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Image by congerdesign from PixabayImage by congerdesign from PixabayNothing compares with that first flush of perfect rose buds, and in October the blooms will last so much longer because the sun is not too scorching hot yet.

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Coriander seeds. Image by PDPics from PixabayCoriander seeds. Image by PDPics from PixabayAn excerpt from my new e-book "Growing Culinary Herbs in South Africa"
Read more or order here....

Coriander is one of the most versatile herbs as all parts of the plant – roots, stems, leaves and seeds can be used in cooking.

All about Swiss Chard

Thursday, 26 September 2019 13:23
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Swiss Chard is lovely in mixed containersSwiss Chard is lovely in mixed containersSwiss chard, with its colourful stems and bright green leaves, must surely be one of the most glamorous of garden greens, looking as good as it tastes. It is also one of the most nutritious, and because its nutritional levels start dropping immediately after harvesting, it’s best grown at home.

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Brunsfelsia paucifloraBrunsfelsia paucifloraSeptember gardens should be overflowing with flowers and the heady fragrance of jasmine and yesterday, today and tomorrow. Ornamental and edible fruit trees burst into bloom overnight and spring flowering bulbs are looking at their best. September is a very invigorating month in the garden and there’s a lot to be done, but the weather can still be quite unpredictable, with late frosts in cold regions, so exercise caution before sowing and planting out summer plants.

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Rhododendron Image by Oginskaya from PixabayRhododendron Image by Oginskaya from PixabayIf your garden looks a bit dreary in springtime and early summer, visit your local garden centre to select your favourite spring flowering beauties - they should be in full bloom now, and if you plant now, by next season they will be well established, transforming your spring garden forever.

Today there are Impatiens for shade and sun

Thursday, 05 September 2019 17:07
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Double Fiesta 'Bonita White' Impatiens. Picture courtesy www.ballstraathof.co.zaDouble Fiesta 'Bonita White' Impatiens. Picture courtesy www.ballstraathof.co.zaGardeners have always loved Impatiens for shady gardens for their ease of growth and beautiful array of colours, but today gardeners are spoilt for choice when it comes to Impatiens, and breeders continue to surprise us with brilliant new garden hybrids. Some can even be grown in full sun and take heat and humidity, much to the delight of gardeners around South Africa.  These exciting varieties ensure that Impatiens remains one of our most popular summer bedding plants.

Common tree of the year 2019

Thursday, 29 August 2019 18:22
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Marula tree. Picture courtesy Regina Hart - see her flickr linkMarula tree. Picture courtesy Regina Hart - see her flickr link Marula, Maroela, Mufula, Ukanyi  (Sclerocarya birrea) (SA Tree No: 360)

Few African trees are held in such high esteem by indigenous peoples as the Marula, and archaeological evidence shows that it was a source of nutrition as far back as 10 000 years B.C. In the Pomongwe Cave in Zimbabwe, it is estimated that 24 million Marula fruits were eaten. However, this tree is not only cherished for its edible fruits but also for its many other uses, with almost all parts of the tree being utilised.

Rare (uncommon) tree of the year 2019

Thursday, 29 August 2019 18:10
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Philenoptera violacea. Picture courtesy Tatters - see her flickr pagePhilenoptera violacea. Picture courtesy Tatters - see her flickr page Appelblaar, Apple-leaf Tree, Rain Tree, Mphata, Mohata, Isihomohomo, umPhanda, umBhandu (Philenoptera violacea) (SA Tree No: 238)

Our indigenous apple-leaf tree is grown around the world for its beautiful form and spectacular show of sweetly-scented, pea-like flowers in spring and early summer.

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 Image by ejaugsburg from Pixabay Image by ejaugsburg from PixabayTrees give life to humans and animals alike by producing two of life’s essentials, oxygen and food, and as we evolved, they also provided, and continue to provide us with shelter, food and medicine. Today their value continues to increase as we realise more and more the value they add to our modern lifestyles and world.

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Carolina Jasmine, Valsjasmyn (Gelsemium sempervirens) This tropical evergreen creeper is admired for its abundant clusters of small, sweetly-scented, canary-yellow flowers in late winter and spring, and because it is also hardy to frost inland, it heralds spring and brightens up even the dreariest of winter gardens. Together with other spring flowering shrubs and bulbs, as well as the wide variety of annuals available to South Africans, your late winter and spring garden need never be dull again.

McGregor Magic - Open Garden Festival

Monday, 19 August 2019 09:51
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McGregor Festival Old MillMcGregor Festival Old MillDon't miss this exciting gardening event!

Cheesewood – the perfect garden tree!

Friday, 16 August 2019 13:23
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Pittosporum viridiflorum flowers. Picture courtesy https://kumbulanursery.co.zaPittosporum viridiflorum flowers. Picture courtesy https://kumbulanursery.co.zasaflag Our indigenous Cheesewood is often described as “the perfect garden tree” because it is a versatile garden subject which grows moderately quickly. It also has non-invasive roots, and its lovely shiny, evergreen foliage does not make a mess.  The summer flowers are scented, and followed by attractive, sticky seeds.  This handsome evergreen is perfect for gardens large and small, because it can be pruned and grows easily in containers.

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Vegetable & Herb Garden. Picture courtesy www.gardenworld.co.zaVegetable & Herb Garden. Picture courtesy www.gardenworld.co.zaIf you love gardening and haven’t tried growing a couple of your favourite vegetables or herbs, you're really missing out, and once you've taken that first bite of your own home grown, sun-ripened tomatoes, there's no going back! Gardeners around the world; and even those who have never gardened before, are now growing vegetables and herbs for fun, health, and economy.

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White OilWhite OilOrganic gardeners are always on the lookout for a good general-purpose insecticide, and if it is simple to make at home, it’s all the better. This white oil recipe is safe, very economical, and you can make up small batches as you require them, eliminating a build-up of pesticides in your cupboard which you often never use again, and then have to figure out how to dispose of safely. It is easy to use, efficiently kills soft bodied insects on contact, has only two ingredients, and can be made in minutes!

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