The new bedding impatiens ‘Beacon’ that blooms from spring to the first frost and is highly resistant to downy mildew. Busy lizzies (Impatiens walleriana) used to fill shady gardens, until the fungus disease wiped them out. After years of breeding and collaboration, seed growers have finally bred a highly resistant variety. It was successfully trialled overseas and in Joburg last year and the thumbs up given for its release this spring. ‘Beacon’ does not require any special treatment. It does best in shade to semi-shade, requires well-composted soil and regular watering. Fertilise once a month with a liquid fertiliser to encourage plentiful flowers. Flower colours are Bright Red, Orange, Violet Shades, Salmon, White and Coral as well as a mix. This highly resistant impatiens is identifiable from other varieties by a colourful ‘Beacon’ label. Details: www.ballstraathof.co.za
• Plant out summer annuals like salvias, marigold, bedding dahlias, gazanias, alyssum, dianthus, and mimulus, water twice a week and fertilise with a liquid fertiliser once a month.
• Annuals to grow from seed for a big splash of colour include marigolds, alyssum, cosmos, cornflowers, and lobelia as well as scatter packs which are ready-made mixes of summer annuals for sun or shade.
• Perennials that grow easily from seed include hollyhocks, Shasta daisies, asters, scabious, statice, sweet William, aquilegia, Arctotis, and foxgloves.
• Cut back or tidy up summer perennials to encourage new growth. Start watering more regularly and fertilise with 5:1:5, 3:1:5 or 8:1:5.
• Feed irises with superphosphate.Cannas, day lilies, coreopsis and dahlias can still be divided and replanted into well composted soil.
• Clivia shows take place in September and they are worth a visit if you want to add to yourcollection of clivia.
• Amaryllis, daylilies, and Louisiana irises can be planted from early September but wait until the middle of September to plant Crocosmia and dahlias.
• Keep watering spring flowering bulbs and Liliums.
• Fertilise flowering shrubs with 5:1:5 or 3:1:5 and foliage shrubs with 3:2:1. Trim winter flowering shrubs such as poinsettia.
• If not done last month, scarify, aerate, fertilise and water the lawn. Water once a week or every two weeks and mow weekly when necessary.
Best for patios…
Verbena peruviana ‘Firehouse’ is perfect for hanging baskets and containers because if forms a mound of flowers that easily fills a hanging basket or patio planter. What’s different about this verbena is that it doesn’t cycle in and out of flowers. New flowers are opening as the old ones die. The foliage is tough and disease resistant too. Place in a position that receives morning sun and afternoon shade. Baskets require daily watering in summer and containers every second to third day. Fertilise with a liquid fertiliser for flowers twice a month. Plants are available in eight different colours including purple fizz and lavender. Details: www.ballstraathof.co.za
The Matlock is manufactured from solid Indonesian teak in a natural honey brown colour. This portable piece offers a carry handle and folds away for easy storage. R 2999. Details: www.cielo.co.za
This gorgeous planter is handcrafted exactly like the original 50s planters made from fibreglass with powder coating. Available in burnt orange, yellow, mint and pearl white with either a short or tall steel stand. Planter fits a standard 30cm pot planter. Planter: 320 x 400mm Tall Stand: 890mm. R 1 550. Details: www.knus.co