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The Gardener Magazine

The Gardener Magazine March 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

3 min.

I always look forward to this time of the year. There is a glimpse of respite from the heat of summer, and my word has it been hot! Never before have I experienced such soaring temperatures, not only in our part of the world but in many other parts of South Africa as well. Now more than ever before it is obvious that we need to practice smart gardening methods such as mulching (in any guise or form), watering at the correct time of the day, and planting and planning by zone. Everyone is going to hear a lot more about this in 2020, and I now believe that it is the new normal. With water being the main commodity of gardening, I took a brave leap at the beginning of…

2 min.
autumn shades

Sedum nussbaumerianum (coppertone stonecrop) Plant this spreading succulent, with its fleshy pointed leaves arranged in small rosettes, in the full sun between rocks and it will soon catch a tan, the leaves turning a bright copper colour that will make it stand out like a beacon between other plants. Used as a border plant in light shade, like morning sun only, it will still have a coppery tinge but the foliage colour will turn predominantly to a lime-green colour. And if you keep it in a hanging basket, the spreading stems will cascade over the edges, and in a container it will be a smart accent plant. Such is the versatility of this lovely stonecrop. It is easy to propagate with stem or leaf cuttings, it’s easy on water, and is always…

5 min.
the war of the roses

Gardeners are interesting people and their priorities usually lie with everything leafy. If it has roots and leaves, it is probably at the top of their shopping list. This is definitely evident in the life of Johan of Roche House, and the story of the ‘Iceberg’ roses is a perfect example of this. But more on that later. First the story of how the garden of Roche House achieved its state of grandeur. Queenstown is known for its long and colourful history, and Roche House has been part of it since 1854, just a year after the town was established. Johan and Michelle, his long-time friend and business partner, proudly display a copy of the original 1854 title deed in the entrance to the building. ‘Passionate creator of beautiful spaces’ could be…

4 min.
plant your own bog garden

The key characteristic of these gardens is overly moist, waterlogged soil that creates the perfect conditions for a specific subset of plants – looking mostly unfamiliar and sometimes quite peculiar – that are not commonly found in standard backyards. Bog gardens are usually found in low-lying areas near lakes and rivers, but one-of-a-kind bog garden plants can be easily grown in almost any climate and any garden by following a few simple steps, giving you an even greater selection of plants to choose from. LAYING THE GROUNDWORK Bog gardens are best planted during the warmer summer months to give the plants enough time to settle in before winter. That pesky area of your garden that has terrible drainage and is constantly waterlogged is the perfect place to transform into a bog garden,…

4 min.
a quick guide to keeping your ferns alive

The British countryside had attracted a number of botanists who began to study ferns and started an obsession, so much so that it required its own name. Fern collecting became the hottest hobby, fern societies sprouted up across the country and fern motifs appeared almost everywhere. The Victorian version died out by 1890, but pteridomania seems to have returned with the recent boom in indoor plant popularity. Ferns can be seen on every corner, but somehow they still carry the reputation of being hard to keep alive. Ferns are definitely not invincible but sticking to the following few guidelines can make sure your ferns thrive for many years. PLACEMENT Since ferns are typically known to come from dark jungle floors, it would follow that your indoor fern would thrive in the darkest…

5 min.
herbs for veggies

Herbs and vegetables that are good companions in the garden often complement one another in flavour when cooked together or used in salads. Basil and tomatoes immediately come to mind, as do oregano and brinjals, beetroot and chives (cucumber as well), and carrots and parsley. Even if they are not growing companions, it’s hard not to think of mint when cooking peas or rosemary with roast potatoes. It’s not necessary to be a vegetarian to love eating vegetables, and what comes through when talking to chefs who love their veggies is that simple is best. One such chef is Daniela Gutstadt. As executive chef of the garden-to-table restaurant Culinary Table in Lanseria, her approach is to “enjoy the vegetable for what it is, without having to dress it up”. Vegetables and herbs for the…