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The Gardener Magazine

The Gardener Magazine

October 2020

The Gardener is a monthly, national magazine dedicated to inspiring gardeners, providing practical advice and showing step-by-step garden projects. Our monthly features include garden design, in-depth plant features, growing vegetables and herbs, water gardening, garden wildlife and pets, specialist plant articles and much more. We have an extensive database on our website that is growing daily.

South Africa
Lonehill Trading (PTY) LTD
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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.

Now that the lockdown rules have been eased slightly, yesterday we embarked on a BIG DAY OUT to, wait for it, Pietermaritzburg! Yes, OK – some of you will say that PMB is just up the road from where we live, and you’re right, it is. But for me it was a massive adventure! It was fantastic to get out, to sit at a restaurant and have a warm, silky cappuccino in a cup and saucer (well, you know at home it’s just mugs). We used the opportunity to hunt for a few gardening heirlooms at the many hidden second-hand shops in PMB, and of course we visited a garden centre or two. Would you believe it: we came back with a boot full of plants! The main reason for the…

2 min.
adopt a monster!

Monstera deliciosa The delicious monster, a giant-leaved vining plant normally grown outdoors against a sturdy tree, has become one of the hottest indoor plants on the market lately! It has deeply cut bright green leaves on thick green stems and needs plenty of room to grow indoors in bright light. This is a hungry beast that needs liquid fertiliser monthly in spring and summer, and regular repotting in a pot just one size up as soon as it becomes root bound. Basic care is water only when the top soil layer feels dry, and clean the leaves regularly with a wet cloth to keep them dust-free and shiny. Philodendron bipinnatifidum ‘Hope’ ‘Hope’ is a non-vining variety of the tree philodendron with an upright and more compact growth habit. It has large and luscious,…

8 min.
a garden with a sense of rhythm… and blues

There is a breath-taking artistry to the mixed borders that surround Judy Njoroge’s home overlooking the faraway blue hills of the Magaliesberg. When Judy and her family moved onto the large, 5 000 m2 property three years ago it was a bare, grassy slope. Having studied landscaping through the Lifestyle College of Landscape Design and Horticulture in Johannesburg, Judy knew that she wanted a flowing, natural look that suited the feel of wide open space, with mainly indigenous, water-wise plants. “But I felt overwhelmed,” she admits, so she called on landscaper Sonita Young. They had both studied through Lifestyle and had become friends. “When it is your own garden it can feel too big to handle, so I really needed Sonita’s help.” The collaboration was pure garden alchemy. Both have an affinity…

5 min.
the selfless gardener

GARDENING FOR THE PLANTS, THE PETS AND THE PLANET We may not like to admit it, but gardening is an inherently selfish activity. There are some good side-effects, but the main motivation is mostly a good looking garden for ourselves and others to admire. What if we turned that idea around and gardened for the garden itself, rather than our own enjoyment? Selfless gardening is about just that – focusing on the plants, animals and the environment as a whole before imposing your own vision. Your garden is not just a home for you, it’s a habitat for all the living neighbours you may not always notice, and letting them have a say in their space can create a garden even more beautiful than one we could design on our own.…

4 min.
can’t beat bougainvilleas!

Native to the clammy coastal climes of Brazil, bougainvilleas do their best in similar climates but can actually thrive in most areas where the temperatures don’t drop below freezing in winter, and where the summers are hot. In areas where the temperatures do drop below zero, cover your bougainvilleas with frost cover or plant them against a wall for protection – or both. It is during the dry season that bougainvilleas are at their most stunning, showing off with displays of cascading colour. It is not the flowers that provide the colour, but papery leaf-like bracts that surround small and fairly insignificant flowers in cream or white. The bracts themselves come in a range of colours from lilac to orange, pink, purple, red, violet, white and yellow, so whatever your palate…

1 min.
lowveld chestnut for large, warm gardens sterculia murex

The lowveld chestnut is an impressive, upright tree 6 – 12m tall (rarely up to 18m), with a spread of 4 – 5m and rough, greyish, vertically fissured bark. It has large, bright green palmate leaves with long leaf stalks, and highly ornamental sprays of waxy, bright yellow, cup-shaped flowers with reddish centres. The large, spiky fruits resemble chestnuts, but the plant is not related to real chestnuts (genus Castanea, family Fagaceae). This beautiful member of the Hibiscus family (Malvaceae) occurs naturally in open bushveld vegetation in Mpumalanga and Eswatini, and is more or less deciduous, losing most or all of its leaves in winter. Flowering takes place from late winter to late spring (July to October) and the striking new leaves, which are initially bronzemaroon, appear simultaneously, or just…