gar­den in the

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Outdoor Inspiration - Spring is na­ture’s way of say­ing ‘let’s party’. ROBIN WIL­LIAMS, AC­TOR/CO­ME­DIAN

Let loose your colour­ful side by plant­ing a few spec­tac­u­lar hang­ing bas­kets of New Guinea im­pa­tiens. The Sun­pa­tiens range, re­leased here sev­eral years ago, comes in a range of glow­ing colours.

Do your cook­ing and gar­den a favour by plant­ing a bay tree (Lau­rus no­bilis). The hardy ev­er­green can be grown in the open gar­den or a large pot, in a full sun to part shade po­si­tion.

Give your culi­nary ef­forts a shot in the arm by grow­ing mi­cro greens. They are edible plants such as cab­bage, broc­coli, cress and kale that are picked very young. Choose your own va­ri­eties to grow in plas­tic seed trays or seek out mi­cro green mixes from seed com­pa­nies. Sneak a few basil seedlings in among your tomato plants. The green

or pur­ple va­ri­eties look good and are said to re­pel pests and im­prove the tomato’s flavour. Con­tinue sow­ing tomato seeds. If wilt has been a prob­lem with your plants in past years, try the new wilt-re­sis­tant va­ri­eties, in­clud­ing Fer­line (medium-sized fruit), Sun­gold (sweet-tast­ing award-win­ner) and Sweet Mil­lion (bite-size fruit), all from Mr Fothergill’s.

Check out the sen­sa­tional new gera­ni­ums (Pelargonium sp.) now ap­pear­ing in nurs­eries. They look spec­tac­u­lar in win­dow boxes or in a row of match­ing pots.

Ease gar­de­nias out of win­ter slum­ber with a dose of fer­tiliser. Choose a for­mula for acidlov­ing plants such as camel­lia and aza­lea.

Lend lemon trees a help­ing hand in pro­duc­ing new crops with a good feed of a cit­rus-spe­cific fer­tiliser.

Watch for aphids feed­ing on ten­der new seedlings. Gen­er­ally birds and other preda­tors will make a meal of them but if the prob­lem gets out of hand, spray with a pes­ti­cide.

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