Magnolia grandiflora, as its name suggests, is grown around the world as a large and magnificent ornamental tree, known for its glossy leaves with velvety brown undersides as well as the huge white/ivory flowers that are some 25cm across. But most of us just don’t have enough space in our gardens for a tree that in its natural habitat grows in excess of 30m tall. That’s where ‘Little Gem’ comes into the picture, offering all the magnificence of its big daddy species but in a compact package just right for smaller gardens and containers.
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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.
8 HABITS of healthy people
EATING WELL AND EXERCISING GO A LONG WAY, BUT FIGHTING-FIT FOLK ALSO HAVE OTHER BEHAVIOURS IN COMMON. READ ON FOR THEIR TOP LIFESTYLE TIPS AND HOW YOU CAN ADOPT THEM
THE POTTED PLOT
Since lockdown, gardeners are looking to fill every space with produce. Many are novices, keen to try a few packets of seeds for the first time. So where to start? Steve Ott looks to pots to provide the answer
Slugs? Hosta la vista baby!
Hostas are slug magnets aren’t they, so why should we bother growing them at all? Well, there is a bit more to it than that, as Graham Rice explains
CORNWALL, CABBAGES AND KEEPING IT TRADITIONAL
Fourth generation brassica growers Mark and Lowenna Arnold reveal the rationale underpinning their family business, Cornish Cabbage Plants, which produces bare rooted brassicas for the home gardener
Courgette? YOU BET!
If you’re new to growing veg, courgettes may look like they could be a difficult crop to grow. The truth is, says Tony Flanagan, they’re one of the easiest and (be warned!) one of the most prolific
A scuffle with a JCB leaves a rambler in tatters, but luckily Toby can save the day by making some hardwood cuttings
Enchanting and challenging Orchids
They have an aura of mystery and invoke obsession in collectors, and some behave like divas, but choose the right one and you can’t go far wrong, says Camilla Phelps
Add spring cheer with Primulas
In borders or pots, primulas are a welcome reminder that winter will soon be over. Louise Curley reveals how to make the most of this varied and colourful species
FROZEN ASSETS: SAVOURY PASTRIES
Barney Desmazery’s bake-from-frozen recipe can be packed into a lunchbox, or served as a main course with veg
INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES-Eradicating fountain grass
A popular garden plant, Pennisetum setaceum has escaped cultivation and is today a declared invader throughout South Africa. Mechanical control is currently the only way of removing it.