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Gardening in South Africa

With just a little TLC, Amaryllis will delight you with their gorgeous blooms year after year.


Amaryllis Christmas Star. Picture courtesy www.hadeco.co.zaAmaryllis Christmas Star. Picture courtesy www.hadeco.co.zaPopular for their festive, oversized flowers, amaryllis bulbs are commonly sold for the Christmas holiday season. Varieties include single flowered, double flowered and miniature’s, ranging in colour from red to salmon, orange, white and pink, with many varieties having stripes or contrasting edges.  New hybrids can have flowers up to 22cm across and the double flowers from Japan are particularly beautiful. These large varieties usually produce a single stem with 4 flowers, and very large bulbs may produce 2 stems. Sonatini hybrids are true miniatures with blooms between 6 and 12cm across - this may not sound small, but for Amaryllis flowers it is! These smaller varieties make up for what they lack in stature with their blooming generosity, with a single bulb producing up to 3 flower spikes, crowned with up to 6 delightful blooms on each spike.

Round Up Summer Colour

RudbeckiaRudbeckiaAsk any experienced gardener and they’ll tell you that no garden bed is complete without a representative of this group of annuals bringing their particular brand of hardy good cheer. Dianthus is one of those all-rounder’s that satisfies, no matter your priorities. If it’s a colourful show you’re after these little stunners can be coaxed into flowering throughout the year!

If you’re looking for something different this summer, look no further than a globe amaranth, aka Gomphrena. You’ll be forgiven for the “what?” expression since these lovely globe like flowers are not very well known, at least not yet. Their intense purple blooms are an eye catching addition to any garden though and will no doubt have your guests asking about them before the drinks are even served.

The Bladdernut tree makes a truly attractive and tidy subject for any garden and is especially suitable for small gardens.

 
Diospyros whyteana fruit & pods. Picture courtesy Malcolm Manners - see his flickr pageDiospyros whyteana fruit & pods. Picture courtesy Malcolm Manners - see his flickr pageBladdernut, Swartbas, Mohlatsane, munyavhili, umTenatane, uManzimane (Diospyros whyteana)
SA Tree No: 611

This decorative little evergreen tree is increasingly being cultivated in gardens around South Africa for its tidy shape and strikingly glossy, dark green leaves with a fringe of ginger hairs. The occasional bright red or orange leaf occurs, adding to the overall attractiveness of this plant. Scented, creamy-yellow to white bell-shaped flowers appear in spring, dangling from their hairy stalks. As with all Diospyros species, male and female flowers occur on separate trees, and only the female plants bear the masses of showy, fleshy berries that turn scarlet when ripe, and are borne throughout summer. Yet another attractive feature of this tree is its inflated, papery, balloon-like fruit pods that encapsulate the fruits, dry to red, and remain on the tree for many months after the fruit has fallen. The bark is another pretty feature, with the young branches being yellowish-green to pinkish and covered by fine coppery hairs. The mature bark is smooth and a lovely dark grey to almost black.

Zantedeschia hybrids are easy to grow and offer gardeners a vast array of rainbow colours to enjoy.

 
Zantedeschia 'Jack of Hearts'  Picture courtesy BLOOMZ, New ZealandZantedeschia 'Jack of Hearts' Picture courtesy BLOOMZ, New Zealand Arum Lily, Calla Lily, Pig lily, Kleinvarkoor, Witvarkoor, mohalalitoe, magapule, intebe, ihlukwe, ilabatheka-elimhlophe, ilabatheka-omhlophe (Zantedeschia)

Today a new generation of Zantedeschia hybrids have been bred from our original indigenous species; not only for their spectacular fashionable colours but for their sheer flower power. These new varieties produce many more blooms from a given tuber size, and the number of flowers produced by a tuber is directly proportional to the size of the tuber of each specific variety. Each year after the tuber has produced its magic, it will grow bigger in size, to produce more and even taller blooms the following season. These popular varieties are grown in the garden and in pots not only for the wonderful show they put on, but also for the production of magnificent cut flowers for the vase. Zantedeschia hybrids are easy to grow, and provide gardeners with a vast array of rainbow colours to enjoy in all shades of pink, yellow, white, cream, apricot, peach, orange, purple(almost black) and red.

Attracting birds and other wildlife to your garden can be so simple!

Many indigenous as well as exotic plants can be incorporated into your garden design to attract wildlife, and it doesn't matter how large or small your garden is; if you follow a few simple guidelines you will soon be rewarded with the delightful sound of birdsong, and the fleeting beauty of a flitting butterfly or busy bee.

Because of the continual expansion of our urban areas into the natural environment, city gardens, parks and open areas have become vital in sustaining wildlife; and it is possible - with a bit of planning - to create both a beautiful and sustainable sanctuary for birds and other wildlife in our suburban gardens.

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Gardening in the Shade

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Growing Vegetables in South Africa

Growing Bedding Plants in South Africa

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