These weird and wonderful evergreen perennials, which flower for months on end, originated from the crossing of two Australian species to get a large range of dwarf cultivars (50 – 60cm x 45cm) with big flower power in a wide array of bright colours.
Underground horizontal rhizomes give life to clumps of tough, sword-like green leaves with fans of leafless stalks topped by racemes of tubular two-lipped blooms. Both stalks and flowers are covered in colourful woolly hairs, giving them a velvety touch. Maturing flowers flare open at their tips into six greenish petals resembling a small paw.
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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.
HYPER REALISTIC ART A deep level of communication
Big Time Dinosaur
In general, sauropods rarely appear in dinosaur model collections due to their size and scale but not due to a lack of interest. In 1/20 or 1/15 scale, the average sauropod measures between 45 and 60 inches and is priced like a mid-range laptop.
Easy-care rhododendrons and azaleas make a splash in spring
Tempting tender perennials
Now that plug plants are starting to arrive in garden centres it is tempting to go on a spree, but don’t buy without first planning how to use them says Anne Swithinbank
Soldiers and Sailors
Pulmonarias are shade-tolerant, excellent for ground cover, blessed with a rich history and have garnered some charming common names, says Anne Swithinbank
Summer-flowering bulbs have such a great deal to offer in terms of colour, shape and drama. They should be planted as habitually as tulips, says Tamsin Hope Thompson
CLASSY CURDS? YES YOU CAN!
Cauliflower has a reputation for being a tricky plant to grow but with careful preparation and a little TLC, says Rob Smith, you can be assured of a good crop
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
HIGH STAKES winner
Train your garden to grow up with this elegant frame
Make it, love it! MOTHER'S DAY
Check out these easy makes and treat the special lady in your life with a beautiful handmade card and gift this Mothering Sunday