JJ’s gar­den so­lu­tions

Home (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - CON­TACT JJ van Rens­burg is a horticulturist at Gar­den World in Jo­han­nes­burg; visit gar­den­world.co.za.


Ber­ries for the birds Al­bin and Sanet Bowler of Cape Town write

We have a beautiful lan­tana in our gar­den and the birds seem to en­joy the ber­ries but we’re con­cerned that they may be poi­sonous; are they?

JJ replies Your plant is un­for­tu­nately the highly in­va­sive Lan­tana ca­mara. It has been de­clared a Cat­e­gory 1 in­va­sive species in South Africa, which means that it must be re­moved from your prop­erty to avoid pros­e­cu­tion. This plant is a prob­lem be­cause it com­petes with and re­places in­dige­nous species, re­duc­ing the bio­di­ver­sity of nat­u­ral ecosys­tems. The en­tire plant is poi­sonous to hu­mans and an­i­mals and the leaves are a skin ir­ri­tant. For more in­for­ma­tion, go to

in­va­sives.org.za. For some shade… Al­bie van Zyl of Cape Town writes

I re­cently bought a home in the north­ern sub­urbs of Cape Town. The sand in the front is very dry and there’s ba­si­cally no gar­den. It gets a lot of sun dur­ing the day, so I’d like to plant some trees for shade; what do you sug­gest?

JJ replies Most plants pre­fer sandy soil with good drainage and air cir­cu­la­tion. That be­ing said, you must still in­cor­po­rate a good amount of com­post. For a front gar­den, I rec­om­mend for­est elder (Nuxia flori­bunda), cheese­wood (Pit­tospo­rum virid­i­flo­rum), laven­der tree (Heteropy­xis na­tal­en­sis) or Cape holly (Ilex mi­tis). The Cape ash (Eke­ber­gia capensis) will also pro­vide good shade. Ex­cel­lent ever­green op­tions are wa­ter berry (Syzigium cor­da­tum) or an av­enue of sand olive (Dodon­aea vis­cosa var. an­gus­ti­fo­lia). If you need a hedge, a row of Cape honey­suckle (Te­coma capensis) will do well.

Lis­ten to JJ’s gar­den­ing tips and tricks on Der­rich Gard­ner’s show Brek­fis met Der­rich at 07:40 ev­ery Satur­day on RSG.

Te­coma capensis

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