Plant colour for Christ­mas

Gardening Australia - - YOUR PLANNER -

Get mov­ing now if you want colour in your Christ­mas gar­den. Plant seedlings of marigold, tore­nia, zin­nia and nas­tur­tium. In cooler ar­eas, you can also put in petu­nia and del­phinium. Pot up por­ta­ble con­tain­ers you can move around for best ef­fect. Cal­i­bra­choas, such as Su­per­bells ‘Holy Moly!’ (above), are hard to beat for sus­tained flow­er­ing. They’re like small petu­nias but come in a wider range of colours, in­clud­ing yel­low and orange. Some have a trail­ing habit, mak­ing them ideal for un­der­plant­ing larger spec­i­mens in es­tab­lished con­tain­ers. (There’s more on grow­ing cal­i­bra­choa in next month’s is­sue.) Many old-fash­ioned, slightly ma­ligned plants are now avail­able in mod­ern ver­sions that make a great sum­mer show. Look for early-bloom­ing dwarf dahlias, mini sun­flow­ers and vi­brant can­nas. Even the hum­ble sweet potato (Ipo­moea batatas) is now avail­able in or­na­men­tal ver­sions with colour­ful leaves that look great trail­ing down the sides of a large pot.

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