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Gardening in South Africa

When in full bloom, Azaleas are irresistable, so visit your garden centre this spring to select your very own favourite, favourites!

 

Rhododendron 'Flambeau'Rhododendron 'Flambeau'Azaleas and Rhododendrons must be one of the best-loved sights of spring, when their brilliant blooms are produced in such abundance, they almost totally smother the leaves. And, although these popular ornamentals bloom for only a relatively short season, by selecting various species, and newer cultivars with different blooming times, the blooming season can be extended greatly.  Azaleas and Rhododendrons are also grown for their wonderful form, and the evergreen varieties are perfect additions to any garden, providing structure, and an attractive backdrop for other garden plants, throughout the year. If you can provide their basic needs, and plant them carefully, they’ll give you decades of low-maintenance enjoyment.

The Saucer Magnolia is a magnificent tree or large shrub and one of the most sought after ornamentals.

Magnolia soulangeana. Picture courtesy Karl Gercens - see his flickr pageMagnolia soulangeana. Picture courtesy Karl Gercens - see his flickr pageMagnolias have a long history as magnificent additions to the garden, no matter the time of year, but especially in late winter and spring when their naked branches are festooned with startling cup, or saucer-shaped flowers. Discovered in the Orient, Magnolias were named in honour of the 17th century botanist Pierre Magnol, and have graced western gardens for more than 300 years. The saucer magnolia remains one of the most commonly used magnolias in horticulture, being widely planted in the British Isles, especially in the south of England; and the east and west coasts of The United States.

If you want a truly beautiful plant that is as tough as old boots - you need a Sagewood!


Buddleja salvifolia 'Mauve' Picture courtesy www.kumbula.nursery.co.zaBuddleja salvifolia 'Mauve' Picture courtesy www.kumbula.nursery.co.zaSagewood, Saliehout, ewanci, igwangi, chipambati, lelothwane, umbataewepe, mupambati
(Buddleja salviifolia)

This beautiful small tree or large shrub is a member of the wild elder family and is called Buddleja salviifolia because of its wonderful dark green sage-like leaves which are conspicuously wrinkled and puckered above, and densely covered with whitish hairs below, giving them a distinctive silvery colour. An abundance large flower panicles droop down from the plant, appearing from August to October, and varying in colour from white, to lilac and purple. The flowers are followed by fruits which are little hairy capsules.

The beautiful Krantz Aloe produces its profusion of warmly coloured flower spikes during the drab winter months when not much else is blooming in the garden.

 

Aloe arborescens Picture courtesy www.newplant.co.zaAloe arborescens Picture courtesy www.newplant.co.zaThe beautiful krantz aloe is a valuable garden asset and possibly the most widely cultivated aloe in the world. It is cherished for its profusion of warmly coloured flower spikes during the drab winter months when not much else is blooming in the garden. From May to July it bears flowers in fiery shades of deep-orange, which is the most common colour, but there are also forms with colours like salmon pink, a deep orange-red, and also a lovely butter-yellow colour. Plant breeders have even developed striking bi-coloured hybrids which are sure to delight.

With the proper care and a favourable rootstock, a citrus tree is capable of producing fruit in excess of 50 years!

 
OrangesOrangesCitrus trees can be so pretty, even in the smallest of gardens. They have gorgeous shiny green leaves, beautiful sweet-smelling flowers, and wonderful health-giving fruit packed with vitamin C and antioxidants. The genus Citrus is native to south-east Asia, occurring from northern India to China and south through Malaysia, the East Indies and the Philippines, and records of domestication go back to about 500 BC.

Books

Gardening in the Shade

shade book

Growing Vegetables in South Africa

Growing Bedding Plants in South Africa

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