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Gardening in South Africa

Add some panache to your container plantings with houseleeks.


Aeonium arboreum albovariegatum Picture courtesy Scott – check out his flickr pagesAeonium arboreum albovariegatum Picture courtesy Scott – check out his flickr pagesSucculents 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!

Vincas are water-wise and love the blazing heat!

Water-wise tips to prepare your garden for the festive season.

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.

Warming up the Beds

Marigold Marigold If it’s warm, rich colours you are after then our November companions are perfect for you! Marigolds are first up, offering their warm sunny colours for most of the year and outlasting many other annuals. Their colourful flowers come in shades of orange, yellow, red and bi-coloured, with many flower shapes and sizes to choose from. Zinnia is our other hot companion and they make for great festive colour in a garden with their upright green foliage and kaleidoscope of warm and inviting colours.

When cooking with chillies, possibilities are only limited by your creativity.

Mixed ChilliesMixed ChilliesThis is the plant that puts fire on your tongue and maybe even a tear in your eye when you eat spicy Mexican, Szechuan and Indian or Thai food. Love them or hate them, chillies are probably the most popular spice worldwide. The exact origins of chilli peppers have been difficult to determine until recently, because the macro-remains of the plant are only preserved archaeologically quite rarely. In pre-Hispanic times, it is believed that chillies were not cultivated north of Mexico, but wild chillies like the chiltepin (or chile piquin) were spread by humans and birds from their South American homes into Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Books

Gardening in the Shade

shade book

Growing Vegetables in South Africa

Growing Bedding Plants in South Africa

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