IN THE GARDEN
Lots of rain and lots of sunshine have given us a prime garden this season. The lovely pentas are giving us a beautiful show, climbers are cascading and growing up trellises, and the salvias are bursting into bloom.
The gorgeous Neomarica that only lasts a day
Salvia Argentina skies
Our heartache this season was the slow death of our umzimbeet (Milletia grandis) next to the path down to the nursery. Building operations about six years ago had obviously damaged the roots. Lebo even put up a trestle table to support the tree but it was all in vain. Fortunately, I had seen this coming and planted another in the front garden about three years ago. So, all is not lost.
IN THE NURSERY
Click here to view all the plants in this newsletter on the website.
· Indigenous plants
Cyphostema hypoleuceum is an attractive deciduous climber with double-barrelled stems, bright green velvety leaves, and yellow branched inflorescence followed by red fruit. It is happy in sun to semi-shade, and attracts birds and bees to the garden.
The starburst pelargonium Pelargonium luridum is a breathtakingly lovely tuberous perennial with a basal rosette of lobed or ribboned leaves and inflorescence of creamy pink flowers in summer. Found from the Eastern Cape to Limpopo, it is deciduous and very hardy, and wants full sun.
I am thrilled to have a Syncolostemon hybrid in the nursery after enjoying it in my garden for many years. A sparsely branching evergreen shrub with toothed leaves, it has loose panicles of cerise pink flowers from spring to autumn. It grows about 1.2m high and likes full sun.
Zantedeschia rehmanii is a rare grassland bulb from the Mpumalanga area with lance-shaped leaves and small trumpet-shaped pink flowers flushed with cream in summer. It is deciduous and very hardy, and likes moist soil and sun to semi-shade.
We also once again have Streptocarpus plants in the nursery. They are so special that have a page on the website devoted entirely to them.
· Exotic plants
Acanthus mollis Whitewater is a gorgeous perennial with erect spikes of pink and white funnel-shaped flowers in spring that attract butterflies and do well in the vase. The large lobed dark green leaves have splashes of white. Evergreen and very hardy, it reaches an average height of 90cm. Plant in sun to semi-shade.
The multi-purpose Hamelia patens (or Firebush) has sprays of orange flowers from summer to autumn. This is a hardy evergreen shrub that grows on average 2m high and likes full sun.
The Korean bell flower Campanula takesimana is a clump-forming hybrid perennial with glossy, leathery heart-shaped leaves and upright stems of large white drooping bells from spring to summer. Evergreen and very hardy, it wants semi-shade, and grows on average 60cm high.
I always like being able to feature a plant that thrives in harsh conditions, and Cistus x purpureus Brilliancy is one of them. A compact, bushy evergreen shrub that likes full sun and dry sandy soil, it has oval, crinkle-edged greyish-green leaves and pretty dark pink flowers with large magenta dots in summer. It reaches an average height of 70cm.
Well, it’s that time of year again, and judging by the enquiries I have had, a reminder that we we have gift vouchers is in order. Also take note that the nursery will be open on 16 December but not over the Christmas weekend.
I hope that you will be able to take a well-deserved break over the festive season after another tumultuous year, and …
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