Self-parenting plants Botanical Boss

botanical boss, aloe, plant parenting, sel watering, greenery, life is a garden, gardening, colours, plants, DIY, watering,upcycling, water, growing, hack
botanical boss, aloe, plant parenting, sel watering, greenery, life is a garden, gardening, colours, plants, DIY, watering,upcycling, water, growing, hack

We know that the struggle is real when planning a trip – who will look after your plant children and will they get enough water? As such, Life is a Garden would like to help all the plant moms and dads with some DIY upcycling watering hacks and drought-hardy plant picks that will help your garden self-parent while you enjoy a much-deserved holiday. 

 

Short trip bottle watering (outdoors - 3 to 4 days)

  • Suitable for: Larger beds (use multiple bottles) or containers in full sun to semi-shade.
  • Equipment needed: Empty wine bottles or any sturdy bottle with a small mouth. 
  • Preparation: Ensure there is space to place the bottle that won’t damage foliage or roots
  • Method: Fill the bottle with water and then, while covering the opening with your thumb, flip it upside-down and quickly shove the bottle near the base of the plant (removing your thumb just before). Push the neck down to make sure the bottle is secure and reinforce with stones if needed. 

Troubleshooting: If you see that the water is not moving or perhaps your soil is very clay-like, glue a mesh screen over the mouth to prevent soil from clogging the bottle opening.

botanical boss, aloe, plant parenting, sel watering, greenery, life is a garden, gardening, colours, plants, DIY, watering,upcycling, water, growing, hack
botanical boss, aloe, plant parenting, sel watering, greenery, life is a garden, gardening, colours, plants, DIY, watering,upcycling, water, growing, hack

Longer trip bottle dripper (outdoors - 4 to 7 days)

  • Suitable for: Larger beds (use multiple bottles) or containers in full sun to semi-shade.
  • Equipment needed: Plastic water/juice bottles (size dependent on your area/container) and a drill with a thin drill bit. 
  • Preparation: Dig a hole near the plant that will be large enough to bury the bottle up to its neck, take care to avoid damaging roots. 
  • Method: Drill three holes at the bottle of the plastic bottle and 3 holes on each side then pop it into the prepared hole (add more holes for large bottles). Gently level the soil around the bottle and fill it with water.

Ethereal air plants   Sassy, soilless gardening

Airplants, tillandsia, trichomes, November, garden, air, soilless, Greenery, life is a garden, decor, hanging, staghorn, butzii, colour, soil
Airplants, tillandsia, trichomes, November, garden, air, soilless, Greenery, life is a garden, decor, hanging, staghorn, butzii, colour, soil

With a motto like 'freedom to create', In2plants is a wonderland of endless imagination. Their exquisite collection of air plants is enough to make any gardener rethink the way they see soilless growing. Their Garden Centre offers exclusivity and a one-on-one shopping experience – you’ll have to make an appointment before visiting. Alternatively, you can shop online via their website and they will deliver your new collector’s item to anywhere in South Africa. Below is everything you need to know about growing ethereal, exotic air plants.

November’s topic: Soilless, sassy gardening
Theme: Ethereal air plants   
Industry Experts: Gerrit and Marinda Snyman 
Garden Centre: In2plants based in Wonderboom, Pretoria https://www.in2plants.co.za/ 

1. Exploring your website is so much fun! Please tell us about your journey with air plants and what drew you to this mysterious Tillandsia genus.   

Our passion for these plants started about 18 years ago. Tradition in our house is that you never buy your spouse flowers; it will be either a rock, piece of wood or a plant. Gerrit travelled a lot locally for work purposes and therefore had ample opportunities to obtain plants. Coming back from holiday, the car would always be overloaded with plants, even on my lap if needed. We started off with orchids and staghorn ferns until we got hooked on Tillandsia. 

Our first Tillandsia came from Nelspruit 18 years ago - Tillandsia seleriana. We beagn with this one as a companion plant for our other plants. This plant did not require any soil or roots, which fascinated us as this was in contradiction to growing many other different plants. Tillandsia air plants are epiphytes and can be mounted on wood or any other suitable material. Perfect! Now we could use all our pieces of beautiful wood collected.  

Using little space and giving lots of opportunities to grow vertically, we suddenly had more space to fill, which was super exciting.

Hydroponics for the home gardener Sassy, soilless gardening

Hydoponics, hydroponic growing, vertical growing, vertical farming, gardening, life is a garden, greenery, fruits, vegetables, water, soilless, tank
Hydoponics, hydroponic growing, vertical growing, vertical farming, gardening, life is a garden, greenery, fruits, vegetables, water, soilless, tank

Make a statement and make a difference, save space and maximise your harvest – how? Hydroponic farming, baby! Life is a Garden has turned up the sass meter this month with expert insight from Timothy Damons, an equally high-spirited soilless enthusiast with a passion for LIFE. Debunk some hydroponic misconceptions, learn how to set up and maintain a system, and be inspired by the flowers and food you can grow. Let’s dig in, or rather, let’s pump up!  

November’s topic: Soilless, sassy gardening
Theme: Hydroponics for the home gardener  
Industry expert: Timothy Damons based in Saldanha Bay on the West Coast  

1. We love finding new members from the eco-tribe! Please share your story with us: What lead you to hydroponics? How did your journey with this growing method begin?  

I adore nature and have always loved gardening. I love being out in the open, taking in the fresh morning air and witnessing all the weird and wonderful things that planet Earth has to offer. Seeing plants growing into something beautiful and nutritious gives me tremendous joy. When I left the corporate world in 2017, I decided to take a hydroponics course with a well-known hydroponicist named John Sandison. I chose hydroponics because I wanted to understand how to grow good quality fruit and vegetables in an environmentally friendly, sustainable way. I also lived in a big city at the time and generally, space for gardening is limited. I wanted to explore how people can grow edibles in the city without the large-scale footprint that our commercial farming methods have. Vertical farming is truly the answer to this conundrum and that is why I decided to pursue it.  

Hydoponics, hydroponic growing, vertical growing, vertical farming, gardening, life is a garden, greenery, fruits, vegetables, water, soilless, tank
Hydoponics, hydroponic growing, vertical growing, vertical farming, gardening, life is a garden, greenery, fruits, vegetables, water, soilless, tank

2. The system you have built sounds very interesting and easy for a home gardener to set up. Please give us an overview of your vertical recirculation hydroponic growing station.

Modern Xeriscaping in South Africa Industry Expert Q&A

October, Life is a garden, xeriscaping, cacti, water wise, rocks, stones, pebbles, plants, greenery, garden, gardening, succulents, backyard, spring, summer, decorative gardening, landscaping
October, Life is a garden, xeriscaping, cacti, water wise, rocks, stones, pebbles, plants, greenery, garden, gardening, succulents, backyard, spring, summer, decorative gardening, landscaping

Are you ready to take your environmentalism, landscaping, and garden art skills to the next level? Industry expert, Marionette from Plant Paradise describes xeriscaping as “the practice of designing landscapes to reduce the need for water, to have minimal maintenance, and to create a clean, stunning look that is sustainable all year round”. If this perks your green fingers, we’ve got loads more insight and inspiration for you below.  

Plant Paradise has won the award for best garden centre in SA 7 times, giving you even more of an incentive to visit them and experience quality-approved customer service, excellent plants, and top-notch products. 

October’s Topic: Rock-on Decorating
Theme: Modern Xeriscaping in South Africa 
Industry Expert: Marionette Hoffman
Garden Centre Supplier: Plant Paradise based in Moreleta Park, Pretoria: www.plantparadise.co.za  

1. How did you first begin your landscaping journey and what have been some of your favourite projects to work on (and where could our readers receive some inspiration from your stunning work)? 

After finishing my studies, I moved to England and worked there as a landscaper and horticulturist for two years. After that, I moved back to SA and started my career at Plant Paradise Garden Centre as a horticulturist and eventually became the landscaper - never looked back since! Landscaping and creating different displays on the garden centre floor is my passion. My favourite projects will always be xeriscaping.  My most favourite project of them all was House Thompson in Silverlakes, Pretoria, and House Leahy in Boardwalk Meander, also in Pretoria. The best place to view my work is at Plant Paradise. Our website is also a fantastic platform to view some of my gardens I’ve done for clients. 

October, Life is a garden, xeriscaping, cacti, water wise, rocks, stones, pebbles, plants, greenery, garden, gardening, succulents, backyard, spring, summer, decorative gardening, landscaping
October, Life is a garden, xeriscaping, cacti, water wise, rocks, stones, pebbles, plants, greenery, garden, gardening, succulents, backyard, spring, summer, decorative gardening, landscaping
October, Life is a garden, xeriscaping, cacti, water wise, rocks, stones, pebbles, plants, greenery, garden, gardening, succulents, backyard, spring, summer, decorative gardening, landscaping
October, Life is a garden, xeriscaping, cacti, water wise, rocks, stones, pebbles, plants, greenery, garden, gardening, succulents, backyard, spring, summer, decorative gardening, landscaping

2. Based on your years of experience, could you please tell our gardeners what exactly xeriscaping in South Africa is and why they should consider implementing these practices in their own garden?

Fab and fragrant patios

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patios, stoep, life is a garden, October, garden, gardening, colour, flowers, beauty, greenery, creativity, outdoors, spring

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!

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patios, stoep, life is a garden, October, garden, gardening, colour, flowers, beauty, greenery, creativity, outdoors, spring

Full sun stunners

  1. Orange Hermannia (Hermannia pinnata) is a hardy, evergreen, water-wise groundcover that’s ideal for baskets. Flowers are apricot-coloured and smell simply wonderful. 
  2. Wild Rosemary (Eriocephalus africanus) grows rapidly and boasts strong, aromatic leaves. In winter, they show off their white, daisy-like flowers with purple centres. 
  3. Honeybells (Freylinia lanceolata) are appreciated for their creamy-yellow, tubular flowers that emit an alluring honey fragrance, attracting birds and butterflies.

Semi-shade babes 

  1. Starry Wild Jasmine (Jasminum multipartitum) is an all-time fave owing to their hardiness, fast growth, and sweet-smelling, star-shaped white flowers. 
  2. Small-leaved Plane (Ochna serrulata) produce bright-yellow scented blooms, followed by striking black fruit that attract many local bird species to the garden.
  3. 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.

Bulging baskets

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!

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patios, stoep, life is a garden, October, garden, gardening, colour, flowers, beauty, greenery, creativity, outdoors, spring

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. 

Plantland Tree Festival

To help make Pretoria green again we’ll be giving out a free pecan nut tree with all purchases made over R300! ✨
There will be a market, fun activities for the kiddies, CRAZY SPECIALS, live music, live radio broadcasting, and so so much more!
See you there!

SANA’s 2022 Garden Centre winners! SA’s Best Garden Centres for 2022

gca, winner, nursery, plants, life is a garden, bellville, greenery, competition, colour, beauty

South Africa’s Nursery Association (SANA) hosts an annual GCA Garden Centre competition to present to you, dear gardeners, the cream of the crop! Garden centres and home store garden departments are measured against a set of criteria aimed at assessing and improving product standards and professional service in the industry. Here are the best garden centres in SA! Did your favourite make it?

Stodels Nurseries Bellville – Garden Centre of the year 

 

Address: Eversdale Rd, Bellville 

 

From humble beginnings, Stodels Garden Centres have developed into a household name in gardening in the Western Cape. From the outset, Stodels Garden Centres focused on providing their customers with excellent service, top quality products and affordable prices. Fifty years later, the trio of service, quality and affordability has built a respected and much-loved brand. 

 

Originating from a mail order catalogue and door to door sales, the Stodels brand has grown to its current complement of seven award-winning garden centres today, two of which are based in Gauteng. The company was started by Mr Robert Stodel, in August 1962, when he started selling flower bulbs door to door and from the Parade in Cape Town. A mail order bulb catalogue soon followed and within a few years, Stodels Flower Bulbs became the biggest flower bulb retailer in South Africa, posting nearly 600 000 bulb catalogues to Cape households and importing up to 20 million bulbs from Holland every year.

 

 

Find out more: https://www.lifeisagarden.co.za/stodels-bellville/   

Stodels. gca, winner, nursery, plants, life is a garden, bellville, greenery, competition, colour, beauty
Stodels. gca, winner, nursery, plants, life is a garden, bellville, greenery, competition, colour, beauty
Stodels. gca, winner, nursery, plants, life is a garden, bellville, greenery, competition, colour, beauty
Stodels. gca, winner, nursery, plants, life is a garden, bellville, greenery, competition, colour, beauty

Garden Pavilion Eckards – Runner up 

 

Address: 101 Boeing Rd East, Bedfordview, Germiston 

 

Eckards is a well-established garden centre that received a new lease on life in 1993. Along the way it became a Garden Pavilion and has continued to move with the times, maintaining a traditional feel with modern influences. Eckards prides itself on a high level of service, quality plants and helping gardeners and growers alike.

Give your lawn the summer vita-boost it needs Feature Diamond Sponsor – Wonder

Summer lawn care is all about the right mowing height and fertiliser. If you want to enjoy glorious green blades this season, the tips below might come in handy. 

4 Tips for growing a luscious summer lawn: 
  • Set your mower to a high cutting height, as longer, thicker grass wears better in the summer heat. And wards off weeds too!
  • Rake up grass clippings and dead leaves, and move them to your compost heap. This way the grass will be able to absorb as much sunlight as possible for photosynthesis. 
  • Water your lawn regularly, and fertilise with Wonder Organic Vita-Boost Vermicompost for a bi-carbon boost. 
  • Watch out for broadleaf weeds. If your lawn is being invaded, fertilize your lawn first, and then spray with herbicide two weeks later. 

Summer Checklist

 
 
Your summer just got better with these top gardening tips.
What to plant and prune to jumpstart the new year. 
 
 
 

 

December Checklist

Host the ones you love with our December Checklist.
The whole family is welcomed in the super-fun summer garden. Plant, decorate, and accessorise here! For more click here!

Glamorous Flowers in November

Make sure you know what to grow for extra pizzazze this spring.
Remember to prune your leucospermums, buchus, ericas and proteas now as you head off into the garden for your sowing extravaganza. Life is a Garden, so make yours extraordinary this spring! For more read here: https://bit.ly/3mgLR30 

Spring Zing September Checklist

The season that needs no introduction – it can only be SPRING! This is an exciting time for gardeners filled with blossoms, blooms, and renewed beauty after the winter.
We’re full bloom ahead with ‘n spekkie news for you! for more read here: https://bit.ly/3guOLOi

September Checklist

Garden Day 2021

Host your own Garden Day celebration on Sunday 17 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 #GardenYaySA #LifeIsAGarden

Indigenous South Africa

Our local lovelies are bred for SA’s climate and attract a glorious variety of wildlife.

August Checklist

We’re crazy for daisies and getting the garden ready for a Springtime show.
August is blowing in some extra special blooms in gorgeous hues for every mood for more read here: https://bit.ly/3rD79IZ
August Checklist