in the gar­den

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Outdoor Inspiration -

I LIKE GAR­DEN­ING IT’S A PLACE WHERE I FIND MY­SELF WHEN I NEED TO LOSE MY­SELF ALICE SEBOLD

Bring out your gar­den’s spring glory with an all-over dose of fer­tiliser. Liq­uid fer­tilise vegie beds for quick re­sults, treat na­tives to blood and bone, and use spe­cific fer­tilis­ers for roses, camel­lias, aza­leas and or­chids. Most other plants will ap­pre­ci­ate a gen­eral com­plete fer­tiliser. For an early burst of colour, plant up containers with al­ready flow­er­ing pot­ted colour, like polyan­thus and cineraria. Wa­ter reg­u­larly and liq­uid-fer­tilise ev­ery two or three weeks. Treat le­mon trees to a spring pick-me-up with a dose of cit­rus fer­tiliser.

Prime hedges for fresh spring growth with a shap­ing trim. It’s also a good time to plant a new hedge. For tough con­di­tions, a good

hedg­ing plant is the In­dian hawthorn (Rhaphi­olepis sp.) that re­sists both salt-laden winds and ex­tremes of tem­per­a­ture.

Brighten up a deck or front en­trance with a fab­u­lously trop­i­cal-look man­dev­illa in a large pot. They like sun but need pro­tec­tion from dry­ing winds and frosts. Plant a few drifts of flow­er­ing plants through vegie beds to en­cour­age pol­li­nat­ing in­sects. Good con­tenders in­clude blue­flow­er­ing bor­age, laven­der, nas­tur­tium and cat­mint. Reg­u­larly check roses for signs of black spot and spray with rose fungi­cide fort­nightly if present. Black spot presents as ugly black (and some­times yel­low) splotches on leaves and grad­u­ally weak­ens a plant. Load up on gar­den in­spi­ra­tion by vis­it­ing a few of the many spring fes­ti­vals hap­pen­ing around the coun­try. Among the big­gest and best are Can­berra’s Flo­ri­ade, 15 Septem­ber to 14 Oc­to­ber (flo­ri­adeaus­tralia.com) and Toowoomba’s Car­ni­val of Flow­ers, 21-30 Septem­ber (tcof.com.au). Prune back pas­sion­fruit by about a third to en­cour­age new growth and fruit­ing.

Feed spring-flow­er­ing bulbs that have al­ready bloomed with a com­plete fer­tiliser, so they can build up nu­tri­ent re­serves for an equally stun­ning dis­play next spring.

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