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Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Garden Diary -

■ Brighten up your in­doors with a gor­geous flow­er­ing cy­cla­men or two. The trick is to only wa­ter the soil, not the plant it­self, and to give them a break from heated rooms, by mov­ing them out­side each night. ■ Add beau­ti­ful zing to win­try gar­dens with pots and planters of win­ter­flow­er­ing pansy and vi­ola in cooler ar­eas, and poin­set­tia in warmer parts. ■ Guar­an­tee late win­ter in­ter­est by plant­ing a few lime-green eu­phor­bia. Th­ese are low-main­te­nance, lowwa­ter plants. One of the best species is the bushy Eu­phor­bia wulfenii whose bracts look like flow­ers. It grows to about 1m tall.

■ Cel­e­brate Na­tional Tree Day on 30 July and Schools Tree Day on 28 July by join­ing in a pub­lic plant­ing, or sim­ply plant a favourite tree in your own yard. Go to tree­day.plan­e­

■ Or­der your bare-root roses (see page 78). Plant in well-worked soil in a spot re­ceiv­ing at least six hours of sun a day, and where roses haven’t grown for sev­eral years.

■ Plant coolly el­e­gant japon­ica camel­lia. With blooms from win­ter to spring, th­ese ev­er­green shrubs might look del­i­cate but will go on flow­er­ing year after year once you get them es­tab­lished.

■ Check cit­rus trees for cit­rus gall wasp, ev­i­denced by swellings or lumps. Use a sharp knife or small saw to cut them off. Do this quickly, as the lar­vae will start bur­row­ing out soon (of­ten around the end of Au­gust) and re­in­fes­ta­tion will oc­cur. Seal in plas­tic bags and dis­pose of in the garbage.

■ Plant sum­mer-flow­er­ing

bulbs such as glad­i­oli, dahlia and lil­ium. ■ Lift and di­vide clump­ing plants such as achil­lea, aga­pan­thus, berge­nia, eu­phor­bia and clivia to in­crease num­bers. ■ Fer­tilise cym­bid­ium or­chids. ■ In frost-prone ar­eas, hold off cut­ting away af­fected or dead fo­liage un­til the last of the frosts has fin­ished. The da­m­aged leaves will pro­tect the un­dam­aged growth be­neath.

■ Once your wat­tle tree has fin­ished bloom­ing, give it a light trim. An oc­ca­sional cut­back will keep them tidy and look­ing their best.

■ Lift pot­ted wa­ter lilies

from ponds and re­pot into fresh pot­ting mix to keep them happy and healthy.

■ Turn up the per­fume

by plant­ing sweets­cented daphne (cool, morn­ing sun po­si­tion) and Os­man­thus fra­grans

(part sun/part shade).

Helle­bore Poin­set­tia

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