In our testing times try and avoid the crowds by taking a ‘green’, more convenient & relaxed approach to your festive shopping this year. Visit your favourite garden centre Tuingenoot and be inspired by the practical, stunning and living options on offer!!
Festive trees – choose a living tree! Many indoor trees are suited to this purpose – or opt for a ‘local is lekker’ indigenous tree for example the yellow wood or podocarpus that can be replanted into the garden after the holidays.
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 that get the kids stuck in.
Roses are also long lasting and meaningful gifts. With a multitude of special names and colours that you can choose from, you can look at adding fragrance and colour with favourites like ‘Ambassador ’, ‘Charles mallerin’, ‘City of Pretoria ’ and many, many more.
Outdoor entertaining is at it’s best in South Africa! Garden furniture and hardware can make all the difference if you’re staying home for the holidays… from a small bird feeder to a large garden chair – all of which can be found at your chaos-free, calm local 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.
Tidying up the edges
Neaten the borders of your flower beds with edging materials such as cobblestones or wooden poles. Edging is available from leading garden centres in a range of different lengths, heights, colours and styles. It is ideal to keeping the shape of your beds and by almost framing the beds themselves.
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 flowers around the pool area.
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 – nurseries have many options in stock to hide any unsightly thing.
Weed the garden
Weeds are an absolute nightmare when it comes time of drought. They utilise unnecessary water and 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 and choose your favourites from the selection on offer.
Trends for Summer 2021 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.
Look at hanging baskets as they add cheer! If planting your own, remember to add water retention products to the potting soil ie vermiculite. Full sun during December and January can be really intense, so opt for hardy colour options such as zinnia, marigolds, portulacas and alyssum.
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.
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.
The value of an edible garden is best appreciated during the holidays!
Somehow ‘cooking’ is more fun when the regular routines are forgotten. The holidays lend themselves to entertaining and we are more likely to experiment and to try ‘impress’ the guests when they are around.
The simplest, easiest way to enhance the appearance, flavour and nutritional value to any of your meals, is to incorporate fresh herbs. When planning your festive fair incorporate your homegrown:
Mint – Mint sauce perfect 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 at this time from Tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber and celery. Butternut, spinach, carrots and sweetcorn loads for one to choose from.
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!
Happy festive season.