The ABC’s of orchid TLC

Orchid Show from 04 – 06 August. Look at, learn about and fall in love with orchids. This month we’re getting excited about orchids at Keith Kirsten Waterfall Wilds. Orchids belong to one of the largest families of flowering plants, with some 28 000 species found worldwide. They have intrigued people for centuries, to the extent that orchid lovers have created an incredible 100 000 hybrids and cultivars. Now available in every imaginable hue, orchids have long had important cultural symbolism. Different species of orchid are the national flowers of Venezuela, Singapore and Belize, among others. Orchids have been used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and one orchid genus, Vanilla, is of course well-known as a culinary ingredient and natural flavouring. Orchids are most popular as ornamental houseplants and not just in our homes. It’s all but impossible to open an interior design magazine without seeing orchids stylishly arranged in boutique hotels and coffee shops and they’ve become a very popular gift. Sadly, many people’s orchid experiences consist of receiving or buying a plant with beautiful blooms that quickly fade, never to reappear. So how can you best care for your new orchid and enjoy it at home? Most important (as with any plant) is to [...]

Water friendly gardens

Summertime, and the gardening is easy! Well, it can be if you follow the tips in our latest blog. You’ll find loads of information on preparing for a spectacular display of blooms, controlling insects without harming the environment, and most importantly, how to be a waterwise gardener. Normally by this time of year we would be enjoying the first summer rains, but all the experts seem to agree that this year the much-needed rains will come late. Many areas are already looking rather dry and brown, and the challenge for gardeners is how to keep our outdoor spaces looking their best, while being responsible consumers of water. We believe that the answer lies in waterwise gardening, and especially in growing indigenous plant species which are more drought-resistant and don’t require nearly as much water as exotics. Summertime also sees an increase in the number of insects in our gardens – both beneficial ones, and some which are less friendly. Encouraging birds to visit your garden is one way of helping to control insects, and you can also take more direct action by using organic, eco-friendly pesticides. It’s all about working with Nature, not against it. One bit of good news in a dry [...]

When Nature calls…

When you think of ceramics at a Retail Garden Centre, you’re probably imagining a display of pots and planters – and we do stock a great range of both. But don’t forget to pay a visit to the quietest corner of the centre, as well as strolling among the stunning displays of flowers and trees outside. There is no part of Waterfall Wilds that has not been touched by the beauty of gardening – and that includes the restrooms. Stunning basins in the shape of some of our favourite flowers are certain to brighten up your day, and just washing your hands here contributes to sustainable gardening. All the grey water is of course repurposed for irrigation outside. Men are in for a particular floral treat when they spend a penny – and no, we don’t mean the air freshener. Ladies, for the first time ever, it’s worth knocking on the door and taking a peek inside the little boys’ room if no-one’s there – who says a urinal can’t be a thing of beauty?! Although we did resist commissioning one in the shape of a peony!

For the love of gardening – and the planet

There’s no time like the present to get into your garden and start transforming it into the outdoor space you’ve always dreamed of. South Africa’s best-known gardener, Keith Kirsten, is a passionate advocate of getting outdoors year-round and a sustainable approach to gardening. A visit to his new Retail Garden Centre in Waterfall Wilds will equip and inspire you for both! The setting itself is spectacular – perched high above the Jukskei River, which ultimately flows into the Crocodile River and past Keith’s home at River Lodge Farm. If visiting Keith’s Retail Garden Centre gives you a taste for the new gardening, then you can even stay at River Lodge Farm for a weekend, and live it. Keith describes the Waterfall Wilds centre as “an introduction into the world of home horticulture and garden design… a place where gardeners can walk through carefully structured displays and be inspires to copy them, or create their own”. The friendly, knowledgeable team offer exceptional service and are always on hand with advice and tips on plant selection and creating an eco-friendlier garden – a haven both for you, and our native wildlife. This all-natural focus eschews pesticides and harmful chemicals, and instead the centre stocks a [...]