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Gardening in South Africa

Hanging baskets overflowing with flowers are hard to resist!


Summer hanging basket for semi-shade.Summer hanging basket for semi-shade.Have you ever admired a lush hanging basket bursting with blooms but simply thought it a bit overpriced? Well, not really,  a well-designed hanging basket in full bloom has probably taken months of care to get it to a sellable size, and this is labour intensive too, so if you can afford one of these ’ready to go’ beauties, spoil yourself, you’re worth it!

However, if your budget is tight and you have the time and patience to allow them to grow, you can duplicate the look of a professional flowering hanging basket at home for a lot less, using high quality materials and dense planting techniques. In fact, once you have purchased the soil, fertiliser, coir, plants etc. you require, you will probably find you have enough left over to plant at least one or two extra baskets - not bad for a gardener on a budget!

Million Bells is rather like a miniature petunia on steroids!

 

Cabaret Cherry Rose Calibrachoa. Picture courtesy Ball Horticultural CompanyCabaret Cherry Rose Calibrachoa. Picture courtesy Ball Horticultural CompanyMillion Bells (Calibrachoa syn Petunia) are short lived perennials which are often planted as summer annuals in South Africa - growing and flowering at an amazing rate! They bloom abundantly all spring and summer, until the first frosts, and in warm frost-free regions can flower all year round.

It is a relatively recent newcomer to the garden scene, having only been around since the early 1990s – and that’s not long in plant years! Plant breeders have been hard at work on this little marvel, and today Calibrachoa hybrids are available to gardeners in many amazing shades of cherry, red, rose, pink, violet, blue, yellow, lemon, terracotta and white.

Warm summer breezes will waft the scent of Gardenia throughout the whole garden, much to the delight of everyone.

 

Gardenia augustaGardenia augustaThere are many cultivars of Gardenia augusta, including groundcover, dwarf and medium-sized varieties, so there’s a gardenia for every size garden. All the cultivars also grow beautifully in containers, so even if you only have a small patio or balcony garden, you can plant a Gardenia.

Chillies are not only good to eat!

Chillies are stunning in a simple wooden container. Chillies are stunning in a simple wooden container. Chillies make great gifts for all occasions, gifts you can easily make at home and which don’t cost the earth either!  To make them special requires only a little flair of your own, so let your imagination run wild and use whatever items you have around the house that can be re-cycled. Red chillies are perfect gifts to give for Christmas, and here a wooden crate is decorated with a red ribbon, but once the chillies are added the magic happens – it’s just that simple!

Sutera, with its profusion of delicate flowers all summer long, is creating quite a buzz amongst gardeners!

 
Sutera "Bermuda Sky" Picture courtesy www.newplant.co.zaSutera "Bermuda Sky" Picture courtesy www.newplant.co.za Sutera, Bacopa
- Chaenostoma cordatum (= Sutera cordata)

Sutera remain firm favourites with gardeners around the world for their ease of growth and profusion of flowers throughout spring and summer. They are hardy, vigorous, low-growing plants which can spread +-50 to 60cm, while only reaching a height of +-15 to 20cm. Plant breeders have developed many new and improved strains of Sutera which not only flower even more profusely, but also have larger blooms, with some varieties even sporting lovely yellow foliage. They are available in beautifully delicate shades of blue and pink to lavender and white. Some of the new cultivars include: Sutera ”Snowstorm”; Sutera “Blue Showers” and  Sutera “Lavender Showers”

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Gardening in the Shade

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Growing Vegetables in South Africa

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