Posts Tagged ‘ gaming and gardening ’

Tecomaria SunLovers®, Compact Range Must Love Gardening

Posted on: May 27th, 2020 by Shahnee Stockigt No Comments
Life is a Garden – Tecomaria SunLovers®, Compact Range

Tecomaria is a popular flowering shrub because they are tough, versatile and extremely useful in sunny gardens. The new SunLovers® range of compact Tecomaria are particularly exciting because they are extremely floriferous, and their flower colours are brighter and more distinct. The individual flowers of these varieties show off much better as they are more upright and thus face you better. This makes the overall appearance more colourful as the flower spikes protrude above the foliage of the shrub. The compact nature of this set is a tremendous achievement in Tecomaria breeding, as gardens are becoming smaller and require compact, more showy plants. Tecomaria has to date been less suitable in commercial landscapes as they overrun every other plant in the same setting and require a lot of cutting back and the removing of runners.

The new SunLovers® Compact Tecomaria were bred to be more suitable for commercial gardens as their contained growth habits retain shape longer, enabling the retention of the original garden design. A massive secondary benefit of using these novelties, is the reduction in labour required in their maintenance, making them much more cost-effective in the long run.

Life is a Garden – Tecomaria SunLovers®, Compact Range
Life is a Garden – Tecomaria SunLovers®, Compact Range
These beautiful SunLovers® Tecomaria are available in 5 colours.
  1. Compact gold, the smallest of the set and a little slower than the others, the standout feature of this cultivar is its unique bright golden flower heads above its attractive dark green foliage.
  2. Compact orange, it’s vigorous, extremely floriferous and has a very bright orange colour and sets a new benchmark for Tecomaria.
  3. Compact pink. Compact, floriferous. Just simply beautiful.
  4. Compact red. Great new plant, as all the old red varieties have been too tall and wild for normal gardens.
  5. Compact yellow, compact, floriferous plant with bright yellow upright flower heads.

Care was taken during the breeding to ensure that the new varieties still contribute to the environment and did not lose their ability to attract birds and insects.

Tecomaria should always be planted in full sun or light shade, they like rich well-drained soil and require moderate watering. In very cold climates they can be frosted down to the ground, mulching will protect the base enough for the plants to regrow and flower in summer.

SunLovers® Compact Tecomaria are perfect for sunny South African gardens as they are free-flowering, fast and easy. They respond very well to feeding and cutting back; and are resistant to most pests and diseases.

Life is a Garden – Tecomaria SunLovers®, Compact Range

Visit your local GCA Garden Centre to purchase these beautiful SunLovers® Tecomaria or visit the Life is a Garden website for more gardening trends and inspiration www.lifeisagarden.co.za

Images and Article supplied by CND Nursery - Andy De Vet

Level up your little green thumbs Must Love Gardening

Posted on: May 21st, 2020 by Shahnee Stockigt No Comments
Level up your little green thumbs

In celebration of Youth Day on June 16, Life is a Garden is on a mission to get kids dabbing for dirt! This month is all about enticing little green thumbs to get their nature on by integrating familiar gaming concepts into the world of gardening. We’re talking all about inspiring kids to see gardening as a real-life gaming opportunity, where they select the players, choose their weapons, and use that thirst for adventure to their advantage by creating themed worlds.

Life is a Garden – Must Love Gardening Level up your little green thumbs
Life is a Garden – Must Love Gardening Level up your little green thumbs
Selecting possible players

By this, we mean choosing the best-suited crop for your kid. A visit to your local GCA Garden Centre easily becomes an exciting morning outing when the kids get to select the players for their gardening game-play. Here’s a list of a few worthy contenders, which are relatively easy to grow and fun to harvest:

  • Namaqualand daisies (Dimorphotheca sinuata): Colourful and quirky sun lover, attracts butterflies and bees, flowers during autumn, winter, and early spring.
  • Iceland poppies (Papaver naudicaule): A wow factor flora available in many shades and bicoloured varieties, easy to grow in full sun, flowers in winter and spring, makes for a great cut flower.
  • Wild mint (Mentha longifolia): Smells amazing and has many uses, a fast grower in semi-shade or full sun, the more you harvest, the more they grow!
  • Sugar snap peas (Pisum sativum var. macrocarpon): Easy, great tasting veggie for winter growing in full sun, frost hardy, likes to climb and loves to be picked.
Level up your little green thumbs
Level up your little green thumbs
Life is a Garden – Must Love Gardening Level up your little green thumbs
Life is a Garden – Must Love Gardening Level up your little green thumbs
Choosing your weapon, wisely:

Plastic spades and buckets are great for the beach, but gardening is a “big kid” job, which requires suitable weaponry to tackle the tenacious nature with! Let your children know that what they are doing is important by allowing them to use real, grown-up gardening tools.  Get physical, strengthen muscles, improve coordination, and show kids what these tools can do.

Tip: Saw the handles of wooden tools shorter and look out for smaller versions of spades, rakes, and forks, commonly found at garden centres.

 

Life is a Garden – Must Love Gardening Level up your little green thumbs
Creating a world of wonder

Now that we’ve got the players and weapons sorted, it’s time to create the world! Make the most of your child’s gaming experience and encourage them to think about a theme for their little gardening adventure. Give them a large pot or a designated area in the garden. Invite their imaginations to run wonderfully rampageous at the possibility of a zombie, troll, mermaid, or fairy garden! Here’s how:

  • Transform that old plastic shell tub into a mermaid flower bed by drilling holes underneath for drainage, decorate with seashells.
  • Plant ferns and succulents as hair inside gnome shaped pots, complete the look with some pebbles, moss, and a few troll figurines.
  • Use bricks to build a garden bed in the shape of Micky Mouse or a butterfly
  • Add theme-appropriate ornaments and toys to the garden, such as army dudes, fairy statues, painted mushrooms, treasure chests, racing cars, and whatever else goes
Creating a world of wonder
Level up green fingers
Reaching the first checkpoint

The kids have made it to their first milestone – actually getting their greens in the ground! And now, it’s all about patience, young grasshoppers. While you wait, start a growing chart with your child to document the growth of their game players. Kids will also enjoy decorating the project according to their garden theme. The growing chart encourages responsibility, dedication, and attention to detail.

Tip: Reward good gardening efforts by adding an extra column to your growth chart for stickers or points.

Defeating the boss

Well done, garden gamers! The wicked, winter boss has been conquered! Seeing their plants surface inspires a sense of accomplishment in your child. Similarly, if nothing has come up, an equally important lesson of perseverance and commitment can be taught here. Why not start sharing those gardening family secrets and handy hacks with your kids to ensure the love for gardening is passed on to the next generation.

 

Reaching the first checkpoint
Gardening

Whether they are into fantasy or fighting, racing or resurrection, bringing the virtual world of gaming into real-life gardening can be an exciting and engaging project for every child. Not only will it get them outdoors and promote a healthy lifestyle, but it also offers opportunities for quality time, sharing of knowledge, and a whole new appreciation for the many wonders of Mother Nature!