Firescaping your property

Thursday, 09 November 2023 14:43

Image by Matthias Fischer from PixabayImage by Matthias Fischer from PixabayDid you know that Africa is known as “the fire continent” as more of Africa burns each year than any other continent on Earth? Being “fire-wise” should therefore be a priority, and is vital to protect your home and suburb against wildfires. In this article you will learn how to easily implement precautionary steps which will drastically reduce the threat that wildfires pose to your family and your home. Read more below about firescaping your garden.

Hoya carnosa Picture courtesy Lorenzo Andrioli from flickrHoya carnosa Picture courtesy Lorenzo Andrioli from flickrHoya carnosa will never go out of fashion for long, for good reasons. Its waxy, evergreen foliage is attractive all year round, and it’s easy to grow, making it perfect for beginner gardeners. And when in full bloom, its clusters of flowers are so abundant, it’s sure to grab attention wherever it is grown. Read more about this tropical beauty below, and how to plant, propagate, and care for it as an outdoor, or indoor potted plant.

The Yellow Honeybell Bush is quite a beauty

Thursday, 14 September 2023 10:47

Freylinia lanceolata. Picture courtesy David Jones. Visit his flickr photostreamFreylinia lanceolata. Picture courtesy David Jones. Visit his flickr photostreamThis fast growing evergreen, with its gracefully arching stems and very fragrant flowers fares well in both our winter and summer rainfall regions, tolerating heat and low temperatures. Read more below on how to plant, grow, propagate, and use this enchanting plant in the garden.

Freylinia tropica 'White' Picture courtesy Random Harvest NurseryFreylinia tropica 'White' Picture courtesy Random Harvest NurseryThe charming Freylinia tropica or Blue Honey-bell bush heralds spring in South Africa in the most delightful way. Its abundance of dainty flowers in delicate shades of pale blue, mauve and white are sure to make you smile, and if you see them for sale you will find it hard to resist buying a couple for your garden. Read more below on how to plant, grow and use this little gem in your garden.

Bismarckia nobilis Picture courtesy Roger W from flickrBismarckia nobilis Picture courtesy Roger W from flickrThis palm is grown for its strong architectural form, colour and texture, and the eventual height of this species will create a dramatic statement anywhere it is planted. Read more below on how to grow, care for and propagate this palm, and how to use it in the landscape.

Westringia fruticosa Picture courtesy Tatters from flickrWestringia fruticosa Picture courtesy Tatters from flickrThe neatly whorled leaves and long flowering time of coastal rosemary make it very popular in cultivation, and although its a coastal shrub, it also grows well inland. The blooms attract beneficial insects, and as a cut flower the stiff straight sprays are surprisingly handsome, and continue to open their buds for weeks. Read more below on how easy it is to grow and propagate.

Phlox paniculata Image by Sonja Kalee from PixabayPhlox paniculata Image by Sonja Kalee from PixabayPhlox is an old-fashioned favourite with gardeners because the blooms are impossible to miss at the height of the summer garden, and blooming will extend into autumn.  It’s easy to grow, quick to flower, and needs little attention once established. Read more below on how to plant, grow and propagate perennial phlox, plus many other interesting facts about this plant.

Is the Obedient Plant making a come-back?

Tuesday, 08 August 2023 13:21

Physostegia 'Crystal Peak White' Picture courtesy Ball StraathofPhysostegia 'Crystal Peak White' Picture courtesy Ball StraathofIn South Africa obedience plants have not been easy to find for a long time and still aren’t. Just like everything else, garden plants seem to go in and out of fashion, and this wonderful old fashioned plant may just be making a come-back. Read more below about the Obedient Plant, how to grow and care for it, and how to use it in the garden.

Pyracantha 'Orange Charmer'Pyracantha 'Orange Charmer'Pyracantha and Cotoneaster are beautiful shrubs which belong to the Rosaceae, or Rose family. In South Africa, species of northern temperate origin were introduced as garden ornamentals, and in certain regions they thrived, and their invasiveness quickly became apparent. Read more below about the various species.

Syagrus romanzoffiana Picture courtesy K M from flickrSyagrus romanzoffiana Picture courtesy K M from flickrQueen palms growing in the landscape appear carefree, but they are susceptible to many diseases, and if they are grown in the wrong soil pH, suffer from many nutritional problems. They are also very high maintenance and expensive, so before you purchase a queen palm, read more below on what their requirements are, and if you can’t give them what they need to thrive, rather select another tree for the site.

Caldo Verde - Portuguese Kale SoupCaldo Verde - Portuguese Kale SoupIf you have kale growing in your winter vegetable garden and are wondering what to make with it, you can’t go wrong with Caldo Verde soup. It is modest, yet comforting, and although it is most often served at the beginning of a meal, it can also make a nutritious light dinner. And for all you vegans out there, we have included some options to replace the chorizo. Read more below on the health benefits of kale, and how to make this delicious meal at home.

Problems, Pests & Diseases of Aloes

Monday, 03 July 2023 16:56

Aloe barberae Picture courtesy Gareth BedfordAloe barberae Picture courtesy Gareth BedfordThis article covers the most common pests and diseases of Aloes, and the most serious ones. Learn how to protect your plants against threats, how to identify problems early, and which products and methods are the most effective to use. If you are a collector, or only have a couple of aloes in your garden, it will be worth your while to read more about these problems and their solutions below.

Aloe striata Picture courtesy Bernard DUPONT from flickrAloe striata Picture courtesy Bernard DUPONT from flickrThis small sculptural aloe with its handsome winter flowers and broad silvery leaves with no thorns is an extremely popular garden subject both at home and overseas. Read more below on how to use it in the landscape, as well as how to plant, care for and propagate it.

Lilium Asiatic Hybrid Picture courtesy F. D. Richards from flickrLilium Asiatic Hybrid Picture courtesy F. D. Richards from flickrIf planted in groups Liliums put on a stunning show, and if you select a variety and plant a succession of bulbs, you can have flowers from mid-spring to early autumn. Read more below about the various hybrids, when to plant them in South Africa, and how to care for and propagate them.

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