JJ’s garden solutions
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.