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Gardening in South Africa

Parsley's got Personality

I hope you enjoy this excerpt from my new e-book “Growing Culinary Herbs in South Africa” which is almost complete. I decided it was time to write a book on these little miracles of nature because there is a growing and widespread interest in herbs today, as people rediscover the joys of organic gardening and the health benefits of using herbs daily. For most of us our interest in herbs begins with food and the wonderful flavours and fragrances they bring to our dishes, but growing herbs will not only spice up your life but also reward you with their beauty and wonderful healing properties. Besides, the prices of both dried and fresh herbs at vegetable and grocery stores is incredibly high, and taking into account that these extraordinary plants are some of the easiest to cultivate - it simply makes sense to grow your own!

Summer bedding plants list for full sun

Cosmos, Cleome & SalviaCosmos, Cleome & SalviaAll South Africans enjoy some colour in the garden, and especially in summer when we do a lot of entertaining, or simply lazing around outdoors with the family. However, growing plants in the full sun can be challenging, especially if rainfall is unreliable, but it’s doable, providing you select the right plants, and do a little planning beforehand.  Adding colour to the garden need not break the bank either, and you can grow a lovely flower garden simply by sowing the seeds of annual flowers, at the start of the season. If you prefer to start with trays of seedlings, by carefully selecting only high traffic areas of the garden to enhance with colour, you can save yourself a lot of cash. Avoid planting large expanses of flowers, and remember that even a few selected containers or hanging baskets, if strategically placed, will make a huge impact on the overall effect of the garden.

There’s a lot to love about fuchsias!

Fuchsias remain one of the most popular shrubs to add interest, and a little tropical flair to cool spots in the garden, or on the patio. With about 110 recognised species, and over 8000 recorded cultivars of fuchsia; from large, upright varieties, to those with a lovely trailing habit, there’s bound to be the perfect one for your garden or small balcony.  The elegant, pendulous flowers are very decorative, and are borne in profusion on cascading stems, throughout year in tropical species. In South Africa, the flowering season starts in earnest in mid-October and continues to March and April, after which the plants are pruned lightly, and the growing cycle continues until the temperatures drop in autumn.  In most regions of the country, if cared for correctly, fuchsias can bloom almost continuously through summer, and well into autumn.

For Arbour Week 2018 South Africans will be celebrating our very handsome Yellowwoods

Outeniqua Yellowwood. Picture courtesy www.kumbulanursery.co.zaOuteniqua Yellowwood. Picture courtesy www.kumbulanursery.co.zaOur indigenous Yellowwoods have become firm favourites with gardeners around the country, and the world, for their beauty and versatility. They can be grown as specimen trees, and the Breede River yellowwood, being the smallest of the yellowwoods, is suitable for small gardens. All yellowwoods can be cultivated in large containers, and Henkel’s yellowwood makes an excellent hedge or screen. Yellowwoods also make good bonsai subjects, so even if you only have a balcony, you could grow one!

Every year we also remember, and promote one of our rare or uncommon trees, and this year it’s the Shepherd's Tree, Witgat, siPhiso, Mohlôpi, Xukutsi, Muthobi (Boscia albitrunca.) SA Tree No: 122.

Iviki Lezihlahla, Arbour Week - 1 to 7 September 2018

Henkel's YellowwoodHenkel's YellowwoodDon't forget to prepare for National Arbour Week, its a time when all South Africans celebrate our indigenous trees by getting together as communities to plant as many trees as possible. This year South Africans will celebrate our Yellowwood Trees, and the rare or uncommon Shepherd's Tree, Witgat. 

Keep posted for articles on these.

Arbour Day was first celebrated in South Africa in 1983, capturing the imagination of people who recognised the need for raising awareness of the value of trees in our society. Trees not only beautify and shade our land; they also help prevent soil erosion by stabilising the soil, and can be a valuable food source for humans and livestock. Trees also provide shelter and food for all kinds of wildlife, and many are used in traditional medicines and ceremonies.

Books

Gardening in the Shade

shade book

Growing Vegetables in South Africa

Growing Bedding Plants in South Africa

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