The Chelsea Flower Show

Thursday, 03 May 2018 11:33

The Chelsea Flower Show - Trailfinders South African Wine Estate Garden

The Chelsea Flower Show means different things to different people; for some it’s all about the horticultural displays from all over the world in the Great Pavilion, for others it’s the show gardens or even the smaller more accessible Artisan ones, but one thing unites everyone: new and unusual plants, and plants never before seen at the Show.

Leptospermum 'Burgundy Queen'Leptospermum 'Burgundy Queen'The Tea Bush is a low-maintenance, hardy garden plant, and a real show-stopper when in full bloom.

  • Tea Bush (Leptospermum scoparium) These natives of Australia and New Zealand are old time favourites for cold South African gardens because they can be depended upon to produce a show stopping abundance of flowers in winter and spring.

The Cape honeysuckle is water-wise

Wednesday, 25 April 2018 09:36

Picture courtesy Wilferd Duckitt - Lesser Double-Collard Sunbird in Tecomaria capensis - See his flickr page.Picture courtesy Wilferd Duckitt - Lesser Double-Collard Sunbird in Tecomaria capensis - See his flickr page.The Cape honeysuckle is water-wise and a ‘must-have’ for bird and butterfly gardens.

alt Cape Honeysuckle, Kaapse Kanferfoelie, malangula, umsilingi, lungana, molaka (Tecomaria capensis)

This indigenous shrub remains wildly popular with gardeners in South Africa and around the world.

Freesias are one of the most fragrant spring flowers and are said to symbolise sweetness, friendship and trust.

These little beauties are sure to capture your heart and are grown worldwide for their cheerful colours and fabulously fragrant flowers which last long in a vase and will perfume an entire room, bringing spring right into your home.

Daffodils never fail to charm

Sunday, 22 April 2018 10:27

Daffodils never fail to charm, so spoil yourself with some - you’re worth it!

What would spring be like without the sunny blooms of daffodils to remind us that winter is finally over and 'spring has sprung' and there is something truly magical about a deciduous woodland floor covered with daffodils in full bloom. The bulbs begin to grow when most of the leaves have fallen from the trees, allowing the autumn and winter sunlight through; and have finished blooming by the time the tree is in full leaf again.

Cerastostigma willmottianumCerastostigma willmottianumChinese Plumbago is loved for its masses of vivid cobalt-blue flowers from late summer through autumn.

This delightful little plant is native to East Asia, occurring from Western China to Tibet. In the wild it can be found growing in warm valleys and at forest edges, or in thickets. It is named after Miss Ellen Ann Willmott, a celebrated English gardener, and is loved for its masses of vivid cobalt-blue flowers which appear from late summer and continue through autumn, when many other flowers have gone over. Flowering lasts for six weeks or more and is a very welcome sight.

Common Primroses are hard to ignore

Monday, 16 April 2018 14:03

Primula acaulis mixed bicolour. Picture courtesy acaulis mixed bicolour. Picture courtesy 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”.

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.

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!

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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