DIY - Glenice's advice for your garden

African Birdlife Sep/Oct 2017: Bushveld Gardens

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African Birdlife July/Aug 2017: Succulent Gardens

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African Birdlife May/Jun 2017: Forest Gardens

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Top 14 water-wise plants for your garden

With the recent drought in South Africa, home owners have become more savvy in the way they use water around their homes. Many have resorted to installing rain water harvesting or grey water systems (properly filtered) in order to irrigate their gardens, whilst others have installed boreholes to utilise groundwater. These techniques go a long

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Hosepipes vs Automated Irrigation Systems

South Africa is in the midst of a drought, with water restrictions that have been in place since November 2015. Recently new restrictions have been imposed along with tariff increases as Johannesburg Water tries to curb water usage by residents. One of these is that home owners must water their gardens with hand-held hosepipes rather

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Gauteng’s new landfill sites

We recently completed a small garden for a client in Olivedale, a beautiful home in a modern complex. Although our client had owned the property for 10 years, they’d continuously worked on their garden, adding lawn as well as a few trees. They’d maintained an automatic irrigation system and had used appropriate watering cycles for

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Saving water in Madikwe Game Reserve

Madikwe Game Reserve is a magnificent 750km² reserve lying 300 kilometres to the north of Johannesburg, in the North West Province. It is home to the big five, as well as numerous animal, reptile and bird species, and has a bird list of over 350. The climate year-round is moderate to hot, with winter temperatures

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Hadedas in the garden

The Hadeda Ibis does not rank highly as most people’s favourite garden bird, probably because of their raucous, trumpeting call that can build to a deafening cacophony. The Hadeda Ibis (Bostrychia hagedash) is a large (76cm) bird with a brownish-grey head, nape and neck. Despite their seemingly drab appearance, their rump and wing feathers have

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A truly low maintenance garden

We recently completed the seasonal maintenance of a garden in Randburg, one which we had installed over three years ago. The garden was relatively small, about 20m x 20m, and consisted almost exclusively of indigenous trees, shrubs and groundcovers. Importantly, the garden did not have any lawn, a request that our client had made during

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Indigenous trees with interesting bark

Each tree offers something unique and there are so many trees with stunning characteristics. When choosing a tree, remember that the bark can be a striking focal point. Whether peeling, patchy, colourful, shiny or dull, bark is an asset. When you plant trees with an ornamental bark, think of positioning them against a backdrop of

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Why is my lawn patchy?

In many new housing developments, the developer supplies the home with lawn to give the homeowner something green to get him/her started. In many cases, the lawn may look green and healthy for a few seasons, but then gradually starts deteriorating, leaving unsightly bare patches. Very often, no matter how much lawn dressing and fertiliser

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Indigenous Cut Flowers

There is something deeply satisfying about picking flowers from your garden for an indoor arrangement. Typically, we view indigenous flowers as wild and unsuitable. There are, however, some wonderful long-lasting species. Most gardens are a florist’s treasure. You don’t necessarily have to find perfectly straight and long stemmed flowers. Consider the benefit of using foliage

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Gauteng is currently in the middle of its rain season. Usually, this would be a gardener’s dream, but the persistent wet weather affects drainage and most plants cannot tolerate having “wet feet”. Giving plants too much water is one of the biggest issues we see in landscapes today. Over-watering is not easy to diagnose as

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Top 10 trees to plant in a small garden

South Africa is home to a magnificent variety of indigenous trees and shrubs, and with a move by home owners towards the use of indigenous plants, it has become ever more important to choose species that will work in your home. Whilst many indigenous species are now being planted in gardens around Gauteng, not all

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How to plant garlic

Garlic is a wonderfully fragrant herb to add to many cooked dishes.  It has numerous health benefits, acts as an antibiotic, cures chest infections, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure and prevents strokes by thinning the blood. Garlic has a specific planting window from mid-February to the end of March. For best results one should use

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Help! This tree is breaking my wall

One of the benefits of being a landscaper is that you get to see firsthand how seemingly benign planting practices from the past can cause major problems to an owner’s property. One of the most common problems we encounter with regards to this is the planting of trees too close to a home, perimeter wall,

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What is mulch?

Mulch is a layer of material, organic or inorganic, that is spread over the surface of your soil to help lock in moisture and to help save water. It is often neglected in gardens, but is very beneficial if used correctly. If you think of an indigenous forest with its layers of leaves, sticks and

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Choosing a tree for your garden

Trees serve various functions and we may use them domestically for the shade they provide; to screen off the view of neighbouring properties; to block out the sounds from a busy road; and to provide food, shelter and roosting spots for our feathered friends and other creatures. The ancient Chinese proverb says: “The best time

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Attracting butterflies to your garden

Butterflies have a magical quality to them and everyone loves seeing these brightly-coloured delicate creatures dancing and flirting from flower to flower. South Africa boasts over 650 different species of butterfly and by hosting them in your garden, you can ensure that these living jewels can continue to thrive in our threatened environment. It’s easy

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Why have a garden

In South Africa, we’re blessed with a wonderful climate with an average of 9 warm months which give plants a long growth period. Because of this, there is a large variety of plants which can provide us with pleasure throughout the year. Gardens of any size are and extension of your house, so an attractive

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Design options for your garden

Design is an important part of any garden or landscaping project, allowing you to conceptualize your garden layout before implementation. Creating a complete design beforehand allows you to visualize your future garden, as well as to list the hard and soft landscaping elements so that you can complete an accurate bill of quantities and costing.

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Planning your garden

Welcome to the first of our landscaping DIY articles. Before designing and creating your garden, I recommend you undertake a short planning phase to clarify your requirements and gather ideas. In this, the first of our DIY how-to’s, I’ll take you through some questions to ask yourself before you begin, and give you advice on

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Hiring a landscaper VS DIY

Hiring a landscaper to create your garden is much like hiring a builder to build your home. You might have the resources to do it on your own, but you can save time and costs by hiring a team. Here are some of the benefits of hiring a landscaper, vs the benefits of doing it

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