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Does your summer flower garden start to fizzle out as soon as the really hot weather arrives? If so, you need a new plan to keep your beds blooming. The good news is that while many plants and flowers seem to be fainting away, there are others which just breeze through the mid-summer heat.
If you plant a framework of hardy perennials now, which will bloom again next season, inter-planted with summer annuals which thrive in the heat, your garden will not only look great this summer, but next season as well. Reducing the amount of summer annuals you need to plant each season will not only save you a lot of cash but also a lot of time. Also, many of these plants are water-wise and will save you on water bills. You can experiment a little each season until you find combinations that suit you, your garden, and your climate.
I have re-published this article from last year because it was so popular.
If bold, bright and beautiful is what you are after, then December’s companions are right up your alley. Celosia offers up a colour feast of red, orange, yellow, hot pink, rose, mahogany and magenta which are vivid and remain so for about eight weeks while Portulaca, our versatile little companion is available in scarlet, pink, orange and yellow for the bolder gardener.
Succulents are surging in popularity because they are water-wise, low-maintenance, cool to collect, and will fascinate your family and friends. In frost-free gardens they will add year-round colour and in cold regions they can be grown in containers. Neglect them, and chances are they’ll be fine, but if you give them good soil, moderate water, and bright light but not harsh, hot sunlight, your succulents will grow lushly and quickly. Houseleeks are one of the most ornamental of all the succulents, and even people who don't appreciate succulents seem to like these plants with their rosettes of colourful leaves which look like large, rubbery flowers . And, luckily they are easy to grow as well!
Despite good rainfall in many regions of the country, the SABC reported on the 2nd of November that The South African Weather Service predicted that the recovery from the drought will be slow; and that despite predictions of above-average rainfall over large parts of the country between now and February, the drought conditions look like they will still continue to be with us for some time and it will take a while for empty dams to fill up again. This is not the best news for gardeners who want to spruce up their garden s for the festive season, or for those who are going away and fear losing some of their precious plants due to lack of rainfall. Unfortunately we can’t control the weather, but there is a lot which we can do to help our plants survive.