in the december garden
Beef up the perfume department of your garden with a pot or two of gardenia or murraya. Placed on a verandah or close to an entrance, these two sweet-scented beauties will bewitch anyone who comes close.
Check out the fabulously diverse
range of hibiscus, bougainvilleas and hydrangeas, which are now appearing in nurseries.
Add a touch of natural class
to your home with potted indoor plants. Rubber plants (Ficus elastica), aspidistras and Monstera deliciosa can be relied on for rich green beauty, while a fiddle leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) makes an ideal feature plant. Pot up garden containers with petunias and New Guinea impatiens for a good show of colour through to autumn.
Pinch out the growing tips
of tomato plants for bushiness, water regularly and fertilise once flowers and fruit appear.
Prune once-flowering spring roses
as soon as they have bloomed, to save yourself a job later in the year.
Start mulching beds with a good organic covering such as pea straw, sugar cane mulch or lucerne hay. If using woodchips, first apply a nitrogen-rich fertiliser to the soil.
Apply a wetting agent
to container plants.
Seek out a well-shaped conifer
to do duty inside as a Christmas tree. After the festivities are over, move it outside, taking care not to expose it suddenly to sweltering sun.
To stop mosquitoes
breeding in water in saucers under pot plants, fill the saucers with sand.
Don’t leave hoses
lying around under the hot summer sun when not in use. Like plants, they sometimes need some shade.
Clean gutters and remove debris
lying around outside, especially in bushfire-prone areas.