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Creative food gardening

The Special Collection of seedsFood gardening is one of the most popular pastimes in gardening today. There is something special about growing your own that is just not the same as supermarket convenience. Over the past few years we have seen how the world has taken to planting something for the table at home. Sometimes it's a practical kitchen growing operation but for most it's a few herbs or veggies and experimenting with something different.

They have proven that children who grow their own food become gardeners as they grow up and have a better understanding and appreciation for nature and the environment. It could be as simple as letting them grow a patch of carrots or getting involved in the whole process as an outdoor activity away from the electronic screens they use all the time.

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Time to prune

Lime Sulphur and Steriseal are pruning essentialsOnce the garden is pruned and had a tidy spring starts to come into your garden as one tends to get going with composting and watering as the garden cleans up. July is pruning time in the garden and rather than a dreaded chore, with the right tools and correct information, pruning can be easy. Think of it as a late winter cut-back that rejuvenates plants and prepares them for a summer of healthy growth, glorious blooms or fabulous fruit.

Pruning brings light and sunshine into the garden warming the soil and stimulating growth from the roots in the ground up. So besides the usual suspects like Roses give the whole garden a nip tuck and shaping to get the yard warmer and tease the spring. It's time to start clearing out and pruning. Roses in our area should be pruned now and hedges and topiary should get a good shaping to get them ready for the first flush of growth.

Pruning is a bit of a mystery for most gardeners and yet it need not be. Most plants need some form of pruning at some stage to stimulate new growth, flowers or to limit size. In nature this happens with frost, hail, fire or strong winds. At home this task is one that lets you put your own stamp on your garden. Sharp secateurs or a long-handled lopper will make pruning easy. Three of the most popular garden plants that need pruning are roses, hydrangeas and fruit trees. Here are our top tips ...

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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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