Pam Jacob – Driefontein Garden Centre
That spring has sprung is beyond doubt. The frogs are frogging; the birds are birding and all sorts of creatures are doing what creatures do at this time of the year. And the humans are gardening, which is what we really enjoy. We can talk ‘til we turn to stone, trying to persuade folk that you can garden ALL YEAR ROUND at the coast, but our animal instinct seems to be greater than our commonsense, so we rush out in Spring to play catch-up with what we should have been doing all Winter long.
The Nursery is ablaze with colour from seedlings to shrubs and trees; Indigenous and Exotic; all strategically placed to try and tempt you to the limit, so a little bit of advice. Before you visit the Nursery to spend your hard earned cash, make a list of what you need and try not to deviate from this. Remember the virtue of cell phone photos to bring along with you so that we are all on the same page, as it were, and can then give good, sound advice.
Staking is of huge importance with the mighty winds we experience in September. Stakes should be strong and firm with nylon stockings, cut into strips, being the ideal method of tying to a stake. Whatever you use, please ensure that there is sufficient `give’ and the tie must not cut into the bark of the plant, be it a tree, shrub or climber.
Personally, I am quite pleased that the rains are a little late, which might auger well for more rain during the summer months. I’m of the opinion that when the rains are early, as they were in 2015 and 2016, we seem to get less rain during the summer months. We shall just have to wait and see.
Get to know your garden. Dry areas; wet areas; badly drained areas etc. and bring this information along when you are making your purchases. If you need a complete make-over, do a section at a time. Plants bought willy-nilly to be dotted here and there, seldom come together well. Decide on the style of garden you want. `Wild’ is making a comeback. What suits the design of your home? What suits your pocket and what suits the time you have available.
If you are limited with what you can use in the garden, then make your patio your point of interest with pots planted with annuals and perennials and sweetly scented shrubs. The time is almost upon us when we will be eating al fresco, so prepare for the good times ahead.
And if you don’t have a garden, then pop along to the Nursery to simply get close to Nature and lift your soul. We all could do with a dose of that, couldn’t we?