Modern gardening requires a holistic approach. Gone are the days of carefully curating a garden bed and perfecting a lawn, only to throw a metal table or bench in the corner and call it a day. These days your garden’s hardscaping elements are just as important as the plants themselves and are often the spaces that get the most use. Choose your favorite from these categories or combine them to complete your offbeat, modern garden design.
When designing a garden, outdoor entertaining areas are not merely places to sit. Choose furniture and decor carefully, with a combination of textures and colors, to turn your outdoor space into the highlight of your garden. This outdoor space combines the structure of arty concrete furniture with soft furnishings and plants for a modern, offbeat design.
Gardeners go crazy with colour when it comes to plants, so why shy away from using colour in entertainment spaces? Your garden will not be overshadowed if you go bold in hardscaping – using complementary colours will only highlight your precious plants. Pops of red are the popular choice but other primary colours blue and yellow also feature often. Contrast bright colours together or choose one to highlight your entertainment space as a vivid garden feature.
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Turn your garden bits into an upcycled basket just in time for the children to enjoy hunting for Easter eggs.
The Malaise Of FOPB!
Living remotely from others leads to a bigger reliance on remotes and their confusing buttons. It is terrifying if you suffer from FOPB…
Fiery shades of red and orange make for a bold autumn display.
A Haze Of Purple
The evergreen ribbon bush, a compact shrub with dull-green leaves and abundant spikes of two-lipped deep purple flowers with darker purple spots, is a selection derived from Hypoestes aristata and was developed at the Walter Sisulu National Botanical garden. It carries the apt varietal name of ‘Purple Haze’ and is widely cultivated in gardens all over the country.
The Allure Of Lavender!
This herbaceous plant, a member of the mint family Lamiaceae, is so famous that its common name is even used to describe a colour. Most of us will associate the term lavender with a gentle shade of light purple that symbolises elegance, refinement, serenity, purity and luxury – the latter two probably due to the Latin word ‘lavare’, which means to bathe and to wash. One can just imagine how the conquering and decadent Romans bathed in bunches of lavender sprigs and flowers, draped their newly washed togas over the bushes to permeate them with the fresh smell, and stacked dried stems of leaves and flowers in dark corners to repel plague-infested fleas!
Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’
If cauliflower was a stock to trade, some would have made millions in the last few years as the humble cauliflower became one of the most versatile cruciferous vegetables in the kitchen. With an increase in the popularity of flexitarian, vegan, gluten-free, keto and plant-based diets, cauliflower is no longer only baked into a cheesy casserole, but spiced and grilled as ‘steaks’ on a braai, mashed, riced, sauced, powdered, blended and made into pasta or a crispy pizza base. There are not many vegetables that can do all that!
Mushroom plant (Rungia klossii) is a bushy perennial with crisp, mushroom-flavoured leaves that are good for adding to salads or for cooking. Steam just before serving so that the leaves don’t lose their fresh green appearance.
A passion for roses
For five generations of gardeners, maybe more, Ludwig Taschner has been the friendly face of rose growing.
Time For Wild Hyacinths!
We told you in January that planting bulbs would be a great trend in 2021, so March is a good time to kick off your annual bulb planting quest with the indigenous wild hyacinths, also called Cape hyacinth, Cape cowslip and, more botanically correct, Lachenalia. Between South Africa and Namibia there are more than 120 natural species (some of which are sold in flower by specialist nurseries), but there are also many desirable hybrids bred by commercial bulb growers that are readily available in bulb form from the end of February.