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Gardening in South Africa

Plant some wild dagga this spring for a glorious display in late summer and autumn.

alt Leonotus leonurus 'Orange' Picture courtesy www.newplant.co.zaLeonotus leonurus 'Orange' Picture courtesy www.newplant.co.zaLeonotis is a robust genus of slender shrubs with about 10 species, and endemic to sub-Saharan Africa. Endemic plants are native or restricted only to a certain country or area. Seven species of Leonotis occur in southern Africa, with Leonotis leonurus being the most well-known and commonly cultivated. This outstanding indigenous plant has become an extremely popular garden subject because of its brilliant orange flowers, fast growth, and adaptability to a wide range of climatic conditions throughout the country. White, light orange and peachy orange forms are also available. Although often referred to as “wild dagga” Leonotis is not related to true dagga (Cannabis sativa) which belongs to a different family and originated in Asia.  

The name “leonotis” is derived from two Greek words and means “lion’s ear” - hence its common name, referring to the fringed or hairy upper lip of each velvety flower, which resembles a lion’s ear. Blooms are produced in abundant whorls along the stems in late summer, autumn, and even into winter, depending on localized growing conditions. The base of the flowers is filled with sweet nectar, attracting bees, moths, butterflies, birds and insects to the garden.

Your regional gardening guide for August

Sorbet Plum Velvet Violas & Easter Bonet Deep Pink Alyssum. Picture courtesy Ball Horticultura lCompanySorbet Plum Velvet Violas & Easter Bonet Deep Pink Alyssum. Picture courtesy Ball Horticultura lCompanyAll Regions

August may be a windy month, and can still get miserably cold, but it is also the month when you really start reaping the rewards of your carefully planned winter and spring flower garden; and as the month progresses the displays will just get better and better - banishing even the worst of the winter-blues. Because August is known as the windy month, ensure that all your standard plants and young trees are securely staked. There are many different types of tree stakes and ties, and different staking methods are used, depending on the size of the tree. Small trees can be secured to a wooden stake with a soft material like pantyhose or raffia, but larger trees will require very sturdy wooden or steel stakes and stronger ties. When securing your ties, ensure that they are not too tight, or they will damage the bark. Check the ties regularly during summer to ensure that they have not become too tight, causing damage to the trees.

Effortless Beauty

PetuniaPetuniaPetunias are renowned for three reasons; they’ve been around forever (known since the mid 1700s at least), they’re generous bloomers and there’s a petunia to suit every season. Bellis, on the other hand, may sound more sexy and less common, but are precisely that, a sexy common daisy species. These companions reap relatively effortless rewards, perfect for low maintenance gardeners too busy or impatient for the more ‘uppity’ plants of the floral kingdom. Both can be planted now, preferring full winter sun, where they will grow and establish themselves, bursting into colour in spring.

SA Chelsea Exhibit at Garden World

SA wins 34th Gold Medal at Chelsea Flower Show

SANBI-Kirstenbosch’s 41st annual entry to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Chelsea Flower Show (CFS) has taken a new direction this year, with the Harold Porter National Botanical Garden – A Gateway to the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve World Heritage Site taking centre stage in the exhibit. The model showing this year’s theme: Harold Porter National Botanical Garden – A Gateway to the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve.

Designer Gardens at Garden World's Spring Festival

2016 Spring Festival at Garden World

‘Leap into Spring’

from July 29 to September 4

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shade book

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Growing Bedding Plants in South Africa

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