In the last year, we have embraced all things Covid, and as a result have had many strange and new experiences. But as things are slowly finding some sense of normality, we’ve decided that it’s time for our experiences not to revolve exclusively around hand washing and mask wearing. But rather a little bit of creativity and catharsis.
And so we would like to welcome you to a new beginning here at Landscape Art Garden Centre.
Welcome to the first addition of our newsletter.
A monthly love letter from us to you.
Full of information about your plants and the season to come, “How-to” articles, recipes, what to plant this month, and so much more.
We hope that you enjoy it, and that it brings you a little comfort and fun in such strange times.
Your Plants and the month of June
Misty mornings and cold evenings, June has come around once again. A month where comfort calls to us, from warm cups of coffee, steaming bowls of soup and large family gatherings.
But as we find ourselves slowly withdrawing into the comforts of our homes, let us not forget about all our plants living outside.
Winter is known as a period of gloom. Where our shrubs look ragged, and our flowerbeds are bare. However, despite this popular notion, winter is actually an ideal time to cultivate new growth and invest in the future of your garden.
So what measures should you take this June to keep your garden looking lovely and to prepare for a stunning spring to come?
Firstly, begin with a good purge.
Deadheading any dried or wilted flowers, ensures that your plants have enough energy to focus on producing twice as many in the seasons to come. It encourages growth and helps your plants to become stronger. This also applies to herbs. Well-established Lemon Balm and Thyme can benefit massively from a trim in the winter. It prevents them from becoming woody and ensures a delicious harvest sometime soon.
Another vital step to take this month is removing any old leaves off your Palm Trees. This a great preventative measure against potential wind damage. In the months to come the wind around Cape Town will soon soar, and a dried palm leaf can do a fair amount of damage, when caught up in all the excitement.
Additionally, cutting back branches and dried leaves on any dormant shrubs can create a lot of space in your garden. Dependent on the plant you can cut them back by half, or even three-quarters. While this may often leave you thinking you’ve butchered them or left your garden looking empty, remember that gardening is about preparing for the future. Let us comfort you and say that by cutting them back now, you are ensuring they will be big and beautiful in the seasons to come. Remember, everything good in life, takes a little patience.
The next essential step in caring for your garden this winter is composting and mulching.
The golden rule of winter care: Feed!
As heavy rain arrives, so does soil erosion. Loosing vital minerals in the run-off, it’s easy to forget that your plants need a little extra food in these wetter seasons.
Invest in a good compost to help put back in what winter takes away.
Additionally, laying mulch over the top of your soil helps to protect your plants from the unpredictable weather to come, keeps them warm, and creates safe, cozy spaces for small seeds to grow.
And finally, we come to watering.
Watering your plants during June can often be a tricky endeavor.
While the air is humid and our bright sunny days are cold, it is important to remember that the rate of evaporation is not as high as it is during the warmer months. As a result, we have to fight the urge inside of us that says we need to frequently water our plants.
Let the rain do most of the work and decrease your watering habits. While the topsoil may be dry, the soil surrounding the roots can often still be very wet or even waterlogged. Watch out for drooping flowers. While this typically means they need water, in winter it’s an indicator of the exact opposite. Overwatering is a common plant killer in these cooler months and can easily be prevented by exercising a little caution and self-control.
(Don’t worry, we struggle with this too! You are definitely not alone!)
Additionally, remember to only water your plants between 9am and 3pm, as any later and your plants may struggle to grow due to the cold.
Plants are like small children. A little tough love, warmth, food and water and they should stay alive!
What to plant this month
With the arrival of winter, it can often be hard to find plants that burst with color, add texture and still handle the rough, wet weather! But never fear, because the beauty of nature is that there is something for every season!
Pansies, Violas and Primulas are all flowers which love the cold touch of these winter months. They are bright and bustling, lifting the mood on drab, cloudy days. These little plants are ideal for ground cover, window boxes or even at the base of potted plants. Coming in a variety of different colors and sizes, there really is something for everyone, no matter your style.
However, if you find a lack of textures getting you down this June, why not plant some Conifers, Phormium or Cordyline. Or maybe all 3!
These plants are all hardy and can handle a good knock. They also love wet weather and prosper in these cooler months. Whether you’re looking for long grasses, or shrub like trees, don’t let winter rain on your parade, there are plenty of choices this season!
But maybe you are happy with your garden at the moment, and you’ve got your winter look down to a tee. If that’s the case, why not look to the future!
June is a splendid month to sow seeds and pot up some seedlings, so that the adult plants are well established by the time spring comes along!
Carrots, Beetroot and Broad Bean seeds are best sown between now and July. These little guys love our Cape Town rains, and hold onto all that water to produce big, juicy veg in the months to come.
Additionally, Broccoli, Onion, Peas and Cauliflower seedlings should also be planted around this time of year. Enjoying bright to partial sun, June provides these babies the ability to get frequent sunlight that isn’t yet hot enough to burn their young leaves.
COMPOST AND MULCH!
Maybe the idea of composting and mulching sounds like common sense to you, or maybe it sounds confusing and difficult.
Whatever your level of experience, the best thing about gardening is all the amazing opportunities to learn new things or to hone your skills.
Composting and mulching is vital to ensure the health and growth of your precious plants, and is really easy.
So here we go!
Firstly, find yourself a bag of good, trusty compost. If you don’t know where to start on this front, talk to one of our staff members about your garden next time you’re in. They can help you find one that matches your gardens need!
Once you’ve got that sorted, open the bag and sprinkle the compost around your plants. Make sure not to place the compost directly at the base of the stem or trunk of your plants, as this would be a waste. The point of compost is to feed the outer roots of the plant. To ensure this, place your compost in line with the outermost foliage of the plant. This is a great indicator as to where your roots are at the moment, as the ratio of your foliage to root ball is pretty much 1:1!
Once you’ve got your compost situated, take a fork (gardening or food type! We don’t discriminate, they all get the job done!) and circulate the soil with the compost. Its almost like folding flour into wet ingredients. The purpose of this is to ensure that the compost is well dispersed and easily accessible to those outer roots, as well as creating air pockets to help oxygenate the soil.
Next and final step: Mulching!
Now this really can’t get any easier! Grab yourself a couple bags of mulch and sit it on top of your soil. Snap, Crackle and Pop, you are done!
Mulch helps to keep your plants warm and creates safe spaces for new seedlings to grow where they won’t be bothered by flooding or heavy winds.
So go on and get started, you’ll be so grateful when spring finally comes around!
Our favourite plant instore this month
Else known as Japanese Mustard Spinach, this spectacular vegetable is an absolute necessity in any health-conscious home.
Packed to the brim with hard-to-find nutrients at exceptional levels, it really is an asset. In fact, per 100g, Komatsuna contains 3.7mg of Iron, 44mg of Vitamin C, 192mg of Calcium and 125μg of Folate. This is almost twice of each vitamin and mineral as your typical everyday spinach.
In addition to this, Komatsuna has a uniquely high amount of vitamin A in it. Otherwise known as Retinol, this vitamin is unique in its anti-aging abilities and its immune system support.
The vegetable has a sweet and crunchy flavor, with a slight mustard bite. Young leaves are soft and tender, while older leaves are crunchy and delectable.
Komatsuna is traditionally used in pickles, stir-fries, soups or as a side dish.
It pairs well with chicken and fish and is delicious cooked with some salt, garlic and olive oil.
Whether you want to get creative or use it as a replacement for your average spinach, just know that every bite is worth it.
We have dozens of these nutrient powerbombs instore and plenty more growing at our wholesale farm. Why not pick one up next time you stop by for a visit?
There’s nothing more comforting than warm bread and delicious dips.
When a cold day hits, or the rain chases you inside, why not try this recipe for delicious Rosemary Flatbreads. In fact, you could even make it with your own home-grown rosemary, and really gain some bragging rights when you share it with your friends and family.
1 ½ tsp Instant Dry Yeast
120ml Warm Water (it should be warm on the skin of your wrist, not hot)
2 tsp White Sugar
310g All Purpose Flour
35ml Olive Oil
1tsp Fine Salt
2tsp Finely Chopped Rosemary (Plus extra for sprinkling on top)
1) Add Flour, Salt, Sugar and Rosemary to a large mixing bowl and combine.
2) Add instant dry yeast and olive oil to the bowl. Stir together until slightly combined.
3) Slowly begin adding the water, a little at a time. Mix until a slightly sticky dough begins to form. You may not need all the water.
4)Once a sticky dough has formed and all flour is combined, begin working the dough with your hands inside the mixing bowl. Add a light dusting of flour to your hands to prevent sticking.
5) Knead the dough inside the bowl for about 2 to 3 minutes. If the dough is still sticky or you have added too much water, add a little flour. After about 2-3 minutes of kneading, you should have a smooth ball of dough.
6) Remove the dough from the bowl and add a drop of olive oil to the bowl.
7) Return the dough to the bowl and turn it until all sides have a light coating of olive oil.
8) Place a damp warm cloth over the bowl. Leave on the counter to prove for 1 hour.
9) After 1 hour has passed, tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and punch the air out of the dough then gently shape it into a round ball.
10) Cut the dough into 6 even sized pieces. Roll out each piece into an oval shape about 3-4mm thick.
11) Heat a griddle or frying pan over medium heat until very hot. Gently place as many flatbreads into the pan as you can fit (One at a time is fine!) (no oil needed!)
12) Watch as bubbles begin to appear and the dough puffs. After 2 -3 minutes, lift slightly with a spatula and check if the underside is golden. If golden, flip and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
13) Tip cooked flatbread onto a clean dishtowel and wrap to keep soft. If cooking one at a time, add them to the pile like pancakes. Keep wrapping each one in the same dishcloth.
14) Sprinkle with salt and additional rosemary and drizzle with olive oil if you fancy! Or enjoy just the way they are!
– These can be made ahead. Once your dough has proved you can cover it and keep in the fridge for up to 2 days. Allow to sit outside of the fridge for 30 minutes before cooking.
– Store once cooled in an airtight container or plastic bag for 2-3 days.
– To reheat pop them in a warm oven (150 ‘c) for 3-4 minutes or warm on a hot griddle/ frying pan for 1-2 minutes per side.
– Once the dough has rested for 1 hour, you can freeze it in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw in the fridge overnight and sit at room temp for an additional 30 minutes.
While so much has changed in the last year, so has our coffee shop, we are delighted to say that we are now host to C.A.F.E Green.
Stop by and take a look and try one of Lishka’s amazing sandwiches or exceptional baked goods.
And if you are a fan, then good news! In the year to come C.A.F.E Green will be getting a bigger and better space that will join onto the nursey to allow you to truly indulge in the world of plants and coffee.
Don’t forget to keep your eyes open for our emails, or posts on Instagram about our weekend specials. We have some small offerings on every weekend as a way of saying Thank You to all our exceptional customers.