GLO­RI­OUS spring!

These beautiful blooms her­ald the chang­ing of the sea­sons…

Home (South Africa) - - GARDENS - By Marié Ester­huyse • Pho­tographs Fran­cois Ober­hol­ster Styling Melissa Raut­en­bach and Re­nate Lüdick

“No vase or bowl, jug or pot need be empty in spring,” says Melissa Raut­en­bach of Flour­ish. “There are so many flow­ers from which to choose; it’s easy to give your home a splen­did spring feel.

“We filled an old cup­board I had in my garage with spring blooms to cre­ate this im­pres­sive fo­cal point (op­po­site),” she says. “Tins, pretty vin­tage teacups, milk jugs, bowls, glass jars and enamel bowls were all used as con­tain­ers for this wide va­ri­ety of flow­ers. Prefer­ably, your con­tain­ers shouldn’t match per­fectly; dif­fer­ent sizes, colours, shapes and tex­tures all con­trib­ute to the im­pact of your spring dis­play. It’s also not es­sen­tial to have an en­tire cup­board filled with flow­ers; one or two shelves of blooms com­bined with books, mag­a­zines and fam­ily pho­tos will also do the trick. Or dis­play flow­ers in glass jars on a ta­ble, a win­dowsill or man­tel­piece – this is just as im­pres­sive and will bring spring fra­grance and colour into your home.

“Fill the con­tain­ers with clean wa­ter and cut the stems in dif­fer­ent lengths so that not all of them are at the same height. Ar­range them as you fancy – there’s no right or wrong with these gor­geous spring blooms! Even a flower with a bro­ken stem can still be used – sim­ply float it in a bowl of wa­ter,” says Melissa.

“Be­fore you buy spring flow­ers, take a look in your gar­den. You’ll be sur­prised by how many are ready to be picked. How­ever, if you don’t have enough, buy a few bunches: daf­fodils, freesias, sweet peas, Dutch irises, ra­nun­culi, Ice­land pop­pies and tulips are just some of the many blooms avail­able from florists in spring. And you only need a few of each; even a sin­gle flower in a pot looks won­der­ful.

The only flow­ers we used that you won’t be able to buy are the nas­tur­tiums and for­get-me-nots. If you don’t have these in your gar­den, sow their seeds for next spring – both ger­mi­nate eas­ily. Or get a bloom or two from a gar­den­ing friend!” >>

Tips for daf­fodils and freesias (and other spring bulbs)

Feed bulbs with liq­uid fer­tiliser such as Sea­gro or Nitrosol ev­ery two weeks in the grow­ing season and con­tinue feed­ing un­til all the leaves have died back. They can be left in the soil to come up again; oth­er­wise, lift them, dust off the soil and store them in a dry place un­til the next autumn plant­ing season. Spring-flow­er­ing bulbs are avail­able at most nurs­eries from March and April.

Use your most fra­grant spring blooms in liv­ing ar­eas and bed­rooms – a pot of jas­mine, wis­te­ria or freesias is a heady re­minder that spring has sprung! – Melissa

Re­nate Lüdick and Melissa Raut­en­bach

CON­TACT Flour­ish 084 705 6651 Flow­ers sup­plied by Flora Ju­bilee (028 514 2455) and Rusten­berg Wine Es­tate (021 809 1200, rusten­berg.co.za) Sources Gar­den­ing with Keith Kirsten by Keith

Kirsten; The South African What Flower is That? by Kristo Pien­aar; Reader’s Di­gest A South African Gar­den for All Sea­sons with chief con­trib­u­tor Jen­nifer God­bold-Simpson

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