The Gardener Magazine December 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
R 37
R 250
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min

I was dreading the day that I had to take my first flight since Covid-19 upended the world. I have been avoiding air travel at all costs; I much prefer the idea of being in my own bubble in my home office, dogs around me, my garden to look at. But alas, I have had to bite the bullet and head to the skies. So here I am safely in Johannesburg on 2 November, after a flight without very much drama! I did it! Of course, as happens whenever we are anxious, last night was not a good night of sleep: a peanut butter sandwich at 2:30am, letting the dogs out at 4am, and then the alarm going off at 5am – mmm, the joys of travel! The fur kids thought…

2 min
making eyes at you…

They have been given romantic hybrid names derived from Greek gods and mythology, are compact and sturdy while sporting the glossiest evergreen foliage. An abundance of plate-sized blooms are produced non-stop throughout the summer months and well into autumn. The HibisQs range has flowers that are vivid and bright in a dazzling array of colours, and all have contrasting eyes. The individual blooms are long lasting (some up to six days) due to improved genetics. A collection of these hibiscuses planted up in pots will add dramatic décor to decks, patios and balconies. Tropical hibiscuses are unfortunately only suitable for frost-free and warm gardens where they can be used in mixed shrub beds or as colourful hedges – the mature size is about 2 x 1.5m. In other climates they must either be…

4 min
gift guide

Get what you REALLY want The STIHL GTA 26 cordless handheld chainsaw is a must-have for both gardeners and DIY enthusiasts. Versatile, quiet and compact, with a 10cm guide bar, a powerful, accurate cut, and impressively long battery life, it is ideal for wood-based DIY projects as well as pruning shrubs and trees. Add to your wish list now! Airplant starter pack Airplants make a great gift for the novice gardener, or the experienced gardener looking to try something new. This starter pack has a selection of plants with different colours and textures, and is a great way to begin your collection. The pack includes nine labelled plants as well as care tips and instructions, all packaged in a gift box. Delivery is to your door throughout South Africa, and the pack can…

7 min
taming the highveld

Landscaper Mike Carver is no stranger to Blair Athol: his gift of creating magnificent natural water features has led to a number of commissions on the estate. When a resident of the estate approached him to work his magic, Mike was all too happy to oblige. “When I first surveyed the property, I immediately noticed a peaceful copse of trees at its top end, which I knew would be the perfect frame for a series of streams and waterfalls,” commented Mike. “I particularly like using indigenous plants where possible and the mix of karee (Searsia lancea), white stinkwood (Celtis africana) and river bushwillow (Combretum erythrophyllum) gave me a wonderful mixture of shapes and textures to work with.” From there the property slopes down to the access road, with the homestead situated roughly…

4 min
10 quick ways to improve your garden design

1. Group outdoor pots together in threes The famous Rule of Three says things are inherently more interesting, enjoyable, and memorable when presented in threes. This rule goes as far back as ancient times when the Romans used the phrase omne trium perfectum – ‘everything that comes in threes is perfect’. Lazy gardeners can co-opt this rule by grouping outdoor pots together in threes. Take it a step further by grouping pots of three different sizes in a patio corner or near your front door. So simple, yet so much more pleasing to the eye. 2. Prune, prune, prune! There is something powerful about pruning. Armed with shears, a gardener goes from a tender carer to a maniacal plant dictator, lopping off tree limbs with glee. Not only is this great for the…

4 min
a peperomia for every season

Peperomia angulata Peperomia angulata is affectionately known as the beetle peperomia. It has a similar appearance to the watermelon peperomia – green leaves with yellow stripes in a similar pattern to a watermelon rind – that accounts for its new-found popularity. The orange-tinted stems add contrast and brightness that makes this variety irresistible to collectors. It remains compact throughout growth, reaching upwards and falling when the stems are heavy – an ideal option for hanging baskets. Peperomia caperata When you think peperomia, P. caperata is bound to be one of the first thoughts. This is one of the most popular peperomias, with heart-shaped, wrinkled leaves and cream or red coloured spikes when the plant is flowering. Unlike some other varieties, it comes in a range of colours, from green to red or purple…