The benefits of winter gardening
I love this time of year in my garden.
I know for most people spring is where the action is as everything starts growing and flowering at once.
In fact, I live in a part of Sydney where there’s an annual garden competition in spring. Which is a bit of a blow because if it was held now, I reckon I’d be in with a chance.
Through no fault — or effort — on our part, we are the custodians of a pair of incredibly hardy and beautiful poinsettias that have been growing in our front garden for decades. Their colour is so iridescent and flowers so plentiful that when someone new visits me at this time I just tell them to look out for the deep crimson flowers in the front garden.
To offset all that red, I planted a pair of plumbago shrubs a couple of years ago that are really starting to come into their own now. Although their strongest flowering season is in February and March, there’s still enough of their pale blue flowers to provide contrast.
The flowering bulbs in my lawn have also started to kick off, making the front yard quite a welcoming sight on a cold winter’s day.
Keen gardeners might have noticed that all the plants I’ve mentioned come with a special bonus — they’re virtually no maintenance. The plumbago is probably the most work out of the three because when it’s growing it can really take off. But it loves poor soil and direct sun so it requires little in the way of feeding or watering. At the moment, I can enjoy the jonquils and daffodils while they last, although they need to properly die off over spring. Essentially, I’m a lazy gardener. Perhaps that’s why garden competitions are held in spring when the growing season kicks off — there’s more effort involved to get everything into shape. No prizes for me then.