This is a good time to assess the garden and to see where improvements can be made. Look at the shape of lawn, flowerbeds and the positioning of steps, paths and permanent features.
Can you view the whole garden at a glance? If the answer is yes, then you need to think up ways of adding interest. Concealing parts of a garden can make a small garden appear larger; a curving path encourages discovery. Consider framing a pleasing view with a vine-covered archway.
Create “cameos” in the garden. It could be a bench surrounded by scented foliage, a statue peering out from behind a shrub, colourful hanging baskets or a window box of sweet smelling herbs.
Gazanias are drought-resistant and suitable for growing on banks, as a groundcover, in containers and edging pathways and borders. The Daybreak Series has colours of orange, yellow and bronze, as well as pink shades.
The tulip-shaped white, pink and maroon blooms of deciduous magnolias on erect branches make attractive winter subjects. Grow in rich, well-drained soil, water regularly, and protect from hot afternoon sun and strong winds.
Remember to water plants in containers as well as plants growing under eaves.
Divide any dormant perennials, such as phlox, physostegia and Shasta daisy.
Give winter and spring-flowering bulbs and bedding plants a light dressing of hoof-and-horn meal, and a watering with permanganate of potash (Condi’s crystals), and apply monthly (don’t confuse the hoof-andhorn meal with bonemeal).
Transplant shrubs that are in the wrong place, but not conifers and proteas. fees apply. Book at 021 799 8783. COLOUR: A talk on colour for your winter garden. July 17, 10am. Morne’s Super Plants, 150m north of Tokai & Main Rds, Tokai. Contact 021 715 4666. GARDEN TALKS: Roomtogrow present garden talks to celebrate the Kirsten-bosch Centenary. 10.30 - 11.30am. Sanlam Hall (Gate 2), Kirstenbosch. Talks free, but garden fees apply. No booking. Contact Cathy on 021 465 6440 or 072 201 2535. ASTRONOMY: A talk by Jasper Horrel on the MeerKAT and SKA project to the Cape Natural History Club. July 19, 8pm. R20. The Athenaeum, Newlands. Contact Eleanor on 021 762 1779. VEGETABLE GARDENING COURSE: Attend a gardening course. July 20 and 21, 11am to 3pm. R580. Ferndale Nursery, Brommersvlei Rd, Constantia. Contact 082 365 0050 or www.soughtafterseedlings.co.za ROSE PRUNING: Join a free rose pruning demonstration with Ludwig Taschner. July 20 and 21, 10.30am. Ludwigs Roses, Winelands, R304 offramp on N1, Klein Joostenberg, Muldersvlei. No booking needed. Contact 021 884 4552.
BED OF ROSES: In 1996 the Madiba rose was released by Ludwig’s Roses as a tribute to former president Nelson Mandela.
PLANT indigenous gazania.