Décor & Gardening

Spring gardens

Spring gardens

Patio plant of the month…is Kokedama, a Japanese-inspired way to display indoor plants that’s organic, earthy and “green” because it does away with plastic planters. Kokedama is a moss ball; literally “koke” meaning moss and “dama” meaning ball.

There are two types of Kokedama; one that can be suspended like a hanging basket and the other, with an inner plastic lining into which you can drop a pot plant and then stand it on a table. Kokedama acts as an accent for a beautiful indoor plant, whether it is a specimen orchid, a beautifully patterned foliage plant like Calathea or a frilly-leaved bird’s nest fern. When the ball dries out or becomes slightly lighter it’s time to water. For hanging Kokedama, half-submerge them in a bucket of water. When the ball feels heavy, take it out of the bucket, let it drain in the kitchen sink and hang it up again.

We’re planting…Salvia ‘Mirage’ so named for its mass of pink, rose, cream, purple, or burgundy blooms. This first-year flowering perennial acts like an annual by flowering from spring until autumn, but stays in the garden to keep on flowering next year, and the next. It is a compact, neat plant and bees and butterflies love its nectar. Works well in containers too, mixed with verbena and trailing bacopa.

Garden tasks for spring:

Spring gardens are all about flowers. They fill us with optimism and energy; a welcome dose of colour therapy after a drab winter. To make the most of your spring garden, and to keep it looking good, here are tips from Kirchhoff’s seeds.

  • Give all flowering plants a good drench of liquid fertiliser, like Margaret Roberts Supercharger or a light sprinkling of Vigorosa (a granular fertiliser) and water well afterwards.
  • As day temperatures increase check the soil every two or three days to see if the plants are receiving enough water. Generally, beds, shrubs, creepers and lawn should receive 20mm of water a week in spring.
  • Plant sun–loving spring annuals like Cape daisies (Osteospermum ‘Serenity’), gazanias (‘New Day’), petunias, phlox and pelargoniums. For shade, plant mimulus and torenia.
  • Give the lawn its spring beauty treatment. Rake thatchy kikuyu lawn to remove dead grass, and then cut low. Don’t fertilise until it starts to grow. Top dressing helps even out the surface of the lawn. If the soil is compact, spike it with a garden fork. Then fertilise and water well. Longer growing evergreen lawns, including LM grass just need to be fertilised and watered well.
  • Clean water features, bird baths and ponds, especially fish ponds. Before cleaning catch the fish and keep them in a bucket of water. Scrub the pond using fresh water but no chemicals. The water in the pond should be allowed to warm up before the fish are put back.
  • Re-do containers if the plants are looking tired. Either cut back the plants, feed and water or replace them with a new batch of flowers. Just make sure that you replace the potting soil as well because it will be spent of nutrients.




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