We’re planting…

Petunia ‘Lightning Sky’ the latest in novelty petunias that is very hard to ignore. The speckled and starred yellow and red-velvet petals sparkle like a firework display. Each bloom is different, and the cooler days and nights bring out the markings.
Like the other novelty petunias, the flowers are single, with compact, neat growth that suits smaller gardens, and spill out of containers and hanging baskets. Plants can double-up as in indoor flower arrangement for a day or two before being planted outdoors. They like full winter sun, well-drained soil, regular watering and fertiliser once a month to ensure an endless supply of flowers. The other showy petunias in the novelty range are the blue shaded ‘Night Sky’, and ‘Ink Splash’ with ‘Baby Doll’ being pink and white.

Garden tasks for July

  • Prune the roses from mid-July until early August.
  • Regularly water spring flowering shrubs, bulbs and flowers
  • Fertilise winter flowers with a liquid fertiliser once or twice a month
  • Water lawns once a month in warmer areas.
  • Protect tender plants with frost guard cloth.
  • Water flowers in containers every second day.
  • Protect conifers from conifer aphid by spraying the stems and foliage with an organic insecticide or use insecticide granules sprinkled around the base of the conifer.

Jane’s delicious garden

Do you want to grow organic vegetables but don’t know where to begin? Jane’s Delicious Garden is the perfect book for you – whether you have green fingers or not. Packed with practical advice, time saving tips, step by step instructions and personal anecdotes, this book is for beginners and gardening gurus alike. With over 200 photographs, and detailed information on nearly 100 different vegetables and herbs, this guide will enable you to feed your family and friends with wholesome, organic food harvested from your own garden. Within eight months of its launch in April 2009, Jane’s Delicious Garden had outsold both Margaret Roberts and Keith Kirsten. Now in its sixth print run, this best seller has sold over 15 000 copies. R287. Details: www.faithful-to-nature.co.za

Indoor / patio plant of the month…

Lavender ‘Avignon Early Blue’ is small and bushy with deep blue blooms and the strong fragrance of English lavender. Keep flowering plants in a warm, sheltered spot on the patio during winter and it will continue flowering into spring. Use the edible flowers in cooking or baking, and to flavour sugar. Cut off the dead blooms to encourage new flowers. In summer it can be planted out into the garden or into outdoor containers. It is suitable for our hot, dry summers, being able to tolerate heat better than stoechas varieties.

Garden money

The Burgon & Ball Seed Fund Money Box gives gardeners somewhere to save for those little gardening indulgences! It’s a perfect gift for a gardening loved one, or of course it makes a very stylish way to kickstart your gardening savings fund. It’s created in beautifully moulded steel for a flawless, seam-free finish, with a tough powder coating to keep the gorgeous colour looking good. The smooth FSC beech wooden lid adds a lovely natural touch. This money box will look lovely on a kitchen shelf, as it echoes the design of kitchen canisters, and in fact, it looks just like ceramic – but it won’t break if dropped! R215. Details: www.fineandfabulous.co.za