Season by Season
Winter Season (June, July & August)
Let's start with WINTER when everything hibernates in a way that will give rise to new growth and blooms as soon as we have some warmer days.
Winter seedling like pansies, primulas, primrose, sweet peas, English daisies and some bulbs are too exquisite to ignore and they fill our winter gardens with endless colour.
It is also when Camelias and Azaleas give us winter colour while everybody else sleeps.
This is the time when you may want to check garden features, pergolas and trellises, most climbing plants are dormant and leaves have fallen and your work will be made much easier without damaging the plant.
At this time of the year when plants are semi-dormant is when they can be lifted and divided. This is one of the best time of the year to give a facelift to those beds that you just so don't enjoy any more.
July is par excellence a Rose month, we think July we think pruning roses. That should be done sometime between mid and end of the month. July is also the month when roses must be transplanted if we are doing that.
Hydrangeas and Fuchsias can be pruned towards the end of this month. Your Irises will be growing in August specially if you fed them during July.
Spring Season (September, October & November)
Spring time, September the first month of a new gardening year!
You need to be made aware that this is a hot month usually and your garden will need lots of water till the rains come.
My beloved fuchsias and hydrangeas should be starting to shoot now after the August pruning and they will need to be fed.
Also remember to mulch your azaleas for next season, fallen pines needles are great.
Hopefully by now, roses have been fed and now is the time to start feeding them till March/April. Ludwig's Vigorosa is an excellent product and easy to use.
In October, the most spectacular sight of your garden will be your roses, ensure that they stay like that in the months to come.
That means taking care of the many hohos that are part of all our gardens. Red spider, yellow and black caterpillar as well as aphids will all be thriving. Enquire in your nursery as there are many products in the market and don't forget to mix with them a sticky product, like maybe sunlight dish-washing liquid.
Not all is nasty hohos, there is an endless wonder to Spring flowers, enjoy them all.
Summer Season (December, January & February)
And suddenly is almost Christmas, and if there is something we need to be very aware at this time of the year is watering, as much as we are in the rainy season. Just remember to do it very early morning or evening, but not during the heat of the day.
Most summer annuals are in full bloom by this time, like begonias, petunias, dwarf dahlias, lobelias, delphiniums and so many others.
The tips of Fuchsias that have already flowered can be gently cut back to encourage new blooms.
If you have been away in January, on your return you might find that you have to do a big cut back & clean. Ground-covers are in between the ones that run out of control at this time of the year, if you have Lambs years, look and see if they need to be trimmed. Begonias maybe are very leggy and cutting them back will make them bushier and looking much better.
Weeds during this time are prolific growers and as charming as always. I always tell my friends and clients if they have seen a crook that is "Not absolutely charming" well the same applies to weeds. If too awesome to be truth the way it just grows "Is most probably a weed"
And in a whoosh we are in February and nearly in Autumn!
Autumn Season (March, April & May)
Autumn is that time of the year when magic happens and the millions of colours come alive in trees and creepers in our City (Johannesburg).
This is the time when lawns and gardens need to be fed.
Azaleas and Camellias are preparing themselves for their spring show and that is the time to feed them; remember they do like acid compost.
If you are thinking about getting a rose garden, this is the month to prepare and start planting.
April is the month that calls for "as you saw, so shall you reap"
Bulbs: Most spring flowering bulbs can be planted sometime during autumn. Such as Ixias, Sparaxis, Daffodils, Anemones & Dutch irises to mention just but a few.
In may be aware that it can be very cold and some tender plants will need protection.
Aurum lilies are greedy for food at this time as they will be blooming, give them a good layer of compost and remember NOT to pull the dead flowers, but to cut them.