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Updated July 3, 2012, 12:09 pm Better Homes and Gardens, betterhomesgardens
Winter gardens can come to life if you fill bare spots with potted evergreens and early blooms like polyanthus.
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Zones 7-8: Alyssum, calendula, carnation, celosia, everlasting daisy, French marigold, linaria, nemesia, petunia and phlox.
Zones 6-8: Kohlrabi, radish, shallot. In tropical areas, plant capsicum, cucumber, endive, potato, squash, sweet corn, tomato and zucchini.Brighten up your garden with these pansies and violas
- Give your garden neat edges by planting out hardy border plants alongside paths, decks or patios. Grassy-leaved plants are ideal for these zones, such as ‘Pink Pearl’ liriope, mondo grass and society garlic (check out the Instant Border range from Flora-Edge). As an alternative for hot spots, use succulents like sedums or echeverias, and, for cottage-style gardens, consider lavender ‘Sugarberry Ruffles’ or catmint.
- Make use of milder conditions to plant a flowering hedge. There are plenty of good camellias, or try the relatively recent New Zealand-bred Fairy Magnolia. It features blushed lilac flowers and deep evergreen foliage. It bushes up to about 3-4m high, making it ideal for a boundary planting or inside a fence line.
- Add a dash of difference to your garden with a few unusual mints, such as Egyptian mint (mild flavoured and good in salads), Corsican mint (peppermint flavour), eau-de-cologne mint (with a slight citrus aroma) and chocolate mint (with a chocolate scent). They’re all from Renaissance Herbs.
- Fertilise where you have planted spring-flowering bulbs so they’ll jump away in late winter and spring.
- Plant bare-rooted deciduous trees and shrubs, and bare-rooted roses, while they’re dormant. It’s best not to plant roses in spots where other roses have recently been grown. And, ideally, they should have at least six hours of sunshine a day.
- Fertilise cymbidium orchids.
- Put your mower in for a winter service so it’ll be ready when spring arrives.
- Add a bag or two of manure to vegie beds as they come out of service.
- Start checking for signs of citrus gall wasps on lemon trees, generally indicated by knobbly growths on the wood. These should be cut off with a sharp knife and destroyed by the end of August.
- Prune fruit trees to keep them healthy and improve the quality and size of fruit. After pruning, it’s a good idea to spray with a copper-based fungicide to help control problems such as peach and nectarine leaf curl, black spot on apples and pears, and pear scab.
- Lift potted waterlilies from ponds and repot into fresh soil to increase numbers.
- Oil your outdoor timber furniture to protect it from winter rains.
For cheery blooms from late winter through summer and autumn, try the dwarf-growing, shasta daisy, Leucanthemum ‘Little Angel’. Put this hardy plant in a full-sun position in soil that drains well and it will produce masses of crisp, white daisy blooms with vibrant golden centres. Butterfly-attracting and ideal for a vase display, ‘Little Angel’ benefits from mulching – but do not place mulch too close to the plant’s stem. Remove spent flowers to encourage more blooming, and fertilise only occasionally. Once established, it generally needs little watering.Like' us on Facebook