June is the month to do hard-landscaping maintenance, but also maybe some gentle and playful planting. June gardening would not be complete without the breath-taking beauty of camellias, as they add such life to the winter garden. Camellias’ evergreen foliage makes them rewarding to grow all year round, but they’re at their best in winter when they show off their gorgeous blooms. Their flowering season starts in early autumn and goes right through to spring. Be sure to water camellias very deeply once a week. Plant the camellias in well-drained soil that is rich in compost. Protect their root zones in the heat of summer with a thick layer of mulch in the form of leaf mould, pine needles or pine bark. Water them regularly during the flowering season to dramatically reduce the incidence of bud drop. Camellias let you know their condition. If the leaves are green and glossy there is no need for additional supplements, but if they are yellowing, then apply a slow-release fertiliser. Dappled shade from mature trees is ideal for most japonicas, while the sasanquas are more sun tolerant. Too much shade reduces bud formation, while excessive heat and sunshine scorches fine surface roots and flower buds.
Can’t go to see the wild flowers of Namaqualand – then plant them in your own garden now and enjoy seeing them turn your spring into real veld magic later. Buy and plant the daisy seeds now. Also, jump the gun and buy all kinds of vygies now (even if they’re not in flower yet!) as later on when they are flowering they will have become scarce in our nurseries as everybody wants them. Plant them in those often neglected and dry areas of the garden or on your pavement. They should be covered in flowers from late winter.
Want more colour?!? Add a splash of instant colour to your patios by adding a hanging bowls of mixed winter annuals, like pansies, petunia and viola which will work in a semi-sunny spot. Primroses and primulas will do nicely in shady areas. Hot tip - to prevent your hanging bowls from drying out too fast, add water-retention granules to the potting soil. Also remember that in the month of your birthday you can pop in and take home a lovely colourful hanging bowl as your birthday gift from us!
The so-called ‘bleakness of a midwinter garden is a total myth as lots of plants, whether indigenous or exotic, flower with abundance in the cooler months. Pretty foliage reigns supreme too as the colour spectrum of foliage plants like conifers, nandinas and leucodendrons intensify spectacularly in cool temperatures. Add the ‘wow’ factor to your garden with the following beauties
If you are not happy with the performance of your roses over the past summer season, the problem might lie with compacted soil and not enough air or water reaching the root zone: If the soil is compacted, dig in organic material like peanut shells and quality compost to a depth of at least 30cm around the rose. If there is root competition from other plants, it might be better to transplant the rose into a container and sink it into the ground, or to move it to a better position where it receives better light, more water and less root competition.
Pansies and violas love the cold and there is nothing better on a chilly winter morning than gazing at their happy faces. These annuals are extremely versatile. They are perfect to plant as borders and edgings or en masse in flower beds and in window boxes and in containers. Position the plants where they receive full sun in winter but partial shade in spring and early summer, to give them a longer lifespan. They like fertile, composted soil which drains well and must be watered regularly. Feed every two weeks with a general liquid fertiliser and remove spent flowers to encourage more.