Robust roses

Gardening, Breast Cancer Awareness, Roses, Garden Therapy, Pink Roses, Horticulture, Rose Varieties, Healing Gardens, Rose Gardening, Cancer Support, Garden Design, Rose Care, Planting for a Cause, Floral Therapy, Gardening for Health, Rose Symbolism, Horticultural Therapy, Community Gardens, Gardening for Wellness, Pink Ribbon Roses

October is rose month and the perfect time to plant your heart out! Fill containers and beds with the queen of flowers and indulge in the robust variety on show at GCA Garden Centres now. While you’re there, don’t forget some rose food, compost, and potting soil. 

Top 5 most irresistible roses to plant now

  • Double Delight: Pointed, cream colour buds unfolding delicately into shades of scarlet.
  • Just Joey: A hybrid apricot/orange blend tea rose with a seductively sweet scent.
  • My Granny: A spreading shrub with full rosette blooms in shades of soft pink and white.
Gardening, Breast Cancer Awareness, Roses, Garden Therapy, Pink Roses, Horticulture, Rose Varieties, Healing Gardens, Rose Gardening, Cancer Support, Garden Design, Rose Care, Planting for a Cause, Floral Therapy, Gardening for Health, Rose Symbolism, Horticultural Therapy, Community Gardens, Gardening for Wellness, Pink Ribbon Roses
Gardening, Breast Cancer Awareness, Roses, Garden Therapy, Pink Roses, Horticulture, Rose Varieties, Healing Gardens, Rose Gardening, Cancer Support, Garden Design, Rose Care, Planting for a Cause, Floral Therapy, Gardening for Health, Rose Symbolism, Horticultural Therapy, Community Gardens, Gardening for Wellness, Pink Ribbon Roses
  • South Africa: SA’s top performer with huge clusters of large, golden-yellow double blooms.
  • Zulu Royal: Large, symmetrical blooms in deep mauve with a silver-lilac dust
  • Natalie Douglas: Produces large, fully petalled solitary blooms on long, stiffly upright stems.
Gardening, Breast Cancer Awareness, Roses, Garden Therapy, Pink Roses, Horticulture, Rose Varieties, Healing Gardens, Rose Gardening, Cancer Support, Garden Design, Rose Care, Planting for a Cause, Floral Therapy, Gardening for Health, Rose Symbolism, Horticultural Therapy, Community Gardens, Gardening for Wellness, Pink Ribbon Roses
Gardening, Breast Cancer Awareness, Roses, Garden Therapy, Pink Roses, Horticulture, Rose Varieties, Healing Gardens, Rose Gardening, Cancer Support, Garden Design, Rose Care, Planting for a Cause, Floral Therapy, Gardening for Health, Rose Symbolism, Horticultural Therapy, Community Gardens, Gardening for Wellness, Pink Ribbon Roses

Did you know?

Some of our rose specialists Garden Centres offer a divine range of edible rose products including rose jam, vinegar, liqueur, and other food products. They use organic rose hips and red, super fragrant rose petals of ‘Mr. Lincoln’, ‘Ecstacy’, ‘Oklahoma’ and ‘Red ‘n Fragrant’ locally grown. These roses give the distinct rose taste, fragrance and colour, which naturally occurs by stewing the petals. 

Visit our online store locator to find a GCA Garden Centre or Home Store stocking your favourite roses, and remember to ask about their edible rose product range:  https://www.lifeisagarden.co.za/category/garden-and-home-centres/

Top 10 tips on how to get the most from your garden

Garden Day, Garden Day Celebration, October 17th, Month-Long Celebration, Life is a Garden, Gardening Inspiration, Enjoy Your Garden, Fruits of Your Labor, Garden Enjoyment, Gardening Routine, Event Hosting, Garden Event, Garden Party, Gardening Tips, Garden Activities, Garden Time, Garden Inspiration

Garden Day is on Sunday the 15th of October, although we’ll certainly be celebrating all month long! Life is a Garden invites you to become part of this special occasion by taking the time to really enjoy the fruits of your labour. Join us as we offer inspiration on how you can get the most from your garden and include time with your plants as part of your everyday routine and event hosting.

Top 10 tips on how to get the most from your garden 

Morning coffee nook 

Try changing up your morning routine to allow for 10 minutes of welcoming the day amongst your plants and a cuppa’. This should put you in a great mood and set a peaceful pace for the rest of your day.

Experiment and expand

Dare to grow something exotic and different this summer. Look for plants and edibles that excite you and that you may not have thought to grow before. You may also want to experiment with a different growing style such as trailing, creepers, or cascading baskets.

Garden Day, Garden Day Celebration, October 17th, Month-Long Celebration, Life is a Garden, Gardening Inspiration, Enjoy Your Garden, Fruits of Your Labor, Garden Enjoyment, Gardening Routine, Event Hosting, Garden Event, Garden Party, Gardening Tips, Garden Activities, Garden Time, Garden Inspiration
Garden Day, Garden Day Celebration, October 17th, Month-Long Celebration, Life is a Garden, Gardening Inspiration, Enjoy Your Garden, Fruits of Your Labor, Garden Enjoyment, Gardening Routine, Event Hosting, Garden Event, Garden Party, Gardening Tips, Garden Activities, Garden Time, Garden Inspiration

Festivity-ready 

Is your garden ready to host a little get-together without you needing to set up first? Consider installing flood lights, fairy lights, chimes, and other permanent garden accessories. Also look into what weather-resistant furniture you can include that’s always occasion-ready. Having a space that’s open to receiving guests may take a lot of pressure off the host. 

Outdoor storage

Invest in an outdoor cupboard or crate where all your scatter pillows, throws, and other goodies can be easily stored and taken out to use. This also reduces trips back to the house and makes the effort feel less when your outdoor essentials are organised nearby for easy access. 

Garden Day, Garden Day Celebration, October 17th, Month-Long Celebration, Life is a Garden, Gardening Inspiration, Enjoy Your Garden, Fruits of Your Labor, Garden Enjoyment, Gardening Routine, Event Hosting, Garden Event, Garden Party, Gardening Tips, Garden Activities, Garden Time, Garden Inspiration
Garden Day, Garden Day Celebration, October 17th, Month-Long Celebration, Life is a Garden, Gardening Inspiration, Enjoy Your Garden, Fruits of Your Labor, Garden Enjoyment, Gardening Routine, Event Hosting, Garden Event, Garden Party, Gardening Tips, Garden Activities, Garden Time, Garden Inspiration

Cocktail corner

Growing garnish for all your favourite cocktails is another way to encourage more time with your plants.

Mother-in-law’s tongue We love succulents

Snake Plant, Sansevieria, Indoor Plants, Houseplant Care, Air-Purifying Plants, Low-Maintenance Plants, Snake Plant Benefits, Snake Plant Varieties, Best Indoor Plants, Snake Plant Care, Indoor Gardening, Plant Decor, Plant Aesthetics, Easy Houseplants, Low-Light Plants, Snake Plant Propagation, Snake Plant Potting, Indoor Plant Tips, Snake Plant Growth, Indoor Plant Health

Mother-in-law's tongue (Sanseveria trifasciata), known also as the snake plant, has long been an indoor and outdoor favourite with its sharp, witty nature. This succulent makes for a striking feature in almost any light condition and is a perfect choice for the beginner gardener.

Snake Plant, Sansevieria, Indoor Plants, Houseplant Care, Air-Purifying Plants, Low-Maintenance Plants, Snake Plant Benefits, Snake Plant Varieties, Best Indoor Plants, Snake Plant Care, Indoor Gardening, Plant Decor, Plant Aesthetics, Easy Houseplants, Low-Light Plants, Snake Plant Propagation, Snake Plant Potting, Indoor Plant Tips, Snake Plant Growth, Indoor Plant Health
Snake Plant, Sansevieria, Indoor Plants, Houseplant Care, Air-Purifying Plants, Low-Maintenance Plants, Snake Plant Benefits, Snake Plant Varieties, Best Indoor Plants, Snake Plant Care, Indoor Gardening, Plant Decor, Plant Aesthetics, Easy Houseplants, Low-Light Plants, Snake Plant Propagation, Snake Plant Potting, Indoor Plant Tips, Snake Plant Growth, Indoor Plant Health

Getting to know your Mother-in-law's tongue

Grow guide: They will grow faster in bright, natural light but will also fare well in moderate to low light. When planted outdoors, be aware of harsh direct sunlight as this will burn their leaves. Water plants directly onto the soil (avoiding the rosette centre) to prevent root rot.

Claim to fame: Hardy and packed with attitude, their sword-shaped leaves are bold and unapologetic with bright yellow borders from base to tip. Indigenous to SA, these plants are adaptable and easy to care for. You may even be lucky to see their elusive white flowers if you look after them well.

In the garden: This succulent is ideal as a potted attention-grabber, both on the patio and indoors. They will also fill large beds where they bring in height (up to 60cm) and texture. Plant them in rich soil with excellent drainage. Water infrequently and avoid frost-prone areas.

Pest patrol: Plants are generally low-maintenance and not prone to pests. Keep an eye out, however, for mealybugs and spider mites and ensure roots are never waterlogged. Feed with a balanced cactus fertiliser monthly during spring and summer to increase pest resistance.

Snake Plant, Sansevieria, Indoor Plants, Houseplant Care, Air-Purifying Plants, Low-Maintenance Plants, Snake Plant Benefits, Snake Plant Varieties, Best Indoor Plants, Snake Plant Care, Indoor Gardening, Plant Decor, Plant Aesthetics, Easy Houseplants, Low-Light Plants, Snake Plant Propagation, Snake Plant Potting, Indoor Plant Tips, Snake Plant Growth, Indoor Plant Health
Snake Plant, Sansevieria, Indoor Plants, Houseplant Care, Air-Purifying Plants, Low-Maintenance Plants, Snake Plant Benefits, Snake Plant Varieties, Best Indoor Plants, Snake Plant Care, Indoor Gardening, Plant Decor, Plant Aesthetics, Easy Houseplants, Low-Light Plants, Snake Plant Propagation, Snake Plant Potting, Indoor Plant Tips, Snake Plant Growth, Indoor Plant Health

Did you know? Snake plants are known as CAM plants, which means they can remove carbon from the air at night and store it for later use.

Top tip: Dull leaf colours and thin foliage may indicate that your plant is not receiving enough light, whereas crispy, yellowing foliage is a sign that there is too much light or sun.

Crucial Cross-Pollination

Cross Pollination, Gardening Tips, Plant Pollination, Pollinators, Flower Pollination, Vegetable Garden, Garden Plants, Pollination Techniques, Bees and Pollination, Organic Gardening, Pollination Process, Garden Maintenance, Botany, Sustainable Gardening, Pollination Importance, Flowering Plants, Garden Care, Pollination Strategies, Home Gardening, Pollinator-Friendly Garden.

Cross-pollination is when pollen from one plant is transferred to another with the help of insects (like bees and butterflies). Certain plants depend on this process to produce their edibles. Try growing the following trees together.

  • Almond trees grow well in the Western Cape with a more Mediterranean climate. With the help of bees, two almond trees are required to pollinate one another. Grow then in full sun with plenty of organic matter added to the soil. Planting clovers and other legumes around trees will contribute to soil fertility and attract pollinators.
  • Apple trees need a cross-variety pollination partner. You can ask for help from your garden centre assistant for advice on which varieties to grow together for the best results. Most apple trees will blossom in spring with fruit ripening in late summer to early autumn. Plant them in full sun with rich soil and feed with a fruit tree fertiliser.
Cross Pollination, Gardening Tips, Plant Pollination, Pollinators, Flower Pollination, Vegetable Garden, Garden Plants, Pollination Techniques, Bees and Pollination, Organic Gardening, Pollination Process, Garden Maintenance, Botany, Sustainable Gardening, Pollination Importance, Flowering Plants, Garden Care, Pollination Strategies, Home Gardening, Pollinator-Friendly Garden.
Cross Pollination, Gardening Tips, Plant Pollination, Pollinators, Flower Pollination, Vegetable Garden, Garden Plants, Pollination Techniques, Bees and Pollination, Organic Gardening, Pollination Process, Garden Maintenance, Botany, Sustainable Gardening, Pollination Importance, Flowering Plants, Garden Care, Pollination Strategies, Home Gardening, Pollinator-Friendly Garden.
  • Papaya trees grow so easily from seeds in the compost heap. They will produce fruit when there is a male and female tree planted within a 3-metre proximity. The male (or even a hermaphrodite) can cross-pollinate the female. For best results, grow at least three trees together in full sun with nutrient-rich soil and good protection from frost. 
  • Avocado trees are definitely worth a little patience. Each tree is either type A or type B and needs to be pollinated from trees of the opposite type. Type A varieties are Hass, Pinkerton and Gwen. Type B varieties include Fuerte, Bacon and Zutano. Plant your trees six to nine metres apart with plenty of sunshine and well-draining, rich soil. 
Cross Pollination, Gardening Tips, Plant Pollination, Pollinators, Flower Pollination, Vegetable Garden, Garden Plants, Pollination Techniques, Bees and Pollination, Organic Gardening, Pollination Process, Garden Maintenance, Botany, Sustainable Gardening, Pollination Importance, Flowering Plants, Garden Care, Pollination Strategies, Home Gardening, Pollinator-Friendly Garden.
Cross Pollination, Gardening Tips, Plant Pollination, Pollinators, Flower Pollination, Vegetable Garden, Garden Plants, Pollination Techniques, Bees and Pollination, Organic Gardening, Pollination Process, Garden Maintenance, Botany, Sustainable Gardening, Pollination Importance, Flowering Plants, Garden Care, Pollination Strategies, Home Gardening, Pollinator-Friendly Garden.

Cross-pollination increases yield and fruit quality.

Top tip: To attract more pollinators, plant lavender varieties, marigolds, and an assortment of seasonal herbs around your fruit tree beds. Allow your herbs to come to flower for max honeybee power! 

Green beginnings

September gardening tips, Green beginnings, Landscaping artist, Warm-season bulbs, Summer bedding plants, Ornamental grasses, Stone art in the garden, Pebble arrangements, Low-maintenance landscaping, Edible gardening, Summer salad ingredients, Lettuce varieties, Spring onion cultivation, Tomato growing tips, El Niño preparedness, Pruning advice, Weeding tips, Wildlife-attracting trees, Pest alert: Mole crickets, Gardening community

The garden is your canvas this time of year, and you are invited to become a landscaping artist! No matter what size your garden, patio, or balcony is, there’s a blushing flush of colour and texture to play with. Let the plants be your paint and create a space that inspires you this spring. 

 

What’s potting?

Warm-season bulbs like tuberous begonias, dahlias, and amaryllis can be planted now for a vibrant summer spectacle, lasting until the start of next winter.

For sizzling summer bedding colour, plant masses of petunias, dianthus, gazanias, and Zantedeschia hybrids now. All of these plants are sun-loving and will quickly thrive with a dose of plant food. Visit your Garden Centre for advice on which products to use.

September gardening tips, Green beginnings, Landscaping artist, Warm-season bulbs, Summer bedding plants, Ornamental grasses, Stone art in the garden, Pebble arrangements, Low-maintenance landscaping, Edible gardening, Summer salad ingredients, Lettuce varieties, Spring onion cultivation, Tomato growing tips, El Niño preparedness, Pruning advice, Weeding tips, Wildlife-attracting trees, Pest alert: Mole crickets, Gardening community
September gardening tips, Green beginnings, Landscaping artist, Warm-season bulbs, Summer bedding plants, Ornamental grasses, Stone art in the garden, Pebble arrangements, Low-maintenance landscaping, Edible gardening, Summer salad ingredients, Lettuce varieties, Spring onion cultivation, Tomato growing tips, El Niño preparedness, Pruning advice, Weeding tips, Wildlife-attracting trees, Pest alert: Mole crickets, Gardening community

Trending now: Ornamental grass

Take your garden artistry to the next level with pebbles and semi-precious stones as yard art. Get creative with stone arrangements and ornamental grasses that are water-wise and low-maintenance. 

Pair pure white pebbles with contrasting black tiles or black-painted pavement slabs to give walkways and entrances a sleek look. Plant summer-flowering, white button sedge (Kylinga alba) to set off the contrast. This indigenous ornamental grass is sun-loving and evergreen, producing a clustered white flower head that is carried on an elegant, long slender stem.

September gardening tips, Green beginnings, Landscaping artist, Warm-season bulbs, Summer bedding plants, Ornamental grasses, Stone art in the garden, Pebble arrangements, Low-maintenance landscaping, Edible gardening, Summer salad ingredients, Lettuce varieties, Spring onion cultivation, Tomato growing tips, El Niño preparedness, Pruning advice, Weeding tips, Wildlife-attracting trees, Pest alert: Mole crickets, Gardening community
September gardening tips, Green beginnings, Landscaping artist, Warm-season bulbs, Summer bedding plants, Ornamental grasses, Stone art in the garden, Pebble arrangements, Low-maintenance landscaping, Edible gardening, Summer salad ingredients, Lettuce varieties, Spring onion cultivation, Tomato growing tips, El Niño preparedness, Pruning advice, Weeding tips, Wildlife-attracting trees, Pest alert: Mole crickets, Gardening community

You can also purchase bags of pink rose quartz to use as centrepiece stone mandalas or walkable labyrinths. Plant some local steekblaarblinkgras (Melinis nerviglumis) to compliment the pink notes from the rose quartz. This very hardy ornamental grass will thrive in full sun, producing the sweetest plumes of fluffy pink to red seeds that appear all year round and attract seed-eating birds.

Top tip: The key to long-term pebble arrangement success and almost no maintenance is good quality weed guard sheeting beneath your stone feature. 

September gardening tips, Green beginnings, Landscaping artist, Warm-season bulbs, Summer bedding plants, Ornamental grasses, Stone art in the garden, Pebble arrangements, Low-maintenance landscaping, Edible gardening, Summer salad ingredients, Lettuce varieties, Spring onion cultivation, Tomato growing tips, El Niño preparedness, Pruning advice, Weeding tips, Wildlife-attracting trees, Pest alert: Mole crickets, Gardening community
September gardening tips, Green beginnings, Landscaping artist, Warm-season bulbs, Summer bedding plants, Ornamental grasses, Stone art in the garden, Pebble arrangements, Low-maintenance landscaping, Edible gardening, Summer salad ingredients, Lettuce varieties, Spring onion cultivation, Tomato growing tips, El Niño preparedness, Pruning advice, Weeding tips, Wildlife-attracting trees, Pest alert: Mole crickets, Gardening community

Edibles are everything

September is the time to sow all your tasty summer salad ingredients.

Bio-diversify Your Backyard

Gardening for Biodiversity, South African Gardening, Biodiversity Conservation, Native Plants, Wildlife Habitat, Eco-Friendly Gardening, Sustainable Landscapes, Biodiverse Garden, Planting for Nature, Garden Ecosystem, Local Flora and Fauna, Green Gardening, Natural Habitat, Conserving Biodiversity, Garden Biodiversity, Nature in Your Backyard, Wildlife-Friendly Garden, Plant Diversity, Sustainable Gardening, Garden for Wildlife, South African Flora, Creating Habitats, Garden Biodiversity Awareness, Biodiversity Awareness, Garden Ecosystems, Flora and Fauna Balance, Biodiversity in Gardens, Garden Eco-Systems, Planting with Purpose, Supporting Biodiversity, Garden Conservation, Garden Biodiversity Initiative, Local Ecology, Planting Natives, Garden Habitat, Biodiversity Education, Garden Biodiversity Tips

Welcome South Africa’s handy helpers to the garden and reap the rich rewards. Fall in love with your eco-friendly backyard that’s flying, swarming, and crawling with life! 

Local is the lekkerste: Growing indigenous plants means more habitat creation for our local wildlife, while also increasing our native plant species reduced by urbanisation and deforestation. SA’s critters and greens have a lekker advantage of being naturally adaptive to our environment, meaning less maintenance and more life in your garden!

Bring in biodiversity by

Planting for pollinators: Attract bees, butterflies, birds, and eco-barometers like frogs and lizards by planting salvia, borage, lavender, and antirrhinum.

Companion planting: Get your edibles elated, your flowers flourishing and seeds spreading by adding pentas, echinacea, marigolds and sunflowers to the veggie patch. 

Organic pest-control: Naturally repel a variety of pests by planting basil (for flies), citronella grass and rosemary (for mozzies), as well as chrysanthemum (for spider mites).

Helpful predators: Avoiding pesticides attract natural predators such as ladybugs, spiders, dragonflies and praying mantises who make quick work of mealybugs, aphids, scale, and more.

Happy soil = happy plants: Make sure you’ve got good drainage, use compost, mulch up, and fertilise.

Wonderful water: Give your garden critters a drink with water features and birdbaths. Enjoy watching all your favourite friends come to visit. 

House wildlife: Install bird, bat, bee, and owl houses around your garden for fewer rodents, mozzies, and locusts. Become a beekeeper and harvest your own honey too! 

Indulge in indigenous: Clivias, vygies, African lily (Agapanthus spp.), crane flowers and salvias attract colourful indigenous flyers for your viewing pleasure. 

Evade the invasive: Remove invasive plant species from your garden. Aliens may overconsume water, negatively transform the land, and hinder our local biodiversity. 

The tree’s knees: Our local Wild pear (Dombeya rotundifolia) tree is a massive wildlife attractor and butterfly breeding gem that is also spring-blooming and suitable for container planting and small gardens.

Heroic Hydrozoning

Become the hero of your garden by saving water and protecting your plants from dying in a drought. The new climate cycle, El Niño,

Become the hero of your garden by saving water and protecting your plants during the dry summer ahead. The new climate cycle, El Niño, is predicted to reach us at the start of 2024, which includes heat waves and less rainfall. Luckily Life is a Garden is preparing all green fingers with loads of practical ways you can go about maintaining a lush garden. One of the easiest ways is to begin with Hydrozoning. 

Garden jargon check

Hydrozoning is a landscaping technique where plants of similar water requirements are grouped together, grown in the same area. This can be done in beds as well as mixed containers. You may have to do a bit of admin in the beginning, but once you have made the necessary transplants, hydrozoning will save you hours of maintenance time and many litres of water. 

Hydrozoning, Water-Wise Gardening, Efficient Irrigation, Plant Grouping, Water Conservation, Strategic Plant Placement, Garden Efficiency, Sustainable Landscaping, Water-Saving Techniques, Eco-Friendly Gardening, Drought-Tolerant Plants, Garden Water Efficiency, Irrigation Optimization, Water Management, Garden Sustainability, Conservation-Focused Gardening, Efficient Watering, Hydrozoning Benefits, Water-Wise Landscapes, Plant Water Needs, Garden Water Allocation, Water-Smart Gardening, Irrigation Efficiency, Plant Watering Zones, Sustainable Water Usage, Garden Plant Grouping, Smart Garden Design, Eco-Conscious Landscaping, Water-Efficient Landscapes, Gardening with Limited Water, Hydrozoning Strategies, Plant Watering Management, Plant Watering Solutions.
Hydrozoning, Water-Wise Gardening, Efficient Irrigation, Plant Grouping, Water Conservation, Strategic Plant Placement, Garden Efficiency, Sustainable Landscaping, Water-Saving Techniques, Eco-Friendly Gardening, Drought-Tolerant Plants, Garden Water Efficiency, Irrigation Optimization, Water Management, Garden Sustainability, Conservation-Focused Gardening, Efficient Watering, Hydrozoning Benefits, Water-Wise Landscapes, Plant Water Needs, Garden Water Allocation, Water-Smart Gardening, Irrigation Efficiency, Plant Watering Zones, Sustainable Water Usage, Garden Plant Grouping, Smart Garden Design, Eco-Conscious Landscaping, Water-Efficient Landscapes, Gardening with Limited Water, Hydrozoning Strategies, Plant Watering Management, Plant Watering Solutions.

Water warriors

Hydrozoning also allows you to keep better track of your watering schedule and it prevents over/underwatering of plants. You can set your irrigation system to only water certain beds as opposed to the full garden that isn't actually at risk of dying soon. For example, a mixed bed with aloes and canna lilies are not the best match as aloes are low water and canna lilies are high. You can see that a bed like this would not be efficient during a drought as the aloes will be receiving unnecessary water. 

The key is not to get rid of your beloved canna lilies, for example, but to provide these plants with a bedding bestie that has similar needs. Your Garden Centre will be able to give you great advice on which plants to pair up. If you are unsure about your current bedding companions, post a picture on Life is a Garden’s SA Seasonal Grow Guide group on Facebook and our experts will help you identify the plants and make helpful companion suggestions. 

The flower tribe has spoken

Hydrozoning, Water-Wise Gardening, Efficient Irrigation, Plant Grouping, Water Conservation, Strategic Plant Placement, Garden Efficiency, Sustainable Landscaping, Water-Saving Techniques, Eco-Friendly Gardening, Drought-Tolerant Plants, Garden Water Efficiency, Irrigation Optimization, Water Management, Garden Sustainability, Conservation-Focused Gardening, Efficient Watering, Hydrozoning Benefits, Water-Wise Landscapes, Plant Water Needs, Garden Water Allocation, Water-Smart Gardening, Irrigation Efficiency, Plant Watering Zones, Sustainable Water Usage, Garden Plant Grouping, Smart Garden Design, Eco-Conscious Landscaping, Water-Efficient Landscapes, Gardening with Limited Water, Hydrozoning Strategies, Plant Watering Management, Plant Watering Solutions.

Here’s a quick overview of SANA’s stats accumulated over the past two months. How well do you really know your consumers? 

Most-bought seed packets

  1. Flowers
  2. Vegetables

 Big spenders

  1. Perennials flowers
  2. Annual flowers
  3. Trees and shrubs

 Outdoor top-sellers

  1. Flowers
  2. Seedlings

Garden care

  1. Compost and potting soil
  2. Plant food

 Hard landscaping

  1. Hoses and fittings
Hydrozoning, Water-Wise Gardening, Efficient Irrigation, Plant Grouping, Water Conservation, Strategic Plant Placement, Garden Efficiency, Sustainable Landscaping, Water-Saving Techniques, Eco-Friendly Gardening, Drought-Tolerant Plants, Garden Water Efficiency, Irrigation Optimization, Water Management, Garden Sustainability, Conservation-Focused Gardening, Efficient Watering, Hydrozoning Benefits, Water-Wise Landscapes, Plant Water Needs, Garden Water Allocation, Water-Smart Gardening, Irrigation Efficiency, Plant Watering Zones, Sustainable Water Usage, Garden Plant Grouping, Smart Garden Design, Eco-Conscious Landscaping, Water-Efficient Landscapes, Gardening with Limited Water, Hydrozoning Strategies, Plant Watering Management, Plant Watering Solutions.
Hydrozoning, Water-Wise Gardening, Efficient Irrigation, Plant Grouping, Water Conservation, Strategic Plant Placement, Garden Efficiency, Sustainable Landscaping, Water-Saving Techniques, Eco-Friendly Gardening, Drought-Tolerant Plants, Garden Water Efficiency, Irrigation Optimization, Water Management, Garden Sustainability, Conservation-Focused Gardening, Efficient Watering, Hydrozoning Benefits, Water-Wise Landscapes, Plant Water Needs, Garden Water Allocation, Water-Smart Gardening, Irrigation Efficiency, Plant Watering Zones, Sustainable Water Usage, Garden Plant Grouping, Smart Garden Design, Eco-Conscious Landscaping, Water-Efficient Landscapes, Gardening with Limited Water, Hydrozoning Strategies, Plant Watering Management, Plant Watering Solutions.

A trendy heads-up 

Get your Garden Centres and Home Stores stocked. Here are the gardening trends looking to take root in a fertile bed and container near your consumers! 

Sexy small spaces

This trend is all about unique growing styles combined with sassy plants that may be small in size but large in personality. Our significant townhouse/balcony/patio demographic will be looking for something special that expresses their individuality within a limited space. 

  • Dwarf varieties in mini pots for the patio
  • Stylish kitchen windowsill herb farms
  • Statement-making vertical walls and hydroponics

Stock list: attractive dwarf hybrids, minimalistic rectangular containers for windowsills and all the herbs, leafy greens and cherry tomatoes for hydrophonic growing, hydro set-ups, and vertical wall containers with charismatic indoor and outdoor plant options. 

Hydrozoning, Water-Wise Gardening, Efficient Irrigation, Plant Grouping, Water Conservation, Strategic Plant Placement, Garden Efficiency, Sustainable Landscaping, Water-Saving Techniques, Eco-Friendly Gardening, Drought-Tolerant Plants, Garden Water Efficiency, Irrigation Optimization, Water Management, Garden Sustainability, Conservation-Focused Gardening, Efficient Watering, Hydrozoning Benefits, Water-Wise Landscapes, Plant Water Needs, Garden Water Allocation, Water-Smart Gardening, Irrigation Efficiency, Plant Watering Zones, Sustainable Water Usage, Garden Plant Grouping, Smart Garden Design, Eco-Conscious Landscaping, Water-Efficient Landscapes, Gardening with Limited Water, Hydrozoning Strategies, Plant Watering Management, Plant Watering Solutions.
Hydrozoning, Water-Wise Gardening, Efficient Irrigation, Plant Grouping, Water Conservation, Strategic Plant Placement, Garden Efficiency, Sustainable Landscaping, Water-Saving Techniques, Eco-Friendly Gardening, Drought-Tolerant Plants, Garden Water Efficiency, Irrigation Optimization, Water Management, Garden Sustainability, Conservation-Focused Gardening, Efficient Watering, Hydrozoning Benefits, Water-Wise Landscapes, Plant Water Needs, Garden Water Allocation, Water-Smart Gardening, Irrigation Efficiency, Plant Watering Zones, Sustainable Water Usage, Garden Plant Grouping, Smart Garden Design, Eco-Conscious Landscaping, Water-Efficient Landscapes, Gardening with Limited Water, Hydrozoning Strategies, Plant Watering Management, Plant Watering Solutions.

El Nino-proof gardens

With the predicted dry and hot summer ahead, indigenous landscaping, rainwater harvesting, and wildlife habitat creation is top priority. Our Earth Custodians will be looking for drought-proof plants, inspiration on how to redesign beds for water conservation, as well as ways to support wildlife. 

  • Indigenous hydrozoning
  • Water collection and storing
  • Pollinators and friendly critters 

Stock list: In-store labels that indicate hydrozone compatibility as well as a large variety of local plants, rainwater tanks and other water harvesting supplies, wildlife houses and plants for pollinators that are grouped together and highlighted in-store. 

Hydrozoning, Water-Wise Gardening, Efficient Irrigation, Plant Grouping, Water Conservation, Strategic Plant Placement, Garden Efficiency, Sustainable Landscaping, Water-Saving Techniques, Eco-Friendly Gardening, Drought-Tolerant Plants, Garden Water Efficiency, Irrigation Optimization, Water Management, Garden Sustainability, Conservation-Focused Gardening, Efficient Watering, Hydrozoning Benefits, Water-Wise Landscapes, Plant Water Needs, Garden Water Allocation, Water-Smart Gardening, Irrigation Efficiency, Plant Watering Zones, Sustainable Water Usage, Garden Plant Grouping, Smart Garden Design, Eco-Conscious Landscaping, Water-Efficient Landscapes, Gardening with Limited Water, Hydrozoning Strategies, Plant Watering Management, Plant Watering Solutions.
Hydrozoning, Water-Wise Gardening, Efficient Irrigation, Plant Grouping, Water Conservation, Strategic Plant Placement, Garden Efficiency, Sustainable Landscaping, Water-Saving Techniques, Eco-Friendly Gardening, Drought-Tolerant Plants, Garden Water Efficiency, Irrigation Optimization, Water Management, Garden Sustainability, Conservation-Focused Gardening, Efficient Watering, Hydrozoning Benefits, Water-Wise Landscapes, Plant Water Needs, Garden Water Allocation, Water-Smart Gardening, Irrigation Efficiency, Plant Watering Zones, Sustainable Water Usage, Garden Plant Grouping, Smart Garden Design, Eco-Conscious Landscaping, Water-Efficient Landscapes, Gardening with Limited Water, Hydrozoning Strategies, Plant Watering Management, Plant Watering Solutions.

Indoor jungles

As temperatures rise, indoor gardening will see an increase in demand for exotic collectables and classic creepers. Consumers will likely be more willing to spend on indoor landscaping owing to water restrictions and heat. 

Local Luxuries

Gardening for Biodiversity, South African Gardening, Biodiversity Conservation, Native Plants, Wildlife Habitat, Eco-Friendly Gardening, Sustainable Landscapes, Biodiverse Garden, Planting for Nature, Garden Ecosystem, Local Flora and Fauna, Green Gardening, Natural Habitat, Conserving Biodiversity, Garden Biodiversity, Nature in Your Backyard, Wildlife-Friendly Garden, Plant Diversity, Sustainable Gardening, Garden for Wildlife, South African Flora, Creating Habitats, Garden Biodiversity Awareness, Biodiversity Awareness, Garden Ecosystems, Flora and Fauna Balance, Biodiversity in Gardens, Garden Eco-Systems, Planting with Purpose, Supporting Biodiversity, Garden Conservation, Garden Biodiversity Initiative, Local Ecology, Planting Natives, Garden Habitat, Biodiversity Education, Garden Biodiversity Tips

Celebrate the return of spring with some spectacular indigenous plants and trees that are in bloom now. 

Colour popping plants 

  • Plectranthus ‘Mona lavender’  is an evergreen shrub with dramatic purple flowers and aromatic dark green leaves. They are shade-lovers and well-suited for containers. 
  • Botterblom (Gazania krebsiana) will flourish in full sun and require little water. This tufted, evergreen groundcover boasts blooms in a vibrant array of colours and petal details. 
Gardening for Biodiversity, South African Gardening, Biodiversity Conservation, Native Plants, Wildlife Habitat, Eco-Friendly Gardening, Sustainable Landscapes, Biodiverse Garden, Planting for Nature, Garden Ecosystem, Local Flora and Fauna, Green Gardening, Natural Habitat, Conserving Biodiversity, Garden Biodiversity, Nature in Your Backyard, Wildlife-Friendly Garden, Plant Diversity, Sustainable Gardening, Garden for Wildlife, South African Flora, Creating Habitats, Garden Biodiversity Awareness, Biodiversity Awareness, Garden Ecosystems, Flora and Fauna Balance, Biodiversity in Gardens, Garden Eco-Systems, Planting with Purpose, Supporting Biodiversity, Garden Conservation, Garden Biodiversity Initiative, Local Ecology, Planting Natives, Garden Habitat, Biodiversity Education, Garden Biodiversity Tips
Gardening for Biodiversity, South African Gardening, Biodiversity Conservation, Native Plants, Wildlife Habitat, Eco-Friendly Gardening, Sustainable Landscapes, Biodiverse Garden, Planting for Nature, Garden Ecosystem, Local Flora and Fauna, Green Gardening, Natural Habitat, Conserving Biodiversity, Garden Biodiversity, Nature in Your Backyard, Wildlife-Friendly Garden, Plant Diversity, Sustainable Gardening, Garden for Wildlife, South African Flora, Creating Habitats, Garden Biodiversity Awareness, Biodiversity Awareness, Garden Ecosystems, Flora and Fauna Balance, Biodiversity in Gardens, Garden Eco-Systems, Planting with Purpose, Supporting Biodiversity, Garden Conservation, Garden Biodiversity Initiative, Local Ecology, Planting Natives, Garden Habitat, Biodiversity Education, Garden Biodiversity Tips
  • Wild garlic (Tulbaghia violacea) is an excellent pest repellent with brilliant pink to lavender flowers. Grow them in sun to semi-shade and enjoy their flavoursome leaves in salads.
  • Blue Daisy Bush (Felicia amelloides) will reward the garden with sweet blue flowers contrasted by a bright yellow centre. This fast-growing bush likes full sun in beds or pots.
Gardening for Biodiversity, South African Gardening, Biodiversity Conservation, Native Plants, Wildlife Habitat, Eco-Friendly Gardening, Sustainable Landscapes, Biodiverse Garden, Planting for Nature, Garden Ecosystem, Local Flora and Fauna, Green Gardening, Natural Habitat, Conserving Biodiversity, Garden Biodiversity, Nature in Your Backyard, Wildlife-Friendly Garden, Plant Diversity, Sustainable Gardening, Garden for Wildlife, South African Flora, Creating Habitats, Garden Biodiversity Awareness, Biodiversity Awareness, Garden Ecosystems, Flora and Fauna Balance, Biodiversity in Gardens, Garden Eco-Systems, Planting with Purpose, Supporting Biodiversity, Garden Conservation, Garden Biodiversity Initiative, Local Ecology, Planting Natives, Garden Habitat, Biodiversity Education, Garden Biodiversity Tips
Gardening for Biodiversity, South African Gardening, Biodiversity Conservation, Native Plants, Wildlife Habitat, Eco-Friendly Gardening, Sustainable Landscapes, Biodiverse Garden, Planting for Nature, Garden Ecosystem, Local Flora and Fauna, Green Gardening, Natural Habitat, Conserving Biodiversity, Garden Biodiversity, Nature in Your Backyard, Wildlife-Friendly Garden, Plant Diversity, Sustainable Gardening, Garden for Wildlife, South African Flora, Creating Habitats, Garden Biodiversity Awareness, Biodiversity Awareness, Garden Ecosystems, Flora and Fauna Balance, Biodiversity in Gardens, Garden Eco-Systems, Planting with Purpose, Supporting Biodiversity, Garden Conservation, Garden Biodiversity Initiative, Local Ecology, Planting Natives, Garden Habitat, Biodiversity Education, Garden Biodiversity Tips

Try these too: The Cape honeysuckle (Tecomaria capensis) has tubular red flowers that attract nectar-feeding birds while the Cape leadwort (Plumbago auriculata) has blue-purple blooms and is host to the common blue butterfly (Cyclyris pirithous). Does not show up in the directory at all, not by its common name and not its official name either 

Top tip: Remember to prune back all bushes and shrubs after flowering to increase their blooms during the next regrowth period. 

Gardening for Biodiversity, South African Gardening, Biodiversity Conservation, Native Plants, Wildlife Habitat, Eco-Friendly Gardening, Sustainable Landscapes, Biodiverse Garden, Planting for Nature, Garden Ecosystem, Local Flora and Fauna, Green Gardening, Natural Habitat, Conserving Biodiversity, Garden Biodiversity, Nature in Your Backyard, Wildlife-Friendly Garden, Plant Diversity, Sustainable Gardening, Garden for Wildlife, South African Flora, Creating Habitats, Garden Biodiversity Awareness, Biodiversity Awareness, Garden Ecosystems, Flora and Fauna Balance, Biodiversity in Gardens, Garden Eco-Systems, Planting with Purpose, Supporting Biodiversity, Garden Conservation, Garden Biodiversity Initiative, Local Ecology, Planting Natives, Garden Habitat, Biodiversity Education, Garden Biodiversity Tips
Gardening for Biodiversity, South African Gardening, Biodiversity Conservation, Native Plants, Wildlife Habitat, Eco-Friendly Gardening, Sustainable Landscapes, Biodiverse Garden, Planting for Nature, Garden Ecosystem, Local Flora and Fauna, Green Gardening, Natural Habitat, Conserving Biodiversity, Garden Biodiversity, Nature in Your Backyard, Wildlife-Friendly Garden, Plant Diversity, Sustainable Gardening, Garden for Wildlife, South African Flora, Creating Habitats, Garden Biodiversity Awareness, Biodiversity Awareness, Garden Ecosystems, Flora and Fauna Balance, Biodiversity in Gardens, Garden Eco-Systems, Planting with Purpose, Supporting Biodiversity, Garden Conservation, Garden Biodiversity Initiative, Local Ecology, Planting Natives, Garden Habitat, Biodiversity Education, Garden Biodiversity Tips

Local trees for wildlife 

  • Tree wisteria (Bolusanthus speciosus) may well be the epitome of local luxuries. With its graceful weeping habit and gorgeously fragrant, violet-blue blooms, this small tree is the perfect addition to all sunny beds and containers. They attract a host of butterflies and wild animals like monkeys, gemsbok, and grey duikers. 
  • Tree fuchsia (Halleria lucida) is medium-sized and hardy with brick red to orange tubular flowers that grow in clusters directly off the branches. Regarded as one of the most valuable, they attract sunbirds, white-eyes, thrushes, robins, pigeons, flycatchers, loeries, mousebirds, barbets, as well as bees and butterflies.

Ethereal air plants   Sassy, soilless gardening

Airplants, tillandsia, trichomes, November, garden, air, soilless, Greenery, life is a garden, decor, hanging, staghorn, butzii, colour, soil
Airplants, tillandsia, trichomes, November, garden, air, soilless, Greenery, life is a garden, decor, hanging, staghorn, butzii, colour, soil

With a motto like 'freedom to create', In2plants is a wonderland of endless imagination. Their exquisite collection of air plants is enough to make any gardener rethink the way they see soilless growing. Their Garden Centre offers exclusivity and a one-on-one shopping experience – you’ll have to make an appointment before visiting. Alternatively, you can shop online via their website and they will deliver your new collector’s item to anywhere in South Africa. Below is everything you need to know about growing ethereal, exotic air plants.

November’s topic: Soilless, sassy gardening
Theme: Ethereal air plants   
Industry Experts: Gerrit and Marinda Snyman 
Garden Centre: In2plants based in Wonderboom, Pretoria https://www.in2plants.co.za/ 

1. Exploring your website is so much fun! Please tell us about your journey with air plants and what drew you to this mysterious Tillandsia genus.   

Our passion for these plants started about 18 years ago. Tradition in our house is that you never buy your spouse flowers; it will be either a rock, piece of wood or a plant. Gerrit travelled a lot locally for work purposes and therefore had ample opportunities to obtain plants. Coming back from holiday, the car would always be overloaded with plants, even on my lap if needed. We started off with orchids and staghorn ferns until we got hooked on Tillandsia. 

Our first Tillandsia came from Nelspruit 18 years ago - Tillandsia seleriana. We beagn with this one as a companion plant for our other plants. This plant did not require any soil or roots, which fascinated us as this was in contradiction to growing many other different plants. Tillandsia air plants are epiphytes and can be mounted on wood or any other suitable material. Perfect! Now we could use all our pieces of beautiful wood collected.  

Using little space and giving lots of opportunities to grow vertically, we suddenly had more space to fill, which was super exciting.

Modern Xeriscaping in South Africa Industry Expert Q&A

October, Life is a garden, xeriscaping, cacti, water wise, rocks, stones, pebbles, plants, greenery, garden, gardening, succulents, backyard, spring, summer, decorative gardening, landscaping
October, Life is a garden, xeriscaping, cacti, water wise, rocks, stones, pebbles, plants, greenery, garden, gardening, succulents, backyard, spring, summer, decorative gardening, landscaping

Are you ready to take your environmentalism, landscaping, and garden art skills to the next level? Industry expert, Marionette from Plant Paradise describes xeriscaping as “the practice of designing landscapes to reduce the need for water, to have minimal maintenance, and to create a clean, stunning look that is sustainable all year round”. If this perks your green fingers, we’ve got loads more insight and inspiration for you below.  

Plant Paradise has won the award for best garden centre in SA 7 times, giving you even more of an incentive to visit them and experience quality-approved customer service, excellent plants, and top-notch products. 

October’s Topic: Rock-on Decorating
Theme: Modern Xeriscaping in South Africa 
Industry Expert: Marionette Hoffman
Garden Centre Supplier: Plant Paradise based in Moreleta Park, Pretoria: www.plantparadise.co.za  

1. How did you first begin your landscaping journey and what have been some of your favourite projects to work on (and where could our readers receive some inspiration from your stunning work)? 

After finishing my studies, I moved to England and worked there as a landscaper and horticulturist for two years. After that, I moved back to SA and started my career at Plant Paradise Garden Centre as a horticulturist and eventually became the landscaper - never looked back since! Landscaping and creating different displays on the garden centre floor is my passion. My favourite projects will always be xeriscaping.  My most favourite project of them all was House Thompson in Silverlakes, Pretoria, and House Leahy in Boardwalk Meander, also in Pretoria. The best place to view my work is at Plant Paradise. Our website is also a fantastic platform to view some of my gardens I’ve done for clients. 

October, Life is a garden, xeriscaping, cacti, water wise, rocks, stones, pebbles, plants, greenery, garden, gardening, succulents, backyard, spring, summer, decorative gardening, landscaping
October, Life is a garden, xeriscaping, cacti, water wise, rocks, stones, pebbles, plants, greenery, garden, gardening, succulents, backyard, spring, summer, decorative gardening, landscaping
October, Life is a garden, xeriscaping, cacti, water wise, rocks, stones, pebbles, plants, greenery, garden, gardening, succulents, backyard, spring, summer, decorative gardening, landscaping
October, Life is a garden, xeriscaping, cacti, water wise, rocks, stones, pebbles, plants, greenery, garden, gardening, succulents, backyard, spring, summer, decorative gardening, landscaping

2. Based on your years of experience, could you please tell our gardeners what exactly xeriscaping in South Africa is and why they should consider implementing these practices in their own garden?

Rock-on Gardening  October Botanical Boss

October, Life is a garden, xeriscaping, cacti, water wise, rocks, stones, pebbles, plants, greenery, garden, gardening, succulents, backyard, spring, summer, decorative gardening, landscaping, botanical boss

Gone are the days when rock gardens mean a cactus and stone desert. Have you heard about xeriscaping? Ever thought about pebbles and semi-precious stones as yard art? Life is a Garden sat down with industry experts to get the best advice, inspiration, and plant picks to help you save time and water while maximising your garden’s aesthetic beauty.  

Rocking around 

Stones and pebbles can become works of art in their own right. With so many different colours and textures, arrangements and complimenting accessories, rock gardens are for anyone looking to make a statement. The key to long-term success and almost no maintenance is good quality weed guard sheeting beneath your stone feature. Here are some rocking yard art ideas:

  • The striking minimalist: Pair pure white pebbles with contrasting black tiles or black painted pavement slabs to give walkways and entrances a sleek look. Alternatively, go for equally bold black pebbles with a few summer-flowering, white button sedge (Kylinga alba) ornamental grasses to set off the contrast. This indigenous sun-loving evergreen produces a clustered white flower head that is carried on an elegant, long slender stem.
October, Life is a garden, xeriscaping, cacti, water wise, rocks, stones, pebbles, plants, greenery, garden, gardening, succulents, backyard, spring, summer, decorative gardening, landscaping, botanical boss
October, Life is a garden, xeriscaping, cacti, water wise, rocks, stones, pebbles, plants, greenery, garden, gardening, succulents, backyard, spring, summer, decorative gardening, landscaping, botanical boss

 

  • Earth child: You can purchase bags of pink rose quartz (pebbles and rough stones) to use as centrepiece stone mandalas or walkable labyrinths. Pair your crystal arrangements with other softer stone shades (river rocks are lovely) and bring in some local steekblaarblinkgras (Melinis nerviglumis) to compliment the pink notes from the rose quartz. This very hardy ornamental grass will thrive in full sun and produces the sweetest plumes of fluffy pink to red seeds that appear all year round and attract seed-eating birds.
October, Life is a garden, xeriscaping, cacti, water wise, rocks, stones, pebbles, plants, greenery, garden, gardening, succulents, backyard, spring, summer, decorative gardening, landscaping, botanical boss
October, Life is a garden, xeriscaping, cacti, water wise, rocks, stones, pebbles, plants, greenery, garden, gardening, succulents, backyard, spring, summer, decorative gardening, landscaping, botanical boss
  • Dare to be different: Ever heard of rock balancing? This is a recreational activity where different-sized stones/pebbles are precisely stacked on top of each other to create a beautiful work of art.

Fab and fragrant patios

patios, stoep, life is a garden, October, garden, gardening, colour, flowers, beauty, greenery, creativity, outdoors, spring
patios, stoep, life is a garden, October, garden, gardening, colour, flowers, beauty, greenery, creativity, outdoors, spring

Marry your senses to the spring stoep and fall in love with these indigenous catches that smell as sensational as they look. Container gardening brings your horticulturist skills and landscaping passion right to your doorstep, balcony, patio, and even roof!

patios, stoep, life is a garden, October, garden, gardening, colour, flowers, beauty, greenery, creativity, outdoors, spring
patios, stoep, life is a garden, October, garden, gardening, colour, flowers, beauty, greenery, creativity, outdoors, spring

Full sun stunners

  1. Orange Hermannia (Hermannia pinnata) is a hardy, evergreen, water-wise groundcover that’s ideal for baskets. Flowers are apricot-coloured and smell simply wonderful. 
  2. Wild Rosemary (Eriocephalus africanus) grows rapidly and boasts strong, aromatic leaves. In winter, they show off their white, daisy-like flowers with purple centres. 
  3. Honeybells (Freylinia lanceolata) are appreciated for their creamy-yellow, tubular flowers that emit an alluring honey fragrance, attracting birds and butterflies.

Semi-shade babes 

  1. Starry Wild Jasmine (Jasminum multipartitum) is an all-time fave owing to their hardiness, fast growth, and sweet-smelling, star-shaped white flowers. 
  2. Small-leaved Plane (Ochna serrulata) produce bright-yellow scented blooms, followed by striking black fruit that attract many local bird species to the garden.
  3. Rose-scented Pelargonium (Pelargonium graveolent) is an evergreen shrub with velvet leaves emitting a lovely rose perfume. They produce showy, pinkish-white blooms.

*Maintaining moisture, good drainage, regular feeding, and location are all vital components to a flourishing basket and pot.

Bulging baskets

For the ultimate bulging basket look, go for containers with wire on the outside and fibre lining on the inside. By cutting through the material, trailing beauts can be planted all around the outside of your basket. Pair this with a fab focal bush in the centre and voila!

patios, stoep, life is a garden, October, garden, gardening, colour, flowers, beauty, greenery, creativity, outdoors, spring
patios, stoep, life is a garden, October, garden, gardening, colour, flowers, beauty, greenery, creativity, outdoors, spring

A lot a’ terracotta

Before planting, soak your terracotta pot overnight to saturate the clay and prevent it from stealing moisture from new plants. Place a paper coffee filter inside to avoid losing soil during watering. Heavier pots with thicker walls will last longer and handle frost better too. 

Indigenous fairy tale trees Industry Expert Q&A

life is a garden, tree factor, birds, biodiversity, unique, colour, greenery, bark, leaves, fruit, flowers, vibrant, indigenous, Botanical boss
life is a garden, tree factor, birds, biodiversity, unique, colour, greenery, bark, leaves, fruit, flowers, vibrant, indigenous

September’s Topic: The local magic spring brings
Theme: Indigenous fairy tale trees  

Industry Expert: Brett Hughes
Garden Centre: Tree Factor in Limpopo  

 

Calling all tree-loving landscapers and gardeners – are you ready for a gust of sensational wind through your branches? Our industry expert, Brett Hughes from Tree Factor, has treated us to a simply divine spread of wisdom and passion with an equally magnificent tree selection! Spring is 100% bringing that local magic.  

1. Your stunning variety of trees and “greening the way” for SA approach is truly inspiring and awesome! Please tell us more about your philosophy and why trees are so important/beneficial?

As a horticulturist for the past 35 years, I have seen the deforestation in our own country today, despite the world’s plight on the current carbon footprint and efforts to plant up highways and urban areas. There are particular points that I would like to make in this regard – not purposefully highlighting the destruction, but in an effort to showcase the undesirability thereof.

 

Firstly, we have organisations like SANRAL – stripping trees on the side of our roads and highways by the kilometre, sometimes only marula trees being kept but destroying all the other hardwoods, which is not desirable. And then we get Eskom who eliminates every single tree within 20-30m of every powerline – that’s millions of trees being taken out annually. There’s also the mining industry, who are not under pressure anymore to rehabilitate like they used to. I think the councils are trying to put their efforts into planting trees, but again, I don’t think government is giving them enough budget to plant trees and to support our industry enough. There is definitely some effort needed to help and put pressure on government to get the local councils involved in tree planting again.

The local magic spring brings September Botanical Boss

life is a garden, tree factor, birds, biodiversity, unique, colour, greenery, bark, leaves, fruit, flowers, vibrant, indigenous, Botanical boss
life is a garden, tree factor, birds, biodiversity, unique, colour, greenery, bark, leaves, fruit, flowers, vibrant, indigenous, Botanical boss

The season of renewal is upon us, bringing in hope and fresh positivity. Spring is Mother Nature’s reminder that even after periods of hardship, the storm will always pass when we embrace and trust in the great cycle of life. Turn to your garden for some uplifting enchantment as we explore the stunning local magic spring brings this September. Life is a Garden, with help from our industry experts - Random Harvest Nursery and Tree Factor, have complied a list of SA’s most unique and unusual plants and trees.  

Indigenous fairy tale trees

 

 Sweet and special - The Snuffbox tree (Oncoba spinosa) 
  • Appropriately named after its local use for snuff making by crushing the edible hard-shelled fruit. The fruit is round and shiny red-brown in colour.  
  • They grow to a height of 3 to 4 metres, have a non-invasive root system, and will flourish in full sun with sandy, loam soil. 
  • Trees are valued for their dramatic white flowers that have a special melon-like scent, making them a perfect choice as a fragrant ornamental too.  
Odd and extraordinary - The Sausage tree (Kigelia Africana) 
  • After treating us to a blood-red/maroon flower show that hangs off branches in long panicles, sausage-shaped fruit are an equally amazing sight. 
  • The smelly flowers, which bloom all night, attract pest-controlling bats that pollinate them. The sausage fruit is actually a huge berry and can grow up to 5m and weigh an astonishing 6.5kg’s! Beware – these sausage berries are not for humans human consumption but many garden visitors will feast on them.  
  • Grow these trees in full sun with composted soil that is slightly acidic to neutral.  

 

“Ultimately, I believe if we don’t start planting trees in urban zones we’ll never catch up. If everyone plants at least one or two trees in their lifespan, it will make a huge difference” – Brett Hughes, Tree Factor.

Unique and unusual indigenous plants   Industry Expert Q&A

life is a garden, tree factor, birds, biodiversity, unique, colour, greenery, bark, leaves, fruit, flowers, vibrant, indigenous
unique, unusual, indigeous, flowers, greenery, plants, trees, bushes, flowers, life is a garden, biodiversity, Spring, September, Spring Zing

September’s Topic: The local magic spring brings
Theme: Unique and unusual indigenous plants  

Industry Expert: Jonathan Taylor
Garden Centre: Random Harvest Nursery    

 

A hidden gem awaits you in the golden highveld of Muldersdrift, Johannesburg. Random Harvest Nursery specialises in indigenous plants and trees and they also have a lovely tea garden with seasonal homemade goods. Bring the kids and let them enjoy the creature treasure hunt or sandpit play area. Here’s what they had to say about the local magic spring brings this September!  

 1. We love that Random Harvest has such a large variety of indigenous plants to choose from! What are some of your top sellers?

Ornamental veld grass species are always a winner. We have such an array of indigenous grasses to choose from that can be used to create stunning meadow gardens - from small species of 20cm tall like Hartjiegras (Eragrostis capensis) to tall options like Boom grass (Miscanthus junceus), and everything in between! 

Boom grass stands out with lovely soft pink plumes while Snowflake grass (Andropogon eucomis) has fluffy white seed heads. Sickle grass (Pogonarthria squarrosa) has seed plumes that are almost black when the sun catches them. Just in terms of colour and texture, these alone can create an eye-catching display. Clever placement of species, depending on their ultimate growing height and the interplanting of flowering species, creates a rich, seasonally changing garden.  

 Trees for small spaces are also one of our top sellers at the moment. As gardens are decreasing in size, people need to select trees carefully. The need for screening, privacy, shade, and a sense of green in an outdoor area can be achieved by planting the perfect tree. A few great options for a small space are: False olive (Buddleja saligna), Forest lavender (Heteropyxis canescens), Boxwood (Gonioma kamassi), Wild pride-of-India (Galpinia transvaalica), and the Glossy white ash tree (Bersama luscens).

A Bee-Friendly Backyard

Life_is_a_Garden_OCTBeeFriendly-Cover
Life_is_a_Garden_OCTBeeFriendly-Hero

This month, Life is a Garden is taking part in the important global conversation about the need for urgent bee conservation. Like you, we are gardeners on a mission! And this month our mission is to #PolliNationSA and gather all the green fingers we can to join us in creating nation-wide, bee-friendly backyards. Here’s how you can help our crop crusaders by planting their faves, making small adjustments to your current garden, and even building homes for these hard workers.

 

Let’s speak bee

We are inviting gardeners to awaken their inner eco-warrior and consider the bee as an essential service to mankind! The balance of Mother Nature and Her creatures are in a delicate little dance with humanity, with the bees playing an ever-important role in sustaining the following:

  • In South Africa alone, over 50 different food crops are dependent on bee pollination.
  • The honey bee not only pollinates our fruit and vegetables, but they also improve the weight and quality of them.
  • Bees sustain our wild flora, which in turn supports the growth and preservation of almost all biodiversity and ecosystems in South Africa.
  • These guys are THE most important group of pollinators visiting over 90% of the leading 107 crop types worldwide.
  • Bees also contribute to job creation and employment on a beekeeping and farming level.
  • Honey offers many medicinal benefits such as anti-bacterial and diabetic properties.
Life_is_a_Garden_OCTBeeFriendly-Bee1
Life_is_a_Garden_OCTBeeFriendly-Bee2
Life_is_a_Garden_OCTBeeFriendly-Bee3
Life_is_a_Garden_OCTBeeFriendly-Bee4

Planting for bees

Welcoming honey-makers into your garden is easier than you may think. Once you know how to cater for bees, planning your next flower pot or gardening project becomes super easy. Similarly, a few simple additions to your current garden could make all the difference. Here’s what you can plant for bees:

  • Herbs such as sage, fennel, lavender, thyme, and rosemary
  • Flowers such as sunflowers, coneflowers (Enchinacea purpurea), Cape Daisy (Osteospermum ecklonis), dahlias, roses, Cape Forget-me-not (Anchusa capensis), and cosmos
Life_is_a_Garden_OCTBeeFriendly-Plant1
Life_is_a_Garden_OCTBeeFriendly-Plant2
Life_is_a_Garden_OCTBeeFriendly-Plant3
Life_is_a_Garden_OCTBeeFriendly-Plant4
Life_is_a_Garden_OCTBeeFriendly-Plant5
Life_is_a_Garden_OCTBeeFriendly-Plant6
  • Shrubs such as Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), Aloes (Aloe spp), proteas, September Bush (Polygala myrtifolia), and porkbush (Portulacaria afra)
  • Fruits and veggies such as watermelons, cucumbers and pumpkin are a bee-fave!

Friendly Frogs Gogga of the Month September

Life_is_a_Garden_SEPGoggaFrogs-Cover
Life_is_a_Garden_SEPGoggaFrogs-Hero

Did you know?

Frogs in the garden are fantastic solutions for insect control and are actually a sign that your backyard ecosystem is well balanced. A visit from a few friendly frogs is not only an exciting sight for kids, but they are superb pest controllers and their benefits far outweigh their sliminess.

Life_is_a_Garden_SEPGoggaFrogs-1
Life_is_a_Garden_SEPGoggaFrogs-2

A frog’s feast in paradise

Froggies love snaking on bugs, beetles, caterpillars, cutworms, grasshoppers, grubs, slugs, and other critters that threaten your precious garden. A single frog can eat over 100 insects in a single night! All the more reason to ditch the chemical pesticides and simply let Mother Nature get to work with a few frog ninjas! A frog paradise is easy: Indigenous plants, a freshwater source, and goggas to eat! A few upside-down pots, slightly lifted at an angle, provides the ideal home for a frog family.

Life_is_a_Garden_SEPGoggaFrogs-3
Life_is_a_Garden_SEPGoggaFrogs-4

Happy frog, happy garden

Every backyard ecosystem has multiple living species, which all create a unique little food chain, while also supporting the larger circle of life in your area. The food chain is what keeps the balance in nature and what maintains life as we know it. As such, frogs too have their place under the sun and should be protected. They are excellent biological monitors and will quickly show you if something is off balance in the garden.

If they are happily singing and breeding in the area, your ecosystem should be A-okay. If your frog friends suddenly go missing and leave your garden, you will certainly be alerted that something is not right and needs your attention.

So long chemical pest control and hello friendly frog ninjas! Put these guys to work in the backyard and enjoy Mother Nature’s complimentary gogga gobbler.

Life_is_a_Garden_SEPGoggaFrogs-5
Life_is_a_Garden_SEPGoggaFrogs-6

Pesky Psylla Gogga of the Month

Citrus trees provide a bounty of health benefits as well as beautiful sweet-smelling flowers, that compliment your garden space be it small or big. However, these tree’s may sometimes look unsightly as a result of the psylla pest, whose infestation results in the swelling (forming of bumps) on the upper leaf caused by the presence of the psylla underneath the leaf.

Description

The adult psylla is light yellow and is similar in size to an aphid with transparent wings. Their bodies are pointed with an oval-shaped abdomen. Psylla may be found on the edge of young leaves and shoots where they lay their yellow eggs which cause cavities in the leaf tissue, appearing as bumps on the upper surfaces.

Identification

Yellow eggs on the edges of young leaves accompanied by swelling bumps on the upper side of the leaf are a sign of psylla infestation. In the case of severe infestations, young growth can be severely malformed as a result of psylla activity.

What does this mean for me and my plants?

Citrus pyslla cause yellowing of the leaves, as well as malformed fruit. Half the side of the fruit may not develop normally and remain small, resulting to deformed fruit. If the plant is not seriously infected the leaves may turn yellow and the growth maybe stunted. Serious infestation can have dire consequences and may even lead to the tree dying. 

Suggested Action

The tree should be treated with a registered systemic insecticide. The instructions on the pack must be followed.

Visit your local GCA Garden Centre for the best expert advice on the best method of use to get rid of this pest. Click here for more gardening tips and trends or join the conversation on our Facebook page.

 

Be aware of the Christmas/Brown Beetle Gogga of the Month

Christmas beetles are seasonal and are generally active during the warmer months, especially during the festive season. A sure sign that it is officially summer, is when the Christmas beetle is in sight. This centimetre long, brown, nocturnal insect is harmless to humans. However, they enjoy lacing the leaves of roses, Dahlias and other flowers.

Identification

Christmas beetles have a vibrant brown colour with the larvae white and C-shaped, similar to those of flower chafers and stag beetles. The adults emerge close to the Christmas period.

Signs/ Symptoms

By the time you see the Christmas beetles, they are at the end of their life cycle. They love to feed on rose and tree leaves (especially eucalyptus), leaving a zigzag cut in their midst, shredding them as they go on their feeding frenzy. The adults lay 20 -30 egg during November to January preferably in compost heaps or well-composted beds. The larvae live in the soil for almost a year feeding on decaying organic matter and plant roots.

What does this mean for me/ my plants?

Christmas beetles feed on most plants and are a serious threat to your garden.

Suggested Action
An organic pest control method to deter beetles from chewing on your plants place a lamp near your garden bed with a bucket of oily water underneath the lamp. The switched-on lamp will attract the beetles away from the plants, and towards to light, they will then drop into the water below.

Alternatively, place a bug zapper close to the garden bed. You can also treat your compost, soil with a dusting powder which can be watered into the ground.

Visit your local GCA Garden Centre for the best expert advice on which products to use to get rid of this pest. Click here for more gardening tips and trends or join the conversation on our Facebook page.