Mulch away

Mulch. Water. Feed. Plant. There’s loads to do in the garden this month. 

Two pretty plants for May

May is the month we celebrate mothers – and and we’ve found two rather special flowers worth planting for her.

Dianthus Early Love is perfect for patio pots, as a fragrant border and even indoors (which is where we could all still be, this month). It’s neat and compact, with short stems that fan out gracefully like a bouquet. The large, double magenta-pink flowers, with deep purple-black centres, have a spicy sweet fragrance. As a garden plant it needs full sun and soil that drains very well. On patios it does best with morning sun or bright dappled light and bright indirect light for indoors. Cut off the dead flowers to encourage new blooms.

Details: ballstraathof.co.za

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All Seasons Hydrangea is the first single-head, indoor hydrangea that can be popped into a gorgeous pot to show off its spectacular, extra large pink or white bloom. This indoor hydrangea is available all year round. It needs at least four hours of bright, indirect light a day. You’ll find the flower lasts longer if the plant is kept cool, with moist but not soggy soil. Ask at your local nursery.

Get out the garden tools…

The garden is slowing down but there’s still a lot to do before winter.

  • Rake up fallen leaves and use them as mulch or to make compost.
  • Plant winter flowers … alyssum, snapdragons, calendula, Iceland poppies, pansies and violas in sunny beds; fairy primula and cineraria for shade.
  • Divide perennials if necessary.
  • Cut down summer flowering bulbs like cannas, dahlias and lilies.
  • Water most plants once a week. Spring flowering bulbs need deep watering every four days.
  • Feed winter flowering pot plants every two weeks but stop feeding the summer pot plants.
  • Sow broad beans, lettuce, kale, peas, radishes, Swiss chard and spinach.
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