Summer Show Stoppers

Monday, 09 October 2017 07:49

Salvia farinaceaSalvia farinaceaHailing from around the globe, including several indigenous varieties, Begonias come from a massive genus consisting of more than a thousand species. With over ten thousand documented hybrids there is an almost confusing array to choose from.  When it comes to long lasting, outdoor colour however, there is little to be confused about. Begonia semperflorens or bedding Begonias and its numerous cultivars, are just the thing to brighten up those dull areas in the garden.

Looking at Thyme in a whole new light!

Wednesday, 27 September 2017 13:14

Common ThymeCommon ThymeIt’s time we started looking at Thyme in a whole new light - it’s equally at home in a caramel sauce as it is in a dreamy macaroni and cheese!

Thyme, for many people, brings up happy memories of eating traditional roast chicken with thyme and onion stuffing, or classic turkey with sage and thyme at thanksgiving. For others it is associated with pasta sauces and pizza. But alas - poor thyme, she seems to always be the bridesmaid, never the bride - destined to work tirelessly as a culinary Cinderella in the kitchen.

Landscape Layout for Newbies

Wednesday, 13 September 2017 18:03

Picture courtesy courtesy you just bought your first home and the budget for the garden is very limited, or perhaps you are just tired of the way your garden looks and want a fresh new look, but are concerned about expenses? If so, it is comforting to know that you can do it yourself - landscape design is not that difficult, as long as you have patience and a plan in hand!

Carpets of Colour

Tuesday, 05 September 2017 12:14

Marigolds Marigolds If it’s warm, rich colours you are after then marigolds are just the thing for you. Their colourful flowers come in shades of orange, yellow, red and bi-coloured, with many flower shapes and sizes to choose from. You may be forgiven for thinking that surely marigolds are a bit old fashioned, because they bring back memories of your grandmother’s garden. This may have even been true a few years back, however they have made a big comeback in contemporary gardens.

Rare (uncommon) Tree of the Year 2017

Saturday, 02 September 2017 11:37

Euclea pseudebenus Picture courtesy pseudebenus Picture courtesy  Ebony Tree, Ebony Guarri, Ebbehout, Tsawib (Euclea pseudebenus)

If you are looking for an elegant indigenous shade tree which is evergreen and can cope with very hot and dry conditions, the ebony tree is one of the best and well worth searching for.  This dessert plant is quite happy growing in both winter and summer rainfall conditions and is found in northern Namaqualand and eastwards to Bushmanland, where it hugs the Gariep River on both the South African and Namibian sides.

Common Tree of the Year 2017

Friday, 01 September 2017 15:08

Ziziphus mucronata Picture courtesy mucronata Picture courtesy  Buffalo-thorn, Blinkblaar-wag-‘n-bietjie, Haakdoring, umPhafa, mokgalo, mphasamhala, mutshetshete, Umpafa, umLahlabantu (Ziziphus mucronata)

Ziziphus is a genus of about 40 species of spiny shrubs and small trees in the buckthorn and jubjube family (Rhamnaceae), which can be found growing wild in warm-temperate and subtropical regions throughout the world. The Buffalo Thorn occurs throughout the summer rainfall areas of sub-Saharan Africa, extending from South Africa to Ethiopia and Arabia.

Iviki Lezihlahla, Arbour Week

Tuesday, 29 August 2017 11:08

Henkel's YellowwoodHenkel's YellowwoodIviki Lezihlahla, Arbour Week - 1 to 7 September 2018

Don'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.

Pineapple Sage FlowersPineapple Sage FlowersNothing smells or tastes of the tropics quite like pineapple sage.

Among the most intriguing of the sage family members, pineapple sage is simply spectacular in late summer when in full bloom, with its masses of tubular blood red flower spikes contrasting perfectly against the bright green, fuzzy leaves.

Philodendrons add tropical ambiance

Tuesday, 04 July 2017 09:49

Philodendron Xanadu 'Havana' Picture courtesy Xanadu 'Havana' Picture courtesy adds tropical ambiance to gardens or indoor spaces like the lush evergreen and dramatically lobed leaves of philodendrons.

Grown both indoors and outdoors for their lush evergreen foliage and dramatically lobed leaves, philodendrons add a lovely tropical ambiance to any garden or indoor space.

Winter Warmth and Smiles

Sunday, 02 July 2017 10:51

CalendulaCalendulaNo garden should be without calendulas at this time of year; it’s the only way to guarantee a little burst of sunshine when the weather fails you!  Whether it’s a sweep of golden blooms or a vivacious display in a pot, calendulas are a golden ray on a cold winter day. What’s more, even the most inexperienced of gardeners can grow them easily.

Falling for Fennel

Friday, 16 June 2017 13:32

Picture courtesy Nick WarnerPicture courtesy Nick WarnerDiscover what the people of the Mediterranean region have known about fennel for centuries, their many creative uses for this summer vegetable will have you falling for fennel! Many people are familiar with fennel only in the form of the seeds which are found in various spice blends, where they're hidden away amongst the other flavours. As a result, the first time they're exposed to fresh fennel, the mildly liquorice-like flavour can be a surprise.

Plan your Dream Garden

Monday, 12 June 2017 13:38

June is an interesting gardening month and the shortest day and longest night is on June 21, after which the days gradually start getting longer, but very slowly at first so that you hardly realise it! In the warmer regions, after about three weeks, you will notice that many plants have begun to grow again - spring in Durban starts in late July!

Colourful Winters

Monday, 05 June 2017 10:33

ViolasViolasOne of nature’s gifts to us during winter is the sweet, fragrant face of pansies and violas. These gorgeous little plants really take the bite out of winter. Bring some joy to your winter garden with these special flowers which are extremely easy to grow! Pansies have bigger faces and leaves than their cousin the viola which is also known as Heart's Ease.

Abelia 'Cardinal'Abelia 'Cardinal'Abelias are among those old fashioned shrubs that the modern gardener simply can’t do without!

Not only are they renowned for their beauty and good looks all year round, but also for their reliable performance in gardens around South Africa.

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