Newsletter Sep 2017

Yes, it’s spring - and no one wants to be inside in front of a computer so I am keeping the newsletter short this month!

What I must do however is remind you of the Spring Open Weekend at Petal Faire Nursery this coming Saturday and Sunday the 9th and 10th September from 09h00 to 15h00 daily.  Robert and Sibongile will be serving tea and scones on the veranda but please note that this is a Petal Faire Nursery event not our traditional Rare Plant Fair; there won’t be any external exhibitors.

I am so thrilled with the exotic and indigenous selection we have in the nursery for the occasion, I have added a special page on the website to give you a preview. Amongst the exotics, we have a few deutzias, epimediums and lovely variegated hydrangeas.  On the indigenous side I have stocked up on my favourite NEW indigenous plant, the Gnidia triplinervis. The pink arum, Zanteschia aethiopica “Marshmallow” and the water wise Freylinia undulata are very special and we also have some beautiful Watsonias from KZN.


Following our August pruning, the garden still looks a little bare but if you look closely there are small growths on every stem and some of the plants like the Malus “Liset”, Aristolochia trilobata, Prunus gladulosa and Geranium madarense are already sporting their spring blossoms.  The oak tree in the nursery is covered in delicious lime green foliage and the pink Tabebuia rosea is in bloom.  Just a marvellous time in the garden!


I was very excited to stumble across the news on Facebook that The Gardener magazine has brought out a new publication Open Gardens of South Africa 2017-2018. The magazine is a guide to what The Gardener website calls “the best of the best private gardens” across the country so you can really plan your trips. If you can’t find it on the shelves, order it online at Magzter. I think it will be R25 or so well spent!

The Johannesburg Garden Club’s annual Open Gardens Meander takes place on the weekend of 16th and 17th September. Gardens in six different locations will be open from 10h00 to 17h00.  Tickets are R200 and can be purchased from; entrance is free for children under 12. As always, proceeds go to Child Welfare.

And for those of you in KwaZulu-Natal, the South African Botanical Society’s KZN Coastal Branch Indigenous Plant Fair also takes place this month. The Fair is in partnership with the Sustainable Living Exhibition at the Durban Exhibition Centre and this year the BotSoc has invited selected nurseries who will be selling plants inside the hall. The show is open to the public from 15th to 17th September from 09h00 to 17h00. For more information, visit or email:

I can hardly believe we have had our dogs – and no lawn – for four years now. In the beginning we were assured they would calm down after two years. A few loads of instant lawn later, we were told to hang in there until they were three, and then four. Last year we tried some Stipa dreageana and other very tough groundcovers but alas, still more brown than green in the front garden. We have persevered and put in a few more clumps of Stipea dreageana but it looks as though Layla and Molly think they are for nibbling purposes. So I must ask visitors to bear with us; perhaps five is the magic number.

Happy gardening,