All-the-feels landscaping Industry Expert

March Topic: Tenacious texture
Theme: All-the-feels landscaping    
Industry Expert: Jimie Malan
Garden Centre supplier: Malanseuns https://www.malanseuns.co.za/

Their stellar reputation and quality plants over the past 110 years in the industry, have put Malanseuns on top of the list as one of South Africa's best Garden Centre suppliers. Life is a Garden met with Jimie Malan to get the best advice on how to bring in bold texture into your garden this March. Come find out how to add movement, contrast, and sound to your backyard and reap all the feels before winter arrives!

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1. We loved reading the origin story on your website and how Danie Malan founded your family business all the way back in 1913! Can you tell us a bit about your personal gardening journey and how you have come to fit into the Malanseuns Pleasure Plants story?

Since I can remember, I enjoyed being in the garden. You can basically say I was brought up by plants. Some of my fondest memories are walking with my late grandma through her garden. She taught me all about plants and shared so many lovely stories about her favourite flowers. The love for plants runs through the Malan family’s veins and I too realised that my absolute passion is plants! You can almost say we have green blood and not red.

It is truly a big honour for me, as the leader, to work with this amazing Malanseuns team. Every day is a new adventure with plants. To me, it is very fulfilling to see new growth and also to follow the process of a plant growing into something beautiful!

I always say that you can be an artist with plants, simply by using their many different colours, shapes and textures.

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life is a garden, greenery, expert, tenacious texture, march gardening, malanseauns, gca, garden centre, garden, flowers, plants, plat, colours, nature, march in the garden

2. The Malanseuns brand is certainly a renowned one. How many national garden centres do you supply and which plant groups would you say are some of your best-sellers?

This year Malanseuns will be 110 years old. Over the years we have built up a very loyal group of passionate garden lovers. We now supply most Garden Centres across South Africa. We are very honoured and humbled by the business we have. Our customers lead us to produce top-quality plants for them to sell.

Over the years we became trusted by our loyal customers to supply them with excellent roses, agapanthus (lily of the Nile), and hydrangeas that bloom throughout summer and also instantly colour beds.

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life is a garden, greenery, expert, tenacious texture, march gardening, malanseauns, gca, garden centre, garden, flowers, plants, plat, colours, nature, march in the garden

3. We see that you also export internationally. Could you tell us which plants you export the most and which countries you supply to (we’re curious to know)?

Our largest export lines are New Zealand flax (Phormiums), dwarf lilyturf or mondo grass (Ophiopogon) and agapanthus (lily of the Nile).

We export all over the world but mainly to the USA, Canada, and Europe.

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life is a garden, greenery, expert, tenacious texture, march gardening, malanseauns, gca, garden centre, garden, flowers, plants, plat, colours, nature, march in the garden

4. Our team thoroughly enjoyed your stunning display at the 2022 SANA Trade Fair, which is what inspired our Tenacious Texture topic for this month. Let’s dive right in! How important are texture-rich plants in a home landscaping design and why should gardeners consider adding a variety of textures, if at all?

At Malanseuns, we believe that a garden is like a blank canvas, just waiting for the gardener’s creativity to turn it into a fairy tale. Gardeners can take this blank canvas and create their own masterpiece by using various colours, shapes, sizes, and textures. 

Just like in any artwork, texture is very important to the eye. It needs to be eye-catching to be appreciated and to have a beautiful artwork at the end of the day you can enjoy. Different textures make you feel different emotions, you just need to find out which textures you enjoy and design your garden accordingly.

In a garden, you can see, feel, and even hear textures. Let’s start with the most obvious, touch. As you touch your plants when strolling in your garden, you can feel hard, sharp, soft, and waxy foliage, flowers, and edibles. Easily create texture in your garden by:

  • Warm vs cool colours Planting bright colours together creates a warm and happy atmosphere in your garden. By grouping cooler-coloured plants together, you’ll create a more calming and ambient effect.
  • Contrasting This is achieved when you can visually see hard, spiky textures next to a more flowy, soft-textured plant. A winning contrast combo is planting agapanthus buccaneer and carex feather falls. Palm trees are also a winner.
  • Sound - You can also hear different textures in your garden by incorporating the sound of water, planting ornamental grass shrubs that swoosh in the wind, and having plenty of indigenous plants that attract buzzing bees and songs from birds. Trees with seed pods furthermore add a lovely charm. 
  • Movement Tall grasses are waterwise and add stunning moving texture to the garden. You can also plant flowy vines and fruit trees. Willow trees are exquisite and although large, will add decades of flow and awe to the garden. 
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life is a garden, greenery, expert, tenacious texture, march gardening, malanseauns, gca, garden centre, garden, flowers, plants, plat, colours, nature, march in the garden

5. If you had to design a full sun, textured bed, which plants would you suggest and how should one go about arranging them?

Start by planting 3 magnolia little gem trees in a triangle as the main

structural element. Next, fill up the back of the garden with phormium ruby Tuesday (New Zealand flax) and phormium yellow wave. These 2 phormiums will add colour, texture, and contrast, as well as a flowy element as the grass dances in the wind.

In front of the phormiums, bring in your bolder colours by plating salvia mystic spires (salie/ sage). To complete the look, incorporate softer, trailing texture by adding carex feather falls or dichondra silver falls. 

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life is a garden, greenery, expert, tenacious texture, march gardening, malanseauns, gca, garden centre, garden, flowers, plants, plat, colours, nature, march in the garden

6. Many gardens are already established. What advice could you offer in terms of incorporating new texture-rich plants into the decorative garden as well as in the edible garden?

I would suggest that if you already have a decorative garden, you can add some texture by bringing in colours you haven’t used before or try to mix up the textures. If you have a smooth, flowing garden, try to add a statement plant with a different/new texture to your garden. For example, a cottage with a flower garden will look great with some spiky phormiums or a magnolia little gem tree as a feature plant.

You can also try the opposite. If you have a very hard landscape garden with pavers or many pots, you can soften up your garden with flowering textures. The viola hederacea (creeping violet) ground cover in between your pavers or a nice flowering hibiscus or salvia in your pots will make all the difference.

In your edible garden, it is also possible to add some other textures to your garden instead of only green, crispy veggies. Add a lavender border (Lavandula dentata elegans) that will also attract bees and butterflies for cross=pollination and soft colour.

life is a garden, greenery, expert, tenacious texture, march gardening, malanseauns, gca, garden centre, garden, flowers, plants, plat, colours, nature, march in the garden
life is a garden, greenery, expert, tenacious texture, march gardening, malanseauns, gca, garden centre, garden, flowers, plants, plat, colours, nature, march in the garden

You can find the above plant suggestions at one of our accredited GCA Garden Centres here: https://www.lifeisagarden.co.za/category/garden-centres/. Our centres ensure that you get great value for money and plants that are disease free. 

Learn how to create even more mood in our Botanical Boss article: Tenacious Texture

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