Spring gardens burst into life

With pruning, hydrangeas will look like this.

THIS week it is a little bit of everything, with gardens bursting into life and so much to do in the garden.

What a delight it is to spend all day in the sun with lengthening days. This is the most exciting time of the year in the garden with nature emerging from its winter overcoat. Trees in blossom, bulbs starting to provide a riot of colour and Floriade so close.

This year’s tantalising theme is “A Feast for the Senses”. I will be giving numerous talks in the Victory Garden and more details on this and Floriade next week.

With pruning, hydrangeas will look like this.

A QUICK note following on from last week’s page about dwarf plants for low hedges: one rather super new plant has just arrived at the Heritage Nursery in Yarralumla after I wrote the column.

Look out for Westringea “Wild River”, a hardy compact mauve shrub that flowers over a long period and grows to just half a metre high and wide. It’s ideal for trimming as a hedge or grown in a container. Definitely worth checking out.

SOMETHING eating your veggies before you do? Looking for chemical-free alternatives, creepy crawlies causing havoc in your garden and not sure where to go for the best advice?

The simple answer is the CIT School of Horticulture Plant Clinic. Put your pests or diseased plants in a plastic bag for plant ID and head to the CIT Bruce Campus at Charles Weston Lane on the corner of Battye and Eade Streets, Bruce, every Thursday from 4pm-6pm until September 22. Any queries, phone 6207 4610 during these hours.

MAXICROP is donating $1 to support the McGrath Foundation for every 600ml container of its seaweed plant nutrient concentrate sold before October 21. I am not only a great believer in this product, but this is an excellent cause to support. Look for the special tag on the top of the bottle and the foundation and your garden will benefit.

Let’s get cracking

WE have warm, sunny days, so let’s get on with it:

  • A final reminder to finish pruning hydrangeas if you want them to look like the photo above.

  • Springtime is feeding time for every plant in the garden, this most neglected aspect of gardening.

  • Finish dividing and transplanting perennials. This can usually be done with a sharp serrated knife. One of the easiest plants to divide is carpet thyme, simply slice off sections like cutting a cake.

  • Repot those houseplants you have neglected for several years.

  • Core and/or de-thatch lawns, the soft ground at present is the perfect time for lawn renovation.

  • Lay turf for new lawns. Not sure which is the best variety for your garden? Call “Canturf”, where their lawn grasses are grown locally at Fyshwick.

  • Check all irrigation systems. Drip irrigation should be flushed out.  If you do not have a tap at the end of the system fit this now. Test for any holes where you may have put the fork through the line!

The write direction

WOULD you like me to write more on landscaping or new products or particular groups of plants, or perhaps more or indoor plants? Over the last 25 years of garden writing, I have not asked these questions often enough. With my still relatively new garden page in “CityNews”, I am inviting you to tell me what you might like my column to cover. Suggestions, preferably short and sweet, to  cedricbryant@grapevine.com.au or write to me at “CityNews”, GPO Box 2448, Canberra City 2601.

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