Easter comes early this year and with it, a couple of public holidays – the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time at home with family and friends. And if the weather play’s along – a good excuse to get stuck into adding some colour to your garden.
Just like The Easter Bunny and the egg, verbenas and lobelias are destined companions. Both plants are prolific bloomers, providing a wonderful array of colours in what could otherwise be a dull spot in your garden. As companions, they work well together in pots or hanging baskets, especially the trailing varieties, which are particularly striking along patios or entrance-ways. Verbenas bloom in vibrant shades of pink, purple, mauve or red, which are tempered by the lovely lobelias’ more pastel hues of blues, pinks and lilacs.
Verbena’s tick all gardeners’ boxes; they are fruitful bloomers, hardy, heat-tolerant and importantly, low maintenance.
Where to grow them: Find a sunny spot in your garden with well-drained soil – ideally one that gets about eight hours of direct sunlight every day.
Care: Plant the seedlings in a well-composted bed and water them regularly, especially in the initial stages of growth. Once established, only water them every so often, once the top centimetre of soil has dried out. If you are planting them in a pot or hanging basket, use a mixture of Farmyard Organics’ Potting Mix and Compost. The combination will provide your plants with a good balance between comfortable water levels and good drainage.
Lobelia are an easy-to-grow, carefree plant that withstand cooler weather. This summertime bloomer will continue to produce flowers up until the first frosts.
Where to plant them: Like verbena, lobelia thrive in full morning sun, with some afternoon shade, although they will grow nearly anywhere.
Care: Again, it is important to add Farmyard Organics’ Compost to the soil before planting your lobelia, as they prefer soil rich in organic matter. The soil should be moist but not sodden. Once established, this plant requires little maintenance. However, during hot, dry periods (like we get in central KwaZulu- Natal), you will need to water them more frequently.