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French garden design: Make your own Mediterranean paradise

A French garden is timeless,  you don’t French garden very often anymore. They appear to be labour-intensive and the initial installation can be costly, but the rewards are beyond words. The budget and the manpower required depends on your design. It’s easy to create a beautiful, low maintenance and budget-friendly design.   

french garden

French gardens increase your property value

Picture quadrupling your property value and appeal, although if you plant a successful chateaux garden, why would you ever want to move?

Bulbs, succulents, and various other materials are essentials in the creation and maintenance of a chateau or French garden. The help of modern-day gardening implements makes a project like this far easier to achieve.

french garden

Transform your box-shape backyard into a symmetrical masterpiece

One of the most defining characteristics of a French garden is their love of symmetry. Everything is planted according to a pattern.

They love using focal points with elegant pots, box-shaped planters, paving, edging, and neatly trimmed hedges. It’s the ultimate outdoor manicure. A chateau garden should provide lots of easy access routes to the gardens via pathways, with the garden enveloping the walkways in a haze of greens and white with soft splashes of other colours. It’s certainly not chaotic, it’s neat.

This is why it’s important to plan your garden layout before you get started. Here’s our step-by-step guide for creating your own Chateau Villa Garden.

french garden

 

Build the necessary elements into your French garden design

  • Stonework, stucco walls, and paved pathways form the way in which your garden layout will work. They also add that vintage-villa feel.
  • A few large old flower pots with a crack or two have an unrivalled sense of authenticity to them. Geraniums (Pelargoniums) are an old favourite. Although they tend to add a distinctly English feel, they still blend with the time period.
  • Geraniums are extraordinarily low-maintenance – rewarding forgetfulness with prolific flowering when they’re in full sun.

If you want to approach this with nothing but authentic villa constituents, large lavender bushes planted along the walkway will do the trick.

french garden

Use geometry to neaten your French garden

  • The French love that square/rectangular garden shape. Add a stone surface with a square of green plants within that, and a stately pot in the centre.
  • Geometry is easy to work with, you can make it as basic as you feel you can manage. Complex designs that wrap around focal pieces with variety and colour are breathtaking but complicated.
  • Often, a small space has the opportunity to make a bigger impact if its design is kept basic and simple. It soothes the senses, giving the eyes a welcome break from the visual stimulation that generally bombards us in modern life.
  • Gravel and stone surfaces are practically maintenance-free if you add a layer of coarse salt to the ground before you lay the stones. A centrepiece that contains succulents will add a further low-maintenance element.

french garden

Use monochrome elements in your French garden beds

  • The most important factor, no matter what you do in your French style garden, is to think “shape”. Adhere to your geometrical plan. Even your garden beds need to be part of a pattern.
  • The next item to consider is colour. French style gardens are typically monochromatic. That means they focus on green, plus one other colour. It’s usually green and white or green and lilac. Lavender bushes, Zantedeschia (Arum lilies), white Albuca, Irises, Galtonia candicans, and Hymenocallis are perfect French garden bulbs for a crisp white appeal.
  • Ensure your garden beds have neat borders. Mondo grass makes a neat border, and it’s fairly resilient to heat, provided it gets watered.

french garden

Add colour – but do it with the style of a French garden

The tradition French garden-makers don’t often opt for very vivid colours, breaking tradition only in the form of bright window boxes in order to add vibrancy into the picture as a whole.

When they do use vivid colour, they do it in a big way. There are no half-measures!

For example, a field of tulips, or a large bed dedicated to daffodils. It conforms to the rule of same with same. This also brings out the English influence, but as we said earlier, you’re respecting the time-period, so it works.

When you opt for bulbs that are seasonal, plan what you will have in that space when those bulbs are not flowering. Stay season-aware.

french garden

The final touches for your beautiful French garden

You’ve done all this work to create a French garden, it seems only right to enjoy it at a table and in good company.

It’s an important part of the Mediterranean culture to enjoy large meals with family outdoors. Include a wrought-iron or wooden dining set. Not only is it fantastic for entertaining, but it’s also a lovely quiet area to sit in the sun and read a book. Every work of art requires a place you can sit and admire it from.

french garden

As you know, you can get all the bulbs, planters, and gardening for your French style garden from our online store. Or, if you’re a novice in the garden, start at the beginning and learn how to plan and design a garden.

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Make your own festive greeting cards with pressed flowers from your garden

pressed flowers

You thought summer bulbs were just for the garden? Maybe a few that can be grown indoors? They’re far too versatile to serve only one purpose. While living, growing, flowers are the greatest way to gift someone beauty, you can add a personal touch to your Season’s Greetings cards this December.

pressed flowers

Pressed flowers for greeting cards

Pressing flowers was a common hobby in the Victorian era as a way to preserve the beauty of a season all year. The preserved flowers are gathered into an ensemble on a page and secured with a small blob of glue. When they’re arranged with thought and care, they bring delight into the home, or into the hearts of those who receive them as greeting cards.  

In today’s consumer-driven world it is easy to purchase a greeting card and personalise it with your own message. With relatives who are separated by many miles, and many South Africans homesick overseas, the most original and thoughtful way to send them a piece of your heart is to send them a garden. A garden minus the soil. A garden’s worth of flowers – immortalised in the peak of their beauty – on paper.

pressed flowers

How to make your own pressed flower greeting cards

Pressed flowers are about to make a come-back in the craft scene, and personalised greeting cards are always in. Unfortunately, not all flowers can be pressed, some contain too much sap and tend to rot. Others may have a thickened area that doesn’t flatten well.

It’s important to know which flowers can be pressed and which ones you have to simply enjoy while they bloom on the plant. Daylilies, so named because each flower only lasts one day, will last a lifetime once dried. They’re every bit as majestic when they’re preserved, making a lovely statement piece on the front of a Christmas greeting card.

pressed flowers

What you need to make your own preserved flower greeting card:

  • Flowering bulbs: Dahlias, Daylilies, Gladioli, and Irises.
  • Heavy books – encyclopedia or phonebooks
  • A heavy article, a cinder block or a brick
  • Clear-drying wood glue
  • White typing paper
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors for harvesting flowers

How to preserve fresh flowers for your greeting card

Making your own greeting card is fun and it’s a great way to keep children busy this holiday season. If you get started now, they can grow their own bulbs for the greeting cards. Some of the pressed flower highlights include gladioli, sandersonia, and irises.

pressed flowers

Step 1: Harvest flowers on dry days

The perfect time to harvest flowers for pressing is when the flowers are at their driest after the morning dew has dried and before the evening clamminess sets in. Avoid harvesting on rainy days.

Harvest only the freshest looking flowers that you’d like to immortalise. They need to have crisp colours and perfect edges. If your flowers have suffered damage, or if they, for whatever reason, fall apart during the harvest, it is still possible to save just the petals. Once they’re dry, there are endless ways to arrange your preserved flowers – they don’t have to form the shape of their original flowers – be creative!

Once you have your flowers, it’s best to get them home to prevent wilting. Wilting will interfere with their aesthetic appeal once they’re dry.

A bonus of harvesting flowers to dry is that you’re also deadheading. Dahlias make incredible dry flowers, either whole or as separated petals. Dahlias also benefit enormously from deadheading, as this prolongs their flowering season and encourages them to divert energy into a better recovery during winter and a better flowering season next spring. You can call it two-birds-with-one-stone.

pressed flowers

Step 2: Prepare for the press

Keep the same varieties together. Different flowers will dry at a different pace, which is why it helps to sort them according to their variety. Label each “press” so you know which flowers you have saved in which place.

Sorted? Now you can arrange them. Place each flower face-down on a white sheet of paper. Make sure no two flowers are touching. If they’re touching when you place them to dry they will be stuck that way.

Cover the sheet of paper of face-down flowers with another sheet of white paper. White typing paper is perfect, it helps to absorb the moisture which is pressed from the flowers. Place the papers with the flowers between two telephone books or heavy encyclopedias.

Add a label to your homemade press with the name of the flowers it contains and the dates you harvested and pressed them.

pressed flowers

Step 3: Add weight

It’s important for the flowers to be under intense pressure. It is not necessary to use an actual flower press, but if you use heavy books, add a brick or a cinder block to the top of the books for added weight.

pressed flowers

Step 4: Do not disturb your flowers for a full month

Yes, it’s tempting to see how they’re getting on. Opening the pages too soon causes the pressed flowers to wrinkle. The flowers might rip apart as you open the pages. Patience is a virtue.

After a month, your flowers should be ready. If you live in a very tropical climate and the humidity levels are high, you may choose to wait a little longer, just to be sure.

You will know your flowers are ready when they are hard and dry and perfectly preserved. Use tweezers to handle your flowers, they are incredibly delicate now.

pressed flowers

Gather them onto your greeting card

You can now arrange your flowers on your greeting card paper. Use clear-drying wood glue to secure them in place. Try to be creative with your arrangements and make patterns that wouldn’t naturally occur in nature, for a breathtaking result. Experiment and lay out all of your designs before you secure them.

pressed flowers

Too late to make your greeting card on time this year? Stock up on summer bulbs now for next year. Hadeco’s top choices for pressed flowers include Dahlias, Daylilies, Gladioli, and Irises. Visit our online to store which bulbs are available for ordering right now.

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Make a flower crown from home-grown flower bulbs

Maybe you have a special event coming up, or you love to get creative. Maybe you like to grow flowers and you’re looking for a fun way to wear them. Either way, a flower crown is a must-have for summer, especially if you have children in the family!

They grow their bulbs and nurse to flower their plants. They can also harvest them and turn them into beautiful festive flower crowns.

It is best to consider what your colour scheme will be before you start. Also, consider your style – do you love large flowers with more detail on certain areas of the crown, or do you prefer a narrow and delicate crown that’s balanced all the way around?

Choose your bulbs only after you have decided what colour and style you prefer for your flower crown.

These are our top flower crown bulbs and plants for a festive and beautiful fairy decoration for your hair.

Dahlia’s for a brighter flower crown

Dahlias are among the best flowers for flower crowns. They’re easy to grow which makes them a great choice for children. When we say Dahlias, we should perhaps be more specific, as ‘Dahlia’ is the name given to a genus that is diverse in colour, shape, size, and scent.

One of the most spectacular in the Dahlia range is the Dahlia Pom-Pon Lollypop, but whether it is practical for a flower crown depends on the shape you want. Its roundedness makes it suitable for flower crowns that require a little bulk to them. Dahlia Border Carola is equally marvellous without the roundness, making them easier to incorporate into a crown. The Dahlia Cactus Good Earth variety is reminiscent of an underwater sea creature or coral and is easily intertwined with a springy vine to form a crown.

Polianthes for a fairytale flower crown

Have you ever seen such a delicate and ethereal white flower? Polianthes look like little snowflakes that landed on the stem of a plant. They’re great additions to a flower crown because of their daintiness.  The popular variety “The Pearl” is a neutral white colour that complements any palette.

Daylilies: the centrepiece on your flower crown

Daylilies are also known as Hemerocallis. They’re called Daylilies because each flower only lasts one day (although the plants are very floriferous, and will ensure a lasting and rewarding flowering season). It may seem odd to include Daylilies in a flower crown. While the crown won’t last, a Daylily will add a bold and dramatic statement to the crown for one day. A flower crown does well with a centrepiece, especially if the centrepiece is near the side, behind the ear (centrepiece referring to the centre of attention rather than its position on the crown).

Zephyranthes for a delicate touch

These dainty trumpet-shaped flowers, Zephyranthes, are a delight. They’re available in delicate pinks or white, again, complementing the colours most commonly used for a flower crown. Accompany them with a few smaller flowers, like baby’s breath, for a feminine and fairy-like look. Zephyranthes are on long stems of around 30cm in height, which is the perfect attribute to make weaving it into a crown easy.

Flower crown and summer fun

Children of all ages can make a flower crown. Boys can make flower crowns too, incorporate more neutral colours and different sprigs of green. Leaves in different shapes and sizes work to make a masculine and pixie-like crown. You can dry out your flower crowns and keep hem forever, depending on the vine you choose to use for the base.

To keep your flower crown fresh for the day you make it, pop it in the fridge until just before you use it.

Our summer bulbs are available to buy now. Order them online for fast delivery from our website, or drop us a mail and we’ll contact you. Shop for summer bulbs now or get in touch.

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Summer flower bulbs: tips to double your yield this spring

Growing a garden and having success with flower bulbs is as simple as following the growing instructions. Hadeco’s flower bulbs come fully loaded, like little suitcases bursting with life, ready to erupt into colour when they hit the soil.

A few basic care tips can take your summer flower bulbs from flowering well to flowering profusely and with extended joy. Much of the beauty you enjoy from your summer bulbs is the result of the foundations you have set in place for them in winter or early spring. These extra tips are for the over-achievers – those of you who would love to see more flowers and extra vivid shades, for a longer period of time.  

Gladioli – summer flower bulbs that pierce the sky with colour

summer flower bulbs

Gladioli are known as the sword lily for their name, which is translated from the Latin word Gladius, which means sword. Their colourful spikes add height and glorious colour to garden beds. You can maximise these summer bulbs’ flowering period with a few simple and basic tricks.

Do this in winter –

Glads can be removed from the soil in winter if you live in a frosty area. Otherwise, you may leave the corms in the soil.  Mulch well to protect against light frost.

Do this now –

Feed your Glads in the springtime for prolific flowering in summer. When feeding your Glads, avoid fertilisers with high nitrogen levels. A balanced 8-8-8 plant food will help them to blossom vibrantly. To maximise your blooms, give your Glads lots of sun, they are summer bulbs, after all. Let them bask in glorious warmth – they need it!
Order your Gladioli bulbs now 

Dahlias for days (or months) – fabulous flower bulbs

summer flower bulbs

Dahlias are one of the brightest repeat bloomers of all the summer flower bulbs. They’re a great flower for beginner gardeners to start with because they’re easy to grow and richly rewarding. You can extend their gift-giving flower period with a few easy tips!

Do this in winter –

While it’s not exactly winter time, deadheading them as autumn approaches will extend their flowering period. Deadheading will also encourage these summer flower bulbs to make more flowers because the plant “realises” it hasn’t gone to seed. Deadhead the flowers as they start to fade. You can cut the stems when the flowers are still beautiful, this will liven up your home with a colourful bouquet. Deadheading also encourages the plant to invest its energy in growing a fat and healthy bulb filled with nutrients for a better growing season next spring.  

Do this now –

Don’t order your Dahlia bulbs before September. Dahlia bulbs that are available for order before September have usually been imported from the northern hemisphere and have been standing in cold storage. This means you won’t enjoy the full effect, the plants will be weak and flowers dismal. Hadeco’s bulbs are ready for ordering, now.
Order your Dahlias now 

Amaryllis Amore – double the flowers with half the work

summer flower bulbs

Amaryllis plants are the highlight of the festive season and the summer bulbs range. They boast massive flowers in overstated bold colours. Get more flowers this summer by working smarter, not harder.

Do this in winter –

Amaryllis in South Africa can be left in the ground except in the very coldest regions.

Prepare now for next summer – in their natural environment, these summer flower bulbs can remain active for up to 6 months after flowering. It is during this time that the embryo flowers form, they will burst to life when the seasons warm up. As the temperatures cool after the active season, reduce watering and allow the bulbs to rest in preparation for the following spring.

Do this now –

Amaryllis need lots of sunlight. If they don’t get enough light, like succulents, they will become elongated and pale – etiolation is the proper term for this. Give them fertiliser every season. If you skip a season, you’ll have fewer flowers the following season.  
Order your Amaryllis now 

Hadeco’s summer flower bulbs

Our winter and our summer bulbs are packed with all the nutrients they need to grow into strong plants, that pop with colourful flowers. There’s no need for special treatment or extensive research. Follow the care instructions to enjoy a marvellous spring flowering season.

Get a head start on the season while you still can and order your summer bulbs now 

summer flower bulbs

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How to make a bouquet that welcomes spring into your home

Spring is the season of fragrant blooms. As new life erupts all around us, wedding season arrives too. Around the corner are December holidays, festive celebrations, and family visits. It’s that time of the year to enjoy happy days that turn into good memories.

It’s the perfect time to learn how to make a bouquet. Doing it with the skill of a florist can take some practice, but there’s never been a better time to learn. We’ve compiled a simple instructional guideline on how to select your flowers to make a bouquet that’s inherently beautiful.

We’re happy to give you this tutorial featuring Chrysal, a trailblazer in the cut flower industry. They extend the life of cut flowers, provide arrangement accessories like sponge blocks with their range of research-backed products that deliver outstanding results.

how to make a bouquet

How to make a bouquet for spring

You will need:

  • Floral or stem wrapping tape
  • Floral wire
  • Fresh flowers
  • Rubber bands (optional)
  • Scissors or a vegetable knife
  • Chrysal post-harvest treatment products
  • Vase

how to make a bouquet

Step 1: Choose your colour scheme

Most bouquets feature one large flower, the main focal point. Choose your bouquet’s colour scheme around the hues of the large focal flower. You can either choose to have a bouquet of complementing colours, or you can compile vivid and contrasting colours.

In wedding bouquets, it’s typical to use a complimenting colour scheme. In spring, you can throw the rule book out of the window (along with winter) and use the brightest and starkest contrasts if you wish.

How to make a bouquet according to your colour taste is completely up to you.

If you decide to use a matching colour scheme, examine the focal flower. The subtle colours are the best ones to highlight by choosing smaller flowers or greenery that match. For example, examining an arum lily gives you more than just white.

There are delicate hints of lime green ascending up from the stem, then there’s the golden yellow style. White, being versatile, works with any other colour but the spritely greens give you a fantastic starting point.

Choose contrasting colours by looking at opposite ends of the spectrum. Dark colours in various shades punctuated with brightness are particularly effective. Picture light and dark purples with bursts of lime green and sprigs of white. It’s refreshing!

Step 2: Finding your flowers

Spring gives us a wide variety of blooms to choose from, although most spring flowers haven’t quite blossomed yet. There are also great year-round options, like arum lilies, baby’s breath, and gladiolus. There might even be a few winter blooms like dahlias and daffodils still available.

Sunflowers make a beautiful focal piece, their bright yellow hue gives a range of  colour scheme opportunities. If you have grown your own flowers, knowing to make a bouquet is extra special if you harvest and arrange it yourself. Select flowers that vary in size and add lots of greenery, especially in light green hues.

Step 3: Selecting the perfect floral specimens

Selecting quality stems and a balance of open and semi-open flowers is an important part of knowing how to make a bouquet. Part of your greenery should include some tight buds along with the flowers. The tight buds will erupt into joyous blooms as the other flowers begin to wilt away, giving you a lasting and well-balanced bouquet.

Select flowers with strong and woody stems. If the flower can not balance upright on your palm, it’s either damaged or weak and it won’t last long in your bouquet. Check that there is no sliminess, this is a sign of rotting. The leaves should be green, healthy, and fresh. Spots or discolouration indicates the stem may not live long enough to be part of your bouquet.

how to make a bouquet

Step 4: Stems: Cutting down to size

All the stems should be an even length. Cut the stems at an angle, this enables them to draw water with greater ease to extend their longevity. Next, if you want a bouquet that’s safe to handle, trim away unwanted leaves and remove thorns by sliding a knife up the stem.

how to make a bouquet

Step 5: Assembling your bouquet

Prepare the vase and water by adding Chrysal Full Bloom as per the instructions on the packet.  To build your bouquet, hold your centrepiece flower in your non-dominant hand and start building around it.

Using a sponge block may help during this process, especially if you feel like you don’t have enough hands. The flowers should generally be at a similar height, but you can add depth with small sprigs of baby’s breath that stick up. Add your greenery last so that the leaves frame the colourful inner arrangement.

Once all your flowers and leafy stems are in, you can bind the stems together with an elastic band or floral wire. And voila! A fantastic spring bouquet!

how to make a bouquet

How to make a bouquet with Chrysal

Chrysal uses stringent scientific methods to test their efficacy. Chrysal is the sequel to our story of cultivating and growing flower bulbs. Once you harvest your blooms, Chrysal extends their indoor life for the most rewarding and long-lived bouquets. Grow your own bouquets with

Hadeco’s marvellous selection of bulbs, or purchase some of Chrysal’s magnificent cut flower products.

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7 essential garden tools to get in spring 2018

It’s winter time. Mornings are cold, frosty even in parts of South Africa. The world wants to lie in and stir a little later, even the sun gives itself a grace period of rest before it begins its slow ascent skywards. Most of our favourites in the garden are in dormancy, or at least semi-dormancy, all except a few winter blooms.
 
That’s okay, we don’t mind. It gives the gardeners an opportunity to rebuild and renew their vision for the summer. Winter is also the perfect season to get a few essential garden tools for summer. While a good workman never blames his tools, the right tools make the job simpler and faster. Some of the handy garden inventions help you to succeed in growing the demanding plants you may have battled with in the past.
 
These essential garden tools go a long way in helping you create a bountiful and rewarding garden.

Garden tool essential #1: Bulb tray

garden tools

Bulb trays can assist with correct spacing when you’re planting your bulbs. They’re great if you decide to unearth your bulbs at the end of the season. Ever worried about plunging that spade into the earth and hitting a bulb that’s not accounted for? We’ve all been there. The bulb tray allows you to lift all the bulbs out, with ease. This bulb tray package gives you 3 rectangular bulb trays that are 7.0 x 25 x 21 cm in size. Order here.

Garden tool essential #2: Garden kneeler 

garden tools

Spending all day outdoors is grand. The fresh air is magnificent for your body. The sound of the birds would cheer anybody and the vitamin D you’re getting from the sun has an uplifting effect on health. But kneeling for hours on end can take its toll on your back. Because we are keen gardeners ourselves, we’re familiar with the creaks and pains that come with bending over for prolonged periods.
That’s why we’re importing the most innovative invention for green-fingered folks, the garden kneeler! It’s lightweight and easy to carry around the garden. Turn it one way and have your knees resting pleasantly on the foam support. The two arms on the side are perfect to pull yourself up with. When you turn it onto its other side, it acts a sturdy stool to sit down on. If you’re a keen decorator in the home, you’ll also love this product. It’s perfect for use both indoors and outdoors. Order yours here.

Garden tool essential #3: Growing table 

garden tools

 Let’s talk about growing food at standing height. Wouldn’t that be grand? Imagine a garden tool that allows for harvesting your vegetables from a grower that’s the same height as your kitchen countertops. Imagine being able to move your crops as it suits you.
You can bring them indoors during frosty periods or out of the harsh sun in summer. We supply gardeners with a growing table that addresses many of the concerns that come with growing herbs. It’s a wooden table that’s designed with 4 separate compartments, each could house a different herb or vegetable variety. We’ve sourced a growing table that’s made from Class III northern pine, and we’ve ensured that it is FSC certified. Order yours here.

Garden tool essential #5: Rain gauge 

garden tools

 Wondering how much water your garden receives? If you’re cultivating picky growers, it’s important to keep track of these details. Order a rain gauge and always stay in the know.

Garden tool essential #6: Galvanised hand trowel 

garden tools

 Ever battled to dig up a stubborn patch of earth, only to have your hand trowel break midway through? Having cheap garden tools break during use is not only annoying, it increases your risk of injury too. We’ve experienced these misfortunes, we know how exasperating it can be.
So, we have managed to source the best quality hand trowel we could find. It’s designed to consider ergonomics, preventing hand and wrist fatigue. It also has a sharpened the blade to give you better slicing power to penetrate tough turf. The fact that it’s galvanised means it’s rust-resistant and longer-lasting. For perfection, it has an added a hole at the top for easy storage. This design has covered all its bases. Purchase one and experience the difference

Garden tool essential #7: Bulb and seedling planter

 

garden tools
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 Who said there are no shortcuts in life? This particular bulb and seedling planter gives you the best gardening results without blood, sweat, and tears. The bulb and seedling planter buries your bulb at the correct depth (which you have chosen) with minimal effort. It’s like smearing butter with a warm knife! Once again, we’ve sourced a product that considers ergonomics to ensure your hand doesn’t fatigue. It also reduces the chances of injury.

The joys of garden tools that work

garden tools

We’ve sourced these garden tools using our personal experiences in the garden. A few basic implements can increase the time you feel comfortable outdoors and maximise the rewards you get for the energy you’ve spent. After all, we’re all doing this for the rewards that come in spring. Give these garden tools a go, if you love them, let us know by getting in touch with us, we love hearing from you.
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Garden design and planning for a bountiful summer

We have been talking a lot about winter lately, this is because the seasons directly dictate the state of the garden. But what about garden design? While there are many colourful bulb varieties that expel the dreariness of the cold months, winter is also a time for us to (partially) retreat. While we enjoy the warmth of the indoors, we can still keep growing and improving our gardens from the comfort of a soft chair by creating a garden design plan. It’s time to learn how to plan a garden properly!

garden design

How to make your own garden design

Whether you are a seasoned gardener looking for new ideas or enjoying your very first year in your own home, a garden design will give you clear direction and focused goals when spring arrives. By the time summer dawns, the garden will awaken beautifully, bathing your home in luminous colours, alive with the buzzing of bees and happy chirps from the birds.

garden design

Start your garden design with a map

You need to see what you are working with before you start making big plans. Google Earth should provide you with a good visual of your home from an aerial view (simply type your address into Google with the words “street view”). Alternatively, if you are more comfortable with an informal hand-drawn map, that’s great too. On your map you need to be aware and mark out the following:

  • Areas that are in full sun, part shade, full shade.
  • Areas that affected by strong winds
  • Specific places children like to play
  • The location of the best soil
  • Mark out the areas people typically use to walk from one point to another, ie routes.
  • Mark out water sources and elevated points. Plants that require well-draining condition would be planted higher than plants that enjoy lots of moisture.

garden design

Select your garden design

Spend some time looking at styles you love. Some people love neatly-trimmed and manicured gardens. Others love a wild and indigenous riot in the backyard. Then you get cultural options, Japanese gardens are serene and calming while English country gardens burst with beautiful roses. This stage of your planning is perfect for winter, you can spend hours browsing gardening magazines, looking at blogs on the internet, and watching garden shows on TV.

garden design

Your ideas marry the garden design

It’s time to put it all together. It’s also important to keep your budget in mind while you keep to ideas that are realistic, based on the map you have drawn. If you live in a naturally arid region, a garden designed to look like a rainforest will be difficult and expensive to achieve.

Sketch your ideas onto the map, keeping it vague. There’s no need to be specific about the plants you want, at least not at this stage. Try to get an idea of the look you want in each area of your garden design. Draw the shapes, sizes, and locations of the beds you want to build. Perhaps you would like to include a few statues or ornaments? Decide if you want to incorporate pathways, fishponds, or perhaps a garden bench? A trellis to add aesthetic appeal to a bland wall, and pot plants to decorate pillars and patios. Your garden design doesn’t have to be implemented in any specific time frame. You can dream in stages. Sketch it all out now and implement it as you have time and budget to do so.

garden design

Practical consideration in your garden desig

This is the point at which you will acquire your garden accessories and choose your plants. There are a number of factors to consider first before you buy all your flowers and plants:

  • Location – your plants need to be compatible with the amount of sunlight the chosen area receives.
  • Compatibility – If there are already plants in that region, ensure they will grow well together.
  • Ease of care – how high maintenance are the flowers you have selected? Do they need to easily accessed daily, or can they be further away in the garden? Do they require regular watering?
  • Length and size – how tall will they grow (this ties in with aesthetics) and how far will they bush out?

garden design

Choose your borders and extras

Some people love a bed surrounded by natural rocks, others prefer the neatness of paving. Add more thought to your garden design and think of ways you can make it unique. A water feature adds a zen element with the calming sound of trickling water, while a duck pond will add a lively burst of noise and joy. Make it your own!

garden design

Planning for springtime starts now

Creating a garden design is not only going to give you purpose and direction in spring, it should ignite a keen sense of enthusiasm too. Paging through magazines and visiting nurseries are as much fun as winter can provide. Once you’ve completed your garden plan, ensure you have the perfect bulbs. Contact Hadeco for advice and guidance, or visit our website to browse our innovative garden tools, flower bulbs, and plants.

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A secret recipe for lush lawn – all year (even in droughts)

Lush lawn. The grass is greener where you…

No. Forget it.

You can water the grass to your heart’s content, sometimes it stays patchy and brown.

And who has countless litres of water to spend on maintaining lush lawn? That’s not a luxury we can afford in Africa.

But if you have a family, children or grandchildren, a rich expanse of lush lawn forms an important part of family life. You want to have picnics outside, let the children role around, run, jump and experience the happiness of playing outdoors. You know how much healthier it is for them to fill their lungs with fresh air and run until their cheeks are flushed with colour.

lush lawn
The perfect lawn to complete your garden

How to get greener lawn – ALL year

Or maybe you want a lawn to complement your flower beds.

If you’ve taken the time to create bursts of colour in the garden, it shouldn’t all come to an untimely end where your lawn begins.

Not interested in the reasons for having a green lawn but you need one, and you need it fast? Of course you do.

Pokon has developed 3 specialised types of lawn seed designed to provide lush, green grass that survive the toughest conditions.

Which option is right for you?

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Lawn for playing and living on

Pokon Lawn Seed – Play

This is the family edition of Pokon’s Lawn Seeds.

It’s designed to handle the trauma of impact on a regular basis, we recommend that you keep on the grass as much as you want to. Roll on it, relax on it, let go of your worries on it.

How Pokon Lawn Seed Play creates hardy lawn

This seed is ideal for growing new lawn.

  • The unique self-recovery capabilities give incredible durability
  • Tolerates treading very well. Its resilience is unrivaled
  • Its success lies in the drought-resistance qualities
  • Each seed is coated for optimum germination
  • We’ve used RPR technology to ensure the grass will make horizontal shoots

A blend of seeds that is used on sports fields and schools. It promises years of happy treading and lush greenness. You can purchase it online

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Lawn that recovers with vigour

Lawn Seed Recovery

On a Monday morning when you’re dragging yourself to an upright position and slowly waking up, think of those patches of tired, rusty looking lawn.

Grass that’s growing sparsely is stressed. Trying to coax it into becoming lush is like asking you to shot put first thing on a Monday morning, before coffee.

Lawn seed recovery is a remedy that is specially designed for lawn that is spread too thinly and failing to thrive. It’s an SOS for stressed lawn, designed to fill in those bare patches.

How Lawn Seed Recovery transforms your lawn

  • Each seed is coated, providing fast germination within 1 week.
  • Germination can occur at cool temperatures as well as warm temperatures.
  • This seed is suitable for established lawns with bare patches and new lawns
  • Its water-wise attributes keep it lush in dry conditions

Get that lasting quick-fix and restore your greens. Order your lawn seeds: online

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Lawn for the shade

Lawn Seed Shade

A rich, thick lawn that runs all the way to the roots of your trees…What a happy idea.

Sadly most lawns become patchy under trees because they battle to thrive in the shade. Having lawn under the shade would be ideal because you could utilize that grass for picnics and games much better.

It also just rounds-off the garden better.

How Lawn Seed Shade gives you fuller, lush lawn

  • Our unique seed is coated for optimum germination
  • It uses science-backed methods to restore bare patches and help winter lawns to recover
  • We use a strong blend to ensure the grass has a high treading tolerance
  • Once the grass has taken root, it will require significantly less water than traditional blends, keeping it lush in drought conditions.

This blend is ideal for those seeking a lawn that is resilient and battles with shade. Suitable as an SOS seed for your greens, it can be used to improve the general well-being of your grass. Place your orders online

How to get the best results from your seed blend

While each bled offers different qualities, the preparation process is very similar. For instructions on planting each blend, please consult your packet.

  1. For the best results, the soil should be warmer than 6 degrees, and the air temperature should be around 15 degrees.
  2. The ideal soil would be moist, and the weather should calm.
  3. Ensure the seeds are equally spread out, if they germinate too close together it will hinder their growth.

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Your new yard

A low-maintenance lush lawn adds value to your life and to your property.

Having a reason to go outside and kick a ball starts with a welcoming surface. At the same time, you want to maximise the curb appeal of your property by having a positive presentation of it. A greener lawn will create the impression that your home is looked after. All of this is attainable without back-breaking work and ongoing time commitments.

If you’re unsure which lawn seed blend is best suited to your needs, feel free to get in touch with us  and we’ll happily answer any questions you have.

If you are ready for a garden that rejoices with colour, order your scientifically created Lawn Seed today.

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A guide to growing bulbs: Plant your winter garden

The garden, our little slice of heaven. Do you delight in the beauty of delicate petals opening to the skies? Colourful blossoms dancing in the breeze, sweet floral fragrances filling the air and the peaceful twittering of birds in the trees. There’s no better place to pass the time. Do you want to grow bulbs for a beautiful garden all year round? Green thumb or not, there’s no reason we all shouldn’t experience the joy of our flower beds in full bloom. Flower bulbs are the perfect embellishment for a glorious garden. If you plant at the right time and follow the instructions, your bulbs are sure to grow and blossom.

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How to grow bulbs

Bulbs are usually bigger and different in structure to seeds. Considered a modified root, the structure carries the complete life cycle of the plant within. They all have a base plate from where the roots emerge and a top growth point for the flower. Inside, the bulb consists of layers with the flower bud in the centre which emerges as the plant grows.

Growing bulbs is a rewarding process. While bulbs do have periods of dormancy, their flowering time is a wonder to behold. Bright yellows, dazzling whites, soothing lilacs – the colours are spectacular. Planting times are seasonal and vary depending on when your bulbs are due to flower. Winter and spring blooming bulbs are better suited to cooler temperatures and need the winter period for growth. Autumn is the perfect time to plant your winter bulbs. While some bulbs may flower in winter, many winter bulbs come alive in the spring. Hyacinths, daffodils, irises, freesias and tulips are just a few of your options.

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Preparing to grow bulbs

All Hadeco’s bulbs come packaged with planting instructions. When to plant, flowering time and lighting requirements are all found on the packet, as well as instructions for actual planting. Always consult the packaging if you are uncertain, but there are some general rules to follow when growing bulbs. Whether you’re planting in containers or the garden, if you follow the planting instructions and give your bulbs plenty of water, you’re already on the path to success.

Growing bulbs in pots

Let’s start with container planting. Some bulbs are more suitable for pots than others, hyacinths, in particular, grow well in pots. (Read our article on hyacinths to discover more). Place potting soil into your container, leaving space at the top to place your bulbs. Position them with the base on the potting mix, pointed end upwards. The packet details the distance bulbs must be placed from each other. Be careful not to overcrowd your container. Planting them too close together will affect their growth. Once placed in the container, cover the bulbs with the rest of the soil (the packet will tell you how deep they need to be). Bulbs generally prefer well-draining soil, be sure to select a container with adequate drainage. Place your pot in an area suitable for the plant’s light requirements and water well every four days, making sure the water drains out the bottom. Nourish your growing bulbs with Hadeco Bulb Food.

Growing bulbs in the garden

Bulbs look beautiful when planted in your flowerbeds. Before planting, prepare your bed by adding compost and bone meal and digging it into the soil. Freesias are lovely bulbs for the garden and are native to South Africa, making them well-suited to the climate. (Discover more about freesias). When growing bulbs outdoors, follow the packet’s planting instructions to determine depth and spacing. Although your flower beds provide more space than a container, you still need to leave enough room for the roots to develop. Use a planter tray (available from Hadeco’s online store) to protect the bulbs from pests and moles. Position the tray in the ground, placing some soil over the bottom, and then plant your bulbs inside the tray. Cover with soil. Apply Hadeco Bulb Food immediately after planting (and then monthly). Sprinkle the bulb food over the soil and water in. Don’t forget to water your growing bulbs every four days.

Over-sowing

Whether you’re planting in pots, window boxes or the ground, you can over-sow or over-plant your bulbs with other seeds, such as pansies, violas or Alyssum. These flowers will provide colour while your bulbs are growing and also act as a mulch. Adding mulch to your flower beds helps retain moisture in the soil and protect the bulbs roots, and makes your beds look attractive. Bark chips, fallen leaves, and pebbles are all great options when adding mulch.

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What to do after your bulbs have flowered

Surely there can be nothing more pleasing than a sea of daffodils dancing in the breeze as spring awakens. Your flowering bulbs will brighten up your garden and home with delightful fragrances and an abundance of colour. As the flowering period comes to an end, you may be tempted to trim back the plants – don’t do this. After the flowering has finished, allow the green growth to die off naturally, ensuring all the energy goes back into the bulb. Doing this will help your bulb flower again the following year.

Clusters of vibrant, flowering bulbs are an asset to any garden. Don’t be daunted by the prospect of growing bulbs. As long as you keep them nourished and watered, and plant according to the instructions, there is no reason your bulbs shouldn’t bloom in all their glory. Visit Hadeco’s online store and stock up on winter bulbs. Your spring garden will be a haven you never want to leave.

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Fabulous Freesias: A symbol of friendship

The symbol of friendship, sweetness and trust, Freesias were discovered by Christian P Ecklon, who named them after his friend, the German botanist Friedrich Freese. Appealing to both the nose and eyes, this bloom is a much-loved South African native. The gorgeous funnel-shaped flowers are a striking sight to behold, their sweet scent tickling the senses. A classic fragrance, it is often found infused in our favourite perfumes, soaps, and scented candles.  

A perennial flowering bulb, the Freesia is a genus of 14 to 16 native South African species in the family Iridaceae. The majority of the species, twelve dozen, are found in the Cape Provinces. The bright colour options make these plants a beautiful addition to any garden or container. They are also a popular choice for cut flowers, their fragrant scent filling the room.

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Encourage your Freesias to bloom

Freesias are thought of as winter bulbs. They remain dormant during the hot, dry Cape summers, preferring the cooler weather and rains of autumn and winter. The bulbs are nurtured through the colder months and awaken in spring to provide a colourful display of beautifully fragrant blooms.

The best time to plant your Freesias is from mid-April to May. This will ensure and stunning exhibition of blossoms from August to September. While culture and hardiness are species-specific, most Freesias should be planted in well-draining, slightly acidic soil that is rich in organic matter. Do not water your Freesias excessively. Rather let the soil dry for a few days between watering. When planting your Freesias, select an area that is sunny to partly sunny and consider planting a mass of bulbs together for high visual impact. When planted at intervals, the bulbs will flower in succession, keeping your beds in bloom.  

Stock up on Freesia bulbs

It’s impossible to go wrong adding Freesias to your garden. Gorgeous bold colours and deliciously fragrant, your beds will sing with beauty. The bulbs also flourish in containers, providing a wonderful option for patios and balconies, as well as indoor house plants. Freesias are ideal cut flowers, snip off a few blooms and place in vases around the house. Keep the spirit of friendship alive and gift a few cuttings to your friends and family.

freesias

Let the sweet fragrance of Freesias enliven your flower beds. Hadeco stocks a selection of Freesia bulbs. Choose between white, yellow, pink, lilac, and red with a yellow centre. Or, select a mixed pack and relish in a glorious assortment of colour. Buy your bulbs here.