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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.


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.

Parsley's got Personality

Thursday, 27 September 2018 11:00
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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.

Summer bedding plants list

Wednesday, 12 September 2018 14:59
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Cosmos, Cleome & SalviaCosmos, Cleome & Salvia

Summer bedding plants list for full sun

All 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. 

There’s a lot to love about fuchsias!

Wednesday, 05 September 2018 11:06
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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.

Celebrating our very handsome Yellowwoods

Friday, 24 August 2018 11:36
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Outeniqua Yellowwood. Picture courtesy www.kumbulanursery.co.zaOuteniqua Yellowwood. Picture courtesy www.kumbulanursery.co.za

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

Our indigenous Yellowwoods have become firm favourites with gardeners around 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.

August is a busy month in the garden

Thursday, 02 August 2018 10:04
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Bokbaaivygie Picture courtesy Maria KlangBokbaaivygie Picture courtesy Maria Klang

What to do in your garden in August

All Regions

August may be a windy month, and can still get miserably cold, but it is also the month when you really start reaping the rewards of your carefully planned winter and spring flower garden; and as the month progresses the displays will just get better and better - banishing even the worst of the winter-blues.

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