Jun 28, 2016 8:00 am
What better way to enhance the visual impact of a garden than to use low-growing ground covers that bloom regularly if pruned back after flowering?
They come with the bonus of reducing weed growth and thus conserving the available water and plant nutrients in the soil for the “garden plants”.
Weeds, among other elements, need light to thrive. By reducing the amount of light with foliage, growth is minimised; therefore it makes...
Jun 15, 2016 8:00 am
If you would like to see an added interest in your garden and space allows, consider creating a “wild garden” to encourage avian activity, insects, lizards, butterflies and moths.
Such areas can have a controlled, but natural appearance, and meld in with the more formal/informal garden if planned carefully. Bird life in the garden is not so common these days, but with a little encouragement it may offer the chance for a tasty meal, be...
May 3, 2016 8:00 am
May your garden be a place of rest and tranquility. With the surge of new growth — and of a floriferous nature — it is advisable to keep it at that level.
That means observing the growth, not only the flowers but also the foliage, for that is the telltale observation for pest and disease problems.
Pentas, for example, can be in full leaf and blooming habit only to be literally cut down by voracious caterpillars.
Apr 12, 2016 8:00 am
At an earlier time in history April 1 was recognised as New Year’s Day. It could have caused a problem for the gardening calendar but that fortunately changed in 1582; the present arrangement works well.
With warmth being palpable and daylight hours longer, it is time to right the wrongs of Mother Nature’s wrath bestowed on us since the early part of the year.
I have rarely seen such damage by wind and salt as I have this past...
Mar 15, 2016 8:00 am
Overplanting is not cost-effective, visually or functionally, and is similar to having more furniture than you actually need.
The difference is the furniture won’t expand and can be sold, however, once a plant is in the ground its growth increase is exponential until it is pruned, which is a cost. Thereafter, the process becomes repetitive — growth, prune — which becomes an exponential cost.
Planning, selection, installation and...
Feb 16, 2016 8:00 am
February (in the garden) should be cancelled due to lack of interest.
February is a month to contemplate the reality of what one can do in the garden; it is a month for catching up on jobs that have lingered in the nether parts of the mind, and never surfaced. It is not a good month for planting or pruning; winter weeds still accommodate the soil and can be removed, little growth is produced, flowering is minimal at best.
Jan 5, 2016 8:00 am
Having spent some time in England and Northern Ireland on my last vacation, it became apparent that the “landscape”, in general, is a metaphor encompassing any area that has been “made green”.
It is similar in many parts of the world with developing projects — be they offices, housing, open plots of land or whatever, the need for a green area is a must; the problem is what type of green area and what is expected of this green area in...
Dec 1, 2015 8:00 am
The thought of selecting Christmas presents for friends can be difficult enough, but more than stressful when family members are involved. So where to start and, more especially, where to find such inspiration? For the avid or simply keen gardener, tools, equipment or an unusual plant — as a status symbol especially if you know the botanical name — can be right on target. Personally, I am OK with not receiving a gift, especially if it is not...
Oct 13, 2015 8:00 am
With temperatures starting to go south, it is time to assess the needs of the garden after a mix of climatic conditions during the summer.
Heavy rains invariably leach out nutrients from the soil and, in combination with the heat of the day, produces abundant growth that lends itself to the need for pruning.
As there is still enough heat in the air to encourage growth — though shorter daylight hours do have an impact — applying...
Sep 15, 2015 8:00 am
The heat goes on and hurricanes can be more prevalent.
It gives reason to checking the garden for excess growth and pruning accordingly to reduce the potential impact on bushes, and especially trees, and retain a reasonably good branch structure for future growth. Large trees, such as black ebony, poinciana and orchid tree, can be severely damaged. Having large boughs ripped off can reduce the tree to a poor specimen and even subject to...
Aug 4, 2015 8:00 am
It’s hot and humid. The best place to be is in the shade sipping on your favourite wine and smelling the roses — stop daydreaming and check out what’s needed to be done in the garden!
August is usually given to keeping weeds under control, watering as required to keep things ticking over and keeping an eye out for pest and disease problems.
This is especially important after periods of heavy rain when new growth is lush and the...
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