Spicy Indoor Gardening Industry Expert

Topic: Indoor Plants
Theme: Trending indoor plants
Industry Expert: Robyn Sher
Garden Centre: Lifestyle - Happy Life Plants

 

We sat down with the passionately insightful Robyn from Happy Life Plants to get all the latest juice on trendy indoor gardening. Read all about her indoor hot list, plant parenting advice, botanical boss must-haves, collector plants, and much more! 

indoor, winter, plants, flowers, garden, life is a garden, greenery, pests, colourful, maintain, flower, colour
indoor, winter, plants, flowers, garden, life is a garden, greenery, pests, colourful, maintain, flower, colour

1. What makes indoor gardening so special? Why should gardeners opt for indoor plants in addition to or instead of garden beds outside?  

Indoor gardening is particularly special because of the benefits they share with people around them. Not only do they provide the obvious greenery, connection to nature, and a natural touch to an otherwise stark space, but indoor plants also take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Improved air quality creates a healthier environment for the grower and stimulates productivity, creativity, and happiness. Simply adding greenery evokes feelings of joy and accomplishment. Furthermore, nurturing a living thing and watching it grow and thrive is one of the most rewarding activities for humans. Indoor plants become like babies to plant parents and because they are in our space and in our direct care, we tend to them more closely than those outside in beds. The relationship formed with one’s indoor plants is truly special. 

 

2. Is it true that indoor gardening is messy and difficult? 

No, not at all! Indoor gardening is such a rewarding process and it is only as difficult as you make it. If you knock over your beloved delicious monster and the soil sprays all over your carpet, sure - it may be a messy ordeal. But general indoor plant parenting is easy to get the hang of with the right routine and simple care habits. Indoor gardening is beautifully decorative and so rewarding to anyone who endeavours to embark on the journey.

Cutting-HEDGE Technology

A good hedge goes a long way, especially in terms of privacy, decoration, and formal landscaping. There is a dazzling variety of handy and handsome hedges that will help to highlight, conceal, and even protect your garden. The secret to a flourishing hedge is simple – fertiliser, mulch, and consistent pruning. If you’re still a little nervous about the world of hedging, here is Life is a Garden’s heroic hedge guide to the rescue. Plant fearlessly and level up your gardening game this August.

 

The handiness of hedge-tech  
  • Medium and tall-growing hedges create eco-friendly, peaceful privacy.
  • Low-growing hedges create boundaries around beds and help to highlight areas.
  • All hedges can be used to separate design elements and bring depth to the garden.
  • Hedging also helps to protect the garden from the elements, such as wind and hail.
  • Thorny hedges pack a painful punch and can easily be utilised as a security feature.
  • Maintained hedges are sophistically decorative, blending nature with architecture.
Low-growing hedges

Plant these small hedges to edge your beds, direct visitors along a walkway, create landscaping patterns and designs, box-in feature plants, and accentuate focal points or art pieces in the garden.

 

  1. Lavender varieties – try Dentata
  2. Natal plum (Carisa macrocarpa)
  3. Spekboom (Portulacaria afra)
  4. Iceberg roses
  5. Buxus (Buxus sempervirens)
  6. Dwarf bamboo (Nandina pygmaea)
  7. Abelia varieties – try lemon & lime
  8. Duranta ‘Sheena’s Gold’
Medium height hedges

Plants can be added to increase privacy, corner off sections of the garden, bring in bold decorative elements, add greenery to barren spaces, and assist in reducing outside noise.

 

  1. Abelia varieties – try Schumannii
  2. Buxus Microphylla ‘Faulkner’
  3. Blousyselbos (Plumbago auriculata)
  4. Blue honey-bell (Freylinia tropica)
  5. Star jasmine
  6. Syzygium
  7. Natal plum (Carissa macrocarpa)
  8. Saltbush(Rhagodia spinescent)

 

Tall and large hedges

Rethink fencing with these living walls that will create privacy, structural intrigue, texture, neat landscaping features, increase garden security, and filter noise pollution in urban areas.

Say ALOE to your little friends

Aloe is part of the succulent family with a long history of medicinal use, dating all the way back to Ancient Egypt. Today, this miracle plant is grown worldwide and is still used to treat all sorts of skin ailments, viruses, and bacterial infections. In addition, aloes are a superb choice for bright landscaping and bringing texture to the garden with attractive foliage and large blooms grabbing attention where ever they are planted. Check out Life is a Garden’s super aloe short-list for plants available now at GCA Garden Centres, nationwide.

 

Aloe ‘Peri-Peri’

This aloe is ideal for smaller gardens and pots, specifically for colder regions. It flowers in early autumn with a profusion of pinky-red flowers. When planted as a mass border in drier, sunny gardens, Aloe Peri-peri adds a tremendous splash of colour. They grow easily and are immune to aloe cancer and most other slow diseases; however, they can get black spot in high alkaline gardens. This stunner attracts birds, butterflies, and many insect species to the garden. It has medicinal anti-bacterial properties that support external wound healing.

 

Did you know? The University of Pretoria is well-known for its autumn Peri-peri aloe show and this plant is also one of the base plants in the Jason Sampsons layout.

 

Aloe ‘Hedgehog’

This low growing, clump-forming aloe has become a real winner in the South African horticultural industry. The Hedgehog is suited for small gardens and mass planting, as well as container gardening. They are fast-growing with ever-expanding rosettes of foliage and orange-red flowers. Under unfavourable conditions, they may be susceptible to aloe cancer.

Cultivation: Sun/semi-shade, rich drained soil, medium watering

Size: Multi-stemmed 200mm x 200mm

Flowering time: June - August (Gauteng)

Cold tolerance: Up to -5°C

Released: 2006

 

Did you know? The Hedgehog aloe is the first aloe to be developed and released in South Africa, specifically for the landscaping industry, and has officially become the best-selling aloe hybrid in S.A.

ALOE-lujah for Africa’s Medicine!

For thousands of years, Aloe has been revered for its many profound medicinal uses. From the Ancient Egyptians to present-day Western civilisation, the long history and wide-spread use of this miracle plant has withstood the test of time, and will good reason! Aloe features as the main ingredient in so many skin, beauty, and health products around the world. Check out Life is a Garden’s indigenous super succulent short-list that’ll get you singing ALOE-lujah in no time!

 

Krantz aloe (Aloe arborescens)
  • Appearance: A multi-headed shrub with large sunset-hued flowers and striking leaves.
  • Get growing: Easy to grow in full sun with sandy/loamy soil, flowers in autumn/winter.
  • BFF Benefits: Attracts birds, drought-resistant, good as a hedge/screen.
  • Magical powers: Used as an anti-bacterial, anti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, hypoglycaemic, and to treat open wounds.

 

Bitter aloe (Aloe ferox Mill.)
  • Appearance: Reaches a height of 2-3 metres with huge flowers and rosette leaves.
  • Get growing: skill in full sun with sandy/loamy soil, flowers in autumn/winter.
  • BFF Benefits: Good for pots, attracts birds, and is drought resistant.
  • Magical powers: The secret ingredient in Schwedenbitters, also used for its laxative properties, arthritis treatment, skin disorders, and wound healing.

 

Fun fact: Aloes consist of 99% water and can even be found on islands in the Indian Ocean.

Fence aloe (Aloiampelos tenuior)
  • Appearance: Slender scrambler with masses of delicate orange-red flowerheads.
  • Get growing: Easy to grow in full sun with sandy/loamy soil, flowers from early summer.
  • BFF Benefits: Feeds honeybees, good for pots, attracts birds, drought-resistant.
  • Magical powers: In traditional medicine, the roots and leaves are used as a purgative and tapeworm remedy.
Soap aloe (Aloe maculata)
  • Appearance: Heads of bright sunset flowers with sword-shaped, spotted leaf rosettes.
  • Get growing: skill in full/partial sun with sandy/loamy soil, flowers year-round.
  • BFF Benefits: Attracts a variety of flyers, good for beds and borders, tolerates salt.

Giving life to 2021’s trends Trends Article

When life gives us manure, gardeners make compost! As such, Life is a Garden would like to invite all green fingers to welcome 2021 as The Great Reset – a time to reconnect with our home space, a chance to grow food and deepen our connection with nature, an opportunity to shape remote working environments, and the ideal excuse to expand outdoor entertainment areas. Here are the top trends for the year to inspire you and help support adjusted lifestyles at home. Let Mother Nature work her magic to lift those spirits and make every space a place for life to shine!

Trendy colours that celebrate life

The Pantone colour of the year is grey and yellow: grey representing fortitude and yellow symbolising happiness. Together, these colours send a message of positivity, supported by a solid foundation (grey) upon which to build joy (yellow). Cultivate resilience and hope by planting these beauties below:

Sun in your pocket

  • Yellow canna lily: full sun in beds or containers, bold and bright, frost-sensitive.
  • Alstromeria (Inca lily): full sun or semi-shade, good cut-flowers, needs winter munching.
  • Anigozanthos bush bonanza: full sun or semi-shade with bright, golden-yellow flowers.
  • Marigolds: full sun or semi-shade, drought-tolerant, attracts butterflies, repels pests.
  • Sundial yellow portulaca: full sun annual, fine-textured foliage, low ground-hugger.
  • Yellow capsicum: a full sun veggie, sprout seeds indoors in spring.
  • Cape honeysuckle: full sun or semi-shade, attractive ornamental shrub, good for hedges.
  • Snapdragons: full sun for beds or containers, gorgeous horizontally-growing blooms.
Yellow canna lily
Anigozanthos
Sundial yellow portulaca
Cape Honeysuckle

Grey for greatness

  • Senecio cineraria, or silver dust: create contrast with this fine, low-growing sub-shrub.
  • Senecio Angel Wings: robust in size with an angelic silver/grey sheen, an absolute stunner!
  • Dichondra silverfalls: drought, frost, and salt-hardy for full sun spots in beds and pots.
  • Lamium: grow best in partial/full shade to avoid scorching the leaves of these pretties.