South Africa wins 35th Gold Medal

Wednesday, 24 May 2017 07:56

South Africa wins 35th Gold Medal at the Chelsea Flower Show

The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) team at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Chelsea Flower Show were jumping for joy this this morning when they learned that they had won South Africa’s 35th gold medal in 42 years of exhibiting at the prestigious show. And, in an additional accolade for the team, the display was also awarded with the prestigious President’s Award.

Pak Choy. Picture courtesy Alison AriansPak Choy. Picture courtesy Alison AriansNext time you’re out grocery shopping – grab some cabbage! It’s easy for cabbage to get lost amongst its “sexier” counterparts like curly kale, vibrant beets, Swiss chard and pretty little cauliflower or broccoli florets, but this is a shame because cabbage is packed with goodness, and half the price of other spotlight-grabbing superfoods!

Autumn Delights

Thursday, 04 May 2017 12:33

Iceland Poppy Iceland Poppy If it’s the “wow” from flowers you are looking for, then Iceland Poppies (Papaver naudicaule) are just the thing for you. Planted in autumn temperatures, they will help transform your garden into a winter wonderland.

Cyclamens are simply irresistible

Wednesday, 26 April 2017 17:22

Cyclamen 'Friller' Scarlet. Picture courtesy 'Friller' Scarlet. Picture courtesy are simply irresistible and bloom for months on end.

Cyclamens never fail to delight gardeners with their swept-back flower petals resembling shooting stars, and their heart-shaped leaves embroidered with intricate, silvery patterns. Florists’ Cyclamens (Cyclamen persicum) start showing up in grocery stores and garden centres throughout South Africa in autumn, and for many people their first encounter with these fascinating plants is when they are given one as a gift.

Enchanting Gardens

Tuesday, 11 April 2017 08:24

Garden Design and Landscaping trends over the last 25 years have changed quite dramatically and this is primarily due to the following reason:

Climate change: Fact or fallacy? Meteorologists and environmentalists argue that global warming has definitely affected weather patterns which have become more erratic and unpredictable and this has affected the way we garden and the landscaping industry as a whole.

Evergreen turf lawns are eco-friendly

Tuesday, 04 April 2017 10:40

Picture courtesy https://pixabay.comPicture courtesy https://pixabay.comEvergreen turf lawns are trendy and eco-friendly for small gardens.

The trend towards smaller gardens and homes in South Africa and around the world has led to the development of many beautiful miniature garden plants; from azaleas, roses and bougainvillea, to miniature vegetables and fruits! While most gardeners are delighted by the selection available to them, they often don’t give much thought to their lawns. However, a small piece of evergreen lawn in a small garden just adds the finishing touch to a well-furnished garden –like the perfect carpet completes a perfect room!

Add a bit of seasonal colour to your garden

Wednesday, 29 March 2017 13:44

Dianthus Bouquet Purple. Picture courtesy Ball Horticultural CompanyDianthus Bouquet Purple. Picture courtesy Ball Horticultural CompanyYou CAN add a bit of seasonal colour to your garden without 'breaking the bank'

Does 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.

Plant a fruitful winter veggie patch

Monday, 20 March 2017 18:23

Raised beds are perfect for veggies. Picture courtesy Dave MaczugaRaised beds are perfect for veggies. Picture courtesy Dave MaczugaFor a fruitful winter veggie patch, you need to "get cracking" this month!

Autumn is knocking at the door, and in the morning and evening on the Highveld, there is already a slight nip in the air. If you want a fruitful winter garden, you need to "get cracking" and start sowing or planting out your winter vegetables this month.

The last roses of summer

Monday, 13 March 2017 12:45

Winter Sun Picture courtesy Sun Picture courtesy last roses of summer are often the most perfect ones.

As summer draws to a close and the temperatures drop, your roses will take on a whole new intensity of colour and unfading beauty, seldom seen in hot weather. Their petals will unfurl perfectly and the blooms will last much longer too. And, if the temperatures play along, you can have roses well into April and May.

Erythrina caffraErythrina caffraCoral trees are extremely handsome all year round, but impossible to ignore when adorned with their intensely scarlet flowers. The flowers appear either before, or with the first spring leaves, and are filled with delicious nectar for our feathered friends.

Boldly Clowning Around

Friday, 17 February 2017 12:01

Salvia farinaceaSalvia farinaceaSun Loving Salvias

Salvia splendens, commonly known as scarlet sage or rooi-salie, also comes in shades of red, purple, pink, cream, white and blue. Not only are they easy to grow, with their showy flowers and deep green leaves, this eye-catching bedding plant offers glorious, long-flowering heads 30cm tall. They flourish in full-sun positions and once established, they withstand high summer temperatures.

Gram for gram, watercress contains more vitamin C than oranges, more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach and more folate than bananas.

Watercress (Nasturtium officinale), a close cousin of mustard greens, cabbage and arugula, is considered to be one of the oldest leaf vegetables consumed by humans, with its health giving properties being known since ancient times.

Felicia always catches the eye

Monday, 06 February 2017 08:42

Felicia blueFelicia blueBlue is a sought after colour amongst gardeners because it is quite rare, especially a true blue shade. Kingfisher Daisies, with their masses of striking sky-blue and sunny yellow flower heads fit the bill, catching the eye wherever they are planted.

Jerusalem Artichoke. Picture courtesy Richard Camps Jerusalem Artichoke. Picture courtesy Richard Camps Jerusalem Artichokes are used for human and animal consumption, making them an ideal crop for small rural farmers

Jerusalem Artichokes (Helianthus tuberosus), are also called Sunchokes or Lambchokes. These perennial plants belong to the daisy family and are a species of sunflower. They were cultivated as a food plant by the North American Indians; and today are widely cultivated across temperate regions of the world for their tubers, which are used as a gourmet root vegetable. The quality of artichoke tops makes them a suitable maintenance livestock fodder when used with other staples like alfalfa and maize. It is a most convenient fodder crop for pigs, as they can root up the tubers themselves.

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