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Welcome to the best time of the year in your garden. Fruit trees have produced their delightful flowers, this has been followed by their plump green buds and leaves that have been encouraged by the warmth of the sun.  Delicious fruit to follow.

 

The Spring flowering bulbs that have produced their annual miracles once again are beginning to die down, do not cut off the leaves and stems.  This enables feeding of the bulbs, ensuring good flowers for next Spring.

 

Australian Natives

This is the best time of the year for these flowering beauties:   Banksias, Boronia, Callistemons, Geralton Wax plant, Grevillea, Hakea, Health myrtle (Thryptomene), Kangaroo paw (Anigozanthos, Mint bush (Prostanthera) Native fuchsia (Epacris), Pittosporum, Tea tree (Leptospermum), Wattle (Acacia), Waxflower (Eriostemon), Willow myrtle (Agonis).

 

Alogyne West Coast gem - Australian Hibiscus and its many beautiful purple flowers looks divine planted near yellow roses.

 

Roses

The beautiful colours of their new leaves, tips and buds with promises of some gorgeous blooms to look forward to in Spring.  Remember to keep watching for those hungry insects.  Try a chilli pepper spray, the insects don’t like it.  Remember to sprinkle a top dressing of well rotted manure.

 

Dry Gardens

Our weather is indicating dry gardens will be more prevalent in the future.   Perhaps give a thought about implementing clumps of succulents into the garden.  The Cotyledon orbiculare with its orange flowers loves a full sun position, the large silvery leaves will give the garden a lift all through the year.  Sempervivum cvs. Hen and chickens is good as a border and in rockeries.

Echeveria cvs.   With their pink edges, they grow very easily from leaves and tip cuttings and look excellent in a clump.

 For some blue hues.  Plant Senecio mandraliscae ‘Chalksticks’.  They love full to part sun and form a lovely mass of silvery blue leaves  with a small white flower.  The vision will be delightful.

 

Shady areas

Spring flowering  shrubs and trees are now in full bloom and provide excellent shade cover.   Your garden needs to provide some shade for the protection of younger plants and this is a good time to plant most trees and fruit trees.  Protection of the young roots is essential  from the sun as it heats up the soil.

 Hellebores also enjoy these conditions.

 

Plant Foods

This time of the year your compost bin comes in handy as it has been working hard in producing the organic matter from your kitchen and garden.

A visit to your local nursery,  they have many products that will assist your garden eg  slow release fertilisers, Blood and Bone, Complete Plant Foods, animal manures -  horse, cow, pig and chicken.   Please read the instructions carefully.

 

 Herbs

Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is an annual, sown in Spring and grows all Summer.  Plant tubs of basil close by your vegetable plot, also tubs of chives (Allium schoenoprasum) is related to the onion, flavoured like garlic but milder and sweeter.  It can be a good repellent of aphids from nearby roses.   The common thyme (T vulgaris ) is an evergreen shrublet with fine leaves and pink flowers, loved by bees.  

Children……Encourage their assistance when planting your herbs, vegetables and try propogating seedlings with them.

 

Vegetables

Plant grafted tomatoes in a warm, protected frost-free spot for early fruiting. In October - dwarf bean, capsicum, cucumber, eggplant, pumpkin, salad vegetables, silver beet, spring onions and zucchini.  

 

Mulching  

Now is a practicable time to mulch in readiness for the summer months.  Remember to top up your pots including the balcony area.

 

Containers 

Re-pot container plants with a good tub mix. Check your nursery.

 

Pruning

Pelargoniums are flowering their heads off at the moment, prune (by half) and tip cut the fuchsias.  Boronia and lilac, prune by one third after they have finished flowering.  Spring flowering old fashioned roses,  prune these  immediately after flowering.

 

Pests to look out for

Through the garden - Slugs and snails as you know they are very hard to get rid of and there are many methods of how to be successful.  My suggestion is to hand collect but be careful to leave the large leopard slug, which may grow to 12 cm long.  It is carnivorous and feeds on other slugs and snails.  Another method is to fill a saucer with beer, they get drunk and drown.  If you use a commercial snail bait please collect the dead snails daily before they are eaten by birds or pets which in turn would be poisoned.  So take care.

 

Happy Gardening

 

Patricia

 

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