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The Gardener Magazine

The Gardener Magazine January 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
Read More
R 250
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.

I love the scent of the holidays, the long days starting with early soft colours, the sunbirds maximising the early morning light and dewdrops, the slow cups of coffee and the many cups that go cold because I am in the garden from early. Somehow, I mislay a cup somewhere in the shrubbery and then end up making another. Then family and friends pop in (more than usual!) and the coffee cups pile up, so that by evening the entire sink is vomiting with them. If only they could self-wash… Also, imagine if coffee mugs could record the many conversations they hear, on a built-in hard drive. I’d call it the ‘eardrive’, and when we are frantic in the winter months when nothing seems to be going right and it’s hard…

1 min.
bordering charmers!

Good edging plants that either calmly complement or create a bright colour contrast are just what you need to perfectly finish off a mixed border. Try these beauties in your summer garden in full sun or even light shade. They can also be used as fillers and spillers in mixed containers. Acorus gramineus ‘Golden Edge’ This versatile groundcover, which has bright golden foliage, is also known as the Japanese rush. The golden tufts of soft, arching grass can be used as an ornamental border for shrub and perennial beds, in large groups as mass planting subjects, as bright fillers in containers, and even in ponds as aquatic plants. The mature size is about 30 x 30cm. Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’ or ‘Breathless’ This new euphorbia will leave you breathless when the mounded perennial smothers itself…

4 min.
gardening in the clouds

We often hear the phrase “eat an elephant one bite at a time” coming from the mouth of Tanya Visser. Not only is she the editor of our magazine, but she is also a plant lover of note. Having had the privilege to travel with her, I have seen her eyes light up at the discovery of a plant she doesn’t have (yet!), and if you follow her on Facebook you will know that those plants often find their way into her garden. When she flies you’ll often see her sitting with a special plant on her lap, if they didn’t fit in a box! She has such passion – the enthusiasm and love she shows for her garden surpasses the benchmark of being fanatical! It is for this reason…

4 min.

Plant Salvias For long-lasting colour in a garden, you can’t go wrong with salvias (sages). There are so many different types that come under the headings annuals, biennials and perennials, evergreen and semi-evergreen shrubs, that there are plenty to choose from, including the culinary herb varieties. Salvias prefer full sun, but many will do well in semi-shade. The soil should be good, well draining soil enhanced with loads of compost. Water well in the growing season and add a layer of mulch. Remove faded flowers to encourage more flowers. Daylilies As the name suggests, daylilies (Hemerocallis) have flowers that last for one or two days only, but they have a long succession of flowers and come in a wide range of colours. This makes them rewarding to grow, and flowers can be encouraged…

3 min.

Plant Gaillardia Commonly called blanket flowers due to their spreading nature, gaillardias are short-living perennials with the brightest of daisy-like flowers. They also self-seed, repeat flower for a long season of colour and are frost hardy. Plant in full sun in well-draining soil (avoid clay soil) and wait for the butterflies. They prefer poor soils so avoid fertiliser. Divide the plants every 2 – 3 years to keep them going. Lachenalia For full sun you can’t go wrong with the indigenous Lachenalia. They need good drainage and light soil, and work well planted in rock gardens, at the front of garden beds or in pots. Avoid using compost when planting, and add sand to lighten the soil. Water regularly throughout the year but don’t water in summer. Lift bulbs in December and store…

4 min.

Plant Coleus For all-season colour, coleus (Solenostemon) is the plant to get. They grow in spots of full sun to shade and are very low maintenance. The combinations of colours and markings on their leaves make these very special plants and their flowers are not important. In fact, cut the stalks with the flowers off before they bloom to keep the leaves bushy. They come from the tropics so love heat, moisture, and rich soil, and will not like frost and will have to be covered in winter. Mulch will help with water retention, but avoid it touching the stems or they may rot. They grow well in containers. Chasmanthe The easy-to-grow indigenous Chasmanthe is tall and elegant for the back of flower beds. Once planted they can be left for several years…