Neomaricis gracilis

Neomaricis gracilis – Walking Iris
Photo: D. McCallum


A somewhat unusual bulb, although now becoming better known after Flourish Garden Club had quite a few of them for sale at our last Plant Sale in 2014.
Neomaricis gracilis is a versatile bulb, with handsome strap shaped leaves, typical of the Iris family, and very decorative blue and white flowers, from late spring to early summer. It needs little attention, although it flowers much better if it gets enough water together with some some compost and fertiliser. I have found it does well in morning sun or dappled shade and also grows well in pots.
This bulb has an interesting way of propagating itself. After the flowers have faded, their stems will slowly start lowering themselves towards the ground and will eventually root and form another plant from the faded flower. I help mine by gently pulling the spent flower stem down, once a shoot appears, and anchor it into the soil, either adjacent to the mother plant, or in a pot. Once the offset shows signs of starting to grow, the flower stem can be cut and you have another plant!
Limited stocks of this plant will be available at our sale. This bulb is not often (if ever) found at Garden Centres, so if you want one – come early to the sale – Saturday and Sunday 12 and 13 November.


Haemanthus albifloss

ON sale at OPEN GARDENS 12th !3th November. Buy your tickets in advance so you can be first in line for these shade lovers

Endemic to South Africa.
Haemanthus albiflos is one of the three evergreen species of Haemanthus and with its handsome leaves, long flowering season and red berries is an excellent choice for shady spots in the garden.

H. albiflos grows well in a dappled shade position similar to that preferred by clivias, and likes to remain undisturbed for many years once established. The soil must be well aerated and drained, and a suggested medium is equal parts of well rotted compost, coarse river sand and loam. Plant the bulbs with the upper half exposed and the thick fleshy roots spread out horizontally over the soil beneath the surface. It is an ideal plant for a shady rock garden or for difficult parts of the garden receiving poor light, where they can be left to multiply for many years.
There will be several of these interesting, not often seen, indigenous bulbs, available at our Open Gardens Plant Sale on Thursday 12 and 13th November, this year – just around the corner, so diarise now.
Thanks to Jeanette van Maaren, a member of the Constantia Valley Garden Club, for donating these bulbs from her garden when she recently moved.
For more information go to the South African National Biodiversity Institute’s plant information website

Eco -Pellets- Organic Poultry Manure Pellets

Christine uses a vairiety of fertilizers on her garden from rabbit poo to egg shells and was thrilled to be given a large bag of Eco -Pellets. Our thanks to Eco Pellets – and Kaap Agri

We have been specialising in half organic mixes composing of composted poultry manure and sea bird guano since 1983. In early 2003 Eco Pellets expanded to include pelletising composted poultry manure on a small scale. As a result of the increased demand Eco Pellets increased production of pellets in 2009.
Further growth in demand has resulted in our composted poultry pellets becoming our mainline product.

Our poultry manure is free of pesticides and will therefore not contaminate end products. Available from: KAAP AGRI


CHRISTINE – whose garden is open on 12th and 13th November -on her garden………

What inspires me to garden is that my garden is small; approximately 200 sq Metres, colourful and compact – nicely landscaped and I have ample fresh water from my well point.

I love the huge Moon tree which produces masses of flowers a few times a year – hopefully on the 12th November this year- it is near the small round swimming pool.

I am semi retired so do have free time – and one needs lots of that. I just love being in the garden and spend two full days and a couple of hours intermittently every week. My mother and grandfather were great gardeners – the old fashioned way, which has affected me too.

I have a very capable Gardener who I have trained over the past 6 years. His name is Nelson and works once a week – never misses a day’s work

When I moved to this Bergvliet home three years ago I stared landscaping the garden myself and looked to see how I could improve it. Having never done this before I discovered that there is always plenty of help to be had – Google on the internet, nursery men, and then I found new friends – who also love to garden. I joined the Flourish garden club which meets once a month.
Being a novice at gardening I gained much inspiration and knowledge from the members of the club

Over the past three years my garden has delighted both myself and many others which is very satisfying and encouraged me to accept the invitation from Constantia Valley garden club to open my garden to the public in aid of charity. One could call my garden a type of English Country garden which changes into a tropical area around the small circular swimming pool

Plants that make me the happiest must be beautiful and colourful but my special loves are hanging baskets which I make myself. I recently became very involved with Fuchsias (Jane’s Fuchsias) Jane is a wealth of knowledge on that subject

What I love most of all is to spend time pottering around in my little nursery out the back where I have my hanging baskets and fuchsias. If I remove something from the garden or cut it back I never throw it away – always putting it into a small pot to grow and give away to a friend. Otherwise taking cutting, it gives me great pleasure to see them grow
The nursery has a bright fluorescent light in it which allows me to spend time out there at night – Love it!!

There is nothing much I dislike doing in the garden — maybe two things —- bending over and digging —-and taking phone calls on the portable phone!

I never do heavy work in the garden –I leave that for Nelson
This time of the year, August, we have completed digging in 64 bags of compost to the garden, cleaned out the entire old deadwood, pruned the trees and cut back shrubs.
Once the roses have been pruned at the end of July I will add the rabbit manure to the garden.(P.S. Christine uses sun baked, crushed egg shells deter snails and slug – see the picture)
1st September the lawn will be scarified and Super Phosphates applied.

My garden is not water wise but I am very careful and respectful not waste our precious water
So my irrigation is monitored so as to gain the maximum benefit to the garden



Anthea and Peter have worked for months preeparing thier garden for the 12th and 13th November. Have you got your tickets yet? It is garden which children will love! Peter has made aamzing houses for the fairy garden – and can you see the giraffe peeping out of the forest. Helping them is Byless