Make a beeline for vibrant cal­en­du­las

Life & Style Weekend - - GARDEN - Angie Thomas is a hor­ti­cul­tur­ist at Yates. with Angie Thomas

SOME­TIMES called “pot marigolds”, cal­en­du­las are a won­der­fully hardy an­nual that can brighten the winter

gar­den. They have masses of vibrant flow­ers in shades of apri­cot, yel­low and orange which are a mag­net for bees.

Yates calendula pa­cific beauty grows to about 40-45cm tall and they love a full sun location in ei­ther gar­den beds or con­tain­ers. You can sow Yates calendula pa­cific beauty seeds through­out Aus­tralia dur­ing au­tumn, di­rectly where they are

to grow or started in trays.

Seeds take about two weeks to ger­mi­nate and the soil or

pot­ting mix should be kept moist while the seedlings es­tab­lish. Pro­tect seedlings from dam­ag­ing snails and slugs with a light sprin­kling of pel­lets and then feed the calendula plants ev­ery week with a liq­uid plant food for flow­ers. To pro­long

the dis­play re­move spent flow­ers reg­u­larly.

◗ GOURMET TIP: Har­vest calendula petals and scat­ter

them over sal­ads, soups and rice.

Banksias

MANY banksias will be­gin their spectacula­r flow­er­ing sea­son dur­ing May, send­ing their unusual flower spikes

sky­ward. Available in a mul­ti­tude of flower colours in shades of orange, yel­low and red, they are adored by birds and bees and pro­vide a won­der­ful source of pollen and nec­tar as we head into the cooler months. It is im­por­tant to feed banksias with a fer­tiliser that is

suit­able for Aus­tralian na­tive plants, which can be sen­si­tive to some plant foods. Ap­ply each spring and au­tumn.

PHOTO: THINKSTOCK

Cal­en­du­las pro­vide a winter gar­den with much colour.

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