Want glorious roses in autumn?

Monday, 25 February 2019 10:10
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Barley GoldBarley GoldGive your roses a little tender loving care in February and you will be rewarded with a breath-taking flush of blooms in autumn. As the weather cools down your rose bushes will produce long lasting blooms of the most intense colours. If you have not done so yet, replenish the mulch around the roots and water deeply and regularly every two to three days. Do not fertilise in February, but towards the end of the month feed with fertiliser that is high in both nitrogen and potassium like 5:1:5 or 3:1:5.

Using the colour wheel effectively

Friday, 22 February 2019 09:52
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Amazon Rose Magic Dianthus - Picture courtesy Ball Horticultural CompanyAmazon Rose Magic Dianthus - Picture courtesy Ball Horticultural Company

How to use the colour wheel effectively when designing your flower garden

When designing your dream flower garden, bear in mind that the colours you select will create a mood, and you can even change the perspective of your garden by using certain colours; so think about how you want to use colour, not only for the way you think it will look, but also for the mood you want to create in your garden.

It’s time to sow winter and spring flowers

Thursday, 21 February 2019 11:47
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Primula malaciodesPrimula malaciodes

In frosty & subtropical regions it’s time to sow winter and spring flowering annuals.

In cold winter regions which experience early frosts, gardeners generally start sowing seeds of slower maturing winter and spring flowering annuals in January and February; keeping them in a cool, shaded area until temperatures drop in late summer, before hardening them off, and planting out into the garden. In subtropical and humid regions, late summer, autumn and winter are the best times to plant a flower garden, and many winter annuals, as well as summer flowering annuals are sown during these cooler months. In other regions, many annuals can be sown into seedling trays now, but do not sow winter seeds directly into garden beds until the daytime temperatures have dropped significantly.

What to do in your veggie garden now

Monday, 18 February 2019 10:38
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BroccoliBroccoliUnless you live in the sub-tropical regions of South Africa, it’s too late to plant slow maturing summer vegetables this month, but in the cold winter regions it is time to sow many winter crops and to start preparing and planning your winter veggie garden. In the warm sub-tropical regions continue to sow seeds of vegetables that can be planted out into the garden once the weather cools down. Try sweet peppers, chillies, eggplants, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, baby marrows, Swiss chard, green beans and cabbage. In the cooler regions continue sowing winter vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and kohlrabi into seedling trays, for planting out in early autumn. If you started sowing last month, feed the seedlings with a liquid fertiliser that is high in nitrogen. In cooler regions it is also a good time to sow lettuce directly into well-prepared beds.

New DIY Garden Club

Thursday, 31 January 2019 12:11
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New DIY Garden Club in the KZN Midlands

All gardeners, and new gardeners, there is a new DIY Garden Club in the KZN Midlands that are inviting people to join (no fees to be in the club, just a small cover fee to attend the DIY’s).  They are having their first gathering on 24 February, and if you are interested, you will need to join their group on facebook and let them know you want to be part of the group and if you want to attend.  The info for the first meeting is pinned to the top of the page.

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Heritage village Heritage village 21st - 23rd September

Heritage weekend celebrates

McGregor Magic

Open Garden Festival

Yarrow blooms all summer

Tuesday, 15 January 2019 11:15
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Achillea' Summer Pastels' mix. Picture courtesy www.ballstraathof.co.zaAchillea' Summer Pastels' mix. Picture courtesy www.ballstraathof.co.za

Yarrow blooms all summer, loves hot and dry conditions, thrives in impoverished soils, and is frost hardy, what more could you want from a perennial!

Achillea millefolium, a beautiful herbaceous perennial commonly known as yarrow or common yarrow, is a member of the lovely Asteraceae family, and a close relative of Chamomile and Chrysanthemums.

Balloon Flowers are tough cookies!

Monday, 10 December 2018 09:33
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Balloon Flower (Platycodon grandiflorus) are hardy long-lived perennials which are reliable bloomers in cold climates, and can take short periods of drought while still delivering a long season of beautiful blooms with minimal effort. For these reasons, gardeners around the world have always valued the balloon flower, and new gardeners are also re-discovering their charms, not only for their whimsical flower buds, but also because balloon flowers are really tough cookies!

Blanket Flowers are eco-chic

Thursday, 29 November 2018 13:11
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Gaillardia 'Mesa Bright Bicolour' Picture courtesy www.ballstraathof.co.zaGaillardia 'Mesa Bright Bicolour' Picture courtesy www.ballstraathof.co.za

Blanket Flowers are eco-chic, water-wise toughies, with enough flower-power to bloom all summer

Blanket Flower, Kombersblom (Gaillardia X grandiflora) are stalwarts of the summer garden and appreciated by seasoned gardeners around the world for their resilience, extremely long blooming season, and richly coloured, daisy-like flowers in shades of yellow, orange, red, and brown, atop spreading mounds of narrow, fuzzy, grey-green leaves.

Stay cool as a cucumber

Sunday, 18 November 2018 14:12
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Cucumber 'Spa Water'Cucumber 'Spa Water'

Chill, and stay as cool as a cucumber this summer

While cucumbers are widely available all year round, summer's our favourite time to use them. These low-calorie veggies are actually fruits with many nutritional benefits; and because they are 95 percent water, cucumbers are a great way to stay hydrated, so include them in your diet to stay healthy and as ‘cool as a cucumber’ this summer! There is a world of recipes out there for you to try, from a simple "Spa Water" or a refreshing "Agua Fresca," meaning “fresh water” or “cool water” in Spanish, to a cold "Green Gazpacho Soup," or a cool “Tzatziki” dip.

African Daisies now come in an array of colours

Wednesday, 31 October 2018 09:34
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Osteospermum Flowerpower 'Spider Pink' Picture courtesy www.ballstraathof.co.zaOsteospermum Flowerpower 'Spider Pink' Picture courtesy www.ballstraathof.co.za

Like our rainbow nation, African Daisies now come in an array of beautiful colours.

African Daisy, Bergbietou, u-Mesigcolo-nkonekazi (Dimorphotheca). African daisies continue to rise in popularity, and today they are available in garden centres countrywide, in a wide selection of varieties and new cultivars, thanks to plant breeders who continue to expand their funky colour palette, and unique petal shapes, which vary by variety, and can be lance-like, broadly ovate and smooth, toothed or lobed. The flowers of these garden hybrids are so striking that you may even wonder if they’ve been dyed or painted, and their central disks look as if they have been coloured with metallic paint.

Viburnum tinus

Monday, 15 October 2018 12:40
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Picture courtesy www.kazimingi.co.zaPicture courtesy www.kazimingi.co.za

The versatility and reliability of Viburnum tinus is legendary.

Wise gardeners know that the secret behind a really good garden design is to include a selection of hardy shrubs and trees, which form the backbone of the garden, giving it structure and appeal all year round. These structural plants provide interest in the garden with their various shapes and colours, and Viburnum tinus ‘Lucidum’ fits the bill perfectly!

Flowering perennials for full sun

Tuesday, 12 February 2019 12:10
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An avenue of Agapanthus. Picture courtesy www.newplant.co.zaAn avenue of Agapanthus. Picture courtesy www.newplant.co.zaHandy list of summer flowering perennials for full sun to light shade

In our modern world we often find ourselves pressed for time and wondering where we can free up some in order to do the things we really enjoy. Gardeners are no exception, and whether you like gardening or not, everyone loves a beautiful garden overflowing with greenery and brightly coloured flowers, but seldom do we count the cost in time spent on creating and maintaining such a garden.

Polygalas

Tuesday, 09 October 2018 11:30
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Polygala myrtifoliaPolygala myrtifolia

Polygalas are fast becoming firm favourites with eco-conscious gardeners

Polygalas bloom for a long time in the garden, and are not only charming, but also pretty tough and obliging, growing inland and at the coast. They are low maintenance, water-wise plants, which can be grown in semi-shade and full sun. And, because they also attract wildlife to the garden, polygalas have caught the attention of eco-conscious gardeners around the country.

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