Spring brings flower power

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Gardening - By TIM PARKER

AH, spring is here.

I of­ten think gar­den­ers and gar­dens are reborn in spring.

Just as gar­dens emerge from their win­ter slum­ber, burst­ing forth with new growth, colour and fra­grance, so too are gar­den­ers.

The warm­ing sun draws gar­den­ers out into the yard to again turn soil and plant, with each filled with all the op­ti­mism and pos­si­bil­ity of another won­der­ful grow­ing sea­son.

I’ve just seen a new re­lease, Poly­gala, called Lit­tle Polly, and what a cracker it is.

It’s a true dwarf Poly­gala or Sweet Pea Bush with a rounded, com­pact shape to 1m.

Main flow­er­ing times are spring and sum­mer when the bush is cov­ered with pur­ple pea flow­ers.

It’s suit­able for grow­ing in con­tain­ers or as a low fea­ture shrub or bor­der – just trim to main­tain its shape.

It wouldn’t be spring with­out the pur­ple haze of fra­grant Laven­der.

Laven­ders thrive in Perth’s Mediter­ranean cli­mate and re­ally get the bees buzzing.

Laven­der Avon­view is one of the most stun­ning at this time of year, with grey-green fo­liage and masses of deep pur­ple blooms. It’s great for sunny, low borders, hedges and pots.

Like all laven­ders, give it a good clip once the main flow­er­ing time has fin­ished.

Fed­er­a­tion Daisies are mod­ern takes on the ever-pop­u­lar Mar­guerite Daisies, and are real flow­er­ing ma­chines.

They were bred in Aus­tralia and are very long flow­er­ing plants, grow­ing to around 40 or 60cm.

Look out for stun­ning larger flow­ered, new re­lease va­ri­eties like Sublime Pink and vivid pur­ple, Su­pe­rior Pur­ple. They will give you months of cut flow­ers and are a great ad­di­tion to pots and flower beds.

Hedg­ing and screen­ing type Gre­vil­leas of­fer an at­trac­tive so­lu­tion for hid­ing fence lines and bound­aries.

They are hardy, water­wise and their nec­tar-rich flow­ers will bring birds and pol­li­na­tors into your gar­den.

Plant va­ri­eties like the Olive Leaf Gre­vil­lea (Gre­vil­lea oli­vacea) which is avail­able in red, yel­low and apri­cot flow­er­ing forms, gold and red Win­parra Gold or red flow­er­ing Win­parra Gem.

These va­ri­eties all re­spond well to trim­ming and hedg­ing.

Im­por­tantly, re­mem­ber to feed them only with na­tive plant fer­tilis­ers, oth­er­wise it can mean a slow death.

Chi­nese Lanterns or Abu­tilons are fas­ci­nat­ing, easy to grow shrubs with cu­ri­ous, pen­dant, flow­ers that look like dec­o­ra­tive lamp shades. Hence their com­mon name.

They were favourites in Perth gar­dens of yes­ter­year and are mak­ing a big come­back. The new Lucky Lanterns range is a se­ries of dwarf va­ri­eties grow­ing to just 30cm high and wide.

They flower in nu­mer­ous flushes from spring to late au­tumn. They like a bit of af­ter­noon shade in our cli­mate and re­spond well to the oc­ca­sional trim. Lucky Lanterns come in tan­ger­ine, yel­low, red and white and are just the thing to light up your spring gar­den.

And for some­thing dif­fer­ent, you’ve got to see the new re­lease, colour chang­ing Cordy­lines Can Can and Cha Cha.

The new fo­liage of Can Can emerges pink-red and then ma­tures to cream and green while Cha Cha, fea­tures apri­cot-brown fo­liage which ma­tures to yel­low and green.

Both va­ri­eties are clump form­ing with weep­ing fo­liage and grow to about 1.5m high and 1-1.5m wide. They are suit­able for full sun to semi-shade pots or con­tain­ers.

Poly­gala Lit­tle Polly. Ar­gy­ran­the­mum Su­pe­rior Pur­ple.

Laven­dar Avon­view.

Fed­er­a­tion Daisy Supreme White.

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