Spring tips for your Bonsai

    Clean out weeds, trim new growth, start to train branches, remove old flowers, re-pot evergreens (while re-potting, trim roots keeping slightly more roots to the volume of leaves, work in the shade keeping roots moist, after potting, dunk whole pot in water to remove air bubbles), feed and do pest control, keep your bonsai slightly protected from wind and too much rain for first 3 weeks before moving it back to its usual place.

    Young bonsai trees are re-potted every 1-2 years, while established trees are re-potted every 5 - 7 years. The following species can be re-potted in September & October: Brush Cherries, Cedars, Oaks, Pines, Firethorns and the Chinese snow rose; October - November: Junipers; Late October - January: Fig trees.

    Tips by Heine at Bonsai Care SA

    Bonsai Re-potting tips

    Gardens are growing in the most unusual spaces

    People are always trying to find a way to bring nature into their lives, and with quite a few botched attempts under the wings, this form of "mobile gardening" has definitely been on the upswing for garden, car enthusiasts and entrepreneurs alike. These garden cars make a good show for an advert for "Smart Grass" and for Mini in Birmingham.

    The Chicago Transit Authority have also given thumbs up to add some green space to their railway system by transforming a rail car into a mobile garden displaying greenery and local plant species. The rail car will help commuters "visualize the possibilities for enhancing green space in the city".

    It would be really great to be able to travel the roads and the rails while sitting in a garden, seeing bright colours, natural greens and enjoying the sweetly scented flowers all around.

    These type of vehicles are definitely given the thumbs up for being "green"!

    Mobile gardeing

    Food additive codes

    A person that tries to follow a healthy diet, would traditionally look at the ingredients lists on the food items and would make their choice of product to purchase based on the natural ingredients and the synthetic ingredients (mostly depicted by E numbers) included.

    E numbers are number codes for food additives that have been assessed and approved for use by the European Food Safety Authority (the "E" prefix stands for "Europe") and follows the International Numbering System (INS) as determined by the Codex Alimentarius committee.

    Many are under the misconception that any product with E numbers is unhealthy, however this is not the case, as some natural ingredients have been given E numbers too - vitamin C (E300-305) or lycopene (E160d). "Free of E numbers" then simply means that pure forms of the substances are not intentionally added, even though identical substances certainly exist naturally in many foods.

    • E100-E199 (colours)
    • E200-E299 (preservatives)
    • E300-E399 (antioxidants, acidity regulators)
    • E400-E499 (thickeners, stabilizers, emulsifiers)
    • E500-E599 (acidity regulators, anti-caking agents)
    • E600-E699 (flavour enhancers)
    • E700-E799 (antibiotics)
    • E900-E999 (miscellaneous)
    • E1000-E1999 (additional chemicals)

    If you are interested in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and do not want to consume the unhealthy E numbers, keep a note of which numbers you see on the ingredients lists and check online to see if the additive is a natural or synthetic.

    E numbers

    Shampoo that you can take into the wild

    As more and more people become environmentally friendly, the range of products and the extent to which we use these products increases and diversifies. Products that have been made on certified biodynamic farms make this process easier for us.

    Biodynamic farming is a system of farming where there is a conscious awareness of the spiritual world in all farm activities and therefore, only natural ingredients are used.

    The products are not only safe for the environment, but are also good for the soil - wash water (grey water) can be run directly into the garden without adversely affecting the quality of the soil, the plants or polluting our water systems and the environment around. The products are therefore also safe for all septic systems as well as for use when you are camping / hiking outdoors and in the wild.

    Bloublommetjieskloof products (manufactured on Bloublommetjieskloof Biodynamic Farm in Wellington) are certified "biodynamic", which means they contain no synthetic or factory processed substances. According to the certification guidelines, 95% of the ingredients are grown and processed on the farm according to the Biodynamic Principles, and are strictly 100% natural and organic.

    Natural soaps are low foaming and may vary in consistency and colour. Unlike synthetic soaps and shampoos, they do not produce instant, magical results, but with continued and correct use, they are just as effective.

    One of Bloublommetjieskloof's products is an organic shampoo with the following extracts (all natural, as you will see):

    • Aspalatus linearis fol (rooibos)
    • Rosmarinus officinalis herba (rosemary)
    • Salvia officinalis herba (sage)
    • Cyamopsis tetragonoloba semen (cluster bean)
    • Saponified coconut oil (Cocos nucifera)
    • Lavandin essential oil (Lavandula hybrida)
    • Rosemary essential oil (Rosmarinus officinalis)
    • Spring water

    For more information on biodynamic products contact Wendy or if you would like to try this product, you can find it at your local Pick n Pay or online at Organic Choice.

    Bloublommetjieskloof Organic Shampoo

    Mist rolling in over a calm lake

    Surrounded by picturesque mountains all around, this peaceful spot, Lake Navarone, is perfect for a romantic getaway in both winter (cosy by the fire, snow all around) and summer (outdoors, in the sun).

    21 stone cottages widely spaced around the edge of a calm lake, shadowed by surrounding woods, and encompassed by the Drakensberg range, provides the setting for a real secluded getaway into nature. The cottages are perfectly positioned to provide magnificent views, to ensure privacy and with convenient access to the Lake.

    The small cottages (2 - 4 people) have the lounge leading through double doors directly onto the front porch, which looks out over the expanse of the main lake where the reflections in the water give you the unique experience of seeing the starlit night sky both above you and below you.

    While the larger cottages, situated in a grassy, tree-lined area are perfect for families with children and can accommodate up to 12 people. The play area with trampoline, swings, see-saw, jungle gym and tennis court is not too far away and there is plenty of flat land on which to play.

    The cottages are all fully equipped and serviced daily by cleaning staff. In addition to electric lights, fridge (with freezer compartment), stove and plug points, they all have fireplaces and private braai areas (firewood is supplied free of charge). All linen and towels are supplied.

    Favourite activities at this beautiful location include trout fishing, boating, horse riding, tennis, birdwatching, walking and hiking, either on the estate or into the adjoining mountain wilderness.

    A free rowing boat goes with each cottage, but guests are welcome to bring their own canoes, float tubes, sailing boats and windsurfers. No powerboats or other motorized craft are allowed. There are two restaurants and a golf course within five minutes drive.

    The stables at Lake Naverone are a source of pride for Sixtus the head groom. The horses are in excellent condition and have been professionally trained to be responsive and obedient. Scenic out rides along the river is the perfect way to experience the spectacular setting. There are also ponies available for hand-guided walks for kids.

    There are several rugged mountain biking trails on the estate and in the surrounding area. Low traffic means the trails are unspoiled and you can always be assured of an endurance-testing ride.

    For more information or to view their picturesque gallery visit the Lake Navarone website or contact them directly - tel number: (033) 701 1236, e-mail :

    Lake Navarone

Hot News

Our own Plant Directory coming soon!

With the years of collating information and images of plants for our clients, we have now started compiling our own plant directory and will make it available to everyone on the internet via our website soon.

The Plant Directory will be accessible from our library and will continuously be updated to include more of the plants we easily find in nurseries, and also some of the more rarer plants.

It will also include both indigenous and non-indigenous plants, to enable you to make an informed choice when selecting the plants for your garden.

Featured Plant

Pelargonium Cucullatum

Pelargonium Cucullatum

Family :


Description :

Indigenous small shrub with fragrant leaves and pink flowers grows to 1m.

Flowering time :

Spring / Summer

Conditions :

  • Full Sun
  • Average water
  • Evergreen
  • Wind resistant
  • Some frost resistance
  • Light soil

Wine of the month

Wine of the month

Louis 2007
(Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot Blend)

Winery : Louis Wines
Winemaker : Louis Nel (ex Hidden Valley)

Description :

Great value Bordeaux Blend = 52% Cabernet Sauvignon & 48% Merlot

Aroma : Subtle mint mixed with blackberries and strawberries.

Palate : Flavour follows through from nose with soft tannins and a long finish.

Winemaking : Wild fermented with grapes from Helderberg region. Aged separately in French Oak barrels for 24 months, 20% of which is new.

Food Pairing : Coq au Vin OR Lamb brushed with rosemary and olive oil OR Panna Cotta.

If you want to purchase or require more information on this wine, or if you are interested in a private or corporate tasting, please email Karen or visit her website.

Planting Guide

Herb or Veggie

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


  • Beans
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Lettuce
  • Mielies
  • Peppers
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish
  • Squash
  • Sweetcorn
  • Swisschard
  • Tomatoes
  • 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
    August's Teaser Answer :
    "Up before 8"


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    Contact Cheral:

    Cell: 082 82 509 82