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Tag: flowers

Understanding the numbers on Fertilizer bags

Fertilizer bags are marked with 3 numbers, Nitrogen (N), Phosphate (P), and Potassium (P). 2.3.2 is a balanced fertilizer which is used when planting all plants to give them an initial boost. 3.1.5 is high in Potassium and this stimulates flower development. 5.1.5 is high in Nitrogen and Potassium and is used to fertilize lawns.

How to divide your Strelitzia clump

Warning, once you have divided your clump, it will take two to three years before it flowers again. They actually like to be pot bound and flower best in big clumps. So perhaps you will re-think the division. If you are worried about the clump encroaching on a wall you could "root prune" it by digging all around the clump so that the rhizomes will be severed. In order to divide the clump, you would need to dig it up and separate the individual plants. Make sure that each plant has several leaves along with the roots. You may have to use a sharp knife to separate the plants.

Butterfly Tree

If you want to see butterflies in your garden, plant their favourite trees, shrubs and groundcovers. A Buddleja saligna has beautiful white flowers that attract butterflies, Interestingly, Winston Churchill used to buy butterflies for his garden at Chartwell in the UK and he said that his interest in them started when he was in South Africa during the Anglo-Boer War.

The meaning of flower colours

Red flowers send a clear message of love and passion while orange flowers offer happiness and joy. Pink flowers combine innocence, playfulness and sensitivity. Yellow flowers represent friendship, trust, compassion and respect and blue flowers have a calming effect and are associated with serenity. Purple flowers symbolize charm, grace, elegance and refinement while white flowers are associated with purity, honesty, perfection and innocence.

Love Charms made from SA plants

Acacia caffra – roots are a love charm. Aptemia cordata Asparagus virgatus – Love charm and a protective charm. Burchellia bubalina roots. Combretum erythrophyllum roots are an aphrodisiac and the bark aids fertility. Cyrtanthus breviflorus – love charm and has protective qualities. Dombeya rotundifolia. Gladiolus dalenii – love and fertility charm, brings good luck. Gazania rigens – root infusion is a love charm. Gloriosa suberba – aphrodisiac and love charm, aids impotence and infertility. Heteropyxis natalensis – bark is an aphrodisiac and treats impotence.

The Language of flowers

The language of flowers dates back to the early Chinese Dynasties and was brought to Europe by the King of Sweden in 1714. Queen Victoria’s fascination with the language of flowers in 1847 prompted her to spread the word throughout the world. Ironically it came full circle as Kate Middleton chose specific flowers for her bouquet when she married William in 2011. The flowers Kate used in her bouquet were : Lily of the Valley for the return of happiness. Hyacinth for the constancy of love. Ivy for fidelity and friendship. Other South African flower meanings :

Top 5 tips for caring for your new garden

1. Keep your exposed soil well mulched with leaves, bark or thin branches to minimize water and nutrient loss. The earthworms will come up to retrieve these and convert them into compost. Do this annually, I normally do it in winter, and you will see your soil improve and therefore the growth rate of your plants will increase. 2. Do not till your beds as this disturbs the beneficial micro-organisms in the soil. Gardeners love this job, so do try and break the habit.

How to get the best display of flowers from your Clivia plants.

Clivia do like an acid soil and you can achieve this by adding bark chips to the soil as it lowers the PH levels. Don't forget to add compost and mulch well. Keep the plants dryish during the winter as this will stimulate the formation of flower spikes. Enjoy a mass of flowers in Spring!


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