Autumnal Gardening

Do you look around enviously every spring at all those magnificent gardens bursting with colour and full of flowers? Do you think to yourself, “That’s how ours is going to look next year?”, but then are unsure how to do it?

Help is at hand! The Catscapes team have put together our best spring garden tips to ensure that your garden will be picture perfect!

Tip #1 Plan for success

Those gardens you admire every year – most of them select fairly easy to grow annuals and that is why they are always successful! Here are just a few of our all-time favourites: Fairy primulas – Primula malacoides – so rewarding, so easy to grow, a guaranteed winner! Available in pinks, white, lavender, and wine tones, flower spikes up to about 30cm
  • Pansies – shorter growing, about 15-20cm high, available in all colours from pastel to bright, with faces or clear – so beautiful
  • Violas – look just like miniature pansies, little plants laden with bright happy little faces
  • Poppies are another real winner in the garden and so lovely as cut flowers in your home too!
  • If you have a slightly bigger area in full sun Namaqualand daisies are always a winner! And planted from seed very cost effective too! You can go traditional with the bright oranges and yellows or all white. A fun thing to do is to mix white Namaqualand daisy seeds and Virginia Stocks seeds and plant together for a stunning mauve and white look. Just be aware that Namaqualand daisies close their flowers when not in full sun so don’t plant in shade spots
  • If you are keen to give bulbs a go – Tulips, Ranunculus, Daffodils, Freesias and Amaryllis are always fabulous. You can order these directly from the Hadeco website and then will deliver to your door in time for planting. Don’t feel restricted to only these plants, there are lots of other fabulous choices, these are just a few of our favourites!

Tip #2 Winter and Spring Gardens are Planted by Easter

We know, the weather is still too warm to even be thinking of winter just yet let alone spring! But the weather turns quickly and soil temperatures start to drop resulting in growth slowing down so an easy rule of thumb is to try and get your winter and spring flowers planted as close to the Easter Weekend as possible. Remember to prepare your soil well beforehand by digging in some nice rich weed-free compost (and be careful not to disturb the roots of sensitive plants like roses). Also, for maximum effect pay close attention to plant spacing (check the plant label).

Tip #3 Water and Feed Regularly

Particularly in the days and weeks following planting it is critical to keep your seedlings well- watered, especially when the weather is still quite warm to try and get them established and actively growing before the cold weather slows them down. To give your plants a boost it is really effective to feed them fortnightly – either with and organic fertilizer or a chemical one like Mulitfeed (1 flat teaspoon in 1 litre of water). Do not over fertilize or increase the dose as it can cause root burn which will adversely affect these young plants.

Tip #4 Sit Back and Enjoy Your Beautiful Garden!

You’ve done all the hard work, all that is left is to enjoy the fruits of your labour !
Happy gardening everyone!

Villa D’Este – How to get your own garden theme from the Landscape Masters

Villa D’Este is synomous with water features, however clipped hedges, clean lines and concrete hard landscaping all come into play. There are very few other landscapes which use drama so effectively. It is not suprising that the Villa was used for large extravagansas and concerts. From the hidden grottos to the suprise fountains it is a feast of drama.

Courtesy of Google

Rows of Terracotta pots filled with Citrus trees or white roses, interspersed with Lavender and a focal concrete water feature at the end of the vista will create yor very own D’Este style garden.

Beautiful Statues can create a similar drama in a small area. Suprise gardens and a concrete water feature will add to the effect. Dont be afriad of the splashing out of the water, it is all part of the effect!

Courtesy of Google

As demonstrated in the image above, the design can be remarkably simple to be effecitive. A simple, formal design with structure, and height to create the drama, using Italian looking plants so there can be no mistaking the theme that one is trying to achieve

Courtesy of Google

Monet’s Garden – How to get your own garden theme from the Landscape Masters

Monet’s garden is autonomous with vividly bright coloured planting, curved bridges and large reflective dams packed with water lilies. almost hap hazzard in design… a true artists garden.

Courtesy of Google

He used irises very effctively to create the dramatic bursts of colour. Amazingly they have te same “painted” effects in real life. Planted in dramatic rows he led the eye to the focal point or down a path.

Courtesy of Google

The large dams packed with waterlilies and willows dropping in is out of reach of the average gardener, however a small reflective pond, or even a large pot with water lilies in it will create a similar relaxing, reflective effect.

Arches can be used to great effect to tame the rambling creepers and give them structure. It is also the perfect way to create instant shade and height in a garden and three dimensional colour bursts.

Courtsey of Google

Capability Brown – How to get your own garden theme from the Lanscape Masters

Rolling lawns, large trees and water, either transversing your landscape, or in still ponds are the order of the day. Clipped hedges and shrubs add to the order of the “natural” landscape.

Courtesy of Pintrest

Benches or bird baths should act as focal points. If the area is large enough a stine bridge would compliment the landscape. A focal point in a landscape such as this is essential.

Courtesy of Pintrest

Lawn is an essential part of the landscape, and can be used as parkland, rolling lawns, or even as pathways if space dictates. The planting is often soft, with the abscence of hard landscape objects (with the exception of the focal point) and is softened further with the abundant use of the lawn.

Courtesy of Pintrest

Gentle curved lines, with the lawn at the centre, serpentine water ways all guiding the eye to a central point or feature.

Courtesy of Pintrest

All of the planting is soft and the colour is subtle, either in the form of different colour foliage, or muted tones of flowers. It is the copy of nature with a managed feel.

Central Park New York – How to get your own garden theme from the Landscape Masters

Central Park is famous for its expansive lawns, woodlands, waterfeatures, Gazebos, rose gardens and magnificent trees. Clipped manicured shrubs with wild clumps of trees are the way to go. Should your property be large enough, secret gardens will compliment the setting. It is a “natural” managed look.

Courtesy of Pintrest

The rose gardens are world famous. A feature, such as the water feature in Central Park normally donimates the centre of the rose garden and is the focal point.

Care must be taken, when designing a garden based on the Central Park theme, that there are object/s of interest so that the eye does not drift lazily across the landscape, but rather settles on an area/structure of interest.

Courtesy of Pintrest

Rolling lawns with feature trees are central to this theme. Pavers and benches bring the theme together. Gazebos can be used to great effect, to bring instant height to the landscape, as well as being functional.

Versailles – How to get your own garden theme from the Landscape Masters

There are many distinct landscape themes which make Versailles unique. Using one or two of the techniques in your own garden, will go a long way to creating a garden themed on that of one of the Masters.

Courtesy of Pintrest

No matter how big or small the area, a little piece of Versailles theme can be incorporated. Clipped hedges, water features, concrete hard landscaping, gravel paths, boxed trees and formality are all the rule of thumb.

If space is an issue, then clipped hedges, with a small water feature and gravel will do the trick. For larger landscapes, boxed trees in clumps, water features, even dams all designed formally ( balance on both sides of the axis)

Courtesy of Pintrest

Clean lines, with the hint of extravagance, is what is required. Edging and subtle concrete features (even terracotta pots) can be used. If the famous Orangery is to be copied, large square wooden pots with Citrus trees are to be used. Lavender can be incorporated abundantly.

Courtesy of Pintrest

All features should obviously be in a French style, From the lights/lanterns to the choice of pots or statues. Brown gravel can be used to bring the entire landscape together.

Courtesy of Pintest

Central Park New York – Famous gardens of the Master Landscapers series

Central Park is an urban park in Manhattan, New York City. The first part of the park was opened in 1858 and was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead. It is 843 square metres of parkland, hard landscaping and water features.

Courtesy of Wikipeadia

The parks main attractions include the Ramble and Lake, the Hallett Nature Sanctuary, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir and Sheep meadow.

Courtesy of Wikipeadia

There are three wooded areas in Central Park: North Woods, the Rambles and Hallett Nature Sanctuary. The North Woods contains a 55 Ha ravine, a forrest with only deciduous trees and a small stream that winds diagonally through North Woods. The ramble covers 15 Ha’s, which comprises of winding paths through a diverse selection of vegetation. It is and idea habitat for birds and over 250 species have been sighted. The Hallett Nature Sanctuary covers 1,6 Ha and is the smallest wooded area.

Courtesy of Wikipeadia

Water, features significantly in the park, with 8 large water bodies being present. Nearly every water activity is catered for, from boating in the summer to ice skating in the winter.

Courtesy of Wikipeadia

The property values around the park have shown significant growth over the years, demonstrating yet again, that a well planned landscape will always add value to a property

Courtesy of Wikipeadia

Capability Brown – Famous gardens of the Master Landscapers series

Lancelot Brown was born in 1715 and was perhaps England’s greatest gardener. He was commonly known as Capability and was a landscape architect.

Courtesy of Wikipeadia

He designed over 170 parks, most of which are still around today. He was named Capability after he would tell his clients that the property had the “capability” for improvement. His landscapes involve Kew gardens, Warwick castle, Blenheim House, etc.

Courtesy of Wikipeadia

His style was of smooth undulating lawns which would run straight to the house, clumps or belts of trees, and serpentine lakes which were created be invisibly damming rivers. This was a “ gardenless” form of landscaping which flew in the face of the previously trendy formally patterned gardens.

His work can best be described by Richard Bisgrove who stated that Capability’s process was of perfecting nature by judicious manipulation of its components, adding a tree here or a concealed head of water there.

Courtesy of Wikipeadia

It was his deftness of touch which made the landscapes so good. It looked easy, however was very difficult to imitate.

Monet’s Garden – Famous gardens of the Master Landscapers series

Claude Monet lived and painted in Giverny from 1883, where he directed the refurbishment of the villa and garden. He had the nearby Epte river deviated slightly for the gardens, and had seven gardeners maintaining the landscape. Much of his inspiration for his paintings was gained from the garden.

Courtesy of Wikipeadia

Monet lived there for 43 years and created beautiful gardens, lily ponds and bridges which he later incorporated into his paintings. After his death in 1926 the garden was restored and neglected, but eventually in 1977 the then curator of the gardens at Versailles, played a pivotal role in restoring the gardens and house

courtesy of Wikipeadia

The gardens are divided into two distinct parts:

– The “Clos-Normand” was designed around Monets personal artistic taste, where he planted thousands of plants in straight lines.

Courtsey of Wikipeadia

– In 1893 Monet bought another neighbouring prpoerty which he turned into a water garden by diverting the river Ru, which is where he planted and later painted his famous water lily picture

Courtsey of Wikipeadia

The Gardens of Versailles – Famous gardens of the Master Landscapers series

The garden of Versailles occupy part of which was once the Royal Chateau of Versailles. The gardens occupy about 800 hectacres, most of which is landscaped in the French formal garden style perfected by Andre Le Notre.

Photo courtesy of Wikipeadia

In addition to the meticulous manicured lawns, parterres and sculptures are the famous fountains, which are located throughout the garden.

There are over 200 000 trees in the gardens and over 210 000 flowers are planted annually.

Photo courtesy of Wikipeadia

The water features consist of over 50 fountains and 620 water jets which are fed by 35 kilometres of piping.

Photo courtesy of Wikipeadia

In 1662 existing bosquets and parterres were expanded and new ones werre created. The Orangery and the “Grotte de Thetys” were created. The world famous Orangery was designed by Louis Le Vau, and was located on the natural slope of the hill, which provided a protected area in which the oranges could be kept during the winter months.

The Grand Canal, with a length of 1500 metres and a width of 62 metres was built between 1668 and 1671 and prolongs the east-west axis. It was designed to host boating parties. It was also practical in use, and collected all the water from the surrounding highlands, which was then pumped back up hill.

Photo coutersy of Wikipeadia