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.
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.
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.
Growing garnish for all your favourite cocktails is another way to encourage more time with your plants.
Garden Day is a chance for people across the country to down tools and celebrate their gardens. Everyone can take part, regardless of the size of their gardens – rolling lawns, potted window sills, urban rooftops and patio planters – all are welcome.
What you do on Sunday, 9 October 2022 is completely up to you – the most important thing is to head outdoors, wear a flower crown, and welcome Spring with a garden celebration.
Rev up and rejoice – it’s time to motor in October! Garden Day is on Sunday the 15th, giving you the perfect reason to host a little outdoor eco-celebration - #gardenyay. Welcome spring in full swing and give your garden, potted windowsills, and patio planters some much-deserved admiration from loved ones. Also, it’s rose month! GCA’s are stocked with some serious stunners, waiting just for you. There’s much to plant, grow, and sow too, as well some easy-peasy maintenance to take care of. With compost and spades in hand, let’s get to work!
Raging for roses
Your top 5 babes available at GCA’s now are:
- 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.
- 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.
Rosey tips: Avoid wetting rose leaves in the late afternoon as this may encourage black spot and powdery mildew. Plant living mulch between your roses such as erigeron, verbena or lobularia. Remember to feed with special rose fertiliser every 4 weeks for max bloom power.
Rushing flower power
Plant and sow now
- For instant colour, go for calibrachoas with masses of miniature petunia-like flowers.
- Sun-loving annuals in seedling trays include: petunias, lobularias (allysum), gazanias, penstemons, Chrysanthemum paludosum and C. multicaule, Sunpatiens and celosias.
- Shade-seeking seedling trays include: New Guinea impatiens, begonias, impatiens (Busy Lizzie) hypoestes and coleus.
- Go-getter perennials for all regions are: agapanthus, gauras, nemesias, osteospermums and geraniums of all kinds. Also go for gypsophila and masses of pretty but tough angelonias.
Life is a Garden is calling on all the fairies, princesses, queens and creatures of the garden to come out and DIY with us. We’ve got a little something special for the girls this October - drum roll, please… enter the flower crown! In celebration of October rose month as well as Garden Day on the 9th October, we are blushing shades of pink and green to bring you these lovely flower crown ideas using succulents and roses.
Here’s a step by step to creating your up-cycle can masterpiece.
You will need:
- An Alice-band and/or pliable craft wire
- A few glorious succulents, roses, and some viney plant strands (Ivy may work nicely)
- Green insulation tape, twine or ribbon
- Scissors and maybe some pliers
- Bits and bobs of pretty arts and crafts goodies like shells and beads if you like
The first thing our DIY fairies need to decide on is whether they would like to decorate an existing Alice-band or if they would like to create a crown from scratch. Secondly, have a look in the garden at what kind of succulents, roses, and other vine-type plants are available. Head off to your local GCA Garden Centre for those special flowers and vinery you may want to add. Gather your arts and crafts goodies and prep your creation station.
Preparing your headband
If you are using an existing Alice-band, we recommend you choose one that is a little wider to give you more of a surface on which to stick and wrap your goodies. Alternately, if you’re creating a headband from craft wire, we recommend using at least two strands of wire together for more stability and also for more surface area to work with.
Breathing life into your creation
- Step 1: Single out your centrepiece succulents and roses.
October is the month of flowering profusion with the queen of flowers, the rose, putting on a glorious first flush of blooms in the Highveld. Roses have also become synonymous with Garden Day, happening on Sunday 11 October this year. Since Life is a Garden, let’s spend some quality time celebrating our green sanctuaries on Garden Day, regardless of their size – potted window sills and patio planters deserve a little celebration too.
The “grow to eat” concept of shortening the food chain time from soil to plate is growing in popularity. Edible gardening is easy and fun, regardless of the size of your space. Life is a Garden, so if gardening means a few potted plants, so be it!
It’s always exciting to try out new varieties. Here are a few amazing new squashes to tempt you:
- Lemon sun squash is a patty pan that produces sweet and tender fruits on vigorous plants. The male flowers are also perfect for frying.
- Easy pick gold and easy pick green squash are smooth textured no-fuss zucchinis.
- Butterbaby squash is a small, sweet butternut that can be grown up a trellis to save space.
- Honeynut squash is another mini butternut that has exceptionally sweet fruit, is easy to germinate and produces high yields of fruit.
- If you want to try something funky then sample the vegetable spaghetti squash. It has unique flesh that separates into long, clear strings, which resemble pasta. It has a slight crunch with a mild squash flavour and can be used just like spaghetti. It’s the ideal way to get small children into eating veggies and also the perfect vegan spaghetti.
Tip: Don’t forget to include a South African favourite, the gem squash or squash Rolet or Little Gem. Continue spraying for fruit flies and codling moth.
With the 9th of October being ‘Garden Day’ and October being ‘Rose month’ – what an opportune month to celebrate gardening!
Your roses should be producing their first flush of perfect blooms and the sun is still not too scorching – allowing the blooms to last longer. Spring is also the ideal time to select and plant new rose bushes in your garden. These are some of our favourites:
- Ingrid Bergman POULman unfading red
- Memoire KORfuri unspoilt white, fragrant
- Zulu Royal DORient mauve, fragrant
- King David TANmarsal bronze
- South Africa KORberbeni golden
Pop in to your nearest GCA Garden Centre for more inspiration and supplies.
What to Sow
As soon as the soil warms up in mid spring, you can start to sow all your summer veggies, including beans, sweetcorn and tomatoes. Two of your main “must haves” for your summer salads are cucumber and celery.
- Cucumber seeds should be sown in composed enriched soil in a sunny site. When flowers start forming, feed with potassium-rich organic fertiliser. Support plants well so they can climb upwards, even when the cucumbers get large. This also protects the cucumbers from slugs. Harvest /cut the cucumbers off the plant when they are still quite young, avoiding the skin becoming hard. Regular harvesting encourages a more continuous production of
- Celery needs rich, moisture-retentive soil which is achieved by digging in plenty of compost. Sow in shade or semi-shade. Feed weekly liquid feed in mid to late summer. Plants should be spaced 20cm apart and kept moist. You can cut stems frequently as required.
What to Plant
Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) - one of the easiest and most rewarding bulbs to grow, amaryllis produce showy, trumpet-shaped blooms that add a flamboyant touch to your garden or home. Often referred to as the Christmas flower because they typically bloom around five weeks after being planted (during the warmer months).
Garden Day will take place nationwide on Sunday, 20 October, encouraging gardeners to down tools, pop on a flower crown and celebrate their gardens with neighbours, family and friends no matter how big or small their garden is.
Garden Day is a great way to kick-start the gardening season, driving customers into your garden centre to get ready for their Garden Day parties.
Position your centre as offering everything your customers could ever need to get their gardens ready for Garden Day: from plants and containers to furniture and garden decoration.
Use the Garden Day campaign and flower crown imagery as a hook to generate local PR, boost staff morale and engage your customers.
2019 supporters toolkit
Host your own Garden Day celebration on Sunday 20 October. The Garden Day website has put together a handy toolkit of ideas and resources, which you can use to support the campaign via social media, including Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp.
Download any of the images and share photos of your celebrations using #GardenDaySA #LifeIsAGarden.
10 Ways to boost Garden Day sales
- Tell your customers: inspire your customers to host Garden Day celebrations by featuring Garden Day in all your communications in the run-up to Garden Day.
- Create exclusive Garden Day promotions: devise time-limited, linked sales promotions across the centre and badge them as Garden Day offers.
- Wear Flower Crowns: Get inspired by JJ van Rensburg and his Garden World crew, take a leaf out of the flower crowns of the Eckards GardenPavilion team or crown yourself King of Garden Day like Johan du Preez, aka Panda. Encourage all staff to pop on a flower crown to get customers talking! Happy-looking sales staff make for happy customers and increased sales.
- Enter our Garden Day Competition: Our Garden Day team will get in touch with you directly with information on what you can win and how to win it!