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The Gardener Magazine

The Gardener Magazine February 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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R 250
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.

I hope you’ve got used to typing the correct year on documents or on horrid license-renewal forms by now. Typing is not bad because there are the ever useful ‘delete’ and ‘backspace’ keys, but oh heck, handwritten forms make you want to have a meltdown! Can you tell that I have first-hand experience with this one? Nevertheless, we are in it, the 2020’s, so keep reminding yourselves and always take two forms in case you mess up the first one! So where was gardening 100 years ago? What were the trends? This got me thinking and doing some digging (excuse the pun) into the past, and low and behold I had to smile, even laugh. Read this extract from an online article I found titled Landscape Business Design Trends from the 1920’s…

1 min.
cool for shade…

Blechnum gibbum This slender-trunked fern, which resembles a miniature tree fern, is a graceful plant with attractive fronds arranged in a symmetrical rosette. It will grow effortlessly in moist but not constantly water-logged soil in deep shade as an understory plant amongst shade trees, and will eventually reach a manageable height of about 90cm. Water regularly and preferably not overhead, but rather at ground level. Great indoor plant where it should be kept in a humid atmosphere and in good light. Dracaena aletriformis The large-leaved dragon tree is a beautiful and robust accent plant for deep shade in warmer gardens, and can easily reach a size of 2m x 1.5m. It is mostly single-stemmed (like a cordyline) with large, leathery, dark-green and sword-like leaves. Dainty sprays of greenish-yellow flowers appear in summer and…

3 min.
a new lease on life

When the devastating fire swept through Knysna in June 2017, the Knysna Hollow Country Estate was razed to the ground. Rebuilding commenced in October 2017, and exactly one year later the estate reopened with a completely new design of the buildings and the extensive garden. Prior to the fire the thatched estate was surrounded by mature trees, and the garden comprised mostly shade-loving plants. The architects proposed a sleek, modern design for the rebuild, and well-known landscapers in Knysna, Lynnette and Minnaar Joyce from Earthbound Landscapes, presented an equally modern and innovative garden design to complement the new buildings. Starting over The only surviving structures on the estate after the fire were the two swimming pools, and these were naturally the starting point for the new design. An outdoor lounge was built at…

6 min.
garden kids are healthy kids

Fact: Being outdoors boosts brain development There are many studies explaining the benefits of being outdoors for children, especially when it comes to brain development. Executive function – sometimes known as the ‘CEO of the brain’, which helps us manage tasks, set goals and solve problems – is exercised when kids are allowed unstructured time outdoors. Creativity is an important part of executive function, helping kids to problem solve and entertain themselves using their imaginations. Exercising executive function in early years helps children starting school to focus, complete tasks or multitask, manage their emotions and follow directions (most of the time), so it is important to get them outside as early and as much as possible. On top of these benefits, being outdoors reduces stress and contributes to happier, more well-rounded…

1 min.
run marble run

You need • 915mm x 625mm x 10mm plywood sheet• 2.5m x 25mm PVC pipe, cut into 8 lengths varying from 750mm to 100mm• 16 x 25mm PVC 90° elbows• 4 peel-and-stick flexible magnet sheets* (450mm x 310mm)• 20 small 20mm x 3mm disc magnets*• Epoxy• Contact adhesive• Marbles Tools Hacksaw, pencil, measuring tape The Steps 1 Stick the peel-and-stick magnet sheets to the plywood board. (If the adhesive doesn’t hold, use contact adhesive – we did.) 2 Cut the PVC pipe into eight lengths (or as many as you want) with a hacksaw. 3 Push 90° elbows onto both ends of each pipe, pointing in opposite directions. 4 Using epoxy, glue disc magnets to each length of pipe. We used two on each of the shorter lengths, and three on each of the longer lengths. We found…

4 min.
sedums… so succulent

Stonecrops are part of the very large and diverse Sedum genus in the Crassulaceae family, many varieties of which have recently become very trendy pot and garden plants. Some of the carpet-forming sedums are also planted to create living roofs, which helps with insulation in some countries. A simple definition would be that stonecrops are perennial plants with thick succulent leaves and fleshy stems, and are known for extreme cold and drought hardiness. Low-growing sedums spread along the ground creating mounds and carpets of succulent foliage that can change colour according to the season and temperature. They can flower profusely from late spring to autumn, with clusters of tiny star-shaped flowers so beloved by pollinators. These ground-hugging sedums are often used in xeriscaping (designs relying only on natural rain water), within gravel…