Décor & Gardening
Garden tasks for March
This is a good month to divide agapanthus, arum lilies, day lilies, Shasta daisies, gaillardia, penstemon, and salvias. Continue regular watering, especially autumn flowering perennials and spring flowering shrubs like azaleas (rhododendrons) and camellias so they set flowers for spring. Fertilize lawns, shrubs, perennials, and annuals. Vigorosa (5:1:5) is an all-round granular fertilizer. Trim hedges, shape summer flowering shrubs that have finished flowering and tidy ground covers by cutting them back once they’ve flowered. Start a new compost heap. There should be plenty of material from the trimmings and from next month the leaves will start to fall.
Rosy tip of the month
For bigger blooms and deeper colours in autumn, fertilize roses with Vigorosa in March, making sure to water well afterwards. The roses will respond to the cooler days and extra nutrition by sprouting new flowering stems.
Plant of the month
A classic combination of green and white, Exacum Princess White is a gorgeous indoor décor plant. Given bright, indirect light, in a cool room or airy patio and kept moist, (but not waterlogged) it will flower for three to four months. The flowers evenly cover the rounded ball of foliage. Choose a plant with plenty of buds that are starting to open, as this extends its flowering time. Tip: pinch off dead flowers to encourage more flowers. Details: www.ballstraathof.co.za
Vates Blue Curled kale is a newly available heirloom variety. It germinates quickly (3 to 10 days) and the first baby leaves can be harvested within 25 days. Use it as a cut-and-come-again veggie for salads, smoothies and in sautés. Plant in full sun, and water regularly. Part of the RAW seed range from garden centres and hardware stores. Details: www.rawliving.co.za
Fab Garden buy
When you can’t bear to stay indoors … bring the outdoor in. We’re mad about this new tropical range of homeware by Macaroon (already our favourite online store … now just another reason
to love it!). Just released, the range so far includes cotton twill napkins (R400 for a set of four), and wonderful cushion covers (600x600cm, they cost R500, without the inners). There’s a Plantation and a Pineapple design and we can’t decide which we prefer. So we’ll order both! Details: www.macaroon.co