Strawberries and Cream on the patio

Embrace bedless gardening and embark on a creative container adventure, right on your stoep!

Who said that beds make the garden? Well, no one, actually! And that’s great news for the balcony, stoep, and patio gardener. You can still enjoy all the glory of gardening by playing with pots, experimenting with the colour wheel, using vertical planters, and adding a few fabulous blooms.

 

Container gardening

Using different sized and shaped containers add height and variety to the space, while also giving you an opportunity to play with different styles. Incorporating hanging baskets is another simple way of adding greenery to areas with limited space. Using woven baskets (instead of plastic) with spikey foliage will bring in some lovely texture. Spend some time in the pots and basket section next time you’re at the nursery and see what jumps out at you!

*Play away: Try using cute teapots or gumboots as planters to add a little character and fun to your space.

*Go green: You could upcycle cans to use as pots and decorate as desired to suit your existing décor (this is a fun one for kids too).

*Top tip: Ensure your planting containers have good drainage to avoid root rot.

 

Get your patio blooming

A great way to bring in more life to your patio paradise is by planting gorgeous, blossoming blooms. Imagine a couple of flower pots neatly arranged along the lonely stoep wall or outdoor windowsill. Any available space is an opportunity for flowers to flourish. Get this lush look by using the Thriller, Filler, and Spiller (TFS) concept to create the ultimate flower pot.

 

*Try this - TFS: One upright focal point plant as your Thriller, a mounded plant as the Filler around it, and then something to trail over the edge as your splendid Spiller.

Poolside Gardens Back to Basics

When you’re a gardener, pool parties are all about the plants! Transform your backyard into a palm beach or rolling grassland, and how about a tropical paradise or trendy minimalistic look? Whatever your vibe is, Life is a Garden has got the perfect poolside gardening inspiration for your summer entertaining. Choose your theme, pick your plants, and head over to your GCA Garden Centre. Remember to check growing instructions and grab a bag of compost and fertiliser.

 

Poolside planting – the do’s and don’ts

The last thing you want is to be stressed out by maintenance or constantly needing to replace pool filters because of rotting leaves. Therefore, here are some plants to avoid and factors to consider when creating your poolside paradise.

  • Don’t: Plant annuals that shed during autumn, littering the pool and surrounding area.
    • Do: Plant evergreens that are always jolly and low maintenance.

 

  • Don’t: Grow soft fruit trees like plums and apricots that’ll drop and rot around the space.
    • Do: Go for hard-shelled, non-shedding edible trees such as lemons or lychee.

 

  • Don’t: Plant flowers too close to the pool as petals can become a nuisance.
    • Do: Choose evergreen ferns and ornamental grasses that don’t shed.

 

  • Don’t: Grow herbs or lavender that attract bees (if this is a concern for your family).
    • Do: Include a few rocks around for harmless and helpful dragonflies to bask on.

 

  • Don’t: Plant trees with large invasive root systems that may damage pool infrastructure.
    • Do: Rather plant trees in containers to ensure your paving and pool is safe.
Swimmingly elegant themes

Design your ideal backyard and display your expert landscaping skills with one of these gorgeous themes to flow through your space. Planting palms is one of the easiest ways to create a lush, island getaway feel, especially when paired with a boma, some beach sand, and wooden deck chairs.

December in the Garden Let the festivities begin

After a year of “busyness” and hard work, there is nothing better than relaxing with friends and family over the holidays. Let your guests appreciate your garden with you as you soak up the sun and enjoy a braai or two.  Many of your seeds that you sowed in August will be ready to harvest, including watermelon which is fantastic to incorporate in your festive entertainment menu.  Get creative with the flowers that are blooming in your garden by making your own table arrangements – make an extra one to give your guest as a gift to take home.  Visit your nearest GCA Garden Centre for some great ideas and supplies.

What to Sow:

Carrots are a great option to sow during December.  They are fairly easy to grow and do best in deep sandy loam or loamy soils with a loose structure.

  • Sow the seeds directly in the beds
  • Make small furrows one fingernail (1cm) deep and about two or three hand widths (20cm to 30cm) apart
  • Sow the seeds about 2cm apart in the furrows
  • Water the beds well after sowing
  • In hot, dry weather, cover the rows with a thin layer of grass clippings until the seeds emerge after seven to 14 days
  • Remove the grass and spread thinly between the rows

What to Plant

Barberton Daisies (Gerbera jamesonii) originate in South Africa and are found in many different bright colours from hot pink to orange to white.

  • They are best grown outside, favouring direct sunlight and sandy soil.
  • They grow well in both pots and garden beds and should be fertilised monthly from September until March.
  • They make excellent patio plants and also work well as an indoor plant to brighten up your living space.

Eggplant (Solanum melongena), also known as aubergine or brinjal, come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colours.