulture students for the National Examination Board (South Africa).
National Examination Board appointment as examiner for Soil Science
National Examination Board
National Examination Board appointment as examiner for Conservation
National Examination Board
Appointment as lecturer Bulbs and Specialized Storage Organs
Appointment as lecturer Turfgrass Management

Self Employment:

Bluff Tropical Nursery
Equal joint partner in wholesale and retail nursery, selling a range of native and exotic, outdoor and indoor ornamental plants.

Michael Hickman Ecosystems Management. Closed Corporation (Since 1998) South Africa

Ecosystems Management Limited New Zealand

Sole equity stake holder in private corporation.

  1. Consulting on Environmental issues
  2. Landscape planning and design
  3. Landscape construction
  4. landscape management
  5. Turf management
  6. The growing and use in the landscape of our local indigenous plants
  7. The rehabilitation and re-creation of our local natural ecosystems
  8. The identification, removal and control of invasive alien plant species
  9. The construction and management of aquatic systems
  10. The re-creation and management of coastal dune systems
  11. Nursery practice where I was the co-owner of a commercial wholesale plant nursery
  12. Arboriculture
  13. Green roof design and construction much of which was gained in Germany over  a period of 21 years
  14. Floriculture gained in Germany much of which in my family's own greenhouses
  15. Interior landscaping and hydroculture mostly gained in Germany
  16. Hydroseeding and erosion control my experience being gained in New Zealand

Key projects:   
Mount Edgecombe Country Club Estate
Re-establishment of species balance in natural ecosystem.
Alien weed control in forested areas and control of water hyacinth on large expanses of water.
Landscape design and implementation.
Zimbali Forest Estate
Landscape design and implementation using exclusively native plants.
Landscaping using native plants at Fountain Hill Estate. (Now ended due to the death of the client)
Cato Manor Pond and Wetland

Horticultural experienced gained in Germany

Horticultural experience gained in New Zealand

Experience, Certificates and assessments gained in New Zealand
Two and a half years of practical hands on hydroseeding experience
Growsafe Certificate
Approved Handler
New Zealand Qualifications Authority Qualification Assessment Report

Here you can view a sample of the Projects that I have been involved in

A selection of my latest Projects
Creating natural habitat at King Shaka International Airport, La Mercy, Durban, South Africa
Research into green roof design and construction

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Developed & Maintained by Michael Hickman
This page was created on 10.07.07
This page was last updated on 27.11.13