It’s SPRING and it’s time to smell like dirt!
Trending – Gym in nature!
Giving yourself a good workout in the privacy of your own backyard is much nicer and cheaper than taking out a gym contract, and you don’t have to force your ‘love handles’ into unbecoming lycra!
While you are getting fitter and trimmer with pruning, weeding, composting, raking, digging, planting and mowing, your garden will reward your spent time and perspiration with lush growth and great harvests of flowers and edibles. Another advantage is that spending time outside in the sunshine and fresh air, has a positive influence on your psychological health as well – it relieves stress and depression too.
Smart planting in September
Hebe ‘Sunset Boulevard’ flowers heavily with bright purple and pink, from spring far into the summer. This plant is irresistible to butterflies. It grows into a beautiful bright green sphere of about 80cm high and wide. ‘Sunset Boulevard’ grows in full sun in moist, but well drained soil. It is a perfect container plant on patios or balconies and great for small urban gardens.
Vygies (Lampranthus) – amongst the many species with upright or trailing growth habits, there is a wide colour range which includes white, cream, pink, salmon, red, yellow, mauve and purple. Smother your dry zones or rock garden with vygies – few other plants can beat their spring splendour and economical water usage!
The confetti bush (Coleonema) This evergreen, indigenous shrub has feathery sweet aromatic foliage. A profusion of small flowers covers the various species during late winter, spring and early summer months. Once spent, the flowers scatter on the ground as would confetti at a wedding, hence the name confetti bush. Confetti bushes enjoy full sun with well-drained soil.
Add bright colour to the hottest and sunniest spots in your garden with bedding Verbenas available in a wide colour range from soft pink, hot pink, purple to reds. These bushy little guys grow about 25cm high and wide. They love sandy, well-drained soil and regular water.
Also look out for columbines (Aquilegia). They are charming long-stemmed cottage-style spring flowers on tall stems, above lacy green leaves.
Trees for life!
National Arbour Week is from 1 – 7 September – but any time’s a good time to plant a tree! Suggestions include:
The real yellowwood (Podocarpus latifolius), which is also our National Tree. As this stately evergreen heritage tree with its neat growth habit and glossy green leaves becomes a very large tree, we suggest that you plant one in a roomy pot to use as a Christmas tree at the end of the year. We also recommend the following fruit trees for planting:
Pomegranate ‘Wonderful’ (Punica granatum) is a leading cultivar with a resistance to adverse conditions and a high yield potential of huge blush red fruits. It is a small deciduous tree (2,5m high) for climates with cool winters and hot summers.
Olive varieties – these hardy, but beautiful trees with their dull green leaves with the silver reverse, can tolerate very cold (and hot) temperatures and wind. Good varieties are ‘Manzanilla’ and ‘Mission’. Olive trees are not only functional but grow into really pretty shade trees that blend well within any planting scheme or garden design.