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Cyclamens never fail to delight gardeners with their swept-back flower petals resembling shooting stars, and their heart-shaped leaves embroidered with intricate, silvery patterns. Florists’ Cyclamens (Cyclamen persicum) start showing up in grocery stores and garden centres throughout South Africa in autumn, and for many people their first encounter with these fascinating plants is when they are given one as a gift. If cared for correctly the plants will bloom continuously all winter and spring, but sadly most will wither and die, much to the horror of their owners! The good news is, if you provide cyclamens with the conditions they love, they will multiply and miraculously appear again every autumn when the weather cools down, freely providing their abundance of beautiful blooms year after year.
Garden Design and Landscaping trends over the last 25 years have changed quite dramatically and this is primarily due to the following reason:
Climate change: Fact or fallacy? Meteorologists and environmentalists argue that global warming has definitely affected weather patterns which have become more erratic and unpredictable and this has affected the way we garden and the landscaping industry as a whole.
The trend towards smaller gardens and homes in South Africa and around the world has led to the development of many beautiful miniature garden plants; from azaleas, roses and bougainvillea, to miniature vegetables and fruits! While most gardeners are delighted by the selection available to them, they often don’t give much thought to their lawns. However, a small piece of evergreen lawn in a small garden just adds the finishing touch to a well-furnished garden –like the perfect carpet completes a perfect room!
Does your summer flower garden start to fizzle out as soon as the cooler weather arrives? If so, you need a new plan to keep your beds blooming, and one which doesn’t cost a fortune either! It’s very hard not to get carried away at the garden centre when confronted with all those trays of delightful flowering seedlings, but please take a deep breath and stick to your original plan. Also, remember that no prize-winning flower garden can be created in the first year and a bit of planning beforehand will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
Autumn is knocking at the door, and in the morning and evening on the Highveld, there is already a slight nip in the air. If you want a fruitful winter garden, you need to "get cracking" and start sowing or planting out your winter vegetables this month. Vegetables need to establish themselves in autumn when the soil has cooled down sufficiently, but is still warm enough for good growth. You should try to get at least 6 to 8 weeks of good growth on your winter veggies before the major frosts come, anything less and your plants will struggle over the really cold June and July period. Also, remember that in very cold regions June and July are not good months to sow seeds.