Interested in landscapes? Visit the 'Gardens of the Golden City' - Summer Open Gardens, Gauteng, South Africa.
Attend an open garden and raise funds for charity. Visit open gardens in Randburg, Westcliff and Saxonwold.
Weekend of 23/24 February 2019 (10am-5pm)
'Aloe Ridge', 303C Olievenhout Avenue, North Riding AH, Roodepoort, 2169
About the garden: Aloe Ridge a 6700 m indigenous garden is set in the North Riding Agricultural Holdings Valley just below the Northgate Dome. There are over 300 planted South African indigenous tree species growing amongst the original Ancient African Olives, Mountain Karee, Bushman’s Poison, Common Hook Thorn, Red leaf Rock Fig and Rock Elder clusters located in the area.
There are roughly 600 aloes dispersed throughout the garden in sandstone rockeries along with shrubs, bulbs and indigenous grasses. Under the shade of the trees are dense patches of Plectanthus (spurflowers) and other indigenous shade plants creating a forest floor effect under the tree canopies.
Saturday, 23 February (14h00)
Talk: 'Indigenous Plants and your Garden' by Malcolm Hepplewhite.
Venue: Bea Thompson Hall, Witkoppen Wildflower Nursery, Aloe Ridge 303C Olievenhout Avenue, Northriding, Randburg.
- A look at what an indigenous plant is...
- Why we should be planting indigenous plants...
- Tips on how to make indigenous gardening easier and successful.
Sunday, 24 February (11h00)
Talk: 'Shady Gardening Issues' by Malcolm Hepplewhite.
Venue: Bea Thompson Hall, Witkoppen Wildflower Nursery, Aloe Ridge 303C Olievenhout Avenue, Northriding, Randburg.
- A look at the two main sources of shade in gardens and how to approach gardening in each type.
- We also look at some indigenous garden plants that happily grow in shade.
As the show garden is quite shady the talk 'Shady Affairs' will be quite appropriate. So you can have a look at the garden, enjoy a cup of tea and cake at the show garden, listen to the talk at the NURSERY and, as long as you keep the ticket, come back again and have a second look at the garden with a different view.
- Entrance: R50.00 inclusive of a talk by Malcolm Hepplewhite at the Witkoppen Wildflower Nursery which is about 100m from the show garden.
- When you present your ticket from the garden, the talk is for free and you get 10% discount on all plants. Children under 12 are free. Entrance to only the talk - R50.00.
Contact: Margreet 072 400 1559 Helena 083 267 1661
Please visit the Tea Garden at the show garden.
9/10 March 2019 (10am-5pm)
CHOC House, 16 Eastwold Way, Saxonwold, Johannesburg.
As CHOC is celebrating its 40th birthday this year we are delighted that we have the opportunity to open the garden for you to enjoy.
- The garden provides a peaceful and healing retreat for the families of children fighting cancer and is maintained with love by the “Garden Fairies” from the Country Garden Club.
- It shows off a wide diversity of plants and huge trees provide a welcome shade in the play area so the children can play happily.
- A magnificent vegetable garden provides fresh vegetables for the children to have a healthy meal.
- By visiting the CHOC garden you support such a worthwhile , deserving and needy cause.
Contact: Margreet - 072 400 1559 Helena - 083 267 1661
Entrance: R50 Children under 12 years free.
Weekend of 6 - 7 April, 2019
Heritage Garden, 19 Pallinghurst Drive, Westcliff, Johannesburg, Gauteng South Africa
- In November 2013, the owners started rejuvenating this Old World Garden as they wanted to bring it back to its former glory.
- The approach was to create light by pruning the old trees enough to create filtered sun as many of the beds were in deep shade.
- Once that had been achieved the beds needed trenching and feeding with tonnes of compost and organic fertilizer.
- Here is a mix of roses, Buddleja 'Buzz', penstemons, mixed salvia and cascading convolvulus interspersed with annuals for the season.
- A touch of old fashioned herbs like achillea have worked to bring seasonal colour.
- The shade gardens have a mix of plectranthus, impatiens, arums,and hydrangeas. Forest bell bush (Mackaya bella) is often used in the shade beds to close back ground walls.
- The edges of the beds gravel driveways have been defined by the natural rock boarders, so typical of Westcliff.
Contact: Margreet 072 400 1559 or Lynne 082 689 0930
Entrance: R50 per person Children under 12 free
SALI thanks the member garden clubs of the Gardens of the Golden City for their charity initiatives.
All Seasons Garden Club - Annette Bohler 082 879 8962
Bedfordview Garden Club - Pam Heller-Stern 083 496 4756
Country Garden Club - Cecile Price 084 819 9085
Johannesburg Garden Club - Helena Mitchell 083 267 1661
Randburg Horticultural Society - Lynne Ludolph 082 689 0930
Shady Ladies - Nikki Ireland 082 902 9106
The Horticultural Society - Glynne Case 082 663 8498
Thirty Something Garden Club - Barbara Wassenaar 072 234 4120
The South African Landscaper's Institute (SALI) is joining the battle to fight the invasive polyphagous shot hole borer (PSHB) beetle that poses a serious threat to both exotic and indigenous trees across South Africa.
The beetle is known to invade the host tree and bore holes in the branches. If undetected, it can destroy a tree within a relatively short period of time.
Adult beetles invade a variety of tree species and dig tunnels to lay eggs. The PSHB beetles then transport a fungus which attacks the tree’s vascular tissue, causing a disease called fusarium dieback (FD).
FD in turn interrupts the supply of water and nutrients to the tree. It’s known that PSHB attacks more than 300 tree species countrywide of which more than 130 of these species are susceptible to FD.
The PSHB beetle attacks a variety of tree species which include oak, most willows, plane trees, avocado, some acacias and most maples.
Reports quoting academic research show that, in other parts of the country, more than 10 000 trees have been lost which could have an adverse effect on the ecosystem and take years to replace.
Metropolitan areas such as Johannesburg and Durban as well as Pietermaritzburg, George and Knysna have lost thousands of trees.
How can you help?
1. Contact a SALI landscaper to advise if you have a PSHB invasion in the trees on your property.
2. Distribute the TWO education posters on the PSHB beetles prepared by SALI.
Poster 1: Are your trees dying
Poster 2: Help the spread of polyphagous shot hole borer (PSHB) beetle
Click here to download the banner: Help stop the spread of polyphagous shot hole borer (PSHB) beetle.
SALI landscapers are experts in wetland-scaping - the creation of ecologically-friendly wetlands landscaped by professionals.
World Wetlands Day (2 February) is a good time to think about the importance of creating wetlands around your home or business.
The theme for the 2019 World Wetlands Day on February 2 is ‘Wetlands: The key to coping with climate change'.
In 1971 the environmental value of wetlands was finally recognised by governments throughout the world. On February 2 of that year the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands was signed. The convention is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.
It is so named as it took place in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. The date of the signing, February 2, was designated as World Wetlands Day. South Africa is a signatory to the Ramsar Convention.
What are the benefits of wetlands? Wetlands are like stepping stones and form vital links in the chain of water supply across semi-arid South Africa.
Wetlands act as natural sponges that hold water during rainy seasons and reduce the danger of floods and soil erosion.
- They release water slowly during drought periods.
- They purify the water that passes through them.
- They provide food, housing materials and traditional medicines for local communities.
- Wetlands are also extremely rich in biodiversity and many species of plants, animals, birds and insects cannot survive without wetlands.
Wetlands are under siege, as a result It is estimated that 50% of South Africa’s wetlands have been destroyed through development, water pollution and general human growth. As a result, species dependent on wetlands are declining faster than those reliant on other ecosystems.
Develop a wetland
South African landscapers are at the forefront of wetland-scaping. When large tracts of land have been approved for development as housing estates, golf estates and business parks, landscapers identify mini wetland areas and incorporate them into their plans.
Some landscapers identify low lying areas and develop them into attractive wetland areas with appropriate plants which in turn provide an ecosystem for endangered wildlife.
Award winning wetlands created by SALI professionals
There are a host of award winning - and outstanding - landscaped wetlands to be found in South Africa. Here a just a few examples:
Constantia, Cape Town (Marina Landscapes)
Cape Town (Alan Dawson Gardens)
Hartbeesspruit, University of Pretoria (Servest)
Cape Town (Vula Environmental Landscapes)
Do you have a wetland? Would a wetland benefit your landscape? Do you need a SALI landscaper to install a wetland on your property?
World Wetlands Day (2 February) is a great time to remember the importance of wetlands and water birds in the landscape.
What is a Flufftail?
The White-winged Flufftail is a critically endangered wetland bird discovered in the moist, high altitude Middelpunt Wetland in the Greater Lakenvlei Protected Environment at Dullstroom, Mpumalanga in 1981.
For decades Birdlife experts believed the secretive white-winged flufftail, one of the world’s rarest birds, bred in just one place: the moist high-altitude Berga Wetland in Ethiopia. Then it was found in South Africa.
Alarming population estimates suggest there are around 250 of these birds globally, and only around 50 remaining in South Africa. As a wetland ground nesting species, the critically endangered Flufftail has become a poster pin up for the need to protect, nuture and extend wetland habitats across South Africa.
Honoring wetland birds
"We support the 2019 Flufftail Festival as an educational initiative which aims to create awareness on wetlands, water and water birds", says Norah de Wet, National Chairperson of SALI.
The importance of wetlands, how they function and the role they in our society will be unpacked, particularly with regards to reducing the impacts of climate change.
The extreme weather conditions being experienced throughout the country is a reminder for constant education on the importance of water conservation and there is much to be learned at this year’s event.
Wetlands and education
As part of the Flufftail Festival, approximately 500 Grade 6 learners will be exposed to the selected zoo’s on 8 February and 1 March while working through educational activities on water, wetlands and water birds.
In addition, approximately 400 community members will have an opportunity to explore the Johannesburg Zoo on 09 February and participate in the activities.
Members of the public will receive discounted entry fees on 2 & 3 March at the National Zoological Garden in Pretoria.
The World Wetlands Day - 2019 Flufftail Festival is hosted by Rand Water (Water Wise) together with BirdLife South Africa, Toyota, Gauteng Department of Agricultural and Rural Development (GDARD), Joburg City Parks and Zoo and the South African National Botanical Institute (SANBI).
Graphics courtesy of Birdlife SA.
1. Celebration in Johannesburg
Date: Friday 08 February 2019 and Saturday 09 February 2019
Venue: Johannesburg Zoo, Parkview, Gauteng
2. Celebration in Pretoria
Date: Friday 1 March 2019 and Saturday 2 March 2019 and Sunday 3 March 2019
Venue: National Zoological Garden, Pretoria, Gauteng
With soaring summer temperatures experienced across the country, plants are taking strain and your lawn is no exception.
If you are contemplating removing lawn and replacing it with hard landscaping or artificial lawn, don’t be too hasty.
Despite a move towards low-maintenance and more water wise gardens, lawns do still have a role to play in city gardens. “Natural turf grass controls soil erosion as the root system grows into the soil and can be used to hold the soil on a gentle slope,” said Fanus Cloete, CEO at Evergreen Turf.
“Lawn also reduces heat when compared with hard rock surfaces, asphalt and concrete.”
Cloete explained that on a hot day, the temperature on grass may be around 17 or 18 degrees Celsius, compared to 55 degrees Celcius on asphalt.
“Grass also plays a role in capturing dust, smoke particles and other pollutants so air quality is improved,” said Cloete.
Lawns provide a place for entertainment in the garden and an area for children and pets to play. It compliments a garden’s design and, like all plants, it absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen.
Buffalo grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum) is recommended for the winter rainfall Western Cape region and well as indigenous Cynodon species that are able to withstand periods of drought. Gulf Green, a Cynodon variety, is bright green in colour and suitable for a wide range of soil types.
The popular kikuyu is a warm season grass that requires at least six hours of sunlight per day to thrive. LM is tolerant of shade but not of drought and cold conditions. Although cool season grasses, like Shade-Over and Evergreen Gold, are green throughout the year, they do require more water.
Summer lawn care
Points to consider for a healthy lawn in summer.
Fanus Cloete says that it’s important not to mow your lawn too short in hot weather. “Leave it a little taller so there is enough leaf area for the plant to transpirate and cool down,” he added.
Aim for a mowing height of 20 to 25mm for warm season grasses and Cynodon species and 30mm for cool season lawns in sun and 50mm in the shade.
If your lawn looks whitish and takes a few days to bounce back after mowing, you are likely cutting it too short and exposing the softer parts of the leaf blade to the sun. Also check mower blades. A brown or whitish look may be the result of blunt blades.
When to water
Water thoroughly once per week rather than a few minutes every day. This encourages deep rooting which helps the grass cope better during periods of limited rainfall. Water in the early morning or after the sun goes down.
“Watch the colour of the lawn,” advised Cloete. “Most varieties will turn pale, brown or bluish when water is needed.” Don’t over-water your lawn. If you have an irrigation system, turn it off during rainy periods.
Under Cape Town’s current Level 3 water restrictions, municipal water (using a bucket or watering can only) may be used for watering plants before 9am and after 6pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, for one hour per day per property. No hosepipes and sprinklers may be used. Opt for harvested rain water to irrigate your lawn.
“Grey water reuse is extremely helpful in maintaining a healthy lawn during times of drought and low rainfall,” said Mark Joubert of GardenResQ. “Grey water contains micro-organisms as well as many nutrients, which is then supplied to the lawn and plants that you are watering. Grass watered with grey water is often a very vibrant and healthy green.”
Never use water from sinks or dishwashers and keep grey water on your porpery. If you use laundry water, change to a detergent that is biodegradable. Never store grey water.
When to fertilise
Fertilisers are important to ensure that your lawn has good root system. “The deeper the root system, the healthier the lawn is and the deeper the roots will go to retrieve moisture in the soil,” explained Fanus Cloete.
Lawns should be fertilised at intervals of between 40 and 60 days. Whether you choose an organic or inorganic fertiliser is a personal choice. Inorganic products are available immediately to the plant, while organic products take time to break down in the soil.
For a chemical fertiliser, Cloete suggests a 5:1:5 fertiliser which can be use twice per year in September and February and a general LAN fertiliser during the interim periods.
Weeds look unsightly and if left unchecked in the lawn, they may choke out turf. Use an appropriate broadleaf herbicide to control them.
Watch for problems
Keep an eye out for lawn caterpillar, especially in January and February. They live below the soil during the day and come out at night to feed on grass, leaving behind dead brown patches.
To confirm lawn caterpillar, place a damp towel on the lawn overnight and check under it in the morning. Once confirmed, treat with an appropriate biological insecticide so birds can safely eat the dead caterpillars.
Dollar spot is a fungal disease more prevalent when the weather is hot, with periods of rain. Dead patches are straw-coloured and round in shape, about 25 to 50mm in diameter.
Brown patch is lawn disease also caused by a fungus and is more common during hot, humid weather. Both problems can be treated with an appropriate fungicide.
Source: Weekend Argus & Weekend Star, Independent Newspapers, 26 January 2018
This article is a response to a journalists enquiry - Why should homeowners stick with lawn rather than paving? Evergreen Turf CEO, Fanus Cloete responded.
Celebrate landscaping at the charity-fundraising 2018 Elgin Open Gardens
Dates: Saturday 27 October – Sunday 28 October AND Saturday 3 November – Sunday 4 November
Times: 10am to 5pm
Download attachments - see above and click on attachments: Map, Garden Info and Brochure
What will you see?
- The 15 gardens range from large established country gardens (some over 50 years old), to young, recently planted gardens in villages and on smallholdings, all in a setting of great natural beauty an hour’s drive from Cape Town.
- A number of gardens will have plants for sale , and some such as Keurbos, Fairholme and Fresh Woods will be offering unusual and interesting plants difficult to find elsewhere, such as Japanese maples, rhododendrons and other choice perennials, trees and shrubs.
- Many gardens are also offering teas and light meals , in addition to the many other restaurants and food gardens in the area.
- The local charity Siphila Sonke, will be serving teas and lunches at Keurbos Nursery Garden and at Carmel Farm , both on the Highlands Rd.
- On the Open Days, they will always be available in the Elgin area at Sithanda Nursery, Peregrine Farm Stall and the Orchard Farm Stall.
- See images below...
This is the 17th year of the Elgin Open Gardens charity fundraising scheme.
So far the winter rains have filled most of our smaller dams, and with our heavier, cooler, wetter soils we think we have survived the drought better than most.
We continue to be vigilant in not wasting water, and many of us have adapted our plantings for a drier future. Luckily our present and past farmers had the foresight to build dams to secure their futures, and we are grateful to them for that, and these enable us to grow a wider range of plants than most for our pleasure and your enjoyment.
- Most gardens do not allow dogs. Please ask the owner’s permission before you bring yours.
- All gardens are giving a proportion of their takings to charities of their choice.
For more information:
- Barbara Knox-Shaw: 021 844 0154 / 078 021 2101
- Jessie Walton: 083 458 3790
Pic 1: Fairholme - the formal rose garden.
Pic 2: Freshwoods - a woodland garden
Pic 3: Auldearn - Jenny Simpsons hilltop farmstead
Pic 4: Keurbos Nursery, Elgin.
Pic 5: Fairholme - the formal perennial garden.
Wakkerstroom Open Gardens and Rose Show
10 and 11 November 2018
Wakkerstroom will be holding its second Open Gardens and Rose Show on the weekend of the 10th and 11th of November.
This year, the “Market @ the Corner” will be held together with the open gardens and rose show.
The market, on Saturday the 10th will include artisan stalls, craft gin, live music, delicious foods, entertainment for children, including a puppet show and face painting, to mention a few.
The theme is “artisan foods” and “going back to basics”, including organic and mindful living and picnicking in the gardens to enjoy your purchases.
The market will be held at the premises of The Garret, spilling over into the Red Building, on van Riebeeck Street, through the gardens of both premises and will flow into the pretty garden of the new Thyme Out restaurant.
The Rose Show will be open to the public and visitors on Saturday 10th November from 11h00 onwards for viewing, at Runnymede Iris Farm, 247 Uys Street, Wakkerstroom.
Three rose judges will judge the show: Sheenagh Harris, Chairperson of the Knysna Rose Society, assisted by Gill Wilson and Gail Birss of the Midlands Rose Society.
Prize-giving will be held at Runnymede Iris Farm, on Saturday 10th November, at 16h00.
There will be a few talks ranging from roses, organic gardening and mindful gardening, included in your ticket price.
Twelve Open Gardens
Visitors will be able to wander around 12 open gardens.
Entrance fee: R50 per person, which includes access to all gardens, the rose show and short, informative talks.
Tickets, programs and a map indicating the various venues and gardens will be on sale at two outlets in town from Saturday morning, the 10th November.
Accommodation in Wakkerstroom
Should you wish to stay in Wakkerstroom for the event, please look at the website: www.wakkerstroom.co.za for accommodation, ranging from cosy self-catering cottages, bed and breakfasts, the Country Inn, and camping at two venues.