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Gardening in South Africa

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”

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.

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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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