Author visit

marijke honig book open gardens

Beautiful Marijke Honig at Rosemarie’s garden, photographed with her new book, Indigenous Plant Palettes, which is the first prize in our OGC raffle.

You still have till 5pm to enter to win! Proceeds to Abalimi Bezekhaya and Soil for Life.


Indigenous plants for shade

Knowltonia vesicatoriaMost of us know that Plectranthus will do well in shady spots, but what fynbos species will thrive in the depths?

If you have ever clambered up Skeleton Gorge on Table Mountain you might have noticed some interesting plants, with distinctive, three-lobed leaves – resembling Hellebores – near the top. The plants bloom in late winter and early spring with tall, showy stems and airy white flowers. Later they develop interesting black, bead-like seeds.

knowltonia vesicatoria

Knowltonia vesicatoria belongs to the Rununculaceae family and is closely related to Anemones (so there is some good garden background built in). Brandblaar is an Afrikaans name for it, and apparently the leaves were used to raise blisters on skin over inflamed joints. Maybe that was so painful that you forgot about the arthritis!

Read more about propagating and growing Knowltonia on PlantzAfrica.

Photo credits: Marijke Honig, author of the new fynbos gardening book, Plant Palettes (Quivertree, November 2014), and Marie Viljoen.

Bug Hotel

bug hotelDoes your garden have a bug hotel?

Cape Town garden designer and author Marijke Honig recently visited Babylonstoren and was taken by the bug hotel’s attractive architecture. You can do the same in your garden with a pile of brush and logs, but this is a version you can show the neighbours.

Insect palaces and bug hotels contribute to biodiversity in the garden, providing a haven for beneficial insects and arthropods (and perhaps the odd mole snake), who help you garden without the use of harmful pesticides.

(Look for Marijke’s new book, Plant Palettes, later in the year – an excellent and beautiful Christmas present for gardeners who would like inspiration for gardening indigenously.)

Photo credit: Marijke Honig.