Johannesburg - February is Valentine month and pink is a colour we associate with romance. Here are some tips for bringing the colour of love to your garden...
* There is no shortage of flowers in these shades in the garden this month. Create a romantic mood with aster, begonia, dahlia, echinacea, gaura, impatiens, lavatera, Mandevilla splendens (dipladenia), pentas, penstemon, perennial phlox, watsonia and verbena.
* Although colours are mainly soft and pastel in a romantic garden, the rich red and purple shades found in many beautiful roses will add richness and depth. Look for Hybrid Tea roses Blackberry, Black Madonna, Ilse Roos and Marina Marini, floribunda roses Lava Glow, Kissing Ayoba and Little Red Hedge, Fairytale Rose Archbishop Desmond Tutu and English roses LD Braithwaite, The Squire, The Prince and climbing Tradescant.
* The silver-grey and fern-like leaves of Artemisia “Powis Castle” can be grown as a petticoat under roses of all shades. It can be given a light trim in spring to encourage new and compact growth, but resents being cut back to old wood.
* A garden of sweet fragrances will add another dimension to a garden. Gardenias have scented white flowers, indigenous buddleja tiny tubular, highly scented flowers and the lavender tree (Heteropyxis natalensis) exudes the scent of lavender. Star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) is an evergreen with fragrant starry-white flowers that can be grown as a climber, groundcover, clipped hedge or standard.
* A simple latticework trellis can provide a romantic hideaway, or part of the garden can be screened with shrubs, such as Bauhinia galpinii, camellia, Duranta ‘Sheena’s Gold’, plumbago and Cape honeysuckle. - Saturday Star