Autumn Gardening Tips - Bulbs for Spring

    The good news is that planting flower bulbs is fast, easy and nearly foolproof. One reason Autumn bulbs are so beloved of both beginner and master gardeners is that, with so few issues to consider, gardeners can put all their effort into the fun part of gardening.

    Bulb Planting Tips:

    • Bulbs should be planted as soon as the ground is cool.
    • Read the label and try to keep the label together with the bulbs until planting. Without the label, you can't tell the one bulb from another.
    • You can plant bulbs just about anywhere in your garden - so long as the soil drains well. Bulbs also like sun.
    • Prepare the planting bed by digging the soil so it's loose and workable.
    • Plant the pointy end up.
    • Plant big bulbs about 20cm deep and small bulbs about 12cm deep.
    • No fertiliser is necessary for the first year's bloom as bulbs are natural storehouses of food. Thereafter, spread an organic fertiliser such as compost or well-rotted cow manure, or a slow release bulb food on top of the soil.
    • If you do fertilise, never mix the fertiliser in the planting hole as it can burn the roots.
    • Wait for Spring and a show of colour.

Gardening tips

Top 75 pictures for 2013

In the digital camera era it is very easy to take great photographs, but having the right camera is, sometimes, just not enough to create a really amazing photograph. It could be all about having the chance to be in the right place at the right time or having the "eye" to see something that someone else might just glance over as uninteresting or ugly.

At work or at play, good photographers notice if the light is changing faster than it usually does at a certain time, or if the shadows in a certain setting could be potentially used in a photo. A good photographer stays sharp and quick to adapt to any situation that he/she might be lucky enough to experience and photograph.

View Twisted Sifter's selection of top 75 photographs from their 2013 collection of inspiring visions of our beautiful planet.

Twisted Sifter

Miracle pill could replace chemotherapy

A world-first project to produce a pill that has the potential to transform the lives of desperately ill cancer patients and eliminate the need for costly, gruelling bouts of chemotherapy is being led by Professor Simon Rule, a globally-renowned expert in haematology and researcher at Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry.

This "miracle" pill is currently being called the Bruton's Tyrosine Kinase (BTK) pill. Bruton's Tyrosine Kinase is a type of kinase enzyme implicated in the primary immunodeficiency disease X-linked agammaglobulinemia (Bruton's agammaglobulinemia). Its exact mechanism of action remains unknown, but it plays a crucial role in B cell maturation as well as mast cell activation through the high-affinity IgE receptor.

The pill is currently built around the protein that plays a role in the signals that trigger growth in cancerous cells. The pill blocks this protein causing the cancerous cells to die while leaving the normal cells unaffected - effectively switching off the mechanisms of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and mantle cell lymphoma (MCL).

The medicine, which is said to have virtually no side effects, is taken orally in a single dose every morning and unlike traditional forms of treatment like chemotherapy and radiotherapy, it has none of the debilitating side effects such as hair loss, tiredness and sickness. It is not a cure for cancer but it will mean the patients' life expenctancy and quality of life is significantly improved - similar to managing a chronic condition.

Source: Daily Mail and Wikipedia.

Bruton's Tyrosine Kinase

Soil less plant growth

Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture and is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. Terrestrial plants may be grown with their roots in the mineral nutrient solution only or in an inert medium, such as perlite, gravel, biochar, mineral wool, expanded clay pebbles or coconut husk.

Researchers discovered in the 18th century that plants absorb essential mineral nutrients as inorganic ions in water. In natural conditions, soil acts as a mineral nutrient reservoir but the soil itself is not essential to plant growth. When the mineral nutrients in the soil dissolve in water, plant roots are able to absorb them. When the required mineral nutrients are introduced into a plant's water supply artificially, soil is no longer required for the plant to thrive.

The earliest published work on growing terrestrial plants without soil was the 1627 book Sylva Sylvarum by Francis Bacon, printed a year after his death. Water culture became a popular research technique after that. In 1699, John Woodward published his water culture experiments with spearmint. He found that plants in less-pure water sources grew better than plants in distilled water. By 1842, a list of nine elements believed to be essential to plant growth had been compiled, and the discoveries of the German botanists Julius von Sachs and Wilhelm Knop, in the years 1859-65, resulted in a development of the technique of soilless cultivation. At that time, growth of terrestrial plants without soil in mineral nutrient solutions was called solution culture.

Source: Wikipedia


Sunsets on the island of Luanda

For those brave enough to venture over the South African border and into another African country, Angola's capital city Luanda is a surprising mix of old and modern, juxtaposed over each other in the smallest confines of space.

Dust, dirt, dereliction, humidity and loads of traffic are every day occurrences for the locals. For South African's who are under the impression they live in an "African" country it is an eye opener, but fear not, there are places that ooze sophistication, elegance and first world amenities - the Island of Luanda (Ilha de Luanda) is just one place.

When Paulo Dias de Novais, a Portuguese navigator, arrived in Angola in 1575 with several hundred soldiers and settlers, the island was inhabited by Axi-lwanda, a subgroup of the Ambundu people which was tributary to the Kongo Empire. The island was an important location to collect zimbo, the shells that constituted the currency of the Kongo king before the arrival of the Portuguese. The Portuguese settled for a while, before they decided to establish themselves on the continent in front of the island. They started to use the name of the African inhabitants as a name for the island and the town, spelling it first "Loanda" and then "Luanda".

The Ilha de Luanda is connected with the city through a narrow passage and is the place where residents go to to recover from the stress of the capital, especially on weekends.

The Ilha (as locals call it) is the best place in town to get the "laid back life" feel. Loads of beach side cafe's, restaurants and bars dot the edge of the sea line while hotels, clubs, flea markets and homes fill the rest. Cocktails in hand, bikini clad bodies, deck chairs on the beach, warm sea and beautiful sunsets - this place could be any popular beach in Cape Town.

Caribe is a popular place for the locals on the Ilha. It has a restaurant and bar right on the beach front. Accessibility is directly off the street and a walk through the bar at the entrance leads patrons to a tented area closer to the beach with chairs and tables for those interested in dining. The menu has a wide selection of dishes and the food is excellently prepared and served.

It is also a popular location for locals to experience the African sun setting over the warm ocean, drinks can be taken onto the beach and enjoyed from the comfort of your own deck chair and umbrella.

For more information visit Caribe Luanda

Caribe Luanda

Hot News

SA Home Owner Article!

Cheral Kennedy contributes to an article on hydroponics in the March edition of the SA Home Owner magazine.

Featured Plant

Buddleja Glomerata

Buddleja Glomerata
(Karoo sagewood)

Family :


Description :

Indigenous small tree to 4m with bright yellow flowers.

Flowering time :


Conditions :

  • Full sun
  • Little water
  • Evergreen
  • Wind resistant
  • Frost resistant
  • Well drained soil

View more detailed information on this plant in our plant directory.

Design idea feature

Design idea feature

A large decked area can be finished off simply by "framing" the deck with a neat facia board on the outside edges of the deck.

Planting Guide

Herb or Veggie

Seeds can be sown or plants can be planted for the following herbs and veggies this month:


  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Leek
  • Lettuce
  • Onion
  • Peas
  • Radish
  • Swisschard
  • Turnips
  • Herbs

  • Basil
  • Coriander
  • Chives
  • Chamomile
  • Dill
  • Mustard
  • Oreganum
  • Parsley
  • Rocket
  • Thyme
  • Watercress
  • View our full planting plan in our resources section of our website.

    Brain Teaser

    We all love a chance to test our own brain capacity with brain teasers. Try see if you can figure out this one...

    Brain Teaser

    February's Teaser Answer :
    "I over ate"


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    Contact Cheral:

    Cell: 082 82 509 82