THE mild winter, with its regular rain and few frosts, suggests we’re in for a super spring and now is the time to start planting flowering annuals.
Look out for Floriana’s new Petunia “Shock Wave” and Petunia “Coral Crush” arriving at garden centres in the next few weeks.
“Shock Wave” is a spreading petunia, suitable for containers or hanging gardens with each plant spreading to 80cm. For a massed effect, plant them 50cm apart in garden beds. They come in five glorious colours – ivory, pink ice, purple, denim and rose.
Equally, for a dense splash of colour plant Floriana’s Petunia “Coral Crush”, which will produce wave upon wave of shimmering bi-colour flowers of coral with creamy-yellow throats of densely-packed flowers for an incredible visual impact in the garden. They flower continuously from early spring until late summer.
COSMOS is a hardy, annual flowering plant from Mexico and is used to hot dry climates. Its bright, sunny plant grows easily from seed, making it a
great starter for a children’s garden.
Yates Cosmos “Bright Eyes” is a good source of seed. Forty cents from each packet sold goes to Retina Australia, a little-known charity that supports families affected by inherited eye diseases.
Scatter the seed from a few packets amongst perennials for a summer-long show.
BIG, bold and bright sunflowers are also good for children to grow from seed. However, if space is limited, try Yates sunflower “Sensation”. For medium height, there’s “Bronze Shades” and the biggies, for the back of the flower garden, are “Yellow Empress”.
Let the children dry the seeds for feeding birds in winter when food is scarce.
AS we head to the warmer weather and now have a seemingly huge water storage with the extension of the Cotter dam, it doesn’t mean watering mindlessly in the middle of the day.
Actew Water will continue its water-conservation program of using only sprinklers and drip systems between 6pm and 9am. Hand-held trigger nozzles can be used sensibly at any time. Simply put, if water is running off, you are over-watering.
THERE is a new edition of the “Open Gardens Australia Guide 2013/14” in newsagents and bookshops. There are 453 gardens listed in this year’s guide.
The scheme, in its 26th year, supports gardens opened by the generosity of private owners for gardeners to appreciate and enjoy.
This year, Friends of Open Gardens Australia will be established in response to requests by the Open Gardens family to build a greater sense of belonging to the scheme. More information at opengarden.org.au
Incidentally, any visitors to Britain might like to look out for their National Gardens Scheme’s “The Yellow Book”. It lists 3000 open gardens, attracting over three quarters of a million visits each year. More information at ngs.org.uk
This week, soak up the vitamin D and…
Consider coring lawns, if not sure how, call me on 0418 620424.
Plant a citrus tree, lemon, grapefruit, or lime to start. They can be grown in containers if you only have a small garden or sunny balcony.
Finish tip-pruning Camellia sasanquas or, if really out of hand, reduce by one third.
Spot kill weeds in the lawn.
Sow broad beans, broccoli, lettuce and peas. The latter do best in new soil. Broad beans and lettuce like a well-limed soil.