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Summer Hibiscus

Hibiscus flowers come in many stunning coloursSummer gardens often look dull after the spring flush when so many shrubs flower at the same time. Look for summer flowering shrubs to lift the pallet. One well worth considering is Hibiscus, the showy blooms of Hibiscus will lend a tropical touch to the home. Bring a bit of summer holidays on the east coast to your garden by planting your favourite colour.

Hibiscus flowers come in many stunning colours from pink, red, yellow to orange and the blooms can be either single or double as well as two tone coloured.

Did you know that the south coast is often referred to as the Hibiscus coast? This is not only because of the exotic Hibiscus we see growing there but because South Africa has around 60 indigenous species of Hibiscus most of which are found in the KwaZulu Natal region.

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Eco-scaping looking after the environment

Plants that attract bees are a mustEco-scaping is short for Eco-friendly landscaping and encourages us to work in harmony with nature by establishing a healthy and well balanced landscape. It is the responsibility of our generation to ensure that we continue on a sustainable path of development that will protect and conserve our environment. Including Eco-scaping in small ways to your general gardening habits will make big differences in the future.

It can be a simple as introducing flowers among ornamental grasses to attract butterflies and bees, insects and birds as pollinators or growing flowers and herbs with vegetables to increase nectar production and attract predator insects to changing the way you feed your plants.

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Your Eckards fertiliser quick guide

Plants grow right through the year and even though some may seem to be standing still their roots are always growing. It is important to feed all plants, even indigenous ones need to be fed to perform at their best. There are a few things to consider before buying your fertiliser and with so many on the market we decided to make it easier with this quick guide for summer.

Organic fertilisers bind with the soilOrganic fertilisers are by nature slow release.  Binding with the soil they do not leach out finding their way into underground water and rivers. Feeding with an organic fertiliser is an on-going process and regular applications give the best results. Organic fertilisers are all ideal as general fertiliser. Plants grow with stronger structure when fed organically instead of being forced with a chemical fertiliser which results in plants that are hardier to the elements such as cold or water extremes.

Modern chemical fertilisers are kinder to the environment and better suited to our soils than their traditional counterparts. Chemical fertilisers give quick results but at a price. The leaves are forced so one finds that they are not as strong making the plant more susceptible to insects and disease.

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Making a simple bird feeder

Make your own Pine Cone Feeder or get the kit instore at the Eckards Bird BarA kid-friendly project, this pine cone feeder idea will take about half an hour to make. One of the easiest and most effective ways of drawing wildlife into your garden is to build a birdfeeder. You will be amazed at the range of birds that you can attract to your garden using a few simple tricks. One of the most decorative, natural and tasty feeders can be created from a pinecone filled with nutritious seeds to create a perfect winter feast for many different birds and is lots of fun to make as a family.

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