Gardening Tips

Not only do you want to enjoy your garden this month but so does the chafer or Christmas Beetles.  They feed at night, can be a nuisance in the home and leave skeletonised leaves in their wake. Solutions? Use common sense and don’t plant plants prone to be attacked (soft-leaved plants) near a streetlight or security light, or only switch on lights when really necessary.  Switch on a light near plants under attack and leave a bucket of water nearby.  Hopefully some of the beetles will fall into the water and drown. Bioneem, Pyrol or Karbaspray can also be used to get rid of these pests. Watch for caterpillar damage on the bulbs and leaves of agapanthus, amaryllis and clivias.  Spray with Karbaspray or Biological Caterpillar Spray.

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With this over, the quickest and easiest way to add colour to your garden this festive season is with annuals. Summer flowering annuals are available in all shapes, sizes, styles and colours.  The options are endless and exciting. Pop in and see what we have to offer. Make a last planting of summer flowering annuals such as red salvias for that festive colour and fertilise well to produce strong plants.
Hanging baskets add cheer to any spot!  If planting your own remember to add water retention granules to the potting soil.  Full sun during December and January can be really intense, so opt for hardy colour options such as zinnia, marigolds, portulaca and alyssum.

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On a peaceful summer’s evening with the crickets chirping in the background, sit down quietly in your entertainment area and admire your efforts.  If you see anything that looks neglected, hide it away with a trellis, lattice panels or bamboo screens - we have many options in stock!

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What would a South African summer be without voluptuous hydrangeas? We call these plants “Christmas Roses” because that’s their show-time! Glorious pink and blue “mopheads” that grow in partial shade. They make for truly astounding floral displays. Select only mature, fully open ‘flowers’. Cut long stems with some woody stem, then re-cut into the soft wood under water. Immerse the entire flower head and stem in water (the bath is a good place), for a couple of hours before arranging them. You can also dry mature flower heads. Remove all the leaves and hang upside down in a breezy but warm, dry place. Potted hydrangeas are popular gifts during the festive season!

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One huge Hawaiian hibiscus flower in orange, yellow, red or shocking pink can brighten up any garden!  These plants love the hot sun and so are very useful in west sun conditions. Plants with equally colourful single, smaller blooms are more floriferous and just as spectacular.  Sadly they are just not recognised for their real worth and true garden potential.  Deciduous shrubs with a strong, vigorous, upright growth habit, they ultimately attain a mature height of some 3 m. They form a splendid subject for the background of a mixed border or shrubbery, bursting forth in bloom in November.

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Outdoor entertaining is at its best in South Africa in December.  Garden furniture and hardware can make all the difference if you’re home for the holidays….from a small bird feeder to a garden chair in your favourite spot – all of which can be found at our chaos-free garden centres! 

Avoid the crowds and take a ‘green’ more convenient & relaxed approach to your festive shopping this year.  Visit us and be inspired by the practical, stunning and living options on offer!  Add a living touch – plants make thoughtful inexpensive gifts and are typically well received.  A simple pot of seasonal colour (seedlings or indoor plants) can easily be transformed into gifts for grannies, aunties and even teachers.  Succulents are a safe option for grandpas and uncles.  Potted herbs are loved by “almost everyone”, as are bird feeders and trendy garden tools.

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