Garden Chat

FINE MUSIC RADIO  |  Podcast , ±5 min episodes every 6 days  | 
Garden Chat is a comment on a more natural approach to gardening. It covers all aspects of everyday gardening practice with the emphasis on soil management, utilizing the correct plant material and following an environmental code of conduct.
The aim is to bring both garden and gardener into the natural realm. It is important for us to know the impact our gardens are having on the environment as a whole, so that we can play a positive role.

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07
SEP

The Garden Chat with Sandy Munro - 07 September 2019

For many this is probably been the most exciting week of the year.
It’s officially spring even if it doesn’t feel like it and it is still Arbour week so we can all do something positive to make our world a better place.
The 2019 SA Tree of the year is the bushveld Maroela. It’s not suitable for Western Cape conditions so replace it with any one of our local guys.
We lose more trees than we plant on earth, actually between 10 and 15 billion trees a year are lost which equals 80,000 acres of forest disappearing every day!!!
31
AUG

The Garden Chat with Sandy Munro - 31 August 2019

August is sometimes referred to as the wait and see month but I think they got it wrong as there is no waiting and lots to see. Blossoms galore, on deciduous fruit, old fashioned roses and traditional deciduous ornamentals like Weigelia, Dogwood and Flowering Quinces. It’s a big month for bulbs and early flowering daisies in the wild and so should it be happening in your garden. One local that always appeals to me is Coleonema album- The Cape May or White Confetti Bush.
24
AUG

The Garden Chat with Sandy Munro - 24 August 2019

We are surrounded by blossoms…fruit trees, mesems, daisies galore and all those early spring flowering roses like the dog rose and banksia rose, often referred to as old roses. The flowering varieties of Crab apples, Quinces, Peaches, Plums are also looking spectacular but sadly not used often in Cape gardens due to wet winters. Polygala myrtifolia –September bush growing wild on a pavement, seems to think that spring is forever and has been at it for a while.
17
AUG

The Garden Chat with Sandy Munro - 17 August 2019

This is certainly the time of the year when all of us becomes aware of a changing environment with the focus on plants.
Although we appreciate them all year round, spring somehow makes them all special. The sun is getting higher and we are seeing the rewards from the winter rain and all that went into the natural process of mulching and composting. We can’t talk about all the wonders of spring but maybe let’s highlight a few plants you should have in your garden.
10
AUG

The Garden Chat with Sandy Munro - 10 August 2019

I hope you have booked your accommodation in flower land or if it’s a one day trip to the flowers then put a full day aside soon.
You don’t have to travel to Namaqualand to experience the joy of spring.
Just pack a picnic, hop in the car and enjoy a memorable day in the Posberg Flower reserve situated in the West Coast National Park.
For more information about the reserve and best flower time phone 022 772 2144/5. Best to go during the week if possible and get there early.
While in the neighbourhood include Darling and surrounds…all in all a full one day trip or better still overnight in Darling and make it a no rush journey!!
In the meantime what can we do on our day off?
03
AUG

The Garden Chat with Sandy Munro - 03 August 2019

I’ll start off today with a little more about the care of the popular Phalaenopsis orchid, commonly referred to as the Moth Orchid.
Their common name derives from the flowers which resemble a flurry of moths and their natural habitat extends from southern China to Indonesia, the Philippines and further afield..
They are epiphytic and in nature attach themselves to other plant material getting their moisture and nourishment from air and rain.
The orchid family has over 28000 species and alongside the Daisy family are the largest families in the flowering plant kingdom.
Like many orchids they are actually very easy to look after, but the challenge is getting them to flower again.
27
JUL

The Garden Chat with Sandy Munro - 27 July 2019

Life is stirring early out there in the realm this winter and what great rain we’ve had to get the show on the road.
Magnolias in flower, fruit trees in blossom, and spring growth appearing.
Roses showing new leaf, flowering quinces making a move and some Crab Apples pushing hard!!
I see a few Oaks have also decided that winter is over.
We might have a few winters, a handful of springs and in between some hot summer days over the next month!
Lets enjoy the dynamics of nature in action as we have no say in it!!
Prepare for the possibility of some cold and late rains …maybe into September
Which prompts the perennial question …. when is the best time to prune?
20
JUL

The Garden Chat with Sandy Munro - 20 July 2019

Bulbs are up , flowers are out up the west coast, in Namaqualand and all over
the little Karoo
Its Spring already!! I doubt it- so lets not start with the whole spring thing to
early.
At the same time if you are into egg plants, chillies, peppers and some of the
larger type tomatoes then August is the time for sowing and its fast
approaching, so give it some thought. Keep in mind that many of these
varieties can take 90days from sowing to harvesting.
If you wait for winter to officially end then they will only be on the table in
December---bit late I would say!!!
Now, the winter rain brings lots and lots of weeds!
If they are more than a metre high right now then you probably have amazing
soil , full of compost and other good things. What they take out of the soil
goes back in threefold when you make compost out of them.
13
JUL

The Garden Chat with Sandy Munro - 13 July 2019

We often hear the expression- You cant put that plant there, it just doesn’t go! Or you can’t mix roses and succulents.
My best is, Oh my those colours don’t go together!!
Well the good news for the uninformed or style fanatics is that they all go together if you just step back from the so called norms and dictates of society and fashion.
The more colours, textures and characters you have living around you, as in nature, the more interesting and progressive you become
Landscapes that are filled with mass planting, stereo monoculture and a set form, create unproductive minds that don’t experience diversity and hence are not colourful in themselves.
I watched the behaviour of people crossing a large city pedestrian plaza which had the odd tree (not nearly enough), some raised planters (all massed with the same plants) and lots of concrete all about.
Most people had heads down and moved across it without giving the landscape a second glance.
06
JUL

The Garden Chat with Sandy Munro - 06 July 2019

Good morning to you all.
I know it is has been difficult getting out of bed these last few days but I always wonder how the birds seem to do it.
The sunbirds, robins, thrushes are up long before the sun.
They seem to herald in the day before the daily racket takes off.
It’s a great time to think ahead and do a little bit of sensible garden planning.
While we have the rain I thought maybe we should think further about tree planting which is becoming more and more important with regard to climate change, habitat destruction and of course shade.
Although we live in a rich plant kingdom there is a limit as to what trees we can use when one considers wind, limited water and diverse soil properties.
29
JUN

The Garden Chat with Sandy Munro - 29 June 2019

Its hard to believe that we are nearly halfway through the year.
So far it has been quite an interesting one for South Africans… a bit of a rollercoaster, but it all comes together in the garden.
That’s what’s so special about our gardens , we can be creative, productive and happy in our little part of paradise.
The water has improved on last year, and out there in the real world nature is just showing off.
If you want to start July month off with great ideas about long term gardening then get to the Arderne gardens next Sat , July 6, meet at the main entrance at 10am and join the guided tour around one of the oldest gardens in Cape Town. Stick a R40 donation in your pocket, coffee and rusks in your back pack and make it a memorable and productive morning. Contact Berni on 0832817083 if you need to find out more about these amazing garden walks.
22
JUN

The Garden Chat with Sandy Munro - 22 June 2019

Well here we are heading for spring!
Soon, we are going to appreciate all those spring flowering bulbs, Namaqualand daisies and other easy pop up annuals.
I hope you managed to plant a whole bunch of mesems which will set the early summer alight and give you many weeks of glitterati!
Once again, at this time brightening up our winter, the aloes are doing their thing.
If you don’t have at least one aloe in the garden you are missing out on a host of activity, especially when it comes to birdlife.

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