🎄December Festive trees – choose a living tree! Many indoor trees are suited for this purpose – or opt for a ‘local is lekker’ indigenous tree that can be replanted into the garden after the holidays is ideal.
🌟Entertaining over the holidays? Solar garden lights are the way to go… Garden lighting remains a big trend – light up pathways, trees and feature plants the eco-friendly way. Easy to use and readily available, it’s time to treat yourself and your garden – or wrap them up as a stunning gift option for friends that have it all!
🌿Add a living touch to festive gifts.
🪴Fact – plants make thoughtful inexpensive gifts and are typically well received! A simple pot of seasonal colour (seedlings or indoor plants) can easily be transformed into gifts for grannies, aunties and even teachers. Succulents (like the gorgeous green and red crassula), bonsai and trees are a safe option for grampa’s and uncles. Herb gifts are loved by ‘almost everyone’, as are bird feeders, trendy garden tools and DIY kits.
🌹Roses are long lasting and meaningful gifts. With a multitude of special names and colours to choose from, you can add perfume and colour with favourites like ‘My Granny’, ‘Forever Friends’, ‘Peace’ and many, many more.
🏡Outdoor entertaining is at its best in South Africa! Garden furniture and hardware can make all the difference if you’re home for the holidays… from a small bird feeder to a large hanging garden chair – all of which can be found at your chaos-free, calm local GCA nursery!
🍃Feed the lawn to turn it green fast
💦The key to greening up your lawn is nutrition. All lawn fertilisers are specifically blended for this purpose. Watering is essential after all fertiliser applications, so make sure you plan the monthly fertiliser application to co-incide with your watering schedule. Be informed and aware of the watering restrictions in your specific area – most regions only allow watering between 6pm and 6am. Schedule accordingly.
🌾Tidy up the edges
🌸Neaten the borders of your flower beds with edging materials such as cobblestones or wooden poles. Edging is available at Tuingenoot in a range of different lengths, heights, colours and styles. so there is sure to be a style that suits your style!
☀️Summertime is pool time and an inviting pool is a tired mom’s best friend! Maintain your pool program and nip algae in the bud at the first signs of infection. Busy kids are happy kids and when it comes to pools, the louder and more raucous the better… Add to the festivities and replenish flowering containers with bright red flowers. Invest in floating candles to add sparkle to an ordinary evening (and extend the play time)
💧Ponds, water features and bird baths need to be replenished more regularly in the heat. Consider ‘aquaponics’ – water plants act as natural filters AND they look great! (PS. water lilies bloom from December!)
🌹Take a moment to… smell the roses.
🌙On a peaceful summer’s evening, with the crickets chirping in the background, sit down quietly in your entertainment area and admire your efforts. If you see anything that looks neglected, hide it away with trellis panels or bamboo screens – Tuingenoot has many options in stock to hide any unsightly thing.
🍂Weed the garden
🍂Weeds are of ‘particular evil’ in times of drought. They utilise unnecessary water, outcompete desirable plants and are quick to seed and spread. Control weeds manually (ie. dig them out) or treat with the appropriate herbicide. Mulching is highly recommended after weeding, and here’s why:
•Conserves moisture in the soil
•Maintains soil temperatures
•Reduces weed growth
•Prevents soil erosion
•Organic mulches (like bark chips, peach pips or macadamia shells) improve soil fertility
•Reduces garden maintenance
•Beautifies the garden
🌼Colour your garden this December!
🌼The quickest, easiest way to add colour to your garden is with annuals. Summer flowering annuals are available in all shapes, sizes, styles and colours… The options are endless and exciting. Visit your local Tuingenoot for advice and choose your favourites from the selection on offer.
💚Trends for Summer 2020 vary… single bold colours, in mass remain popular and red traditionally dominates over the holidays. For a colour display that extends into the new year, buy mixed trays of seedlings and opt for mixed plantings in containers, beds and borders.
🪴Hanging baskets add cheer! If you are planting up your own, remember to add water retention granules or vermiculite to the potting soil. Full sun during December and January can be really intense, so opt for hardy colour options such as zinnia, marigolds, portulaca and alyssum.
🌴Light it up – string up some fairy lights all over the garden. Wind them around tree stems, around planted pots, and any other place you can think of.
🏡Go knock on your own front door to check if this important area makes you feel welcome! If not, clean it up and add some beautifully planted-up specimen pots at the door. Hammer a lovely festive wreath made from plant material out of your garden onto the door.
💚Go “Green” with real-life festive trees
🌳There is something very special about living trees being used for the festive season. The holiday season is all about that ‘feel good’ feeling… and opting to go ‘green’ somehow just makes you feel great! Plus, you can plant your tree in the garden after the holidays and use it in next year’s festivities! Some of the options for daring and different festive trees include: wild gardenia (Gardenia thunbergia), Henkel’s Yellowwood (Podocarpus henkelii ), or a thorny number like a well-branched fever tree (Vachellia xanthophloea). If you are a traditionalist, trust on conifers like Cupressus macrocarpa ‘Gold Crest’, for that gorgeous green and gold touch.
🍓Be Happy-ier and Merry-ier with healthy home grown goodness…
🍉The value of an edible garden is best appreciated during the holidays!
🥙Somehow ‘cooking’ is more fun when the regular routines of our busy lives are forgotten. The holidays lend themselves to entertaining and we are more likely to experiment and to try ‘impress’ when guests are around.
🌿The simplest, easiest way to enhance the appearance, flavour and nutritional value of your meals, is to incorporate fresh herbs. When planning your festive fair incorporate your homegrown:
Mint – Mint sauce accompaniment for pork
Rosemary – adds flavour to lamb
Thyme – the ideal companion for chicken & turkey dishes
Chives – as garnish for your starters
Rocket – add to the sandwiches made with your left overs!
🍅Almost all your salad components can now be harvested fresh – Tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber and celery. Butternut, spinach, carrots and sweetcorn offer a stunning range of vegetables from which one can choose.
🍉Also remember to add a touch of ‘sweet’ to the home growing goodness. Strawberries, Watermelon & Sweetmelons are all at their best in summer!
🍓PS: Strawberries should be ready for harvesting. Plant your own if you have not done so yet!
🌼Top annual colour this month:
🌸Shade loving: Impatiens, New Guinea Impatiens, Begonias and Coleus
🌺Sun loving: Dahlias, Lobelias, Marigolds, Dianthus, Carnations and Petunias
💐Go on a perennial spending spree with bright summer colour which will give you blooming pleasure for many months. Top of the tops in the garden and in the vase is Alstroemeria – especially the many extremely pretty and floriferous dwarf hybrids on sale now. Also add swathes of Gaura, Angelonia, Cuphea, lavender, Plectranthus ‘Mona Lavender’, Bacopa, perennial Verbena and Pentas – none of these need excessive pampering or watering!
🪰Be aware of Whitefly infestations as it could be a problem on Fuchsias. Spray regularly against this pest – ask your Tuingenoot nursery for advice on spraying sequences (to break their fast life cycle) and the right product.
🌷Special touch: Gather mixed flowers from your garden and tuck them into everyday objects like glass bottles in a variety of shapes and sizes. Group them in masses on a window sill for maximum impact.
🍃Sow or plant a final summer crop of carrots and beetroot, tomatoes, fennel, dill and sweet peppers. Cut rocket back to encourage new leaves.
HAPPY GARDENING FROM ALL OF US AT TUINGENOOT