Is it just me, or does it feel like this year has just flown by? It’s a strange thing, this world we now live in, where everyone wants everything yesterday, when even 2-minute noodles are just taking too darned long to cook, and waiting 30 seconds for something to heat up in the microwave seems to take forever. As things get faster and faster, be it cars (which of course can go really fast, but we aren’t allowed to drive them over 120km/h, so what is the point I ask you), travel around the world, telecommunications or the years as they go by, one thing remains constant. Nature.
Try as many new gardeners might, you can’t hurry nature or the growing of plants. Which is why once we become older and wiser we in some way or another synch our rhythms to the rhythm of the garden. And isn’t that just much more peaceful and less stressful?
Gardening is of course, supposed to be a relaxing ‘hobby’ (well, for those not involved in the Green Industry...), but all too often, in the pursuit of keeping up with everything, it becomes a mission for too many. I love setting my seasonal clock by the enjoyment of certain things popping up unexpectedly in parts of the garden. I know that winter is on the downslide when the flowering quince puts forth its flowers. That the warmer weather is on the way when all the spring bulbs create a kaleidoscope of colour. And that summer is definitely here when the flies, spiders, mosquitoes and moths all rear their gogga heads! (Certainly could do without those though…)
But with those sometimes unwelcome visitors comes the realisation that for many of us, holidays are just around the corner. That it will soon be time to slow down and spend time in the gardens that we so carefully cultivate, but all too often don’t have the time to enjoy. That with our fantastic South African weather, we can move outside to entertain and have friends and family around to enjoy your special space.
With that too comes the realisation that perhaps you haven’t been as diligent in the garden as you’d like to have been, and have been haphazardly planting all kinds of things that may now be past their best. Or you’re not happy with the colour scheme that you’ve woven out of plants and paint. Perhaps you’re looking for a particularly festive colour scheme for the season, but don’t really know what you should be planting up. Or maybe it’s just time to cool things down outside, and you want to bring in shades of the seaside with pale blues, white, sand and water shades.
There’s nothing like a fresh new look for boosting the spirit of the garden, and your own spirits too. If you’re feeling a little jaded, or need some inspiration on how to zhoozh up your backyard, all you need to do really is to pop into Lifestyle Home Garden and have a word with the knowledgeable people who work there about combinations and expertise on how to put things together to create a whole new dimension for your space. Or if you’d like to find out more on how to do it yourself, then getting in touch with Lifestyle College of course is your go to, not just to find out about the courses available, but also to get in touch with some of the best landscapers and designers out there for that little extra bit of help.
Whether you have an acre, or just a small balcony or patio, we have no doubt you’ll find something new, exciting and interesting to do with it – and here are a couple of tips to get you on your way for the festive season.
Firstly, ensure that you implement some new water wise ideas to make your summer garden cool during the heat without sending your water bill skyrocketing. If you need some overhead shade, now or for the future, plant a tree or two (and use umbrellas until they’ve grown big enough to create their own shady puddles), install a non-splash water feature (and invest in a water storage tank to catch that precious rain, as well as drip irrigation), bring out those deck chairs and enjoy. And if you want to enjoy the warm summer evenings, solar garden and fairy lights will add that extra dimension to your garden space.
Then, add some containers filled with colour combos you enjoy. This is the easiest way to bring colour to any spot in the garden, and as they’re movable, you can change up areas in the garden or on the stoep by situating them differently.
Use a real tree for your Christmas tree, and make beautiful decorations from natural materials sourced in your garden. Spray paint seedpods, cones or branches, festoon with glitter or ribbons and hang inside or out.
Wishing you Happy Holidays!!!
And do give a plant to those special people in your life – a gift that will keep on giving.