Waterwise

What our Mothers taught us about gardening and life!

A lot of us have memories of gardening in our childhood. Whether it was helping to weed, planting flowers, harvesting vegetables, or mowing the lawn, most of us spent some time in the garden learning about plants and life from our Moms. We would like to share a few fun quirky gardening facts that Mum might not have taught you! Torenia,a shade-loving annual, is called the wishbone flower. Look for tiny wishbone-shape stamens inside the purple, blue or burgundy petals. Bamboo is the fastest-growing woody plant in the world – it can grow 09cm in a single day. Archaeologists have uncovered evidence that grapes were grown to make wine about 8,000 years ago in Mesopotamia (Iraq), although the ancient Egyptians were the first to record the process of making wine about 5,000 years ago. During the 1600s, tulips were so valuable in Holland that their bulbs were worth more than gold. The craze was called tulip mania, or tulipomania, and caused the crash of the Dutch economy. Vanilla flavoring comes from the pod of an orchid, Vanilla planifolia.Though the pods are called vanilla beans, they’re more closely related to corn than green beans. Pineapples are the only edible members of the bromeliad family. The word pineapple comes [...]

FEBRUARY – LOVE YOUR GARDEN SO MULCH

February is often referred to as the month of love, and it’s no wonder, with Valentine’s Day falling in the middle of it. In the northern hemisphere, February 14th is traditionally regarded as the day when birds choose their mates, so it seems that it’s not just humans that are busy declaring love at this time. Whether you want to declare your love openly or anonymously, there is no finer or more expressive way to let the man or woman of your dreams know how much they mean to you than by saying it with flowers. As gardeners, we’re used to lavishing lots of love and attention on our gardens – and it shows in the amazing floral displays that can be seen in all the best gardens at the moment. Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to combine our love for horticulture with our love for that special someone. Roses may be the traditional way of showing someone you love them, but as with any cut flower, they’ll soon start to fade. Surely we can find a better way to express everlasting love – a love that will grow and mature and still blossom many years from now? Rather than giving someone long-stem [...]

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 [...]