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Summer Gardening

Agapanthus love summerAs we heading towards midsummer in December itís a wonderfully full garden time of the year. The gardens look their best this time of the year without much effort especially after all the rain weíve had. Every summer there are old favourites and new ones to add to the list especially if you are often out and about looking at gardens. This is what we think every summer gardener should find a spot for.

Absolutely all the Agapanthus

Agapanthus Great White in our driveway gardenRock stars of the summer garden, these #WaterWise indigenous gems grow in full sun to light shade. There are many new varieties available in so many shades of blue to purple it will be hard to choose your favourite. Feed them with an BioOcean an organic fertiliser which stimulates flowering and it will also keep them lush. Agapanthus flower all summer and the rest of the year add a lush foliage to the garden with their shiny strappy leaves.

Look out for Black Panther which has dark purple flowers with almost black buds opening on stems well over 1.2M high. The repeat flowering variety Twister has large flowers, and is a combination of blue throated petals with white. Great White is a medium growing agapanthus which the most beautiful white flowers with a strong stem. The flowers last longer than most agapanthus in the garden.

Fabulous Fuchsias

Fuchsias are shade garden loversFuchsias are also called ballerina flowers because the flowers look like the beautiful dancers in tutus and gowns in all the shade of pink white and purple. The beauty of fuchsia flowers might lead you to believe that they are sun - lovers, but this is not true. The ideal conditions for fuchsias are sun in the morning or semi-shade all day. Strong midday sun stresses the plants and is best avoided. In particular, many of the light and white coloured blooms will be affected if exposed to too much sun.

There are many different varieties. Fuchsias have been hybridised over the years and there are as many varieties as there are in the rose family. Some are more upright and are suited for standards or small shrubs in the garden while some of the most popular varieties are the dwarf and cascading varieties, well suited for containers and hanging baskets.

The best fuchsias are ones which are regularly watered and fed weekly with a liquid fertiliser.

Multifeed Flowergro is high in potassium which will produce the best flowers, but an all purpose fertiliser does the job just as well. A mulch of compost around the plant will go a long way to preserve moisture and provide nutrients.

New Zealand Rock Lilies

Tough and hardy New Zealand rock liliesTough, water wise, hardy, growing in semi shade to shade and the fact that they flower through summer makes them a must have in the garden. Botanically they are Arthropodium but we know them by the much easier name of Rock Lilies. They originate from New Zealand where they use them much the same as we use Clivia's in South Africa. They grow well under trees and look great when planted in groupings. During winter they die down as many perennials do and then through spring they shoot out fresh and lush growing about 40cm high in a clump that also gets bigger as the plant matures. We think every garden should have some.

Sexy succulents

One can get so creative with succulentsNot just because they are water wise we have favourite succulents in the modern garden because they are so versatile. In small gardens filling gaps in the sun or planted in containers on a balcony or patio, they are super sexy. The trend we are seeing is that many people start collecting all the different ones too.

When planting you succulents make sure they are in well drained soil as they do not like being water logged. Succulent mix is ready made for container plantings to take the guess work out of the best soil mix for them. They donít need feeding and much water but if you do water them and feed with Nitrosol you will be rewarded with fatter and larger leaves.