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Time to sow, time to grow your own

Leafy crops do will this time of the year!The veggie garden also changes through late autumn and early winter as the cool season plants go in and the last of the summers stragglers finish off. Keep the harvests coming into the kitchen by adding some hardy and family favourites now to be ready to harvest by mid to end June through to spring. Generally the winter months are good for all root crops. Carrots, beetroot, onions etc do well in full sun and by growing them through winter they will grow slower giving you more flavour and also lasting well into summer.

Leafy crops such as Cabbage, spinach and parsley also grow in winter. The trick is less water on the leaves and with little rain expected over the next few months they grow more compact. Winter lettuce can be grown as perpetual lettuce where the leaves are harvested instead of cutting off the whole plant.

If you have the space winter is also time to grow peas as well as broad beans. Your harvest on them will go on till the end of October making them one of the best for value for money. Grow them where they will get at least six hours sun a day and plant them from seed in well prepared soil.


Green Glorious Green

Bold green Chinese LaurelThe one thing that we can say about 2015 is that it certainly has had a green start! The street trees are full and thick and the shrubs in our local area looking like they have put on more growth than ever, all thanks to the abundant rain we have had. In the meanings of colours green is not just the colour of growth, it is the colour of renewal and rebirth. Bright green restores depleted energy, balance and harmony. That's nature taking care of us this New Year for sure!

Plant some new shrubs to update the garden and take advantage of all that green energy that they bring. We looked for some of our favourite green foliage shrubs that look good all year and with some of them flowering as a bonus, it's time to take the plunge. Pull out that old shrub that does nothing and add some new fresh green.


Hydrangea time

Intensify the colours by adjusting the soil phHydrangeas are commonly known as Christmas flowers in South Africa because they flower this time of the year. The most popular are the classic big leafed French Hydrangeas and this month they are the pride of the garden as they come into full bloom.

Caring for Hydrangeas is easy. Growing just over a square meter or more they prefer morning sun or dappled shade all day. As long as they get protection from the heat of the day in a moist but well drained soil. If they are in too much shade they tend to get mildew on the leaves and don't flower well.


Install a water feature

Water encompasses all the sensesIf you don’t already have a water feature this is the year to consider installing one. Water brings movement and peace and there is nothing more relaxing and calming than listening to soft running water after a stressful day. With some of the easy to use products we listed below there is no need to have green water in your pond or fountain to put you off having one.

Because moving water encompasses all senses, your water feature should be the focal point of your garden or patio. Fountains have many benefits other than adding beauty to your home or gardens. Water in the garden aids in stress relief and relaxation, acts as a natural humidifier, improves air quality with negative ions, and produces soothing water sounds that can drown out annoying sounds or street noise to soothe and relax you.


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