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3 quick-fixes to get your garden festive-season ready

festive garden happy couple resize

What a beautiful time of the year it is! Depending on where you are situated you could be rejoicing for the beautiful rain up in the Highveld or still praying for rain in the drought-stricken areas of the Western Cape.

3 garden tips to assist you during the warm summer months ahead

#1 In the country’s drier areas, I would recommend only cutting your lawns every second week. However, if you do have to cut it every week, then I would cut it higher this week and lower the next. Alternating the height as well as the direction helps the grass to better mat together. Since the beginning of the season I have cut my lawn much higher than usual as this stops the soil from drying out too quickly.

#2 Mulching your flowerbeds is a good may to ensure that they stay moist during the summer heat. Adding a slow-release fertiliser will also boost the growth of your plants and trees. Adding Talborne Fruit & Flower is excellent to promote flower growth.

#3 With about 20 days until Christmas, plant those annuals now so that they will have enough time to settle and produce buds and flowers over the festive season. My favourite annuals are: Alyssum with their tiny purple and white cascading flowers; I often use Cineraria with its grey foliage as I love the beautiful contrast the leaves have to other plants. I use Cleome in the middle of my flowerbeds they grow to a height of about 60cm the flowers come in white, rose, lavender and blush. Dahlias are another one of my favourites: they are excellent for bedding, borders and container planting. The dwarf variety love sunny spots. A few other favourites are: Delphinium, Dianthus, Foxgloves, Petunias and Zinneas.

In it for the seasonsAgapanthus nana white african lilly

If you are not keen on bedding plants, buy Perennials that will last for many years to come. My favourites are Agapanthus nana white and blue. These are the dwarf varieties and they flower about eight times a year compared to the larger varieties which only flower over the festive season. Convolvulus, Felicia and Erigeron daisies are excellent for a cascading effect.


Before you hit the road to your holiday destination here are a few things you should check before you leave:

  • Clear electric fence of any debris; get a specialist in to do any repairs.
  • Ensure irrigation is in working order and that batteries are replaced and that there are no leaks.
  • Clear out your gutters.
  • Check that pool and pond filters are clean.
  • If you and your staff are going away, get a maintenance team to service your property (even if it is only the outside) as criminals think someone is home.
  • Ask a friend to remove your post and turn on lights.
  • Remember to turn off your geyser when you leave your home.

  • If going away for a few days, it’s is a good time to fumigate.
  • As it is the festive season, crime spikes so check that your gate and motor are properly secured.
  • Let your neighbours know that you are away, and leave emergency contact numbers with them.
  • Get an arbourist in to look at trees that may fall down on your home or on boundary walls.
  • Move pot plants into shaded areas so that they do not get scorched by the summer heat.
  • If you are home, take a walk around your garden and look at areas that require maintenance in the New Year.

Got a burning question? E-mail mariette@hometimes.co.za and we’ll be sure to assist


Spargo Landscape Consultants wishes all our HomeTimes followers a happy festive season and a happy New Year. We hope that 2018 will be a blessed year ahead.

Happy Gardening 😊


Who is Nicholas Spargo?

Nicholas Spargo, owner of Spargo Landscape Consultants.

Nicholas Spargo, owner of Spargo Landscape Consultants.

Nicholas Spargo, owner of Spargo Landscape Consultants, has been in the landscape trade for 12 years as well as being a lecturer at the Lifestyle Garden Design Centre for the past year. He was awarded a Gold for a design at the Lifestyle Garden Design Centre Design Show in 2008, is an Invasive Species Consultant and is affiliated with the South African Green Industries Council.

Landscaping and education are very close to his heart.

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david.steynberg@gmail.com

David A Steynberg, managing editor and director of HomeTimes, has more than 10 years of experience as both a journalist and editor, having headed up Business Day’s HomeFront supplement, SAPOA’s range of four printed titles, digimags Asset in Africa and the South African Planning Institute’s official title, Planning Africa, as well as B2B titles, Building Africa and Water, Sewage & Effluent magazines. He began his career at Farmer’s Weekly magazine before moving on to People Magazine where he was awarded two Excellence Awards for Best Real Life feature as well as Writer of the Year runner-up. He is also a past fellow of the International Women’s Media Foundation.

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