in the garden
Create indoor interest with a few potted plants, such as phalaenopsis orchids, peace lilies, lucky bamboo and anthuriums. Nurseries report a swing back to many of these plants, which were popular in the 1970s.
crystals to potting mix as summer insurance for your potted plants. One handy trick is to use a pencil to push a vertical hole in the potting mix, then place a straw in the hole so the water crystals can easily be directed to where they will do the most good.
Plant a golden passionfruit
for a sweet alternative to the traditional form. One worth trying is Nellie Kelly grafted ‘Panama Gold.’ Grafted onto frost-resistant rootstock, it will grow as far south as Tasmania.
Check out the gorgeous
new hydrangeas starting to appear, such as the Magical Revolution varieties. These start out one colour and progress through a whole range of tones. Hydrangeas need morning sun and protection from hot afternoon sun.
Up the watering of plants with shallow roots, such as azalea, camellia and citrus trees, and apply a layer of mulch around their base.
Do a round-up of your spring flowers, collecting seed of your favourites for sowing next year. Poppies are always good candidates for seed collection.
Plant up pots and hanging baskets with lobelia, verbena, pelargonium and petunia.
Fertilise hedges and ensure they’re getting their share of water.
Treat camellias that have finished flowering to a shaping prune.
Give citrus trees a checkover for scale insects and, if present, hit with a few fortnightly sprayings of eco or white oil.
Water tomatoes deeply at least once or twice a week. If conditions are dry, or plants are in pots, you’ll need to do it more regularly.