Fruit in small spaces Dwarf tibouchinas Camellias Pink tabebuia Cool season vegies Callistemons Flowering aloes ISSUE 64
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Issue 64 AUTUMN2013
About this issue... Features
Fruit for the small backyard New-wave callistemon Dwarf tibouchinas are groovy, baby! Bounty for the cool season The pink tabebuia New Searles seeds Persimmon & walnut salad Growing the beautiful camellia sasanqua Fabulous flowering aloes
ATG Autumn 2013 Garden Diary ATG Autumn 2013 handy hints & tips Subscribe to About the Garden Autumn is the time for rejuvenation! It can be a better time than spring to plant most trees, shrubs and perennials, so what better excuse do you need to adopt a few more plants and make the most of the lovely weather? Happy reading and God bless...
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At night his song is with me—a prayer to the God in my life. — Psalm 42:8 • Managing Director: Conway Searle • Contributors: Noel Burdette, Frida Forsberg, Alana Searle, Ashley Searle & Chelsea Van Rijn • Magazine Manager: Alana Searle • Design & Layout: Frida Forsberg • ATG Group Co-ordinator & Advertising: Jason Searle • Front Cover Photography: Gaillardia ‘Fanfare Blaze’ by Plants Management Australia About the Garden is published seasonally by About the Garden Pty. Ltd. ABN 21 076 919 992 • 4914 D’Aguilar Highway, Kilcoy or P.O. Box 70, Kilcoy Qld. 4515 Phone: (07) 5422 3090 • Fax: (07) 5497 2287 • Email: email@example.com The material appearing in About the Garden is subject to copyright. Other than as permitted by the Copyright Act, no part of this magazine may be reproduced without the permission of the publishers. No responsibility is accepted by About the Garden Pty. Ltd. for the accuracy of information contained in the text, illustrations or advertisements. Although believed to be accurately and correctly sourced, thereof disclaims any liability against itself, editor/s or employees arising from any person acting on the material herein. The opinions expressed in the magazine, or by contributors, do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher. ©Copyright 2013 About the Garden Pty. Ltd.
s t he e v o L hea t e s th L ov e su n
Ripening ‘Brown Turkey’ figs
by Noel Burdette
Feijoa flowers are ed ible: they are sweet and taste like cinnamon!
Just because you have a small backyard, doesn’t mean you can’t grow some of the more delicious or exotic fruit. Extend your home-grown produce repertoire with some of these lesser-known or unusual fruits that are not only delicious and easy to grow, but can be grown in the smallest of courtyards or on a sunny balcony.
As each generation of new home owners inherits smaller block sizes, they face greater limitations in what they can grow in their gardens. Almost as if in defiance of this, backyard selfsufficiency — that is, growing edible and productive plants — is enjoying more popularity than ever before. Growing a fruit tree is often high on a new gardener’s agenda and fruit tree growers have responded to demand with an increasing number of new dwarf fruit tree cultivars. There are also many ‘old’ varieties of fruiting plants that are perfect for small spaces. A few of these are little-known, yet are so packed with flavour and make such wonderful additions to our outdoor living spaces that they deserve better recognition. tamarillo
The feijoa or pineapple guava, (Feijoa sellowiana), is one of the most underestimated fruiting plants in home gardens. This evergreen shrub grows up to three metres tall and makes a beautiful informal screen or manicured hedge. If allowed to grow to its full size, its lower branches can be removed to create a small shade tree. In early spring, bright, cherry-coloured flowers appear, followed in summer by green, egg-shaped fruit that are delicious either eaten raw or stewed. They prefer a well-drained site and are perfect for coastal areas due to their high salt and wind tolerance. The tamarillo (Cyphomandra betacea), also known as tree tomato, is an uncommon sight in backyards, yet is well worth the effort it may take to hunt one down. For those who enjoy the tropical look, the tamarillo provides large, lush foliage that will blend easily in any tropical-style setting. This plant also grows well in cooler conditions. The bright red (or sometimes golden), egg-shaped fruit appear in abundance inside the canopy. The fruit are easily harvested as tamarillos rarely exceed two-and-a-half to three metres in height. They enjoy a fertile soil with regular watering and are fast-growing during spring and summer. The tamarillo is a great choice for large tubs or pots. The fruit can be eaten raw and
is equally delicious when cooked into chutneys or preserves. Figs (Ficus carica) are a great fruiting tree for small spaces or for growing in large pots. These age-old fruits are well-suited to areas with intense summer heat and all they require is a welldrained site that does not become waterlogged. Figs fruit from an early age and can be grown successfully in all but the wettest of tropical regions. If you have limited space but have sunlight to spare, figs can be easily espaliered against fence lines or brick walls where they will fruit freely from early summer right through to autumn, depending on the cultivar. Blueberries (Vaccinium ashei) (syn V. virgatum) have gained popularity in recent times, partly because of their amazing health benefits. The small stature of this bush allows it to be grown successfully as a potted specimen. Try growing two or three blueberry bushes in a large pot and ensure that there are at least two cultivars as this will aid in cross-pollination. Blueberries enjoy a slightly acidic soil. In fact, their soil requirements are similar to azaleas and so, can be very successfully grown in Searles Azalea, Camellia & Gardenia Specialty Mix. Tip pruning blueberry bushes as they grow will encourage dense foliage growth and in turn, better
Feijoas fall off the tree when they are ripe.
for the small
flowering. Fine netting placed over the shrub while it’s in fruit can help protect the berries from birds. Blueberries are most readily available in spring, when their flowering and fruiting cycle begins.
When growing any fruiting plant in the garden, you may be dismayed to find others enjoying the fruits of your labour — I refer to common backyard marauders such as insects, birds and fruit bats. There are many ways to keep your produce safe: exclusion bags, very fine netting, organic, spinosad-based sprays, caterpillar sprays and Searles Fruit Fly Traps can all be very effective.
If you have a little extra space for a small feature tree or want to grow one amongst paving, consider planting a jaboticaba or a persimmon tree. Both these trees will grow to around four metres tall and will become a multitrunked feature. They are both quite tolerant of heavier, clay-based soils. Outside of its native Brazil, the jaboticaba (Myrciaria cauliflora) is better suited to warmer climates where humidity is high during spring and summer. Here, it is not uncommon for this tree to have two fruiting periods in a year. Masses of grape-sized, shiny black fruit are produced directly on the trunk and branches of this undemanding small tree, which also seems to be unaffected by fruit fly. Their flavour is reminiscent of passionfruit mixed with banana and mango with the texture of a lychee, so they are a real treat for the tropical fruit buff.
You will need...
the gardening radar on many levels and deserves to be more commonly grown. This small-growing, lax shrub is a member of the tomato family, yet the fruit is sweet and has the remarkable flavour of rockmelon and honeydew melon rolled into one. Depending in the climate, pepino can produce fruit from late spring until late autumn and can live for many years. Fruit can be eaten straight off the vine or added to salads. The bushes require staking as the fruit are quite heavy and can weigh down the plant. Pepinos can be grown as a ground cover or in pots or tight spaces where they can be supported by a fence or trellis. They enjoy a rich, well drained soil in full sun or light shade and suit subtropical to temperate climates. Protect them from heavy frost.
The persimmon (Diospyros kaki) hails from China. It grows equally well in subtropical to cold temperate regions and is frost hardy. The smooth, bright orange fruit form from late spring to early summer. The fruit becomes ripe in autumn, at which stage the foliage also turns delightful shades of fiery orange, red and gold in preparation for its winter dormancy. Be sure to obtain only grafted specimens as older, seedgrown cultivars require at least two trees to bear fruit and the fruit can be very astringent when not perfectly ripe. The fruit from the older forms needs to be soft like jelly before it can be consumed, while the new, non-astringent cultivars are self-pollinating and can be eaten while still firm like an apple or pear. On a smaller scale, the pepino (Solanum muricatum) has gone under
All fruiting plants need good nutrition to support the formation of flowers and fruit. A fortnightly feed with SeaMax® Fish & Kelp throughout the growing season can deliver a bountiful crop. Good pollination is also essential to good fruit formation so even if space is limited, plant at least one or two flowering annuals or perennials nearby to attract pollinating insects to your fruiting plants. This simple strategy can dramatically increase successful pollination from honey bees, native stingless bees and butterflies. A lack of space does not mean you cannot have a productive garden. In fact, it can bring out the creative gardener in you! With a little imagination and clever plant selection, the entire family will be enjoying healthy, home grown fruit — at a fraction of what it can cost from the grocery store!
New wave callistemon Callistemon ‘Candy Pink’
Incredibly hardy and adaptable, ‘Candy Pink’ is a medium-sized bush (about 4m tall and 2m wide) with beautiful, dark pink flowers on large spikes, virtually all year round. Its ability to flower in any season will make it a winner. Give it a light pruning after each flush of flowers to keep them coming!
Callistemon ‘Great Balls of Fire’
For superb foliage colour, plant Callistemon ‘Great Balls of Fire’. This compact callistemon (1m x 1m) loves full sun and is tough enough for public landscaping, roadside verges and commercial planting. Grown for its cerise-red new growth and naturally dense, compact habit, plant it 50cm apart for a hedge with a difference! Pruning will create a dense, formal look — and keep the colourful new growth coming!
Callistemon ‘Ted Knight’
One of the few true white-flowering callistemons for home gardens, Ted Knight has upright growth (up to 3m tall and 1.5m wide) and flowers through the warmer times of the year in spring, summer and autumn. Great as a feature screen or a formal hedge, it has good frost tolerance.
Feeding & watering:
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Callistemon care Callistemons (also known as bottle brush) grow and flower best in full sun but most will also grow in part shade. Possibly one of the hardiest of all Australian native plants, they can grow well in most soils including heavy clay. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re an excellent option where the soil is too heavy to grow other flowering natives such as banksias or grevilleas. Callistemons can even tolerate boggy conditions or inundation. Droughthardy once established, they may need occasional watering during extended hot or dry periods or if grown in sandy soils. Callistemons
can be grown in almost any Australian climate from the tropics to cool temperate regions. Most have good tolerance of frost and seaside conditions, but not salt. The main flowering season of callistemons is spring, but many varieties will flower again in autumn or spot-flower throughout the year. Apply a low phosphorus, controlled release plant food like Searles Robust Native twice a year in early spring and early autumn for best flowering. Callistemons will attract native parrots, honeyeaters and beneficial insects when in flower.
Firey Â flowers & Â foliage
Easy-care Â hedging
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Protect herbs, vegetables, trees and shrubs from possums, kangaroos, wallabies, rabbits, hares, bandicoots, deer, foxes and other wildlife. Protect vegetables, fruit trees, ornamentals, seedlings and buildings from cockatoos, crows, ducks, pigeons, rosellas, starlings, swallows, other birds & bats. Protects homes, gardens, patios, shop fronts and paved areas from both dogs and cats or rats and mice.
Protect one plant or a whole area â&#x20AC;&#x201D; perimeter &/or band sprays. Repels â&#x20AC;&#x201D; without harming animals or humans. Not considered a poison â&#x20AC;&#x201D; no withholding period. Easy to use â&#x20AC;&#x201D; spray on. Effective when dry. Safe, Proven and Effective.
Callistemon â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;All Aglowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;
This new release callistemon is a real standout for its clusters of luminous pink flower heads and flushes of bright pink new growth. Great for low to medium hedging, it takes well to pruning which can encourage flushes of new growth and flowers.
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Tibouchina ‘Groovy Baby’
Dwarf tibouchinas are
by Alana Searle
No plant signals the end of a searing hot summer with a more brilliant hue of purple than the tibouchina! New dwarf varieties like Tibouchina ‘Groovy Baby’ from the Fantasy range are taking Australian home gardens by storm this year, filling small gardens, courtyards and sunny balconies with lush, shimmering shades of purple and mauve! Originally known as lasiandras, tibouchinas originated in Brazil where they grew as large trees around six metres tall. Gardens of yesteryear shone with the vibrant, satiny blooms of the tree-like tibouchina ‘Alstonville’ and pinkflowering ‘Kathleen’ throughout the autumn months. Later, intensive breeding programs resulted in dwarf cultivars like ‘Jazzie’ and ‘Jules’, whose less assuming, shrub-like stature gave them centre stage. This autumn, Tibouchina ‘Groovy Baby’ — the smallest tibouchina cultivar to date — is stealing the hearts of gardeners around the country...
Groovy, baby! Very hardy and easy to grow, Tibouchina ‘Groovy Baby’ is the most compact tibouchina currently available. Growing only about 60cm tall with an 80cm spread, it’s perfect for filling small spaces in either full sun or part shade. Although it spot-flowers throughout the warmer times of year, its main flowering period is in autumn, and then again in spring. Although the bush is compact, its large, vibrant-coloured blooms can rival those of any tibouchina. Because tibouchinas originate from the subtropics, traditional varieties could be quite sensitive to cold and frost. New cultivars like Groovy Baby can be grown reliably in cooler zones like Melbourne and Hobart and the white flowering variety, ‘Peace Baby’ is especially frost tolerant.
Tibouchina ‘Peace Baby’
Tibouchinas prefer a sunny position for best flowering but can also do well in part shade. They like shelter
from wind and hot afternoon sun, especially when young.
Tibouchinas like a rich, moist and well-drained soil. When planting, dig in plenty of Searles Azalea, Camellia & Gardenia Specialty Mix. Build the soil up in mounds to improve drainage if your soil is heavy clay or if drainage is a problem. Once planted, water regularly until established, after which time they can usually survive on rainfall alone. For best results, tibouchinas will benefit from a good soaking during prolonged dry periods.
What you may need...
Tibouchina ‘Groovy Baby’ bears the traditional large, vibrant purple flowers on a compact bush. It stands only 60cm tall with an 80cm spread. It has good tolerance of cold, dry conditions and frosty conditions once established.
Tibouchina ‘Illusion’ flowers open white and mauve and mature to pink.
Tibouchina ‘Allure’ makes an impact with profuse, lilac flowers on a neat, domeshaped bush, growing 1m high with a 2m spread. Protect it from heavy frosts.
New, compact tibouchinas like Groovy Baby can grow well in large pots or containers. Use a high quality potting mix like Searles Peat 80 Potting Mix, mulch well and keep them well-watered.
Tibouchina ‘Illusion’ grows 2.5m high and wide. It bears flowers that open white with a pink-blush margin and mature to deep pink, displaying both pink and white flowers on the bush at once. Great for screening, protect it from heavy frosts.
To promote better flowering, give your tibouchinas a light pruning after flowering at the end of autumn and a feed with Searles Azalea, Camellia & Gardenia Plant Food. Dwarf tibouchina cultivars don’t need pruning unless desired.
Tibouchina ‘Peace Baby’ bears pure white flowers with pink stamens. Growing only about 60cm tall with an 80cm spread, it can grow reliably in cold climates and has excellent frost tolerance.
Tibouchina ‘Imagine’ grows to a neat and compact shrub (1.5m x 1.5m) and bears striking, purple flowers with a white eye. Protect it from heavy frosts.
Tibouchina ‘Allure’ has a low, slightly spreading habit.
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y t n Bou for the
Poor soil? Bad drainage? Custom-made raised garden beds can be the perfect solution.
For a long harvest throughout the cooler months, it pays to prepare your soil and get your crop in early. Here’s how to grow some of your favourite cool-season crops with the minimum of fuss...
often be extended by planting a few varieties that mature at different times or by planting more plants at staggered intervals.
Preparing the soil
Most vegetables need full sun, so select a site with at least 6 hours of sun a day. Good drainage is essential, so build up garden beds if the soil is heavy clay. Dig the soil to a depth of at least 30cm with
For delicious vegetables...
plenty of 5IN1™ Organic Plant Food or Searles Real Compost. Most vegetables prefer a neutral or slightly alkaline soil, so sweeten acidic soils with Searles Garden Lime. Sprinkle Searles Penetraide ReWetting Granules or dig in Searles Water Crystals. Water well, mulch and ideally, leave to stand for two weeks before planting.
Always plant at the depth and spacing recommended on the packet or punnet. Harvest can
Keep your vegetables moist and well-mulched. It’s far easier to be diligent and pull out weeds as soon as you see them; your vegetables will eventually shade them out.
Pest and disease control
Well-nourished plants are usually free of pests and diseases and small outbreaks should be flicked or hosed off. Control heavy infestations of caterpillar and aphids with Searles Bug Beater.
Broccoli loves the cold weather. It needs good drainage and plenty of sunlight, although late maturing varieties may prefer some shade to protect them from sudden heat in late spring. If planting seed, draw a drill and plant 6mm deep, about 50cm apart in groups of 3. Thin out the two weakest seedlings later. Each seedling should have a central bud or growing tip — discard any without. Harvest when the heads are still green and compact (they’re too old once they turn yellow with flowers starting to open). To harvest, cut off the head along with about 10cm of stalk and a few leaves. Two smaller, but more tender heads will grow in its place.
Onions tolerate poor soils and dislike fresh fertiliser. Good drainage is essential — raised beds in an open, airy position can be ideal. Larger varieties need full sun and can tolerate wind. Small varieties can be grown in pots and can tolerate part shade. Plant seed to the depth recommended on the packet and tamp the soil down gently around them. Thin the seedlings if there is more than one in each hole. Don’t cover maturing onions with soil if they break through the surface — this may rot them. Maintain even moisture levels but don’t overwater. Stop watering when leaves start to yellow and harvest when leaves become limp and brown. Dig them up and leave them to dry out in the sun. Onions can be stored for a long time in a dry, well-ventilated position.
Snow pea Snow peas need a trellis erected at the time of planting (unless there is an existing structure that they can climb onto). When growing from seed, water at planting time but don’t water again until seedlings emerge. Like other legumes, they will create their own food (nitrogen), so add compost to improve the soil structure if you like, but go easy on the fertilliser. Once they start bearing pods, the more you harvest, the more they will produce.
If you’re short of space, this project is easy, cheap and makes a beautiful feature. 1. Find an old, softwood pallet*. With the back of a hammer, pull out the planks from the front of the pallet. 2. Lying the pallet on the ground facing down, cover the back with landscaping hessian, pulling it taut. Staple it in place. 3. Lying the pallet with the front facing up, fill the pallet with Searles Peat 80 Plus. Pack it in, firmly. 4. Wrap the rest of the pallet firmly in hessian and staple it in place.
Cabbage Unlike most vegetables, cabbages prefer a slightly acidic and somewhat heavy (clay) soil. Alkaline soil can be balanced by adding organic compost. Cabbages are greedy feeders so feed them every fortnight with SeaMax® Fish & Kelp throughout the growing season. Cabbage can be planted as seed or seedlings; refer to the label for depth and spacing requirements and water immediately after planting. Harvest when their heads feel hard. To harvest, dig up the whole plant, sever the stalk with a sharp knife and remove any outer leaves before storing in the fridge. Compact cabbage varieties can be grown in pots of Searles Herb & Vegetable Specialty Mix.
5. Replace the planks from the front of the pallet. Nail them closer together than they were originally to help hold the potting mix in place. 6. Poke small holes through the hessian to plant the plants into the mix. Water thoroughly. 7. Leave the pallet lying on the ground for 1–2 weeks while plants begin the establish. Water regularly. 8. Erect the pallet against a sunny wall (it must have at least 6 hours of direct sun every day). Water every few days and feed with SeaMax® Fish & Kelp, fortnightly, from the top and sides of the pallet.
*If growing edible crops, avoid pallets made from timber that has been fumigated with pesticides.
AUTUMN2013 R egional G arden D iary
Banksia ‘Allyn Gold’ (Banksia spinulosa var cunninghamii) is a small native shrub, about 2 metres tall. Its distinctive, banksia flowers appear from autumn to spring and provide food for native birds and insects through the cooler months. Adaptable to most well-drained soils, it tolerates frost and coastal conditions. Water during prolonged dry periods and feed with Searles Robust Native. Prune in spring for bushy, compact growth.
South-east Qld & Northern NSW Subtropical areas
North Queensland W et & D ry T ropics F lowers
Sow ageratum, aster, balsam, carnation, celosia, chrysanthemum, cockscomb, coleus, cosmos, dahlia, dianthus, everlasting daisy, gaillardia, gazania, geranium, gerbera, impatiens, kangaroo paw, African marigold, French marigold, nasturtium, petunia, portulaca, rudbeckia, salvia, snapdragon, sunflower, torenia, verbena, wallflower and zinnia.
REGIONAL ZONES Tropical Subtropical Temperate Cold Mediterranean Arid
Plant basil, coriander, garlic, garlic chives, marjoram, oregano, parsley, thyme and winter tarragon.
M ore ad v ice...
Prepare garden beds around Easter for planting flowers and vegetables. Fertilise regularly and mulch well. Fer
Plant chervil, chicory, coriander, fennel, garlic bulbs, lavender, marjoram, oregano, parsley, rocket, sage, sorrel, rosemary, thyme, winter tarragon and yarrow.
F ruit & v egetables
Plant broad beans, broccoli, lettuce, onion, peas, radish, shallots, spinach, spring onion and turnip.
F ruit & v egetables
Sow beans, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, capsicum, carrot, cauliflower, celery, Chinese cabbage, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, melons, mustard, okra, onion, parsnip, potato, pumpkin, radish, rosella, silver beet, squash, sweet corn, sweet potato, tomato and zucchini.
Sow ageratum, alyssum, candytuft, carnation, cineraria, coreopsis, cornflower, cyclamen, delphinium, dianthus, everlasting daisy, Iceland poppy, impatiens, marigold (English), pansy, snapdragon, sweet pea and viola.
M ore ad v ice...
Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ is a compact, small shrub (50cm tall and wide) whose variegated foliage is stunning in pots. Flowers are borne from late winter into spring. Extremely tolerant of heat, drought and coastal conditions, give it full sun and a welldrained soil. Foliage takes on pink-red colour through the cooler months.
Camellia season is upon us again. If there were varieties you were after last season and couldn’t find them, your local nursery may order them in if you ask for them, now. If your azaleas have petal blight, remove affected blooms and spray with Searles Mancozeb Plus. Later in the season, prepare garden beds for roses by mixing in 5IN1™ Organic Plant Food.
Adelaide & Perth
M editerranean C li m ates
T e m perate areas
Plant ageratum, alyssum, cineraria, cyclamen, forget-me-not, French marigold, Iceland poppy, lobelia, lupin, pansy, phlox, primula, stock and wallflower. Trim spent roses with long stems. Deadhead flowering annuals to keep them flowering.
Plant chives, coriander, marjoram, oregano, mustard and parsley.
Plant alyssum, calendula, candytuft, carnation, cineraria, cornflower, cosmos, daisy, foxglove, lobelia, nasturtium, nemesia, pansy, poppy, primula, schizanthus, snapdragon, sweet pea and viola. Plant coriander, garlic bulbs, marjoram, oregano, parsley, thyme and winter tarragon.
F ruit & v egetables
Plant broad beans, English spinach, green beans and peas.
M ore ad v ice...
Remove spent summer annuals. Prolong flowering on remaining annuals by dead-heading and applying Searles Flourish Soluble Plant Food every fortnight. Broccoli should be ready to start harvesting. Grow English spinach fast with regular watering and a fortnightly application of SeaMax® Fish & Kelp. Mulch to suppress cool climate weeds which will be starting to emerge now.
Th e o f fi cial plan t o f Can b e rra’s Ce n t e n ary, Aust ralian n ativ e Correa ‘Canberra Bells’ is h ar d y in b o t h fr ost y an d d ry co n ditio ns. Wit h a sp r ead o f 1 m x 1 m , t his lit tle b eau t y is lo n g fl o w e rin g t h r o u g h au t u m n in f ull su n o r p ar t sh ad e. Ke e p soil m oist w hile in fl o w e r f o r b est displays.
Melbourne C old & Souther n T ableland
Plant alyssum, aurora daisy, cineraria, cornflower, cyclamen, English daisy, French marigold, Iceland poppy, lobelia, lupin, pansy, polyanthus, primula, snapdragon, stock, strawflower, sweet pea and viola.
Plant chives, coriander, garlic, lemongrass, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, shallots, tarragon and thyme.
F ruit and v egetables
Plant broad bean, beetroot, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, Chinese broccoli, Chinese cabbage, English spinach, leek, lettuce, onion, parsnip, potatoes, silver beet, swede and turnip.
M ore ad v ice...
Euphorbia ‘Diam ond Frost’ is a t rie d an d t r u e fav o u rit e f o r its clo u ds o f w hit e flo w e rs y ear-r o u n d an d its t o u g h-as-n ails r esp o nse t o h eat, d r o u g h t an d co ast al co n ditio ns. Plan t it in f ull su n o r p ar t sh ad e in a fr e ed rainin g soil.
F ruit and v egetables
Plant citrus, avocado and olive trees by the end of March. Sow broccoli, cabbage, broad beans, cauliflower, celery, English spinach, silver beet, lettuce and peas.
Fertilise fruit trees. Dig over and revitalise the summer vegie patch with 5IN1™ Organic Plant Food Pellets. Buy maples (which are in autumn colour, now). Harvest remaining chilli or capsicum fruit before the onset of frost. Plant spring-flowering bulbs by the end of April. Plant all citrus including mandarines, lemons, limes, oranges and kumquats. Plant avocado, persimmon, loquat, olive and feijoa trees.
Giv e roses a f e e d w it h SeaMax® Fish & Kelp t o h elp t h e m r eco v e r fr o m t h e o nslau g h t o f su m m e r h eat.
A rid or O utbac k areas F lowers
Sow chrysanthemum, cockscomb, cosmos, dahlia, everlasting daisy, gazania, geranium, gerbera, impatiens, kangaroo paw, marigold, nasturtium, petunia, portulaca, rudbeckia, salvia, snapdragon, sunflower, torenia, verbena, wallflower and zinnia.
Plant chervil, chives, chicory, coriander, dill, fennel, garlic bulbs, lavender, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, sage, sorrel, rosemary, thyme, winter tarragon and yarrow.
F ruit and v egetables
Plant broad beans, broccoli, Brussels sprout, cauliflower, lettuce, onion, peas, radish, shallot, spinach, ach, spring onion, tomato and turnip..
Dianella ‘Kentlyn’ is a fast-growing native grass with a slim, upright habit (about 60cm tall). Tough and droughthardy in containers or in landscapes, give it full sun or part shade.
Feed your whole garden with 5IN1™ Organic Plant Food — Pellets. Sprinkle them over your entire garden including lawns, potted plants and garden beds and water it in well.
Tropical Subtropical Temperate Cool Mediterranean Arid
AUTUMN2013 Hints & T ips
‘Sunset Jane’ is a new, non-invasive gazania which bears large, fully double, honey-coloured blooms from autumn until spring. Unlike other gazanias, Sunset Jane stays open in low light conditions. Perfect for easy-care garden beds or borders, it tolerates frost, heat and coastal conditions. Give it full sun or part shade.
New Guinea Impatiens ‘Jungle Jewel’
For crisp, shim mering colour in shady areas, gro w Ne w Guinea im patiens. Keep them m oist and feed f ortnightly with SeaMax® Fish & Kelp f or outstanding results.
F o r lo n g-lastin g, vib ran t colo u r in f ull su n o r p ar t sh ad e, g r o w Salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish’. Flo w e rin g t h r o u g h o u t t h e w ar m e r m o n t hs, it p r e f e rs a w ell-d rain e d, f e r tile soil b u t w ill g r o w w ell in m ost soils. Gr o w in g ab o u t 80c m hig h an d w id e, p r u n e it d o w n t o o n e-t hir d af t e r fl o w e rin g t o p r o m o t e a d e nse, b ush y h abit an d f u r t h e r fl o w e rin g. Lo w m ain t e n an ce o n ce est ablish e d, plan t i in d rif ts f o r m axi m u m i m p act. Also g r eat f o r g r o w in g in it co n t ain e rs. F e e d w it h Searles Robust in sp rin g. 14
‘Pablo’ and ‘Pixie’ love their office environment.
Office Mates™ is a range of indoor plants which make plants in the home or office environment easy and fun. You can even become a Facebook friend with other Office Mates enthusiasts. Their designer selfwatering pots will add style to any interior.
Dianthus ‘Waterloo Sunset’
No space for a tree fern? Blechnum ‘Silver Lady’ is an elegant fern with bright green, arching fronds up to a metre high. A slender trunk forms over time. Give it a rich, well-drained soil in full shade or part shade. SeaMax® Fish & Kelp during the growing season can speed growth. A great indoor plant.
Princess Lily ‘Camilla’
New Dianthus ‘Waterloo Sunset’ is a delightfully fragrant, compact and exceptionally long-flowering dianthus, perfect for cut flowers, containers, rockeries or small spaces. Give it full sun or part shade, remove dead flowers and water during prolonged dry periods. Feed twice a year with Searles Robust.
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Alyogyne ‘Delightfully Double’
Princess lilies are tough and flower for up to nine months of the year. They have good drought tolerance and are perfect in pots. Their neat, mounded shape (40cmW x 30cmH) makes them attractive even when not in flower. Give them a sunny or part shade position. They tolerate light frost.
For an explosion of fiery-coloured flowers from spring until late autumn, plant Gaillardia ‘Fanfare Blaze’ in pots, borders or garden beds. This frost and drought tolerant, compact bush grows about 30cm tall and 1m wide. Related to the sunflower, its large flowers are uniquely pinwheel-shaped. Give it full sun.
Autu m n brings a range o f orchids into flo w er, so look f or vandas, cattleyas, oncidiu ms, dendrobiu ms, phalenopsis and paphiopedilu ms at your local garden centre.
‘Delightfully Double’ is the first native hibiscus (alyogyne) with double flowers. Growing only 1.8m tall and wide, the bush is compact, yet fast-growing with masses of flowers from early summer to late autumn. Low maintenance and tolerant of drought, heat and humidity, it grows well in most well-drained soils. Feed with Searles Robust Native e controlled release plant food.
Acacia ‘Limelight’ is a compact native shrub (60cm–1m tall) with outstanding lime green, pendulous foliage all year round. Dry tolerant and hardy, it will grow in full sun or part shade in most welldrained soils or pots. Feed with Searles Robust Native. Tolerates light frosts. Also look for the grafted version (right) for more formal applications.
Chinese lanterns (abutilon) flower from autumn until late spring. Plant them in full sun or part shade. Usually growing between 1m and 2m tall with a similar spread, abutilion also grows easily from cuttings. Baby’s Tears
SeaMax Fish & Kelp helps reduce plant stress at planting time. Mix it in a watering can at half the recommended rate and apply it to newly planted plants to help them settle in. Acacia ‘Limelight’ is perfect for low hedging.
AUTUMN2013 Hints & T ips Gauras are hardy, droughttolerant, yet ever so pretty! Their dainty pink flowers that dance in the breeze appear for most of the year. Perfect for pots or sunny garden beds.
...continued from page 14
C Cacti i are easy-care and come in some of the most adorable colours and forms. While they need little water, they can’t survive on none; so give them about a dessert-spoon full of water once a week.
‘Baby’s Tears’ is a moss-like, trailing plant with tiny, kidney-shaped leaves. Don’t forget to water — It needs to be kept constantly moist so could suit a damp, shady area. A dry or sunny situation will quickly kill it but it can grow fast in ideal conditions. Growing it in pots can ensure it doesn’t become invasive.
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Goodenia ‘Gold Cover’
Goodenia is a native ground cover that’s great for weed suppression in hot, harsh conditions. With a 1.5m spread, it also cascades beautifully over retaining walls, pots or hanging baskets. Golden yellow flowers are borne over the warmer months of the year. Plant it in full sun. Tolerates drought and light frost.
Dr o u g h t-t ole ran t Begonia ‘Forever Autumn’ b ears w ar m , au t u m n al-colo u r e d f oliag e all y ear w it h a fl ush o f pin k fl o w e rs in sp rin g. Plan t it in f ull sh ad e o r d ap ple d su nlig h t an d p r o t ect it fr o m fr ost. A g r eat in d o o r plan t.
Bromeliads are great for colour in shady areas, they’re low maintenance and will bring a touch of the tropics to even cool climate gardens. Keep the ‘jar’ in the centre of the plant full of water and feed with a half-strength dose of SeaMax® Fish & Kelp once a year for best results.
Potted fruit trees look delightful when underplanted with flowering winter annuals like pansies and violas. The extra colour makes stone fruit blossoms or ripening citrus especially pretty. This is a hungry arrangement however, so feed fortnightly with Searles Flourish Soluble Plant Food to keep nutrients up.
If p o t plan ts ar e lo o kin g a lit tle rag g e d af t e r su m m e r, sp rin kle Searles Recharge o n t o t h e p o t tin g m ix an d w at e r it in w ell. This w ill r evit alise plan ts w it h esse n tial n u t rie n ts an d h elp tir e d old p o t tin g m ixes t o o n ce ag ain abso r b an d r e t ain m oist u r e.
Cleome ‘Senorita Rosalita ’ covered in morning dew
Cleome ‘Senorita Rosalita’ will put on a spectacular display of lavender pink flowers almost all year round and is very easy to grow. Hardy in heat, drought and frost, this attractive, mounding bush (60cm–120cm tall) is actually a sterile annual. Plant it in full sun.
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by Frida Forsberg
Pink The pink tabebuia
(pronounced tab-eh-boo-ya) is a spectacular flowering tree which bursts into candy pink blooms in late autumn, winter or early spring (depending on climate and species) and makes a stunning shade tree in small urban gardens. Also known as the pink trumpet tree, it is perfect in hot, dry climates, is drought tolerant and defies hard, dry or poor soils. It is a popular street tree in Brisbane and will grow in almost any Australian climate â&#x20AC;&#x201D; even dry, inland areas â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but may take longer to establish in very cold or frosty climates. Its showstopping floral displays and hardiness has made it popular in home gardens all around Australia. Even when not in flower, the tabebuiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s light grey bark and smooth, dark green leaves which spread to an attractive, domed canopy make it a highly desirable tree for any home garden. Native to Central and South America, tabebuias are well-suited to the tropics and subtropics and can handle any amount of rain and humidity through the summer. They y donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need daily, tropicalsty style deluges to flourish, but d during a prolong drought or
when summers are hot and dry, a deep soaking every two weeks â&#x20AC;&#x201D; especially when young â&#x20AC;&#x201D; will keep them in top condition.
Tabebuia is a genus comprising more than one hundred species (although only about seven of these are available in Australia) and includes varieties with white, lavender pink and vibrant, golden yellow flowers. Few look as stunning, whether in flower or not, as the pink-flowering variety. In the tropics, the tabebuia usually flowers in winter. In the subtropics, it typically flowers in late winter or early spring, but is also known to flower in autumn and spot flower through the warmer months. After the treeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dormancy period, flowers burst into bloom over the bare branches. Once the floral display has subsided, the foliage begins to grow. The pink tabebuia is semi-deciduous and will lose its leaves as the tropical dry season (winter) approaches. Allow it to survive on natural rainfall in winter. The less water it gets during the winter, the more spectacular its spring floral display will be. Because tabebuias are deciduous, they allow warming sunlight through in winter, yet create shade in summer. The pink tabebuia is easy to grow and is affected by few pests and diseases.
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The pink tabebuia will grow happily in any soil that is well-drained. 1. Select a sunny site where it will have space to spread out its branches in the coming years.*
2. Dig a hole twice as wide as the pot and enrich the soil from the hole with plenty of Searles Real Compost or 5IN1â&#x201E;˘ Organic Plant Food. 3. Fill the hole with water and let it drain away. (If the water takes more than 20 minutes to drain, drainage is probably insufficient. In such cases, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s preferable to build up garden beds of enriched garden soil or Searles Garden Soil Mix and plant into the raised beds.) 4. Place the young tree in the hole, backfill with the enriched soil and press it down, gently. The soil level on the tree should sit at the same level as it did in the pot. 5. Water the plant thoroughly and apply a thick layer of Searles Mulch Plus. 6. Water every day for the first week and then every few days for the next couple of weeks. Continue to keep it moist while it is establishing and you will probably find that it grows fast. Feed it with Searles Robust in spring and again in summer. * It is recommended that trees be planted no less than three metres from buildings, footpaths or underground drain pipes.
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Black Mustard is easy to grow. The greens are edible, the flowers attractive. Whole seeds can be used for cooking, pickling and salads.
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This variety is grown for its delicate, peppery flavour. The young shoots are crisp and spicy. Add them to sandwiches or salads for an extra zing.
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With incredibly sweet leaves, this is a herbal alternative to sugar. Bushy, high-yielding plants â&#x20AC;&#x201D; use the leaves fresh or dried. Also known as Chinese broccoli, Kailaan has thick, succulent stems which are ideal for cooking.
Erigeron: Seaside Daisy
Seaside daisies have a low, spreading habit. Flowers mature from white to pink and are suitable for gardens, baskets and planters.
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These baby gourmet carrots can be harvested early. They have a deep orange colour, cylindrical, blunt roots with a small core and smooth skin.
Kailaan: Chinese Broccoli
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Place mixed garden salad leaves, persimmons and walnuts into a serving bowl. In a separate bowl, mix vinegar, orange and sugar. Pour vinegar dressing, to taste, over the salad and gently mix through. Garnish with sesame seeds.
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 2 tablespoons crushed orange pinch of sugar toasted sesame seeds mixed garden salad leaves (can use baby spinach, cos lettuce, rocket, etc) â&#x20AC;˘ 3 firm persimmons, peeled and sliced into wedges â&#x20AC;˘ 1/2 cup walnuts
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Paradise ‘Jennifer Susan’
Growing the beautiful
Camellia sasanqua Paradise ‘Exquisite’
Autumn is a glorious time of year because one of my favourite plants starts to flower — the camellia. These pretty shrubs are easy to grow and will reward you year after year with their elegant form and lovely flowers. Don Burke said it best way back in 2002 ‘Camellias are amongst the world’s best flowering plants. They are hardy and disease resistant, most varieties have attractive, glossy green foliage, and they put on their fabulous flower display in the cooler months of the year when the rest of the garden often looks dull and bare’. Originally from China, camellias have taken well to their Australian home. I have four favourite types of camellias — sasanquas, japonicas, reticulatas and hybrids.
Chelsea Van Rijn
Sasanquas though, are my special love in the autumn garden. They seem to burst into life, brightening up sun and shade spots alike with their elegant, sometimes fragrant blooms. Of course these plants are handsome at other times of the year with their deep green, glossy leaves and graceful habit. Sasanquas are a versatile shrub with a variety of uses. They are great as a hedge, look fantastic espaliered against a fence, are perfect as a statement in a pot or garden bed and can even be used as bonsai. Camellia sasanqua flowers in abundance from March through to August (depending on the variety) with
much of the shrub being covered with their striking, coloured flowers. Sasanqua flowers are mostly singles or semi-doubles and range in colour from white through to deep pinks and reds. All the flowers have brilliant yellow stamens that Australian native bees find delicious! Some sasanquas even have a gentle fragrance. To promote a profusion of flowers and good growth, fertilising with Searles Azalea, Camellia & Gardenia Plant Food should be done at least twice a year, in spring before
Preparing the soil
Camellias need excellent drainage, so if your soil is heavy clay, build up the soil in mounds with Searles Azalea, Camellia & Gardenia Specialty Mix rather than digging down into existing soil. Always mulch well after planting and reapply mulch once or twice every year.
To grow lovely camellias... ‘Yuletide’
Camellias are excellent for growing in pots. Use pots at least 40cm wide and fill with Searles Azalea, Camellia & Gardenia Specialty Mix. bud formation begins and again, just after flowering. Sasanquas have a distinct advantage over other camellias — they tolerate both full sun and partial shade. These are the perfect plant for your south facing garden or patio. As long as they are planted into good quality potting mix or garden soil and are mulched correctly, sasanquas are one of the most robust, drought tolerant plants around. Camellias can be slow growing in tropical and
The right pH
subtropical areas. This can make them an excellent hedge; with little effort they can easily be trained to grow thick and neat — and they really only need to be pruned once a year, after flowering. There are over 1000 named varieties of Camellia sasanqua, so this diverse group of flowering shrubs should fulfil a range of needs and colour schemes in everyone’s garden. Give your shady or sunny garden spots some TLC this weekend with the hardy Camellia sasanqua. TIP: Mulching is highly recommended when growing camellias as a good mulch will help stop the soil from drying out, it will keep the roots cool in summer and will eventually break down to improve the structure of the soil. Lucerne, sugar cane mulch and Searles Mulch Plus are all excellent mulches. Water well before mulching and lay mulch up to 12cm thick, keeping clear of the stem.
Camellias are famous for being ‘acid-loving’ plants, which means they dislike soils with a pH higher than 7. In most parts of Australia, soils tend to be naturally acidic which means correcting the soil is not usually necessary. (Exceptions would be gardens in Adelaide or Perth, which have naturally alkaline soils. In these regions, it can be simplest to grow camellias in pots.) Using Searles Flourish Azalea, Camellia & Gardenia at the recommended rate will help maintain the ideal level of soil acidity for camellias, as well as providing all the nutrients needed for excellent growth, vigour and flowering.
The red and white flowering ‘Capricorn’ and orange flowering ‘Eager Beaver’ make a stunning flowering duo in early winter.
New hybrid flowering aloes bear spectacular, long-lived flowers between February and November, creating a cheerful display when the rest of your garden can often look dull and unwelcoming. A closer look at flowering aloes will show you why they are perfect for beautiful, sustainable and low-maintenance gardens. Flowering aloes give gardens an injection of hot, vibrant colour throughout the cooler seasons like few other flowering plants can. New hybrid aloes have been bred to flower longer and more profusely than their parents, and also will start flowering earlier in their life. Perfect for the Australian climate, these aloes allow you to fill your garden with reliable colour without increasing your water requirements. And while they are perfectly suited to arid-style gardens, they’re just as at home in a cottage garden or mixed with lush foliage plants for a bold, tropical look.
Flowering Flo aloes have different flowering times, but they mostly
flower through the cooler times of year when the majority of other plants are dormant. Laden with nectar, their flowers provide a useful food source for native birds and insects at a time when other food sources are scarce. New hybrid aloes can be small, dainty perennials or large, tree-like plants, and have a range of different foliage forms. Some aloes form a trunk-like stem over time, much like an agave. Others form clumps and need to be divided every few years like a perennial. Flowers are borne above the plant, either on numerous spikes or on a single spike that branches out to form many flower heads. Hybrid aloes are fast-growing and can reach mature height within
a year. Unlike agaves, the dominant plant does not die after flowering, but continues to flower, year after year. Their flowering performance also improves as they age, usually flowering better in their second, third and subsequent years. Most of the new aloe hybrids need full sun to flower well, with the exception of a few which prefer part shade. Aloes grown in pots can suffer sunburn (browning of the leaves) if suddenly moved into full sun from a shady position. In such cases however, plants will usually adapt and recover quickly. Aloes are not fussy about soil but need excellent drainage. A light, freedraining soil is ideal. In heavier soils, a position on a slope or a raised garden bed can create the right drainage. Searles Cacti & Succulent Specialty Mix is the ideal growing medium, either in pots or garden beds. Mulches can be beneficial, but organic mulches can sometimes absorb
Aloes can survive for more than a month with their roots out of the ground let their roots dry out before replanting as dry roots can form new shoots but wet roots cannot. Don’t overwater aloes when newly planted, as their roots will be most susceptible to rotting in these early stages.
The roots of aloes are relatively soft and don’t increase in girth with age which means they can be safely planted near buildings, used as ‘green roofs’ or as container plants. rainwater without letting it through to the soil. Inorganic mulches like pebbles or gravel can be better as they allow water to flow straight to the roots. If grown in containers, aloes don’t need a large pot and usually prefer their roots to be snug — a pot half the width of their height can be ideal. Aloes in pots will need to be watered more often than those grown in the ground, but don’t overwater them — most varieties will prefer it if the growing medium is allowed to dry out in between waterings.
A mixed planting of aloes in jovial colours
It may not surprise you that the new hybrid aloes perform well in heat and drought, but they also power through Aloes are long lived plants. Wild humidity and wet periods. Their fleshy stems will absorb water and nutrients in aloes have been known to live for wet conditions and store it as reserves to over 200 years. help them through dry times. New aloe hybrids are more frost tolerant than traditional aloes (different varieties have more resistance than others). They will Subscribe and have the About the resist frost damage Garden Magazine delivered to your door! best if kept dry and planted in a Name: ..................................................................................... protected position. When exposed to Age: 25–35 36–45 46–55 55+ severe frost, the Address: .................................................................................. leaves will die back from the tips, but City: ............................... State: .............. P/code: ................... will usually grow Phone: ...................................... Fax: ...................................... back once warmer conditions return. Email: .......................................................................................
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Aloe ‘Fairy Pink’ prefers semi shade or a protected position. Perfect for pots, it grows in small clumps and bears dainty white flowers, sometimes flushed with pink from late summer to autumn. Protect it from frost.
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www.aboutthegarden.com.au Autumn 2013
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