Décor & Gardening

Garden tips November

Garden tips November

We’re planting …begonias, but not the fillers that we all know.

Begonia ‘Big’ is a spectacular landscape begonia, with huge flowers on very sturdy, tall plants (60cm high). Plant a group of these or just one in a pot, and you will have a great show. What’s great is that they grow in sun or semi-shade (ideal for areas that get a bit of both), they flower non-stop and all they need is watering once a week. Despite their fleshy leaves, begonias are far more drought tolerant than we realise. In fact, they don’t like to be overwatered. ‘Big’ is available with green or bronze leaves and flower shades of red, rose and pink.  It’s this summer’s best low-care flowering plant.

Patio plant of the month – ZZ plant

Have you heard of the ZZ plant? Probably not because it’s a new discovery as an indoor houseplant although It’s been around for ages; first discovered in East Africa in the 1800’s. What makes ZZ plant (Zamioculcus zamiifolia) the next best answer as an indestructible houseplant is that it is super easy to grow, and the leaves are always shiny.  It grows in areas of high, medium or low light (which means it grows anywhere), and can survive on minimal watering (if you forget or go away for a week or three). It’s a great air purifier as well; team it up with Sansevieria (also indestructible) or bromeliad ‘Red Star’ that looks equally lush.

For more info: www.plantimex.co.za

Rosy tip of the month from Ludwig Taschner: Did you know that roses are quite happy with ‘grey’ water. That’s recycled water from the shower or bath. They will survive on 10 litres (a bucket-full) of water once a week. If the rains have come and municipal water is available, switch over to watering twice a week. A 5cm mulch around the roses also keeps the soil cool, and moist for longer.

New drought tolerant rose

Ultra-marathon runner Bruce Fordyce is not only legendary for his “Comrades’ wins, he is now the driving force behind the very popular Park Runs. In other words, he has stamina! And that is the new category of hardy, drought tolerant and low maintenance roses launched by Ludwig’s Rose. Fittingly, the first rose in this category is named ‘Bruce Fordyce’. The rose has a strong, base framework of semi-spreading main stems, from which is produced an endless supply of upright shoots bearing huge, perfectly symmetrical, full, fragrant blooms that are creamy-white with pink-tinged edges. The leathery leaves that are impervious to fungus infection

Garden tasks

Summer is in full swing, and when you can sow and plant to your heart’s content.

  • If there is still space in the garden, sow quick growing annuals such as alyssum, cosmos, marigolds, nasturtiums, portulaca and zinnias. They are all sun lovers.
  • Make sure hydrangeas get plenty of water and feed with hydrangea food to boost flowering in December.
  • If it hasn’t yet rained, water shrubs, creepers and trees deeply once a week and mulch to reduce evaporation.
  • If you have trouble with lawn caterpillars, use Margaret Roberts Biological Caterpillar Insecticide that is not harmful to people, pets or garden wildlife. Watering the lawn well will bring the caterpillars to the surface where they can be picked off by birds.
  • This is the last month to sow eggfruit, chillies and sweet peppers, baby marrow, patty pan or trailing squash like gems, butternut, pumpkin and Hubbard squash.
  • Continue sowing bush and runner beans, beetroot, radishes, rocket, and sweet corn. Herbs that can be sown in November are basil, coriander, dill, Italian parsley (Flat Leaf Parsley), chives and sage.




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With nothing but a suitcase full of dreams and her faithful friend ‘the cello’, Cecilia Di Cecco left Italy to work as a musician with the KZNPO in Durban. Here she learnt to cultivate her music and at the same time began a love affair with food that eventually led to the recent launch of her first cookbook, Cucina in South Africa.

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