Fabulous and floriferous

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CHRYSANTHEMUMS and dahlias are two of autumn’s most floriferous plants.

Chrysanthemums... colourful favourites in autumn.
Chrysanthemums… colourful favourites in autumn.

The small-flowered varieties of Chrysanthemums are just coming into flower in our garden.

The origin of these wonderful plants has largely been lost in time. One of the original varieties was Chrysanthemum coronaries, originating in the Mediterranean.

At some time it was introduced to the Orient, where it has become popular as a vegetable using the young leaves that are often added to soups. Chrysanthemum flowers have been associated with China since the 7th century AD and, more lately, in Japan and Korea, where they have popular Chrysanthemum festivals. They are one of the main features in the flower pavilion at the UK’s Chelsea Flower Show. In Australia, we associate the big chrysanthemums with Mother’s Day.

The smaller-flowered varieties are great for planting in the garden or in containers and hanging baskets on even the smallest balcony. They readily divide or simply grow from cuttings and are great as a starter plant for children to grow.

Dahlia flowers...  brightest display at this time of the year.
Dahlia flowers… brightest display at this time of the year.

MANY people saw the amazing display of dahlias at the recent Horticultural Society of Canberra’s flower show.

Dahlias provide the brightest flower display at this time of the year from compact, low-growing varieties to large varieties illustrated here.

Dahlias are very easy to grow from tubers and the time to look for these is when they have finished flowering over the next month. The Society will have an extensive range for sale at its November flower show.

United they stand

DSCN1067THE NSW Road and Maritime Services (formerly Roads and Traffic Authority) proposes to totally remove Braidwood’s spectacular line of poplars, so enjoyed by tens of thousands of travellers to the coast.

The move is due to some motorists driving into the trees and, unfortunately, killing themselves. This is no fault of the trees!

The pictured avenue of Golden Poplars was planted in 1936 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the reign of King George V.

Local arborist Dennis Dempsey, whose family has lived in the area since 1838, tells me the town’s population is up in arms.

“I have grown old with these trees as they were only 10 years old when I was born and I have seen them grow and mature,” he says.

Surely, commonsense must prevail or are we to remove every roadside tree or even street trees due to incompetent drivers?

What is your opinion? Email me at cedricbryant@grapevine.com.au with your views.

It’s time to…

  • divide perennials such as campanulas, asters after flowering;

  • plant seedlings of English spinach, silverbeet, leeks; and seed of peas and broad beans (the latter in well-limed soil);

  • plant all manner of berries and currants; sow sweet peas;

  • think about taking out petunias now past their prime and replacing with pansies and violas for winter colour.

Month by month with Mary

Gardens for all seasonsSURELY, not another month-by-month book on gardening?

So many are merely coffee table books, but rising above these I commend you to Mary Horsfall’s “Gardens for All Seasons” (CSIRO Publishing paperback, 336 pages, $49.95) for one very good reason – the publisher.

CSIRO has an exemplary record in publishing books of substance to do with the soil.

Best-selling author Horsfall has an amazing track record with previous books including “Eco-Friendly Garden” and “The Miracle of Mulch”.

Her month-by-month guide details her own gardening year, which is applicable for all gardeners. She writes about growing the full range of ornamental plants and fruit and vegetables; then provides recipes based on the harvest and activities for kids in the garden. This is also the only such garden book I know of that includes bush fire preparation and first aid.

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Cedric Bryant
Trained horticulturist and garden designer with over 30 years experience in the industry.

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