The Cape Horticultural Society encourages experienced and amateur gardeners to meet like-minded people who want to share knowledge, and to promote biodiversity, where plants flourish and the balance of nature exists.

What’s new in June?

Pick of the Month

Poinsettia – a short-day plant so they flower in the winter. Those you get at Christmas time have been kept under black covers to initiate their bracts, which are the flowers. The flowers are actually in the centre. This one is genetically very confused – part is genetically white or cream; part is genetically red with a little bit of cream; and part is very confused. Started out as dark green for a whole year and a summer and it has only now started going coloured. It was re-potted and has grown a lot bigger. Google says that the leaves should fall off when they come into colour. These leaves don’t look too good but that could be the cold winter nights we’ve experienced recently. Being a more tropical plant it should be kept on a patio where there is warmth and protection overnight.

CHS Chatter


As a CHS member, Jane automatically qualifies to partake in any garden visit, outing or conference organised by an associate of Mediterranean Gardening International (MGi). This year it was Portugal’s turn and here is what Jane has to say about her recent trip.

“On the last weekend of March, Allan and I and our friend, Athol McLaggan, flew in to Portugal via Luanda on TAAG (Angolan Airlines). We took a train to Tunes in the Algarve to reach our hotel, practically on the beach, in the seaside village and resort of Armacao de Pera. (Allan and Athol immediately took a plunge in the Atlantic as they did every day we were there – a little chilly for me as the spring water temperature was still only 16°C.)  That evening we met up with our group and Rosie Peddle, our cheerful, funny and no-nonsense tour organiser. Twenty delegates had come from the USA, France, the UK, Scotland, Australia, Chile and SA for the Algarve pre-tour. Over the next few days we got to know and like everybody; gardeners are good company.

On day 1 we started out with residential gardens designed by Marilyn Ribeiro (another dynamic tour leader), putting into practice (a) waterwise principles and (b) the use of Portuguese indigenous and Mediterranean appropriate plants. It was a surprise to hear how hard she has battled to implement both of these in her local landscaping practice. ...

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Plants in Season

Pop back next month to see what members have been growing in their suburban gardens.