Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - Front Page - WITH MANDI

IT is April and I’m sure the weather is go­ing to catch up with the cal­en­dar soon.

The cooler nights and morn­ings are cer­tainly very wel­come.

Un­for­tu­nately with the risk of re­peat­ing my­self - keep up the wa­ter­ing, we still need a lot more rain be­fore we can have a break from this job.

Au­tumn is the time to get into the gar­den for a good tidy up.

Leaves will be be­gin­ning to colour and fall from de­cid­u­ous trees and shrubs.

Rake them up and add them to your com­post heap or sim­ply put them onto the gar­den.

Trim any bro­ken or un­tidy branches from sum­mer flow­er­ing shrubs.

Don’t prune things back too hard un­til we get a re­prieve from the heat.

For some lovely au­tumn/win­ter colour in your gar­den plant pan­sies, pop­pies, stock, snap­dragon, prim­ula, polyan­thus and cal­en­dula.

These will all give you good show right through the cooler months.

Get­ting your seedlings in while the ground is still warm will en­sure you have a lovely dis­play.

If you wait un­til we have too much cold weather the seedlings take longer to get go­ing. Peren­nial salvias pro­vide fan­tas­tic au­tumn colour. They come in a wide va­ri­ety of sizes and colours. Many of them flower from late sum­mer into early win­ter so well worth hav­ing in your gar­den.

Sasan­qua camel­lias will be start­ing to come into flower now and will con­tinue to flower into the win­ter when the hy­brid and japon­ica camel­lias take over.

The sasan­qua tend to be avail­able in whites and pinks of all shades.

They will also tol­er­ate more heat than the japon­ica and hy­brid va­ri­eties.

As camel­lia are shal­low rooted (their roots are close to the sur­face) they need a good layer of mulch to keep their roots moist and cool.

It will soon be get­ting colder and wet (we hope) so en­joy the late blooms on your roses, the last of the pro­duce from sum­mer veg­eta­bles and fruit trees and look for­ward to the spec­tac­u­lar dis­play that au­tumn puts on for us.

Happy gar­den­ing.

BIG RED: Pop­pies are among the flow­ers you can plant now to pro­vide au­tumn colour.

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