Ria’s gardening tips
• Take a photo of a new bed and take it with you to the nursery; it’ll make it easier for the staff there to help you with the right plant suggestions. • Read the labels when buying plants. The information provided will give you an indication as to whether they will do well in your area, whether they need sun or shade and what their water needs are. Plants are too expensive to buy without forethought. • Choose plants that complement your surroundings and the style of your home. Also use elements from your surroundings to add structure to your garden, as we did with the river stones in our garden. This helps your garden to form a cohesive whole with the environment around it. • Make a proper hole and prepare the soil well when you plant. The better you prepare, the better your plants will grow. • Never walk around your garden without a pair of secateurs at hand. There’s always something that needs a trim and if you don’t do it immediately, you’ll forget about it. • Use kraal manure, leaf mould and dried grass clippings to feed your garden. This will also protect the soil and the roots of the plants during the cold winter months. • When transplanting a sizeable shrub, take note of which side of the shrub is growing in which direction (eg, north). Plant it the same way round in its new spot – it will do so much better. • Plant a large group of the same type of plants, especially if you have a spacious garden. This has much more impact and makes maintenance easier. >>
A path of river stones (above) winds through the trees; it is framed by fescue grass (Festuca spp.) and agapanthus. When the daylilies (right) flower, they provide plenty of colour in this corner of the garden.