Landscaping, Plants & Vegetables

Setting up my herb and veggie gutter garden
With all the mini home improvements taking place at my house the small veggie garden that I had outside the door is no more. To take its place, and hopefully keep the kitchen supplied with fresh herbs and salad veggies, I planted a gutter garden on the one wall in a sunny spot.
JoJo rainwater harvesting tanks
Next on my list of things to do is to add a Jojo rainwater harvesting tank. If the rain that we had last year is anything to go by, it will fill up the tank quickly. You can use rainwater in the home and garden as  a total water solution for your home, but you need to install a system that has all the built in filters. At this stage I just want to be able to have rainwater on hand for the garden and pool, as well as for my soon-to-start veggie and herb garden.
Colourful easy to care for plants
Spring has sprung and I am sure there are many of you, like me, who have rushed off to the garden centre to stock up on colourful annuals. I like to think that I have a green thumb and good intentions when it comes to my garden, but the plants seem to think otherwise! In the spirit of wanting a beautiful garden without having to worry about drooping plants, I am busy potting up a collection of indigenous varieties and succulents.
Aloe vera - water-wise and has useful health benefits
Aloe vera features in many South African gardens as an ornamental plant due to its drought-resistance and interesting form - making it a useful plant for rockeries and low-maintenance landscaping. Aloe vera is also known around the world for its medicinal properties, which includes an ability to soothe and moisturise skin.
Tomatoes and potatoes on a single plant
Here's some good news for garden enthusiasts who like to grow their own veggies. Sometime in the future you will be able to grown tomatoes and potatoes on one plant... the TomTato plant.
Make a flower cascade
Spring has sprung and colourful annuals are everywhere. Here's how to create a beautiful colourful petunia flower cascade for your garden or patio. You can choose two or more colours for your Petunia flower cascade, or even plant up other colourful annuals to make a stunning display.
A lush green - environmentally friendly - lawn
Having a lush green lawn is easier than you think if you use the right tools. You can be both efficient with your gardening and eco-conscious. If it's lush green lawn that you're after, but also care about your carbon footprint, there are a few tools and practices that can help you have it both ways.
The beauty of air plants - Tillandsia
Air plants - Tillandsia - take their nutrients from the air and all they require is light (not direct sunlight) and an occasional misting of water from a spray. Buy a couple of plants and pot them up in timber offcuts, blocks of wood, or even seashells.
How to propogate your own Rosemary
I have quite a few Rosemary bushes in the garden, not only do they look good, but I love to add a spring of Rosemary to roasts and salads. Growing Rosemary doesn't require any special gardening skills and it seems to grow with only regular maintenance. Buying Rosemary plants, however, can be expensive.

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Foolproof gardens - for those without green fingers!
There are more than a few homeowners that love to have a beautiful garden, but don't like to do gardening. Having a beautiful garden to look at or lounge in can be hard work, but for those that don't have 'green fingers' there are plenty of ideas to have a gorgeous garden without the hard work.
Vertical gardens add natural interest
One of my favourite places to stop by now and then is Flora Grubb. This garden shop located in San Fransisco offers wonderful items for garden and home Flora and her team come up with the most amazing ideas for home decor using plants and accessories, and in this feature I want to share with you some vertical garden ideas.
Add summer colour to the garden
As we move into spring, now is the perfect time to head off to your local garden centre. If your garden is lacking in colour and texture, here are a few ways to add colour to a garden. Cannas look their best in the mixed herbaceous border.They can also be grown in large are best planted in early spring and are planted just below the soil surface
Prepare your garden for spring
As we move into August, there's no better time to get out into the garden and start preparing beds for spring planting. Even if you have an established garden, there are going to be tasks and projects that need to be done before the days start hotting up.
Reap the fruit and veg of your labours
Eating foods grown in your own vegetable garden means you won't be contributing to the carbon footprint left behind by the "food miles" it takes to bring imported produce to your local grocers - so you're helping the environment, too.
Primulas - a riot of winter colour
As the cooler weather sets in, Primulas are a beautiful addition to a garden getting ready to rest for the winter months, and their glorious colour extends the beauty of a small garden even more.

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How to grow your own garlic
It's almost time to start planting bulbs for a gorgeous show of spring flowers, but there's another bulb that not many gardeners think about, yet it's relatively easy to grow and provides you with a fresh, home grown supply that's healthy and a must-have ingredient for many recicpes.
Suburban herb garden
If you live in a townhouse, flat or apartment and don't have access to a garden, here's a way to recycle empty tins into colourful containers for herbs and plants.
Add colour to your garden with this vegetable
Swiss Chard Beta vulgaris ‘Bright Lights’ has to be one of the easiest and most colourful vegetables that you can add to a garden.
Plant ornamental grasses for a water wise garden
As the heat becomes intense many garden plant varieties tend to wilt from lack of water. Ornamental grasses are not only boldly dramatic, they know how to tough it out in the heat of summer. Once established, ornamental grasses require only an occasional watering - making them perfect choices for a water-wise garden.
Plant a vertical garden
Plant a wall-mounted vertical garden to let plants grow over a wall rather than in the ground or in containers. You can use this idea for both indoor and outdoor wall displays.
Grow fresh herbs in your kitchen
You can have fresh herbs all year round with a built in countertop herb garden. The only requirement is that the plants receive a fair amount of light during the day, so preferably place close to a window.

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Tips for a recycled garden
Although I have a small garden, I have tried to fill the space as much as possible with plants that I love. I truly believe that the success of the garden is due to the fact that I recycle everything that grows.
An almost water-free garden
We're always looking for shortcuts and ways to save time, and establishing an indigenous or succulent garden is one of the ways to spend less time gardening and watering, and more time actually enjoying or relaxing in the garden.
Growing my own
I finally managed to get into the garden and get my veggie and herb section started.
Herbal tea
A cup of herbal tea a day could very well keep the doctor away!
Give your lawn a makeover
It's not easy to determine a single problem when areas of your lawn start to go brown or die, but there are ways that you can learn to identify individual problems and the solution required. Quickly appearing and expanding dead spots can be caused by a number of difficult-to-diagnose lawn diseases or pests.
A greener garden without using more water
Got a water-waster on your street who overwaters his lawn (and driveway)? Thinking about busting up your concrete driveway for something a little more eco-friendly? Here are some tips for turning a manicured lawn into a more natural place.

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Know your garden and be water wise
The first step when determining a watering regimen is to test your soil’s water-holding capacity. This easy test is a much better way to figure out when to water than waiting for plants to wilt.
Protect your garden from frost
Let’s face it – winter can not really be described as a pretty season. It does not have the beautiful colours of spring and autumn … and it is not green and sunny like summer. Not only does winter make everything look dull and lifeless, it can also cause quite a bit of damage to your garden if you are not careful.
Wall hanging herb garden
For the herbs I have planted some here and there in the new bed that I am busy building, but I have also made a herb garden that is mounted right next to the door, so that I can easily pick off a few for cooking.
An edible garden
Edible landscaping is quickly becoming more attractive amid soaring food prices, rising fuel costs, alarming pesticide scares, and increased environmental aware-ness.
Make a planter for potatoes
It's easy to grow your own potatoes and our potatoe frame can be placed in a sunny spot anywhere in the garden to provide you with a supply of home-grown potatoes free from pesticides.
Establish and grow a kitchen garden
A kitchen garden - or potager - is the perfect way to start growing your own herbs and fresh vegetables. Whether you use a space separate from the rest of the garden or decide to plant in existing flower beds, a kitchen garden provides all-season herbs, vegetables and fruits - the healthy way.

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Build a frame for creepers and climbers
Quite a few vegetable crops require a support frame to assist with vertical growth, especially climbers such as beans. Here's how to make a simple climbing frame using pine and chicken wire ...
Control moles in a garden
Moles can ruin the appearance of your lawns and flower beds, and their tunnels damage the roots of young plants, flowers and vegetables.
Potted pleasures
Many people do not have large gardens, either by design or through necessity. Fortunately, a number of bulbs lend themselves to being grown successfully in pots, tubs, window boxes or other containers, just the thing to beautify a patio, poolside, entrance way, courtyard or your dining room table.
How to prune a tree or large shrub
Pruning stimulates growth and the ultimate goal is to encourage the tree to grow strong, healthy branches headed in the right direction. The best time for the kind of remedial pruning an established, long-neglected tree needs is winter or early spring, when active growth has not yet begun.
Wonderful potted gardens
There's more than one way to plant up a pot. Be inspired by these wonderful potted designs.
A shoe holders is great for a hanging herb garden
I came across this project on Instructables and thought that this is a great idea for growing small kitchen veggies and herbs, especially for those living in a flat or townhouse with a small balcony.

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Trendy house plants
Whether your thumb is green or not, a great houseplant does round out a room. Gravitate to varieties that can act as green sculptures, adding shape as well as liveliness to an interior - a bigger specimen is always better than waiting for a smaller one to grow to optimum size.
A lush green garden all year round!
Artificial grass has been around for a long time and ongoing development has resulted in a product of outstanding quality and durability. Here’s how to transform any garden into a garden that is green all year round, does not require sun, shade or water, and is virtually maintenance free!
Imaginative use of recycled items for containers
There are many ways to have container displays in the garden. After searching the Internet for ideas I found some very unique ways to add a touch of container style to a garden or balcony.
Perfect edges!
Inside the house or out, a clean, smooth line provides a finished look and a sense of clarity to an area. In my garden, a razor-sharp edge serves as a stage that sets off the careful planning and mainte-nance I do. Such meticulous attention to detail doesn’t require a lot of work. I use four simple steps to create and freshen up my edges in spring, giving my beds the crisp lines that reflect the effort I put into my garden.
Anyone for golf!
There are two types of golf widows: Those who prefer their men to disappear for hours on end and those that wish their men would spend more time at home. If you consider yourself to be the latter, perhaps it's time to consider the installation of a small putting green in the garden!
How to lay instant lawn
If your lawn suffers from acute soil compaction, rampant weed problems, heavy thatch or organic matter deficiencies, you may want to remove the existing weeds and grass and start anew. For do-it-yourself homeowners, there are two ways to replant a lawn: the more familiar method of seeding and the alternative of laying instant lawn.

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How to plan a garden
Because a garden is a practical and visual extension of the house, it is logical to give its style and layout careful consideration.
Grow your own fresh vegetables
With grocery biils climbing planning a vegetable garden this year, growing your own is a matter of Rands and sense. Can planting a veggie patch really save you money?
Shade loving plants
Having a shady garden has resulted in a garden that lacks colour, although I do tend to add a bit of colour here and there with painted furniture and pots. With the rainy season due to start any minute - and the temperature still in the low twenties - I've decided that now is the best time to cut down the overgrown jungle and plant up some colour!
 

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How to set up a compost heap