The days are lengthening, the winter chill is disappearing, spring is in the air and summer is on the doorstep! Gardeners are getting itchy fingers and so, South African landscaper and botanist, Elsa Pooley – renowned for her indigenous gardens at Renishaw Hills on the KZN mid-South Coast – has shared suggestions for adding colour while filling in the gaps and replacing tired plants.
“Although the flowering season is past, do not forget to find a place in your garden for some bulbs and corms,” commented Pooley. “The paintbrush lily (Scadoxus puniceus) is beautiful in flower and fruit, while the river lily (Crinum macowanii) produces a large cluster of pink and white, fragrantly scented flowers at this time of year and again in February and March.”
Pooley suggests buying the biggest plants possible as bulbs take some years to mature to the flowering stage: “The orange Watsonia (Watsonia pillansii) is another reliable and beautiful plant which, together with falling stars (Crocosmia aurea), should find a place in your garden. The watsonias need sunlight, but the falling stars do better in some shade.”
She explained that there are at least three species of bright yellow, flowering Euryops available to gardeners on the mid-South Coast, which are great garden additions. The flower size and foliage colour differ for each species, flowering reliably for most of the summer.
“Don’t forget about Barberton daisies (Gerbera jamesonii),” said continued. “It is not always easy to find them in nurseries, but they are tough, reliable, and colourful garden plants. The blue daisy (Felicia amelloides) needs to be replaced every two years or so. African or Namaqualand (Arctotis, Gazania and Dimorphotheca) daisies are wonderful standbys, but the colour they provide makes the investment worthwhile.”
Other plants to consider include:
· Carpet geranium Geranium incanum as a colourful edging plant;
· The pincushion flower (Scabiosa africana);
· Nemesia hybrids in sunny beds.
· Indigenous salvias; and
· Geraniums (actually Pelargonium hybrids) are often short-lived near the coast, but great for colour.
“Don’t overlook selecting plants for foliage as well as flowers. Be careful about the placing of different textures and colours of foliage as the garden looks good and restful on the eye when plants are not in bloom. Try to increase the number of species planted in a garden, as the greater the variety of plant species, the greater the variety of birds, animals, insects, and other creatures that will be attracted, creating a wildlife refuge.”
Phil Barker of Renishaw Coastal Precinct commented: “The long-term vision of Elsa and the landscaping team at Renishaw Hills has resulted in some of the area’s most impressive indigenous gardens that attract visitors from all over. This is just one of the many ways that our residents can benefit from the natural beauty of the region. We encourage interested parties to visit to view our magnificent gardens in person during our Open Days every weekend, and experience why this is such an in-demand mature lifestyle estate.”
Located in Scottburgh on the mid-South Coast, Renishaw Hills is a quality coastal estate that forms part of the Renishaw Coastal Precinct. This 2.6-million square metre, mixed-use development includes residential, retail, educational, healthcare and light industrial/commercial zones. The first development within the precinct, Renishaw Hills boasts extensive nature trails, high-end facilities, and welcoming communities for retirees.
Renishaw Hills has just launched Phase 6, a series of high-end maisonettes boasting spectacular sea views and houses surrounded by coastal greenery. Start a new adventure by booking an in-person or virtual tour or visit any weekend for the Open Day. Email [email protected] or visit www.renishawhills.co.za