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.

Fiery fynbos

august, fynbos, protea, ericas, king proteas, life is a garden, greenery, colour, plants, diversity

Fynbos is a specific group of vegetation that is known as Proteaceae. Fynbos has expertly adapted over millions of years and has thus become the world’s most diverse plant habitat, even more than a tropical rainforest.

Proteas

King Pink is our national flower and a dramatic addition to the garden. They enjoy full sun in beds and containers, are drought and frost-hardy, and make for stunning cut flowers. Enjoy their bold blooms from July to October every year. 

Ericas

Fairy Confetti is a sweetheart shrub with masses of tiny pink flowers that add happiness to the garden. Their pretty blooms can be expected from spring, along with the many indigenous wildlife visitors they attract. Plant then in full sun in beds or pots. 

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Leucospermums

The Scarlet Ribbon is a vigorous grower with no shortage of blooms. Their intricate flower heads will bring any bed or container to life with striking red, orange, and yellow details. Grow then in full sun and enjoy their flowering time from September. 

 

Leucadendron range

Inca Gold is a decorative foliage plant with bright green, lime/yellow leaves that contrast perfectly with their pink edges. Grow them in full sun beds where you can look forward to a unique flower show from November to September.

Top tip: Fynbos love organic, rich dirt and thrive in sandstone derived, acidic soil with good drainage and no manure.   

Top tip: Mulch your plants with acid compost once a year and remember to prune your fynbos after flowering or before spring for nice full growth. 

Hanging basket bulker: Plant begonia ‘Dragon Wings’ in shades of light pink and reds for added hanging basket cuteness in full to semi-sun areas. 

gardening, proteas, fynbos, good gardening practices, South African plants, native plants, garden design, plant care, landscaping, sustainable gardening, drought-resistant plants, water-wise gardening, gardening tips, gardening techniques, gardening ideas, gardening inspiration, garden maintenance, gardening for beginners, gardening experts, gardening resources, gardening community, floral diversity, gardening in South Africa, gardening in dry climates, gardening in low-water areas, eco-friendly gardening, garden biodiversity, gardening with indigenous plants, gardening with native species, gardening benefits, wildlife-friendly gardens, attracting pollinators, gardening for a greener future, gardening trends, gardening with unique species, gardening and conservation, gardening for biodiversity, gardening education, gardening workshops, gardening enthusiasts, gardening blog, garden photography, gardening projects, gardening and sustainability, gardening and the environment, gardening and climate change, gardening practices for water conservation, gardening innovations, gardening challenges, gardening rewards
gardening, proteas, fynbos, good gardening practices, South African plants, native plants, garden design, plant care, landscaping, sustainable gardening, drought-resistant plants, water-wise gardening, gardening tips, gardening techniques, gardening ideas, gardening inspiration, garden maintenance, gardening for beginners, gardening experts, gardening resources, gardening community, floral diversity, gardening in South Africa, gardening in dry climates, gardening in low-water areas, eco-friendly gardening, garden biodiversity, gardening with indigenous plants, gardening with native species, gardening benefits, wildlife-friendly gardens, attracting pollinators, gardening for a greener future, gardening trends, gardening with unique species, gardening and conservation, gardening for biodiversity, gardening education, gardening workshops, gardening enthusiasts, gardening blog, garden photography, gardening projects, gardening and sustainability, gardening and the environment, gardening and climate change, gardening practices for water conservation, gardening innovations, gardening challenges, gardening rewards

In the garden

Lawn love

Give your grass the pre-spring treatment by low mowing, spiking, feeding, and firm raking (scarifying). Apply a generous layer of lawn dressing and fertiliser, available at your garden centre, and cover the area so that just the tips of the blades are visible.

El Niño ready 1: the new climate cycle

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Scientists are predicting the full impact of El Niño to play out in 2024, with temperatures expected to soar across the globe. Changing climate cycles are as old as the Earth itself and a natural part of what humanity will experience while living on our gorgeous blue planet. As gardeners, these changes are particularly influential as we already have a close relationship to rainfall and the weather in general, as well as the needs of our plants and garden wildlife. A period of noticeable changes is heading our way, imploring us more than ever to practice sustainable watering.

The coming change in weather pattern from La Nina (cool phase) to El Niño (warm phase), will affect the entire continent across multiple sectors – from food production, fuel and food prices, agriculture, plant life, and as we’ve seen – the possibility of day 0 in our own homes.

In this article, we’ll be answering the following questions:

  1. What is El Niño and why the change from La Nina?
  2. What has Africa learned from El Niño in the past?
  3. What can South Africa Expect? 
  4. How will El Niño impact the home gardener?

 

Before we dive in, this article is number 1 of 3 in Life is a Garden’s El Niño Preparedness Series. We recommend that you read them in chronological order for a comprehensive understanding. Together, these 3 articles will leave you well-informed and equipped for gardening in a drought. 

Article 1: El Niño - the new climate cycle (you are here)

Article 2: Gardener or Earth Custodian? 

  • What is the Good Gardener Ethos?
  • What is my conscious gardening advantage? 
  • How can I be a wildlife guardian and habitat creator?
  • How can I look after my family?

 

Article 3: The Water Warrior Way 

  • How can I affordably collect and store rainwater now? 

El Niño ready 2: Gardener or Earth custodian?

As we approach the new El Niño climate cycle, we also enter a deeper understanding of how influential and important the gardener is. Predicted dry times and heat waves ahead will have a significant impact on gardening and likely to our usually cheerful dispositions as hardships from around the country make the news. It can be challenging to remain positive and solution-driven during these times. However, The South African Nursery Association (SANA) and Life is a Garden are working hard to ensure you thrive, not only survive this period.

The first step in preparing for this weather cycle begins with the correct education. Be sure to have read Article 1 to school yourself on the fundamentals of El Niño. In this article, we arrive at the second phase of our El Niño preparedness, which is a change in mindset or ethos upgrade that recognises the evolution of the gardener from an everyday plant grower to a mighty Earth Custodian (if you aren’t one already).

We hope that you are just as inspired as we are to take on this shining title and join Life is a Garden on our mission to play for team plants, people, and planet!

In this article, we’ll be answering the following questions:

  1. What is the Good Gardener ethos?
  2. What is my conscious gardening advantage?
  3. How can I be a wildlife guardian and habitat creator?
  4. How can I look after my family?

*Before we dive in, this article is number 2 of 3 in Life is a Garden’s El Niño Preparedness Series. We recommend that you read them in chronological order for a comprehensive understanding. Together, these 3 articles will leave you well-informed and equipped for resilient gardening.

Article 1: El Niño - the new climate cycle 

  • What is El Niño and why the change from La Nina?

El Niño ready 3: The Water Warrior Way

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We’ve got some time from now (August) until summer when El Niño’s heat and dryness is predicted to reach us in full swing. Estimated to last for 9 to 12 months, it is to prepare a resilient garden and make the necessary changes to our habits and water collection infrastructure.

Having read article 1 and article 2, the topics of Earth Custodian and Water Warrior should be familiar tools to have for gardening in a heatwave. In this 3rd article of Life is Garden’s El Niño Preparedness Series, we will be digging our spades into some practical ways that you can save and efficiently manage your water consumption to keep your garden thriving.

To recap, a Water Warrior is part of the Earth Custodian’s everyday gardening habits - from water-wise practices to wildlife protection and rainwater harvesting. The Earth Custodian is both a mindset and ethos upgrade that recognises the gardener as more than just a plant grower, but an essential service individual who is conscious of the big-picture footprint their water habits have.

To be a Water Warrior means that we have ‘woken up’ to the accountability of our household’s water consumption and how our daily habits impact the country as a whole, as well as surrounding wildlife and the precious balance of Mother Nature. By extension, becoming a Water Warrior also means that we do not transfer all resource and infrastructure responsibility to municipalities and government.

 

In this article, we’ll be answering the following questions:

  • How can I affordably collect and store rainwater now?
  • How can I grow a resilient garden?
  • Is hydrozoning right for me?
  • How should I be watering my containers, beds, and lawn?

 

Before we dive in, this article is number 1 of 3 in Life is a Garden’s El Niño Preparedness Series.