Gardening writer JACKIE WARBURTON looks at garden art, weed, pumpkins and roses this week.
GOOD garden design has a balance of hardscape and softscape and, more importantly, has art or sculpture somewhere in the garden.
Art in the garden doesn’t have to be expensive. A handmade piece of art gives a depth of enjoyment be it an individual piece that you’ve made or someone else’s creation.
When adding art into the garden, find a focal point and consider multiple views to that space, think about scale, style and colour.
I have large mosaic pots in my garden that I have made myself and move them around to different spaces for a change. Art can also be a bird feeder or something small, so long as it creates visual interest.
THE garden has had prolific growth with consistent rain and the weeds need to be pulled out before they set seed.
The old saying “one year of seed is seven years of weeds” is so true. Weeds can be put into the green bin or placed in a hessian bag submerged in a bucket of water to steep for a few weeks.
Dilute the subsequent liquid by 10 parts water and it can be used in the compost or the garden. Keep a lid on the “tea” as it brews as it can be a little smelly. Keep mosquitoes and flies out of the liquid.
ROSES are going to put on a show this year, but the leaves will be looking terrible with black spot and yellow leaves.
The rain is causing this to happen so we have to pick the leaves and put them in the bin and don’t compost them. Keep deadheading roses to encourage more blooms as well.
JUST about all vegetables can be planted now, the last opportunity to get a summer crop before autumn.
Water with Seasol or any seaweed extract every two weeks or so and remember it is a soil conditioner not a fertiliser. Mulching vegetables with sugar cane or pea straw will help retain the moisture in the ground and keep the weeds down as well.
GROWING pumpkins is very satisfying and the yield can be abundant and store well into winter. They have male and female flowers on the same plant (monoecious). The male flowers come first and then the female flowers. The difference between the flowers is a swelling at the base of the females.
Pumpkins need a sunny spot to grow and lots and lots of space, and lots and lots of compost. They take between 70-120 days to mature in Canberra, generally after the first frost around the end of April, and then they will be ready for harvest. Golden Nugget is a bush variety with small, tasty fruit and there’s medium-growth Butternut if space is an issue.
THE NSW Christmas bush (Ceratopetalum gummiferum) is in flower. It’s a spectacular small tree that can only be grown in a sheltered spot in the garden or pot. Large branches mixed with red and green kangaroo paws on the Christmas table make a wonderful display.
AS the weather warms, water in the cool of the day and preferably in the morning or use drip irrigation. Make sure sprinklers are working efficiently by watering the garden not the ground.
NOW’S the time to take semi-hardwood cuttings of plants such as camellias and spring-flowering shrubs.
Use new growth that’s just starting to harden, that is dark green/brown stems. Take cuttings about 10cm long, just below a node, remove all the leaves on the bottom half of the stem, dip into some honey, plant into propagation mix and keep moist.
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