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!
Full sun stunners
- Orange Hermannia (Hermannia pinnata) is a hardy, evergreen, water-wise groundcover that’s ideal for baskets. Flowers are apricot-coloured and smell simply wonderful.
- Wild Rosemary (Eriocephalus africanus) grows rapidly and boasts strong, aromatic leaves. In winter, they show off their white, daisy-like flowers with purple centres.
- Honeybells (Freylinia lanceolata) are appreciated for their creamy-yellow, tubular flowers that emit an alluring honey fragrance, attracting birds and butterflies.
- Starry Wild Jasmine (Jasminum multipartitum) is an all-time fave owing to their hardiness, fast growth, and sweet-smelling, star-shaped white flowers.
- Small-leaved Plane (Ochna serrulata) produce bright-yellow scented blooms, followed by striking black fruit that attract many local bird species to the garden.
- 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.
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!
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.
*Visit your garden centre for moisture retaining crystals and hydrogels to add to containers.
*Beware of windy days that will dry out containers faster than usual.
More container contenders
Semi-shade and acid-loving Hydrangeas, Gardenias, Fuchsias and Plectranthus are all ready to make the patio pop. These lovelies are in bloom now, giving you the chance to see them in all their glory and choose the colours you like most. Feed plants with an acidic foliar and mulch around the base with bark chips.
October action plan
Plant Queen Hydrangeas: They love dappled shade, well-aerated soil and plenty of water. Hydrangeas perform well in beds and containers when placed in the South where they will receive early morning sun and afternoon shade.
*Add colour in between Hydrangeas by planting Impatiens, Begonias and Browallia.
*As spring is planting season, everything will thrive if planted now, including trees, fruit trees, shrubs, perennials and lawns. Give existing plants a boost by fertilising the whole garden and apply an organic mulch after deep watering.
Clivia TLC: Enjoy the last Clivia flowers! If they need to be lifted and divided, do so after their flowering phase at the end of the month.
Pest alert: Keep an eye out for lawn caterpillars and mole crickets. They will start being active from now until February.
*Remember that garden centres are stocked with eco-friendly pest solutions.
Holiday prep: Start thinking about traditional flower colours in the garden. Plant red Salvias, snowy Lobularia (Alyssum) and fire-engine red Begonias.
Vincas for victory: Plant Vincas (Catharanthus roseus) now for a blushing summer. Intensive breeding has resulted in compact, bushy plants with a long flowering period of blooms in pinks, reds, white and apricot. The popular variety ‘American Pie Mix’ has an interesting combination of white and berry coloured blooms. The ‘Tattoo’ variety is well-known for its durable flowering, knockout colour and exceptional heat tolerance, both in the landscape and in containers.
*Vincas love: Full sun all day, well-drained soil, medium to low watering once established, and correct spacing (20cm apart) to allow good air circulation.
*Good colour companions for vincas are salvias, marigolds, verbenas, angelonias and zinnias.