The garden springs to life It’s a wondrous time in the garden! Everything is in bloom or about to burst into colour, fruit trees are producing fruits and blossoms, and the beneficial insects are feasting on the spoils of pollen! October is traditionally Rose Month. Yours roses should be in full bud now and ready to burst into colour. Water them twice a week , if there is no rain, and remove faded flowers. Fertilise monthly with a balanced rose food to promote healthy foliage and more flowers. Spray fortnightly with an organic fungicide/insecticide ‘cocktail’ or a ready-mixed product. If you don’t own a roseRead More →

What is a gardener? A person whose hobby or job is growing flowers in a garden is called a gardener. If you grow vegetables professionally, you’re called a farmer, but if you design, tend, or care for a flower garden, you’re a gardener. Chinese proverb: ‘If you want to be happy for a day, get drunk; for a month, get married; for life, be a gardener.’ How does gardening make you happier? Does gardening leave you feeling happy and relaxed? Do you sometimes have an urge to grab a fist full of soil? Does watering plants give you great, unexplainable joy? Your brain might beRead More →

For spectacular Summer and Autumn colour, there is little to beat the Dazzling Dahlia. There are now thousands of modern cultivars available which range in height from 20cm to nearly 2m. Flower size varies from 5cm in diameter to giant decorative ‘dinnerplate’ blooms over 20cm across. Dahlias form a bright multi-coloured display in the garden or in large troughs and tubs. Planting Dahlias need full sun all day for best results. Plant Dahlias any time from September until November. They need well drained soil with large amounts of compost added together with a Superphosphate. Plant the tuber with its old stem or new shoot pointingRead More →

These orchids are prized for their long-lasting sprays of flowers, used especially as cut flowers or for corsages in the spring. There are several types of Cymbidiums – Standards, Intermediates, Miniatures and Pendulous. Where summer nights are warm (above 21°C), only miniatures and pendulous can be recommended, because many are more tolerant of heat and able to flower in warmer weather. Light Important for growing Cymbidiums. Coming from cool and bright areas in Asia, they need high light but cool temperatures. In coastal climates, high summer temperatures, especially at night, may prevent the plants from blooming. The maximum amount of light possible, short of burning,Read More →

Bougainvilleas are climbers and shrubs originating from South America. Characterised by their sharp thorns and colourful bracts (modified leaves) that surround the cream flowers. A wide range of hybrids ensures that they can be used extensively in the garden for a host of different purposes. Position 1. Grow best in a hot dry full sun position. 2. Soils must be well drained. Add sand to clay soils if necessary. 3. Sensitive to frost damage. Protect young plants during winter in frost zones. 4. Choose wisely when making your selection as growth habits and growth rates vary tremendously from type to type. 5. Garden uses include:Read More →

What is Hydroponics? The word “hydro-ponics” came from the Greek words for water and work (ponos). It literally means let the water do the work. Modern applications began in 1930’s. Today, hydroponics commonly refers to growing plants without soil. Plants don’t need soil, they need mineral elements, water, air and light. In hydroponic the mineral elements are added to water to from a nutrient solution which feeds the plants. This technology has a tremendous future. Someday lots of our feed may well be grown without soil. Thousands of commercial greenhouses around the world use hydroponic systems for tomatoes, lettuce and cucumbers and other vegetable crops.Read More →

Hydrangeas are amongst the most popular flowering shrubs in South African gardens, growing well from coastal regions to the drier hinterland are Hydrangeas, commonly referred to as Christmas Roses, their showy, colourful blooms dominate the landscape through the heat of summer. Very rewarding and easy to grow if you follow these simple hints. Where to plant in the garden They grow best in a lightly shaded position with plenty of water. South facing slopes are ideal. Hydrangeas enjoy rich, loamy soil with plenty of compost, leaf mould and kraal manure. Soft new growth tips require protection from late frosts. Garden uses Mass plant under treesRead More →

The two recognized methods of planting shrubs or trees depends on whether the plant is a general shrub/tree or acid loving. Planting general shrubs, trees, roses etc: 1. Water the plant well in its container before planting. For super results soak the root ball in a bucket of water to which Nitrosol liquid fertilizer has been added. Nitrosol can then be used as an ongoing foliar or soil fertilizer. 2. Dig a square hole twice as deep and wide as the container size. (Generally, 600mm x 600mm). The larger the size of the hole the faster the plant will establish itself. Trees will need aRead More →

With people becoming more health conscious and aspiring to a more holistic lifestyle, more value is being attached to natural remedies and preventive health. While growing herbs is generally seen as a summer activity, there’s no reason why you can’t grow certain winter-hardy herbs that are excellent home remedies for winter ailments such as coughs, colds or influenza. Given our sunny days and warm midday temperatures, all you need is a sheltered corner in the garden, a sunny windowsill or balcony. Hyssop For asthma, coughs, colds, flu, sore throats, rheumatism This bushy, evergreen shrub with spikes of blue flowers grows well in pots, reaching 60Read More →

Today orange juice is as necessary to South Africans’ diet as mealies and thousands of litres are consumed either as fresh orange juice or as ‘squash’. We do not realise how dependent we are on lemons until they are very scarce and expensive. More marmalade is made at home than any other kind of jam. All citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C. The sweetly scented blossoms are used in perfume and essential oils. Climate Citrus trees need sheltered positions in the garden. They can be affected by frost as well as dry winds. Once established they will not need to be covered in theRead More →