Misty mornings and sunny arvos – what’s not to love about early winter?
Who says nothing blooms in winter? The regal flowers of Camellia japonica start to unfurl their perfectly arranged petals around June, with different cultivars continuing to flower right though until early spring. And to make them even more desirable, they’ll flower in shaded spots, so are great for courtyards or side gardens. The colour range is simply glorious, too – pink, cerise, cream, white, glowing reds and many blush and two-tone variations. Seek out a camellia now, while they’re at their bloomin’ best!
There’s still plenty of time for planting bare root roses and for warmer areas there might even still be a few rose buds about.
The experts at Yates advise that the main job for July is rose pruning, except for the colder districts – where you should wait until August and after any severe frosts have passed.
It's time to check citrus for gall wasp damage. Look for lumpy swellings along stems - this can be an indication that wasps have laid eggs just under the bark in spring. To control the damage remove the galls in winter by pruning off as you notice the swelling. Dispose of them in the rubbish, not in the compost and apply some Yates Dynamic Lifter Plus Fruit Food.
More gardening ideas:
- Dahlia growers should lift tubers from the ground as foliage dies down and store in a cool dry place until ready to replant in mid spring.
- Create a lovely feature pot display using large containers of agapanthus. Not normally grown in pots, agapanthus adapts surprisingly well to container growing and needs minimal care. Choose long-flowering cultivars such as Agapanthus ‘Snow Storm’ (white) and ‘Blue Storm’.
- Hide ugly garden structures such as old sheds with a gorgeous climbing rose. There are so many wonderful choices, but worth trying is the romantic and highly perfumed new pink ‘Wedgwood Rose’ from David Austin. It repeat flowers and is disease resistant.
- Celebrate National Tree Day (Sunday, 26 July) by planting a bird-attracting and winter-flowering Aussie banksia. They come in vibrant colours and many sizes, from soaring trees to compact varieties, such as the dwarf forms of Banksia spinulosa – perfect for inner-city gardens.
- Fertilise bulbs such as daffodils and jonquils as they start appearing. A good feed now will keep them at their best through into spring.
- Plant hellebores in a shaded spot for winter and spring interest. For more upright flowers, seek out the newish form Helleborus ‘Ivory Prince’.
- Add interest to shady corners with a few winter-flowering clivias. Once quite expensive, they’re now far cheaper thanks to increased breeding. They are available in oranges, creams and yellows.
- Now’s the time to plant bare-rooted roses and deciduous trees and shrubs.