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November 2023

Dear Tanya…

Dear The Gardener team, thank you for all the inspiration over the past few years. I thought I’d share these pics of my own garden and its transformation from 2021 to 2022 with you. This spring is sure to only bring more joy and growth with all the useful advice and information contained in the pages of The Gardener. 

Keep up the good work! Yogan

Hi Yogan, incredible! Wow, you have been very busy and created an absolute masterpiece. My heart is full knowing that the pages of The Gardener have inspired you and guided you all the way. Now for the next project!

Thank you for sharing, Tanya

I have been trying to plant this tree from its clippings, but they always die. I even followed a video that I saw on YouTube,  but am not winning. Please advise how I can plant them.

Regards, Zandi 

Hi Zandi, thank you for your letter. The plant you are wanting to propagate is called Eugenia or it can also be referred to as Syzygium, and its common name is the brush cherry. This plant can be propagated from mature tip cuttings – so just after the flush of red leaves wait a few weeks and then take the cuttings. You will easily be able to tell when they have matured a little, as the young tips will be very soft and you can bend them easily. Once matured the stems become darker and are firmer to the touch.

These tips need to be harvested at about 5 – 7cm in length. Do this on a cool day and place them in a bucket of water. Now, when it comes to planting the cuttings, I suggest using propagation trays filled with a germination mix. Remove some of the lower leaves of the cuttings, leaving only one third of the leaves behind on the total cutting.

Dip the cut ends into hormone rooting powder No 2 and place in the trays. You will be surprised at how many you can get into a tray! Place the tray in a brightly lit spot – but not direct sun – and water every day. It should take about 10 weeks for the cuttings to take root. You will know if they have rooted when you gently tug on the tip of the cutting and you feel resistance. This is how you know they have roots.

Transplant into 10cm pots with a good quality potting soil and feed with a quarter of a teaspoon of Kyno Garden. Kyno Garden will give them a good boost to get growing, and the trace elements will also help with the stress of being transplanted.

All the best, Tanya

We will be moving to Widenham Retirement Village and would like some advice on what instant lawn would be the best to plant. We’d also like some suggestions as to what indigenous shrubs/perennials to plant (orange and red are not the favourite colours).Many thanks and kind regards, John Dunkley

Hi John, exciting times! Regarding the lawn, one of my personal favourites is Berea Shade lawn. This indigenous lawn does incredibly well on the coast, actually getting its name from the Berea as in Durban. This lawn does well in both shade and full sun, and is soft and beautiful. Keep your mowing height of this lawn at a high setting, as this is when this lawn looks its best.

When it comes to planting, please ensure that compost and Kyno Garden are added to the soil – which should be incorporated well into the soil and raked level. Lay the lawn and water well. The secret with instant turf is that it needs a short quick watering every day for about 10 minutes for the first two weeks. After 6 – 8 weeks give it a feed of Turbo grass and your lawn will be the best on the block!

Here are some indigenous plants that will be super happy: Plumbago, aloes, dietes, carissa, clivias, and gazania.

All the best and enjoy your new garden! Tanya

Dear Tanya, my frangipani tree with white and yellow flowers, seems to be dying. What can I do to save this tree? Please advise and many thanks, Marge Shantall

Hi Marge, I am wondering where you are based? I would not be too stressed about this as they do lose their leaves during the winter months. As spring arrives you will notice the new leaves starting to push through. I would not worry. 

All the best, Tanya

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