The Gardener Magazine July 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
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12 Issues

in this issue

3 min

In early May, we were sitting on the patio after a long but delightful and dirty day in the garden. All planting and final preparation for the Kloof Conservancy Open Gardens was on schedule, and my last little bits were going to go in on the Sunday. So, according to my plans, we had a full month to watch everything grow and simply nip and tuck where necessary. Well, was I wrong! Mother Nature can derail even the greatest plans in the world in just 25 minutes… A massive thunderstorm moved in from over the ocean and the rain started to fall. As always, we were delighted with the rain, but then we heard a distinctive ‘clunk’ and then another on the tin roof. “Oh fiddlesticks,” I screamed (Izolda says…

1 min
pretty inbetweeners!

Leucadendron ‘Cream Delight’ This hybrid of L. salignum is a medium-sized and compact shrub with a mature size of about 2 x 1m. Sturdy maroon stems are topped with cream cones touched with a blush of pink in July and August. Great cut flower. Aulax ‘Bronze Haze’ A variety of A. cancellata that grows up to 2m high and 1.5m wide, with spectacular deep bronze foliage colour in autumn and winter. Feathery bright yellow flowers appear in early spring. Great cut flower. Leucospermum ‘Sweet Lucy’ A variety of L. bolusii that reaches up to 1m high and wide. This sweet-smelling little shrub attracts birds and honeybees and will grow perfectly in a pot. Flower buds are encased in dark pink bracts, opening into clusters of petite creamy white flowers in spring. Fragrant in cool evenings. Our…

5 min
beauty in the mountains

IN BRIEF: Where: Kokstad Size: 4000m2 Soil: Shale Designer: Owner If you are a gardener in the area, you are bound to have received something from Glynis Smith, known to her friends as ‘Glyni’ or simply ‘Glyn’. I have had the privilege of spending many afternoons at this haven, drinking cups of coffee on the stoep overlooking Mount Currie and the grazing sheep that are the passion of husband, Geoff. Maintaining 4000 square metres of garden in this area is no mean feat considering the elements, and it is hard to believe that this well-established garden is only nine years old. Kokstad is known for its dry winters, with morning dews turning to frost and the occasional snowfall. Summers are plagued by volatile thunderstorms and even hail. Through all this, Glyn’s garden is nurtured, each season…

4 min
the creative art of paving design

Practicality – Is it, for example, practical to pave a steep slope, or should we consider terracing first? What difference will it make if we choose cobbles over large flagstones for a specific area? Do the pavers need to be non-slip, or does it not matter? Can we minimise cutting pavers by designing the dimensions in multiples of the paver size? When considering water run-off, which way should stormwater be directed off the paved surface? Can we use grass pavers as an option, and does it make sense when considering purpose and also from a water-wise point of view? Purpose – Is the paved area to be driven over, walked on or used as an entertainment space? Is it merely aesthetic or decorative? Is it a solid area, broken or interplanted,…

6 min
mini aloes

If you are amped to start a collection of succulent plants that are mostly indigenous to our continent, why not go for all the miniature aloes readily available on the commercial plant market? We are blessed with top-notch local plant breeders who are passionate about aloes, from the large and stately to the really tiny. From their expert knowledge and flighty fingers arose the most beautiful little aloe hybrids and selections for collectors as well as those who can only garden in pots or in very limited garden space. Aloe species are naturally very tough and forgiving succulents needing limited care, but modern gardeners demand a little more from their plants, which aloe breeders have attended to. They have bred fast-growing miniature hybrids with more than one flowering period in spectacular abundance,…

1 min
mini aloe garden

What you need • Low round bowl• Pieces of terracotta pot or stones• Succulent potting medium (make your own by mixing together 60% potting soil, 10% akadama*, 10% fine silica sand, 10% coarse gravel and 10% organic fertiliser like Atlantic Bio Ocean)• Large stones or pebbles• Decorative gravel• Aloes (we used the following aloes: ‘Twice as Nice’, ‘Spotty’, ‘Pink Blush’, ‘Tuffy var SP128 GA’, Aloe descoingsii, Aloe juvenna)• Place stones or pieces of terracotta over the pot’s drainage hole and fill the pot halfway with the potting medium.• Place the largest aloe off-centre and group smaller aloes in clusters around it.• Fill in with the potting medium and firm it down.• Place large stones or pebbles in gaps to mimic a natural landscape and finish off by covering soil with decorative…