Spring Gardening Tips

    Spring always brings with it a change of energy in the air, a sense of lightness, an urge to discard old things and to make space for new life. It is the best time of the year to feed and nourish your garden, creating the foundation to enable your garden to provide you with a flower vista of beautiful proportions for the year to come.

September is a good month to establish a new lawn area, prepare the area by loosening compacted soil with a fork, compost and level the area well, install the roll on lawn, water and feed with organic fertiliser like Neutrog Blade Runner (3:2:2), and only mow on medium height once the roots have settled in the soil.

If you have an existing lawn area, minimise the winter lawn thatching (build up of dead matted grass which prevents water and fertilisers from penetrating the soil) with a good strong metal rake or a lawn spike aerator, mow it short, rake in good top dressing to fill in any dips and holes, and water and fertilise with organic fertiliser like Neutrog Rapid Raiser (3:3:3).

Additionally, order a good amount of compost and mix that into your garden beds with a good fertilisation of flower and growth enhancing organic fertiliser (Seagro Superkel and Seagro Organic Plant Food are great for this) and mulch the bed surface to keep the moisture in.

Finally, check your irrigation system is working effectively, adjust where necessary and activate the spring irrigation program settings.

Spring Gardening Tips Photos: i-shoot photography

Antartica's lakes are mapped

The first complete map of the lakes beneath Antarctica's ice sheets reveals the continent's secret water network is far more dynamic than we thought and could be acting as a powerful lubricant beneath glaciers contributing to the rise in sea levels.

Ian Joughin of the University of Washington in Seattle and colleagues recently mapped 124 subglacial lakes across Antarctica using lasers on NASA's ICESat satellite. The team observed that while the interior lakes tended to be static, many coastal lakes changed significantly by draining and filling. Satellite observations have also shown ice sheets appearing to 'breathe' up and down in some regions. This motion has been linked to the ebb and flow of the network of ice rivers and lakes deep below the ice.

Leigh Stearns of the University of Maine, Orono, and her colleagues collected the first direct evidence that floods in this network can affect the speed of glaciers flowing into the sea. They tracked the ocean-bound movement of east Antarctica's Byrd glacier and events in two lakes that lie beneath it, and found that the glacier sped up between late 2005 and mid-2007, precisely when satellite imaging showed that both lakes were overflowing.

Source: New Scientist

Antartica Photos: i-shoot photography

Vegetarian, vegan, pescetarian - what is the difference?

Vegetarianism is a well-known dietary choice for many people of differing cultures across the world, and is a familiar term that has been bantered around since the mid 70's. Many restaurants nowadays make note of the dishes that are suitable for vegetarians on their menus and are also catering specifically to ensure vegetarians have a wider selections of dishes available to them.

But there are other variants of healthy or ethics-based diets that are regularly confused with vegetarianism.

Dietary Practice Traditionally includes Traditionally excludes
Primarily focused on consuming plant-based foods

Fruits, vegetables, cereal grains, nuts, seeds, eggs and dairy

Meat, game, poultry or products of animal slaughter

Diet includes seafood but excludes mammals and birds

Vegetables, fruit, nuts, grains, beans, fish, crustacea, shellfish, eggs, and dairy

Meat, game, poultry or products of animal slaughter

Endeavour not to use or consume animal products of any kind

Fruits, vegetables, cereal grains, nuts, and seeds

Meat, game, poultry, fish, crustacea, shellfish, animal products (honey, eggs, milk) or products of animal slaughter

Endeavour to consume foods that can be harvested without killing the plant or the growth thereof

Plant fruits that are sweet and fleshy (eg. plums, apples, and oranges, bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers)

Meat, game, poultry, fish, crustacea, shellfish, animal products (honey, eggs, milk), seeds and grains

As more and more people start to choose a healthier diet, variants and subsets of the above have been categorised to differentiate these choices further:

Variant Includes Excludes
Lacto-vegetarian Dairy products Eggs
Ovo-vegetarian Eggs Dairy products
Pesco-vegetarian Fish Meat or poultry
Pesco-vegan Fish Meat or poultry, dairy, eggs, honey
Source: Wikipedia


Evita and the flowers

A wonderful way to finish off your day after driving around the colourful vistas of the Postberg Nature Reserve and the Darling area, is to stop in the town of Darling itself. Not only is there the annual wild flower show (18th - 20th September), but Pieter Dirk Uys (aka Evita Bezuidenhout) continues to humour audiences with his (her) opinions and jokes around the political nature of South Africa before leaving to perform in the USA for a few weeks.

The old Darling station building has been converted into a cosy theatre and restaurant and is creatively named 'Evita se Perron'. The food served is delicious boerekos (a vegetarian option is available on prior request) and the show itself, constantly being updated, is sure to be a delightful, satirical feast. South African life is taken apart with no sector of the community immune from Pieter's (Evita's) biting wit.

The ambiance of the theatre has been cleverly created through use of a huge collection of local boere 'kitsch' mixed with old apartheid signs. The idea is to laugh, shed some tears, and be thankful that the past is indeed in this beautiful country's past.

Up to 90 people can be accommodated at 'Evita se Perron', and the venue can be booked for groups, corporates etc. Show tickets cost R100 per person (which includes R1pp donation to The Darling Trust). Bookings can be done by calling Beryl +27 22 492 3930 or emailing

The Boerassic Park (outside the theatre) is home to a fine collection of plastic flowers and comical creations mocking all our favourite politicians. It is very much worth a look-see and a giggle or two.

For more information visit Evita's Website

Evita se Perron

Hot News Noordhoek Farm Village

is currently implementing their new playground (designed by Living Matter). The playground is designed to have an improved safer play gym, with wider space in between for the children to play.

Implementation is aimed to be completed by start of the next school holidays.

Don't forget to check their event listing for activities specially catering for children during this holiday time.

Darling Wild Flower Show

If you have not had a chance to see the wild flowers at Clanwilliam during August and the beginning of September, do not put away your camera and flower books yet.

Darling is hosting their 92nd annual flower show on the 18 to 20 September. All flowers and plants on show grow wild in the Darling district and are picked under strict supervision of the Darling Wildflower Society.

Darling Wild Flower Show

Venue: The Sports Club in Darling
Entry: R20 per person

For more information on the Darling Wild Flower Show visit their website

HMS Pinafore

HMS Pinafore showing at the local Artscape Theatre is a new 'naughty-cal' musical romp set in the flighty 1950's on board the well-known HMS Pinafore.

HMS Pinafore

Gilbert's brilliant libretto now explodes with hilarious comedy situations, and music from other Savoy operas has been added to Sullivan's most tuneful score of this lavish and colourful swinging production.

The show opens with a preview evening on the 18th September and runs till the 3rd October. Tickets range from R80 to R140 per person, and bookings can be done via Computicket.


Leucospermum Cordifolium

Leucospermum Cordifolium
(Pin Cushion)

Family :


Description :

Indigenous neat spreading bush to 1.5m with bright red or salmon coloured pin cushion flowers.

Flowering time :

Winter, spring, early summer

Conditions :

  • Full sun
  • Average Water
  • Evergreen
  • Frost and wind resistant

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
August's Teaser Answer :
"6 feet underground"


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Contact Cheral:

Cell: 082 82 509 82