in the gar­den

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

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.

Add wa­ter-stor­ing

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.

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