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SA Garden Magazine on my wish list

I’ve been reading the “other” South African gardening magazine for a few months now. This one is simply called SA Garden and has the tagline – earthbound ◊ practical ◊ inspirational. The December issue was outstanding – packed full of info, and I read it from cover to cover so I thought it would be worth mentioning here, for our local followers!

SA Garden changed their layout a few months back and the new format is great! Clean, concise and beautifully illustrated – exactly what you expect from a gardening magazine. It has all the usual newsy bits like “letters from our readers”, a page on hot trends for inside and out, book reviews, product reviews, a section on going green, etc. etc., and then we get to the articles.

What I love most about a magazines is that when they do a feature it will give you far more information than a general gardening book does and the info is geared to local growing conditions. “In Full Bloom – Hydrangeas”, written by Nick Stodel covers all the ins and outs of growing Hydrangeas successfully. I’ve been babying my Hydrangeas (which I think I mentioned previously were earmarked for composting) so the article was well timed – its a wonderful four page spread with all the info I could possibly need to successfully nurse my Hydrangeas back to full splendour. Another favourite article in the mag is “How to Espalier Fruit Trees”, which gives step by step instructions (backed up with photographs) and diagrams of the different Espalier shapes (v-shaped, cordon, horizontal T, Belgian fence, etc.). Very informative – I’m inspired to give it a try!

I loved the article of the gardens at Sudeley Castle, once the home of Queen Katherine (last wife and widow of King Henry VIII). The gardens are beautiful and I got lots of inspiration from this beautifully laid out five page spread and the stunning photos. Other highlights in the magazine are the articles by Ludwig Tascher and Keith Kirsten and “In December: What to do in your garden” – also by Nick Stodel. (What a great writer – I hope he becomes a regular contributor). Other articles I enjoyed reading were: Herb of the month: Bergamot’s healing and insect-repelling properties; In full harvest: Mangoes; From garden to table: Try our summer fruit-inspired dishes; Décor: Pool play – some beautiful, doable pool trends and tips; and lastly, Nitty-Gritty: Shades of chic – sun umbrellas, gazebos and other clever shade solutions.

26 full length, informative articles besides all the regular bits and pieces, competitions (5 in total) and a few other promos kept me out of the garden for a good few hours but I returned outside inspired to keep gardening, even in the heat of summer! Well done SA Garden for a great December Issue! Your best yet!

[one_half]SA Garden Magazine[/one_half]

[one_half_last]SA Garden Magazine[/one_half_last]

[one_half]SA Garden Magazine[/one_half]

[one_half_last]SA Garden Magazine[/one_half_last]

[one_half]SA Garden Magazine[/one_half]

[one_half_last]SA Garden Magazine[/one_half_last]

SA Garden has now officially become my new favourite gardening magazine, so if any of my sweet family members happen to read this, I’d love to find a subscription with my name on it under the Christmas Tree!

Disclaimer: This is an unsolicited review, I was not asked to review the mag and I pay for all my magazines myself!

Website: SA Garden Magazine
FaceBook: SA Garden on Facebook

Christine's garden Do it yourself Gardening Miscellaneous

Time out with The Gardener on DVD

The Gardener DVDToday my eagerly awaited purchase of the DVD Series of the popular show, ‘The Gardener’, arrived in the mail! ‘The Gardener’ is South Africa’s favourite’s gardening magazine whose live-wire editor is inimitable Tanya Visser (see photo below). Tanya presents a weekly Television Series on the South African Home Channel called (you guessed it!), ‘The Gardener’.

Each week Tanya presents a topical gardening subject ranging from laying your own lawn, pruning roses to complete garden make-overs. She presents some beautiful gardens around South Africa with a brilliant variety of design styles and plant selections to inspire anyone to get stuck into their own garden. Each show offers practical gardening tips (essential viewing for a gardening-newbie like myself) as well as DIY projects, practical demonstrations from experts and a whole lot more.

So far I’ve watched the first disc on ‘Maintenance’ (see below). I’ve learnt how to maintain edging around beds and paving, how to care for and prune roses correctly from South Africa’s best known rose expert, Ludwig Tascher and I’ve learnt the ins and outs of looking after my lawn.  I picked up some valuable tips on correct usage of my automated irrigation system and finally, I’ve seen how to lay instant lawn.

Once I’ve watched the next disc I will hopefully know how to control weeds in lawn, fertilizing and feeding lawn and dealing with shady areas as well as preparing soil, planting filler plants in dead or thin areas and feeding plants and then, once again they cover roses. This time its looking after roses – preventing pests and controlling weeds.

There are three discs that cover Garden Makeovers, two discs dedicated to Watter Features, two discs on Container Gardening and three discs that cover Growing. The three maintenance discs cover various aspects of maintaining and improving your garden and finally, the last two discs are all about Going Green.

I’m enjoying watching the DVDs and I HIGHLY recommend these DVDs for South Africans that missed the show on television and are passionate about their gardens and need help learning how to do things correctly. All in all there are 19 discs available – I did not order the “Cement” DVDs because I don’t think I’m quite ready for messing around with cement at this stage. So I have 16 discs to watch and learn from.

For anyone interested in the Magazine or the DVDs of the series, visit the website at:

If I’m a bit scarce on the blog for the next few days … its because I’m watching the DVDs!

NOTE: We are in no way affiliated with this magazine, I paid the standard price for the DVDs and they have no idea that I planned to mention this on my blog (I doubt they even know our blog exists!).

Happy gardening

Christine's garden Gardening Miscellaneous Reviews

My favourite gardening magazine

The GardenerMy favourite gardening magazine is The Gardener (South African Magazine). The February issue has just arrived in the shops so I got it today and as always it is packed full of interesting articles and information. Its perfect for a novice gardener like myself because there is so much to learn. Their blurb goes “We know South Africans love their gardens! This magazine inspires the home enthusiast with practical ideas for maintaining and enhancing their gardens, patios and backyards. New plants and products are mentioned first in The Gardener and there is also a special focus on indigenous gardening in South Africa“.

This month they have a feature on Frangipanis. A gorgeous 4 page spread that makes me want to rush out and buy one of these beautiful trees. I have one in my garden – it has yellow flowers and fills the front garden with the most wonderful scent in spring, but oh … I so badly want one of these pink ones like they have on the cover. Isn’t it beautiful?

There is a very useful article on growing veggies – with a section on which veggies to grow in shady areas. That was very useful for me because the spot my veggie planter is going to be positioned in does not get full sun all day long. So good to know what I can expect to produce.

As always it has a full article on what we should be doing in our gardens next month (February) – also useful to have for Mrs Black Fingers here!! All in all this is a fantastic magazine – of all the gardening mags I’ve bought this is my favourite.

You can see their website at: