Spring garden


Aren’t you glad you are in South Africa now, when jasmine is in bloom!

September must be one of the most exciting months for South African gardeners. The gardens are filled with the fragrance of jasmine and yesterday, today and tomorrow. The fruit trees are blossoming. The spring flowering bulbs are at their best.

But, gardening-wise, there’s more to September than burying your face into the jasmine and enjoying the spectacle of flowering crab apples, peaches or cherries. Everyone who has ever grown anything, be it even on a balcony, knows that a gardener’s job is never done.

According to gardening gurus, the to-do list for September includes (but is probably not limited to):

  • Clearing away winter annuals that have finished flowering.
  • Pinching shrubs such as fuchsias and daisies to encourage side shoots and more prolific flowers in summer.
  • Assiduously snipping topiaries to prevent spring growth from distorting their shape.
  • Diligently waging war on snails, cutworm and other pests.
  • Tirelessly pulling out weeds.
  • Fertilizing. And then fertilizing some more.
  • Planting, and planting some more.

Since the last item (planting) is the most interesting one, let’s take a look at what bidorbuyers are sowing in their gardens this September. A look into the Recent Buys reveals the top five bestsellers:

  • Vegetables & Fruits (183 sold during the last seven days; is this a sign that food is too expensive?)
  • Flower Seeds (170 sold; congratulations to all bidorbuyers who have the patience to wait for things to germinate!)
  • Cacti & Succulents (96 sold; obviously, bidorbuyers are a water-wise bunch.)
  • Flower Bulbs, Roots & Corms (29 sold; if you are unsure about your gardening terminology, corms are similar to bulbs.)
  • Bonsai and Shrubs (with 24 of each sold, these two sub-categories share the fifth place.)

And here are some of the most popular flowering plants that bidorbuyers are buying for their gardens:

  • Petunias: With hardiness matched by their ability to bloom prolifically, Petunias are a must-have.
  • Cosmos: They make a statement when they grow by the road, in the garden, and they make an excellent cut flower too. (Cut only the ones you grow in your garden, though.)
  • Plumbago: Reliable, resilient, and pretty. In nature plumbago is a scrambling shrub, but with a hook or two and some string you can train it upwards to cover a bare wall.
  • Alyssum: A compact plant with clusters of tiny flowers, it looks good, and it gives off a pleasant fragrance too.
  • African Daisy: Planted en masse, this indigenous annual will provide a symphony of irresistible appeal.
  • Pelargonium (which may be knows to you as geranium): The true queen of flowers (move over, rose). They flower in spring and will add colour to the garden until frost. Their charm is unsurpassed, in containers or in the garden.

So, we provided the ideas. It’s now up to you to start planting for glorious colour that will last into summer and beyond. Enjoy!