Its spring – so it’s time to get inspired to refresh your garden after winter. At 1000 Hills we can offer you heaps of gardening ideas to motivate you to get you outdoors – armed with potting soil and packets of seeds!
There are even two opportunities to visit a selection of some of the most beautiful gardens in the 1000 Hills area. This weekend (Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 September) you are invited to visit local gardening guru, Tanya Visser’s beautiful home garden in Assagay. Tanya and Izolda have created a vibrant spring garden which they will be open to the public. They also have a pop-up shop offering garden goodies and plants. Enjoy coffee, cold drinks, hot dogs and brekkie rolls while you take in the garden’s spring delights.
Tanya Visser is known by most South Africans as the television presenter of the Home Channel’s popular show, The Gardener, as well as editor of The Gardener and Die Tuiner magazines. She loves growing her own vegetables for the kitchen, has impressive succulent and grass collections.
On Sunday, musician Chris Jensen will be in the garden from 10h00 until 14h00 so bring your picnic blanket and relax on the lawn.
Tanya’s open garden is a fund raiser for Kloof Conservancy.
A second open garden weekend takes place from 9.30am to 4pm on Saturday 2 October and Sunday 3 October. Three spring gardens will be on show – two in Winston Park and one in Kloof. Funds raised will be distributed to various charitable organisations supported by the Rotary Anns of the Rotary Club of Kloof – a service organisation that’s making a difference in our community.
The first garden belongs to Fay Fenn (this garden is currently shown in the latest edition of The Gardener magazine) to be viewed at 2 Eagle Downs, 27 Reservoir Road, Winston Park; the second belongs to Peter and Linda Cottrell to be viewed at 11 Jan Smuts Avenue, Winston Park and the third belongs to Bill and Janice Hogg 12 Greenacre Place Kloof.
When visiting the gardens: the gardens are “open” but the homes are not – please do respect the owners’ privacy and do not wander through private spaces; wear sensible shoes; and please do not bring any animals / pets to the gardens.
Throughout the 1000 Hills there are a myriad nurseries and garden centres to help you with spring garden ideas.
Pop the quaint Stonehouse not far from Kearsney College. Stonehouse comprises the Garden Shop @ Lee Supa Scapes – a cheerful nursery, with endless rows of healthy plants and gardening goods – and a great viewing deck to enjoy the view of the hills on the one side and the nursery on the other – over a cappuccino or light meal. Their roses were already in full bloom the morning I visited, showing off their brilliant colours in the sun. They have a great selection of terracotta pots, plant stands and pot-holders to brighten up a wall, and lots of hanging baskets. Succulents and indigenous plants complement the colourful flowers, shrubs and ground covers. They also offer a good selection of seeds, including the less obvious plants and flowers.
The Potting Shed alongside the 1000 Hills Arts and Craft Market (better known as the Pot & Kettle centre) is a compact nursery and garden centre, with some fabulous plants on offer. Their selection of planters and succulents is particularly interesting. Their plants are suitable for indoors and outdoors, in home, office or garden. Brad Raath is on standby to give advice.
The Mushroom Farm located on the old Chef Mushroom Farm in Assagay with the shops operating out of the converted mushroom sheds and outbuildings, offers a comprehensive plant nursery and garden décor centre. They have an enormous selection of outdoor ornaments, sculptures, pots, curiosities and outdoor art.
Started over 10 years ago, the Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust’s Plant Nursery is one of the organisation’s many successful economic empowerment projects which offers training and job opportunities to people impacted by HIV/AIDS. Run by a small, friendly team of staff, the Nursery currently offers a wide selection of mainly indigenous plants including succulents, aloes, trees, shrubs and groundcovers. The Nursery also sells compost, potting soil, pavers and large concrete pots which are made onsite. Located in central Hillcrest, the Nursery is open six days a week and is well worth a visit especially now that the Centre has opened it’s own Coffee Shop – the Ubuntu Ground Café which is in itself a skills development and training programme for local unemployed youth.
The Nursery is currently running its annual Spring Sale until the end of September 2021 with 20% off all plants and garden décor and a wide selection of Spring favourites including African Daisies, Agapanthus, Clivias and Bromeliads for only R20 each.
Magda van Zyl, the manager of Ludwig’s Star Roses, in Assagay, reminds us that although you can plant roses throughout the year, now is their season to flower, and they should be fully in bloom by next month depending on when and how they were pruned. “The main thing about spring is a good watering,” says Magda. “Roses are waterholics and need lots of water. The best time to water your spring garden is early in the morning before the heat of the day.”
Ludwig’s, one of the iconic destinations in 1000 Hills, have one of the most comprehensive selections of roses in the country. If you are looking for something particular, which is not in stock, in can be ordered. In preparation for spring, there will be receiving a new delivery of roses later in the month.
Advice from the experts
I’m not a great gardener, but in consultation with those who are – I am told that I should start by raking up old plant debris, de-weed where necessary, and remove any dead vegetation, and I should start preparing the beds for new plants. Replenish your beds with compost at the beginning of each planting season and incorporate some fertiliser if you want to give your plants a boost.
Now is the time to plant out seedlings of early tomatoes, peppers and eggplants; and plant out seed potatoes in rows. Also start early crops of coriander, rocket and sweet basil. Pots of daffodils do well now, as do spring flowering azaleas. Spring gardens wouldn’t be complete without pansies and violas. They can edge shady paths, and work well in bright containers, window boxes and hanging baskets.
While you’re preparing your garden, don’t forget to fill up the bird feeder too as many birds will need extra nourishment for the breeding season.
If you are unsure about which plants, vegetables and/or flowers you should plant in September, simply speak to your local nursery which should be able to guide you accordingly. It is always a good idea to try as far as possible to plant indigenous plants and ensure that they are well watered.
Good to Know
Tanya’s Spring Garden
Date: 18-19 September 2021
Times: 09h00 – 16h00
6-8 Controversy Drive, Assagay
Tickets: R50 per person, R20 for children under 12.
Tickets at the gate, portion of proceeds to Kloof Conservancy
Rotary Anns Spring Gardens
Sat 2 and Sunday 3 October
Tickets: R25 per person per garden payment by Zapper or cash.
The gardens will be open from 9.30am to 4pm.
Stonehouse 36 Old Main Road, Near Kearsney College, Open Seven Days a week from 7.30am until 4pm. Tel 031 001 1040
Potting Shed – 136 Old Main Road; Botha’s Hill. The centre is open seven days a week
Mushroom Farm – 450 Kassier Rd, Assagay. Tel 031 768 1366
Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust Plant Nursery – 26 Old Main Road Hillcrest. The Nursery, Coffee Shop and Woza Moya craft shop are all open Monday- Friday (8am – 4pm) and Saturdays (8am – 2pm)
Ludwig’s Star Roses – 6 Fraser Road, Assagay. Tel 081 380 8496. Ludwig’s is open seven days a week, 8am until 4pm.