Tips

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE -

Hi­bis­cus need to be pro­tected from salt­laden winds, but pro­vide spec­tac­u­lar flow­ers in sum­mer. How much fer­tiliser (gran­ules or pel­lets) you give a hi­bis­cus ev­ery six weeks in sum­mer de­pends on the height of the plant. For a hi­bis­cus 60cm-90cm high (1-2 level tea­spoons); 1m-1.4m (1 level dessert spoon); 1.4m-1.8m (2 level dessert spoons); 1.8m2.5m (1 small hand­ful or 50g); 2.5m and over (2 to 4 hands­ful).

Cool the hot colours of sum­mer with mauve-blue ager­a­tum cul­ti­vars, blue daisy flow­ers of feli­cia, peren­nial salvias in sky and blue-vi­o­let, and blue aga­pan­thus, and for shady ar­eas the blue flow­ers of the an­nual wish­bone flower ( Tore­nia) and blue hy­drangeas.

Keep a gar­den diary for record­ing plant­ing, flow­er­ing and har­vest­ing times through­out the year. It is also in­ter­est­ing to keep a record of the daily max­i­mum and min­i­mum tem­per­a­ture and rain­fall.

Fer­tilise and water fruit trees deeply once a week in dry weather. Spray for fruit fly and pick up and de­stroy or bury fallen fruit that may be in­fested with the lar­vae of fruit fly. Branches laden with fruit should be given sup­ports to avoid break­ing in strong winds.

De­cid­u­ous cro­cos­mia ( Mont­bre­tia) has sword-shaped leaves and fun­nel-shaped flow­ers in yel­low, orange, gold or red in sum­mer to at­tract bird and bees. Plant the corms in en­riched soil in lightly shaded ar­eas where they have plenty of room to spread. Cro­cos­mias look good near water fea­tures and with or­na­men­tal grasses.

Plants grow­ing in hang­ing bas­kets and con­tain­ers rely on the gar­dener for water and food if they are to con­tinue to grow and flower. On hot days, you may need to water more than once.

What is the recipe for at­tract­ing birds to your gar­den? Have at least one tall tree in your gar­den for nest­ing. Birds are at­tracted to water for drink­ing and bathing. The bird bath should have gen­tle slop­ing sides for birds to have an in­di­ca­tion of the depth of the water. Add plants with berries, nec­tar and seeds to pro­vide food for birds.

FEED­ING: Dis­cover how much fer­tiliser to give your hi­bis­cus.

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