The Gardener Magazine February 2021

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
SPECIAL: Save 20% on your subscription!
R 37
R 250R 200
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min

Tick the box: the first month has come and gone without too many dramas! I for one am delighted that I can now officially say that I can smell the end of summer, just peeping her nose around the corner. I’m looking forward to the tasks I have planned for the month of February, knowing that it is all for the good of my autumn garden. This month we bring you an extraordinary garden of 9 hectares in an unforgiving climate, the Karoo. It’s a garden just outside Kimberley and has its roots in the fifties. Understandably, some of you may think that you could glean nothing from this garden simply because of its scale and climate – that was my first thought, but after learning more about the garden and…

3 min
a variety of euphorbias

Euphorbia milii ‘Lipstick’ Crown of thorns is more of a showstopper than other thorny plants you can plant as a security barrier along a boundary or in front of a wall along a pavement. E. milii and the modern hybrids bred from it can form low, floriferous, thorny hedges seldom exceeding a height of 60cm – 1m. These slow-growing succulents also grow well and look good in pots. The potential of this tough euphorbia of Madagascan origin for the indoor plant market was soon realised, and there is now a wonderful selection of varieties, like ‘Lipstick’, available with lush green elliptical leaves and dozens of shocking pink flowers from late winter to spring and summer. Water them regularly in summer and keep them as dry as possible in winter. If grown indoors,…

2 min
valentine’s gifts

Spice up your Valentine’s Day Set your Valentine’s heart on fire by growing your own MayFord chilli seeds this Valentine’s Day. MayFord’s ‘Long Slim Cayenne’ chillis will be ready to harvest within 75 days, just in time for winter as a hot and spicy addition to warm dishes and sauces. Have a super-hot Valentine’s Day! Give a Valentine’s gift they’ll really love The nifty STIHL GTA 26 cordless chainsaw is versatile, compact and highly manoeuvrable. It is perfect for tasks such as pruning and cutting up small branches in the garden, and ideal for wood-based DIY projects and home upgrades. It is so quiet that no ear protection is necessary: great for nearby neighbours! Who needs chocolates or champers this Valentine’s Day? Rather give a lasting gift to gladden the heart of any gardener…

9 min
mauritzfontein: the story of a karoo garden

To many gardeners, the scale of the gardens at Mauritzfontein could seem overwhelming. Only the brave attempt to garden in the Karoo on this scale, 9 hectares, and only the fearless tackle the even more arid Nama Karoo. To landscape designer Arthur Mennigke, a garden of this size is an exciting challenge. These are the gardens pioneered by Joane Pim in the 1950s, when their owner, Harry Oppenheimer, invited her ‘to green the veld’ around the homestead at his stud outside Kimberley. From barren veld to romantic and bountiful arcadia, today you only have to look around you to see how successful the transformation has been. Joane tackled the project with alacrity, while her patron took a keen interest in her work and maintained that these gardens were her masterpiece. In…

7 min
achieve planting success

Still in high summer, but no harm in planning forward. So, let’s green our thumbs.. If you have achieved planting success you now probably have a pretty garden that makes you happy and content without asking too much more of you. If not, take heart as planting success relies on easy words like ‘climate’, ‘planning’, ‘position’, ‘preparation’ and ‘care’. 1 Climate concerns One of the main reasons why some plants sometimes disappoint the gardener (even if pampered endlessly) is that they cannot adjust to difficult climatic conditions. Although you can create artificial microclimates in any garden to please one particular must-have plant, it makes no sense to do it for an entire garden. If you garden in an area that is prone to heavy winter frost and cold winds, think about the following choices: •…

8 min
the mystery of mushrooms

As passionate gardeners, we are occasionally startled and surprised to find that some form of mushroom has popped up overnight on our lawn, appeared in the flower bed or is lurking in some shady spot in our garden. Some of us disregard these fascinating little wonders of nature, others approach them with fear, suspicion and superstition, yet the most commonly question asked when people notice them is: are these mushrooms edible? But what are these strange, fascinating and sometimes striking life forms? Mushrooms are simply the visible, fleshy, spore-bearing fruit of a fungus. These organisms are neither plant nor animal, but belong to the fungal kingdom, which also include moulds, yeasts, rusts, smuts and mildews. Mushrooms appear in many shapes and forms, from the typical toadstool to brackets found on logs to the…