Calodendrum capense Picture courtesy Random Harvest NurseryCalodendrum capense Picture courtesy Random Harvest NurseryArbour week is just around the corner, highlighting the need to plant more of our own trees, not only for their beauty but also to attract and sustain wildlife. Food becomes harder to find during the cold winter months, so consider planting winter fruiting or flowering trees this arbour week, and by next season they will be established enough to add some winter colour, but best of all attract all kinds of wildlife into your winter garden.

Fever Tree (Vachellia xanthophloea) Picture courtesy Random Harvest NurseryFever Tree (Vachellia xanthophloea) Picture courtesy Random Harvest NurseryThroughout the ages humans have planted trees for food, fuel, shelter, and medicine, and today we are encouraged to plant trees not only for their aesthetics but also for their ability to improve land, water and air quality, and to sustain and attract wildlife to the garden. Learn about climate amelioration and the important role trees play in the ecosystems of our cities and rural areas, and what you need to know before purchasing trees for the garden.

Shrubs to colour your winter garden

Tuesday, 18 June 2024 15:17

Camellia sasanqua' Henrietta' Picture courtesy horti.co.zaCamellia sasanqua' Henrietta' Picture courtesy horti.co.zaYour garden should never be drab and especially not in winter, so if it doesn’t inspire you at this time of the year, or you just want to add a little more winter cheer and colour to certain spots you will find this article helpful. Planting shrubs which flower or produce showy fruits in winter is an economical way to add colour to your garden each season without breaking the bank, and if you plant some now, you will reap the rewards next season. Gardening requires patience and planning ahead is the name of the game. Find some inspiring winter winners below.

What to do in your garden in June

Thursday, 06 June 2024 12:50

Camellia Image by Christiane from PixabayCamellia Image by Christiane from PixabayOne of my most popular sections on this website is my regional “Gardening Month by Month” guide, where you will find the most important gardening tasks to do for each month.  And if you are an avid gardener you know that June can be quite a busy month in the garden. These articles have evolved over many years and have become far too long to include them in their entirety here, so I have included some of the most important gardening tasks for June below.

Image by Alexa from PixabayImage by Alexa from PixabayGreens, and especially herbs are not just healthy for us humans but also for our furry friends, as they contain many valuable vitamins, minerals and secondary plant substances to boost our immune system and general wellbeing. Learn about pet-friendly herbs to plant in your garden, what they are good for treating, and practical ways to use them to enhance the health of your pets.

Ranunculus 'Pink' Image by Ralph from PixabayRanunculus 'Pink' Image by Ralph from PixabayNothing rivals Ranunculus for their abundance of flowers when there is little other colour in the winter and spring garden. In South Africa you can plant from April to late May, and to extend the flowering season, staggered plantings can extend to mid-June. Learn how to plant and grow these beauties with other annuals in garden beds and pots, and how to make them last longer in a vase.

Great Companions for Iceland Poppies

Tuesday, 23 April 2024 15:40

Iceland Poppy Image by Couleur from PixabayIceland Poppy Image by Couleur from PixabayMay is the perfect time to plant Iceland Poppy seedlings in South Africa, and these easy to grow old-time favourites will brighten up even the coldest winter day. They combine beautifully with most winter flowering annuals and make a fantastic backdrop for spring flowering bulbs. Learn which colours and companion plants will show off your Iceland Poppies the best.

Spinach grows well in window boxes. Picture courtesy looli from flickrSpinach grows well in window boxes. Picture courtesy looli from flickrSpinach is a rewarding cool season crop that can be grown in spaces large or small to provide healthy organic greens all season long. South African gardeners have a good selection to choose from, including those that are slower to bolt in warm weather. Learn more about these spinach varieties and the various methods of growing them.

Kale Varieties for South African Gardens

Sunday, 07 April 2024 18:58

Kale varieties Picture courtesy naturalflow from flickrKale varieties Picture courtesy naturalflow from flickrWith the growing popularity of kale, many different heirloom and hybrid varieties have become available to home gardeners in South Africa, and with so many different types to choose from, you may be wondering which are best for you. Learn about the different kales to decide which ones will best suit your garden and taste.

Bougainvillea grows beautifully in a pot. Pictrure by smilla4 from flickrBougainvillea grows beautifully in a pot. Pictrure by smilla4 from flickrIn this article you will learn exciting ways to combine the various shades, tints and tones of bougainvilleas to create a stunning effect in the landscape. Learn how to grow and care for bougainvilleas and how to select the best companion plants so they are able to flourish together. Even if you dream of a tropical looking garden but wish to use cooler shades like white or pale pink, there is a bougainvillea variety that will suit your needs.

Summer Hanging Basket - Fuchsia, Impatience, LobeliaSummer Hanging Basket - Fuchsia, Impatience, LobeliaLate summer and autumn are the most popular times to garden in our subtropical regions, and you can plant these hanging baskets now. However, if you live in cold and frosty regions, you will need to save this recipe and plant in spring. You can also change up the colours if you prefer, impatience come in a huge range of colours and lobelia ranges from white to shades of pink, blue and purple, but because of the softer colours of the fuchsias, this colour combination works very well.  Find the recipe below.

Chlorophytum saundersiae 'Starlight' Picture courtesy Leafs NurseryChlorophytum saundersiae 'Starlight' Picture courtesy Leafs NurseryChlorophytum saundersiae is a popular garden plant because it is hardy, grows in sun or shade, and also in dry or wet beds. Its pleasing grass-like appearance lends itself to any garden style and colour scheme, and it blends in effortlessly with other garden plants. Learn how cultivate healthy specimens, and ways to use them in the landscape for the greatest impact.

Flat of Microgreens. Picture courtesy Oregon State University on flickrFlat of Microgreens. Picture courtesy Oregon State University on flickrMicrogreens are so simple to grow, indoors or outdoors, and best of all they take up a minimal amount of space and cost a fraction of the price of store bought ones. Below you will learn about the health benefits of microgreens, what supplies you need to get started, popular varieties, and how to sow, grow and harvest them to ensure a continual harvest.

Apple Dwarf 'Royal Gala' Picture courtesy www.justberryplants.co.zaApple Dwarf 'Royal Gala' Picture courtesy www.justberryplants.co.zaApples are popular for their great taste and nutritional value, and are grown worldwide because they are the most versatile of fruit trees, with a wide range of cultivars. Apples can be grown in large pots and new dwarf hybrids are compact growers, suitable for small gardens. Read more below to find interesting facts about apples and everything you need to know to grow them successfully at home.

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