Common Primroses are hard to ignore

Monday, 16 April 2018 14:03
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Primula acaulis mixed bicolour. Picture courtesy www.nuleaf.co.zaPrimula acaulis mixed bicolour. Picture courtesy www.nuleaf.co.zaCommon Primroses are little gems which are hard to ignore when in full bloom.

The wild primrose is a cheerful little flower with its pretty pale yellow flowers with orange-yellow centres, peeking above a rosette of fat, wrinkled leaves - like a little splash of sunshine in a bleak wintry world. Although they often flower in winter, primroses are synonymous with spring, and in their countries of origin are one of the first wild flowers to show their faces - even their name derives from the Latin for “first rose”.

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Bokbaaivygie. Picture courtesy Doreanthus Maria KlangBokbaaivygie. Picture courtesy Doreanthus Maria KlangBokbaaivygies can be used just about anywhere you have full sun in the winter garden.

Bokbaai vygies are one of South Africa’s most famous wildflower exports, and they are grown worldwide for their multitude of silky-textured flowers in a dazzling range of colours like yellow, cream, pink, lavender, magenta, and orange.

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Broccoli that matures during cool weather produces the sweetest tasting heads.

Love it or hate it, broccoli still holds its own in the vegetable kingdom, ranking as the world's fifth most popular vegetable. President Barack Obama certainly would agree, and at a state dinner at the White House he once stated that broccoli was his favourite vegetable!

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African Daisy. Picture courtesy Scott ParrishAfrican Daisy. Picture courtesy Scott ParrishSow African Daisy seed this autumn for an inexpensive, hassle-free riot of colour through winter and spring.

saflag  These indigenous flowers carpet the bare veldt of the south-western and north-western Cape and Namaqualand in spring, and the flowers are so prolific that the leaves are almost invisible when the blooms appear.

Flamingo flowers are air purifiers

Monday, 26 March 2018 12:41
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Flamingo flowers are very effective as a natural air purifier.

In spite of its exotic appearance the flamingo flower is surprisingly low maintenance and it’s not hard to care for as long as you understand its needs. Once you have the plant in the right soil and the right location, watering and feeding is simple. A well-cared for plant, whether it is in your garden or home, will reward you with wonderful, long lasting flowers for many years. Just one plant can give a room a more tropical feel, so naturally, homeowners are adding this tropical plant to their outdoor rooms as well.

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Tatsoi grows so rapidly that fully mature plants can be harvested in just 45 to 50 days!

If you’re a fan of pre-washed, pre-packaged mixed baby greens, chances are you have come across tatsoi, and in many stores you can also buy whole plants. This beautiful looking Asian green will certainly grab your attention with its thick, lustrous green leaves which are spoon-shaped and arranged in a beautiful rosette of regular, concentric circles, and once you have sampled its soft creamy texture and subtle yet distinctive mild mustard flavour, you will certainly be hooked on this little plant.

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Dianthus Bouquet Purple. Picture courtesy Ball Horticultural CompanyDianthus Bouquet Purple. Picture courtesy Ball Horticultural CompanyDoes your summer flower garden start to fizzle out as soon as the cooler weather arrives? If so, you need a new plan to keep your beds blooming, and one which doesn’t cost a fortune either! It’s very hard not to get carried away at the garden centre when confronted with all those trays of delightful flowering seedlings, but please take a deep breath and stick to your original plan. Also, remember that no prize-winning flower garden can be created in the first year and a bit of planning beforehand will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Cosmos is a lovely non-toxic flower

Thursday, 22 February 2018 12:40
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Sonata Mix Cosmos. Picture courtesy Ball Horticultural CompanySonata Mix Cosmos. Picture courtesy Ball Horticultural CompanyCosmos is a lovely non-toxic flower which is recommended for children’s gardens and safe around cats and dogs.

Cosmos are beautiful summer flowering annuals native to Mexico, where most of the species occur, as well as the United States, as far north as the Olympic Peninsula in Washington; and Central and South America, as far south as Paraguay.

Intermediate to cool season vegetable crops

Monday, 19 February 2018 10:11
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Broad Beans with white Primulas in frontBroad Beans with white Primulas in frontTraditionally mid to late summer is the time to sow vegetable crops that enjoy growing in the intermediate to cool seasons.

Want to save money on the family budget this year? Vegetable prices are very high right now, so why not try growing your own - it's really easy and nothing beats the flavour of home grown veggies.

This birdfeeder is worth its weight in gold.

Monday, 19 February 2018 08:59
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People love attracting birds to their gardens because they bring life, movement, bird song, and hours of joy. Here the Red Bishops and the little Cape Sparrows vie for space, but somehow they all manage to get their share.

Hanging Baskets

Friday, 02 February 2018 16:14
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Summer hanging basket for semi-shade.Summer hanging basket for semi-shade.Hanging baskets overflowing with flowers are hard to resist!

Have you ever admired a lush hanging basket bursting with blooms but simply thought it a bit overpriced? Well, not really,  a well-designed hanging basket in full bloom has probably taken months of care to get it to a sellable size, and this is labour intensive too, so if you can afford one of these ’ready to go’ beauties, spoil yourself, you’re worth it!

Million Bells

Thursday, 25 January 2018 14:53
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Cabaret Cherry Rose Calibrachoa. Picture courtesy Ball Horticultural CompanyCabaret Cherry Rose Calibrachoa. Picture courtesy Ball Horticultural CompanyMillion Bells is rather like a miniature petunia on steroids!

Million Bells (Calibrachoa syn Petunia) are short lived perennials which are often planted as summer annuals in South Africa - growing and flowering at an amazing rate! They bloom abundantly all spring and summer, until the first frosts, and in warm frost-free regions can flower all year round.

Gardenia is delighfully scented

Tuesday, 23 January 2018 10:26
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 Gardenia augustaGardenia augustaWarm summer breezes will waft the scent of Gardenia throughout the whole garden, much to the delight of everyone.

There are many cultivars of Gardenia augusta, including groundcover, dwarf and medium-sized varieties, so there’s a gardenia for every size garden. All the cultivars also grow beautifully in containers, so even if you only have a small patio or balcony garden, you can plant a Gardenia.

Chillies are not only good to eat!

Sunday, 14 January 2018 11:40
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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!