December gardening

Tattoo Black Cherry Vinca Color Code: Rubine Red C, 261c PAS Kieft 2019 Container, Setting, Seed 08.01.17 Santa Paula, Mark Widhalm TattooBlackCherry_02.JPG VIN17-23303.JPG
Tattoo Black Cherry Vinca
Code: Rubine Red C, 261c
PAS, 2019
Bloom, Seed
06.13.17 Venhuizen, Mark Widhalm

New in nurseries…Vinca ‘Tattoo’ is no ordinary vinca. Its’ ‘black-eyed’ flowers and air-brushed petals are bold and dramatic, in shades of black cherry, raspberry, papaya and tangerine. The more heat it gets, the more vibrant the colours, and the stronger the dark shading on the petals (like a tattoo). This heat and drought tolerant annual is bushy and compact (25 to 36cm high).  Plants need well-drained soil and regular watering in the early growing stages. Once established, watering once a week in summer is adequate.

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Mad Hatter Specialty Pepper
Color Code:
PAS Kieft 2018
Fruit on plant, Seed
09.16 McHenry, Mark Widhalm

Perfect for patios… Pepper ‘Mad Hatter’ is irresistible. It is the most unusual pepper you’ll grow because the fruit looks like a perky red three-cornered hat. Another surprise; the fruit is not hot but sweet and citrusy, only picking up a bit of heat closer to the seeds. This South American pepper is a staple in Bolivian and Peruvian cuisine. Chop it into salads, use in crunchy salsa, stuffed or roasted. Plants are bushy and compact, perfect for growing in a pot. Does best when grown in a spot that receives morning sun and afternoon shade. Water daily in summer.

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Garden tasks for December

  1. Water in the morning before it gets too hot, or in the late afternoon.
  2. If you are going away, make sure all the sprayers in your automatic irrigation system are working so that there are no dry areas.
  3. Water and mow the lawn once a week. In very hot and dry weather, cut the grass ‘long’ so that it shades the roots, and the grass needs less water.
  4. Water plants in pots every day.
  5. If you are staying at home, fertilise the roses with Vigorosa in mid-December.
  6. If you are going away, reduce the water that your roses need by cutting off all the buds and new shoots, and renew the mulch in the beds to keep the soil cool. Spray with Chronos and Ludwig’s Insect Spray the day before you leave, to control diseases and pests while you are away.


Rose gardens. Wildlife gardens. Romantic gardens. Bush. Naturalistic. Coastal. If you’re looking for ideas, inspiration and guidance, Melanie Walker’s Garden Style – Creating beautiful gardens in South Africa is an excellent buy. Gorg photos by Connall Oosterbroek along with sections on planning and planting, lists of key plants and loads of helpful tips, this book has 19 different gardens to choose from … fabulous! Sunbird, R340.