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Gardening in South Africa

The Butterfly Bush will bloom almost continuously from spring to autumn.


The butterfly bush is strikingly beautiful, and because blue remains the most rare and sought-after flower colour for gardens, this plant fits the bill perfectly with its heavenly blue to purple flowers which resemble fanciful butterflies, hence its common name "blue butterfly bush." The fluttering flower panicles sprout from the ends of long arching branches, and each flower has one violet-blue petal and four pale blue ones, framed by long purple anthers which bend elegantly upwards, hence its other common name "blue cat's whiskers".

The plant will bloom almost continuously from spring to autumn, but typically flowers most heavily when the temperatures cool down in autumn. The flowers are a firm favourite with carpenter bees and lure butterflies with their nectar; and the showy, black fleshy fruits are devoured by birds and monkeys.

The Chelsea Flower Show - Trailfinders South African Wine Estate Garden


The Chelsea Flower Show means different things to different people; for some it’s all about the horticultural displays from all over the world in the Great Pavilion, for others it’s the show gardens or even the smaller more accessible Artisan ones, but one thing unites everyone: new and unusual plants, and plants never before seen at the Show.

The Tea Bush is a low-maintenance, hardy garden plant, and a real show-stopper when in full bloom.


Leptospermum 'Burgundy Queen'Leptospermum 'Burgundy Queen'These natives of Australia and New Zealand are old time favourites for cold South African gardens because they can be depended upon to produce a show stopping abundance of flowers in winter and spring. The delicate flowers can be single or double and come in all shades of pink, red or white, and are magnets for bees. The flowers are followed by attractive, small woody capsules containing tiny seeds, hanging on for a long time after the petals have dropped.

Leptospermum scoparium is a member of the family Myrtaceae, along with the Mediterranean shrub Common Myrtle (Myrtus communis,) and well-known Australian plants such as the gum trees (Eucalyptus) and bottlebrushes (Callistemon.) The tea bush is thought to have originated in Australia and then spread to New Zealand, where it is now much commoner. In New Zealand it grows in a wide range of areas from peaty bogs to coastal and montane regions, so it is surprisingly adaptable, especially to arid sites and soils.

The Cape honeysuckle is water-wise and a ‘must-have’ for bird and butterfly gardens.


Picture courtesy Wilferd Duckitt - Lesser Double-Collard Sunbird in Tecomaria capensis - See his flickr page.Picture courtesy Wilferd Duckitt - Lesser Double-Collard Sunbird in Tecomaria capensis - See his flickr page.alt Cape Honeysuckle, Kaapse Kanferfoelie, malangula, umsilingi, lungana, molaka (Tecomaria capensis)

This indigenous shrub remains wildly popular with gardeners in South Africa and around the world for its clusters of tubular flowers in brilliant shades of orange, red, yellow, apricot or salmon, thanks to modern garden hybrids. Flowering is sporadic throughout the year in warm regions, and these hybrids have even more blooming power, and the vibrancy of the flower colours is shown off perfectly by the plants dark green, glossy leaves. The flowers are followed by long, narrow seed pods which split open when ripe, to disperse the seeds.

Freesias are one of the most fragrant spring flowers and are said to symbolise sweetness, friendship and trust.


These little beauties are sure to capture your heart and are grown worldwide for their cheerful colours and fabulously fragrant flowers which last long in a vase and will perfume an entire room, bringing spring right into your home. Freesias remain one of the most sought after cut flowers commercially, and the plants are also cultivated for their perfume. Today, the essential oil is widely used in soaps, scented candles, potpourri and body oils.

Books

Gardening in the Shade

shade book

Growing Vegetables in South Africa

Growing Bedding Plants in South Africa

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