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NEW f or 2017 ISSUE 82


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Issue 82

2017

Easy Care Plants p4

Bamboo p9

Sprinkle &

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next. Amen. Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths. Proverbs 3, 5-6

WATER IN

Oh, glorious Apostle, St Jude Thaddeus, We salute you through the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Thou who didst gloriously suffer martyrdom for the love of your Divine Master, We beseech you, obtain for me the grace to remain always faithful to our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Renews the nutrients in the soil for gardens and pot plants.

Managing Director: Conway Searle Contributors: Noel Burdette & Ashley Searle. Magazine Manager: Alana Searle Design & Layout: Alana Searle ATG Group Co-ordinator & Advertising: Jason Searle

Feeds and rewets for 6 months.

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: atg@aboutthegarden.com.au 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 2017 About the Garden Pty. Ltd.

About the Garden Magazine is proudly produced from sustainable resources.


For anyone entering the world of gardening it’s important to realise that plants are living things and are reliant on the care which we provide and environment in which they grow. It can be heartbreaking to discover that those beautiful plants in which we have invested money and time to bring back into our homes and gardens simply refuse to thrive and often fall victim to the perils of garden life. Witnessing plants succumb to problems time and time again can be a sure fire way of losing confidence in one’s abilities to garden. I’d like to point out that everyone at some stage has, and will lose plants, for whatever reason and it should not always be seen as the fault of their owners, but rather the high possibility that the plants chosen may not have been the optimum choices for the required position, sunlight (or lack of) or drought tolerance. Thankfully, there are many wonderful plant species on the market that still have the ability to ensure we can all have a green environment, both in and outside the home, minus the heartache. Here are just a few that can help you on the road to a successful garden.

Noel Burdette

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For a modern look in the garden or for those with limited space, the choice of succulents should be high on your list. Succulent style plants offer so much more than a few leaves in a pot. Many form amazing colours during the cooler times of year, plus dazzling flowers that attract insects and bring incredible colour to any situation. All succulents perform well with a specialised potting mix suited for succulents and cacti that provides excellent drainage. Snake plant: Sansevieria sp Some may view Sansevieria with contempt and disregard, yet they are a worthy choice for anyone wanting a modern style of plant at home that requires minimal care or attention. There are over seventy species of snake plants (AKA Mother in laws tongue) with each of them being prized by avid plant collectors on a global scale. Collectable as they are, ninety nine percent of them do not have the reputation of being a weed and make worthy additions as a potted plant. Sansevieras look simply eye-catching when planted into modern style planters or combined with smaller succulent species and can thrive in less than optimum conditions. For those with balconies or small spaces, they are truly wonderful with their architectural foliage that showcases intricate patterning. Crassula and sedum species also offer a wide variety of texture and visual interest. These humble plants have become common to many people over recent years but they are often overlooked for their willingness to grow strongly and easily and can be highly dependable as garden acquisitions. They can be easily grown as features in pots or in the ground and can be combined with other plants to provide a point of textural difference. Like all succulents species, they are happiest where strong drainage is provided and can grow in full sun to light shade. It’s not uncommon to find yourself starting out with one or two interesting specimens, then suddenly finding that you have acquired many more along your garden path to enjoy as part of your collection! Members of the Mesembryanthemum (Ice Plant or pig face) family bring a beauty of their own that is difficult not to recognise. This ground covering succulent will easily carpet parts of the garden in hot, sunny locations and smother themselves in vibrant coloured blooms throughout spring and summer. The vibrant blooms attract insect life such as bees and butterflies from all over the neighbourhood while providing a rich neon colour palette to any garden. Although low growing, they can accentuate bolder textures of larger plants such as Gymea lilies, Yuccas and Agaves while providing a much needed softening effect to a contemporary or low water use style garden.


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Gardens come alive during spring and summer and there are some invaluable and strong choices to be made for strong plants in many locations. Agapanthus are an exciting sight to witness when in bloom from mid spring until late summer (depending on the cultivar). They are an easy clumping perennial that enjoys sunny sites with good drainage. Many forms are widely available on the market these days with dwarf strains being of great interest to the home gardener. Agapanthus enjoy a soil that has had some composted manure incorporated into it and once established, can be trouble free for many years. Avoid planting them under trees as flowering will be greatly reduced and plants become weak and easily targeted by pests. An open, sunny site will encourage strong basal development and healthy plants capable of withstanding extreme garden conditions including heat, wind and cold. Euphorbia hypericifolia ‘Diamond Frost’ has firmly cemented its place as one of the most dependable plants anyone can acquire for their gardens. Producing small white flowering bracts virtually all year, this amazing hybrid euphorbia can be used equally in the garden if mixed with agapanthus, and many other perennials as well as being used as potted features for an air of elegance and delicate beauty. Pruning is usually required by the end of winter and again late summer to retain a compact, bushy shape. Diamond frost relishes a full sun position in the garden that does not become waterlogged, but will equally handle some light afternoon shade. Being a member of the notorious euphorbia family, it does produce a white sticky sap within its stems, so strict care should be taken when pruning to avoid the sap from getting on your skin, your mouth or eyes by wearing long sleeves and glasses as a precaution.

One of the strongest tree species anyone can begin with is the lagerstroemia or Crepe Myrtle. Witnessing the many forms of lagerstroemia put on their flower show during intense summer days and standing strong against drought conditions truly has to place them close to the top of my list of indestructible plants. Growing to a height between one metre and eight metres (depending on the cultivar) Crepe myrtles easily grace many garden spaces with beauty and charm. Plant them on their own without a garden around their base, this will reduce root damage while weeding or digging thus reducing the plants response to sprout suckers. For taller specimen cultivars allow ample room for the canopy to develop and simply stand back and admire its handsome stature. Keep a keen eye open for the stunningly beautiful burgundy foliaged forms of the ‘Diamonds in the dark’ series. This series offers three distinct (true) red flowering forms and will not reach heights over three metres yet can be kept as smaller shrubs if desired.


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Choosing the right plant for growing in an indoor environment can be trickier than it seems. There is no such thing as a ‘true’ indoor plant, these are species that have naturally adapted to lower light environments and have the ability to grow best even without optimal conditions.

Cast iron plant: Aspidistra elata

This amazing plant is one of the best choices to have as an indoor plant, its large evergre en leaves make a stunning statement in decorative moder n style pots in even the gloomiest of corners and is very tolerant of air-conditioning while also being a great water wise cho ice. As a garden plant, Aspidistras are wonderful if mass planted in shady areas such as under trees and have amazing longevity and resilien ce to heat and cold.

Swiss cheese plant: Monst

era del

iciosa This old fashioned plant is ma king a great comeback. With its large rounded leaves and incredible presence, it’s difficult not to not ice this species taking pride of place either inside the home or as a potted feature on a veranda or patio. Monstera came into vogue dur ing the seventies and proved they can handle difficult positions. These are a climbing epiphytic shrub spe cies that require a sturdy structur e such as a pole or timber totem ont o which their aerial roots natura lly grip. As they mature the leaves bec ome large and pitted with inte resting holes that in their natural rain forest environment allow stro ng wind to pass through without damagi ng the leaves. Allow a genero us space for these majestic plants to dev elop and provide them with a filtered, but well-lit position out of inte nse sun. Treasure fern: Zamioculcas

zam

iifolia This species of aroid is an am azing choice for anyone wan ting an easy to care for plant indoors or outdoors in a protected site . The shiny green fronds seem to mir ror light effortlessly and provide the plant with a quality unlike ma ny other plants. Each frond dev elops a swelling at its base where it stor es moisture lowering the nee d to water on a regular basis. Treasure fern s can be easily grown in large pots or troughs and can also be used outdoors in warmer localities.


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we

love

When azaleas flower, they look absolutely spectacular and they are flowering now. Visit your local garden centre to see what varieties are flowering now. There are many types of azaleas suited to a range of lighting conditions from full sun positions to shaded areas. This provides an excellent range of azaleas to choose from to suit almost any area of your garden. Azaleas love an acidic soil so plant into Searles Azalea & Camellia Specialty Mix for a great start and strong, healthy growth. Liquid feed right through flowering season with Searles Flourish Liquid Plant Food. This plant food is ideal for azaleas and other acid loving plants. It gently acidifies the soil, provides essential iron, promotes strong growth and brilliant flowering. Prune lightly after flowering has finished. Be careful to avoid wetting the flowers when watering the plant as this can encourage petal blight which can result in the loss of their delightful blooms.

Flowering: Happitunia petunias are vigorous with slightly mounded habits that function as both fillers and spillers in containers and in landscape gardens. They produce continuous star pattern flowers. Habit: They have medium sized flowers in a mounding habit. Size: Trails up to 60cm x 15cm high in the garden. Position: They look superb in containers or hanging baskets on a patio, deck or in a courtyard or planted in the garden. Plant a mass of one colour for a striking effect or plant as mixed colours for a softer look. Grow them in full sun in pots in a premium potting mix, such as Searles Platinum Peat 80 Potting Mix for continued plant growth. For garden planting, dig in 5 IN 1 Organic fertiliser into the existing soil. To promote flowering remove spent blooms and water once a week. Heat & drought tolerant, deadheading not necessary. For more information on these plants visit www.provenwinners.com.au


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Dwarf Whitestripe is the prettiest of the ground covers, with crisp green and white variegated foliage. It will give you fluffy foliage up to 40cm in height, and will flush back denser and fresher when trimmed down regularly as recommended.

Pygmy Green is the smallest growing ground cover bamboo. It is very attractive with tiny dark green leaves and will give you very dense, fluffy foliage up to 5-10cm in height.

crisp and Gold has Dwarf Green d te ga rie va llow green and ye foliage. green has crisp pure Dwarf Green fy uf fl u yo give foliage. It will cm in height, 40 to up ge folia d back denser an and will flush n w do ed trimm fresher when commended. re as rly la regu

Bamboo Ground Covers are a spreading variety of bamboo, very similar to lawns and can be contained with a simple root barrier if desired. They have shallow, fibrous root systems that are great for soil stability and to prevent erosion; as well as weed prevention and minimising mowing! They are perfect for filling banks, borders, rock walls, raised garden beds, pots and troughs. They are the ideal plant for filling roundabouts and other public areas where a short, tough, drought tolerant and easy to grow plant is needed. Heavy pruning in winter is recommended to promote lush, fresh growth in spring.


10 8 If you’re wanting a mid-sized shrub for screening or hedging, or a cluster to catch the eye at the bottom of the garden, Genoa Glory will do the trick. In spring, it’s loaded with purplepink brushes that have a lustre you’d expect to see in a ruby or an amethyst. Easily grown in cool to warm climates, in all soils (except very alkaline) and tolerant of quite wet to quite dry conditions, it will do well by the coast and copes with moderate frosts. For truly spectacular flowering, full sun is best but even half a day of sunshine will keep it and the birds happy. Prune hard after flowering; new growth and even more flowers will flourish.

Blush Bloom

Diamonds in the Dark® are a revolutionary new range of Lagerstroemias featuring flawless near-black foliage that emerges in early spring, followed by masses of vivid blooms from summer until first frost. When planted en masse the Lagerstroemia Diamonds in the Dark® range creates a vibrant show of colour and with an array of flower colours to choose from there is something for everyone. The Diamonds in the Dark range includes – Best Red, Blush, Pure White, Lavender Lace, Purely Purple, Mystic Magenta, Shell Pink and Crimson Red; never before has there been such an extensive colour range on this dark dramatic foliage.

The pink-&-silver flowerbuds emerge in early spring ~ you’ll find yourself popping back often to watch the bracts as they colour up. Suddenly, the first brush opens in the warmth of late spring, and within a week the entire bush is a ball of rose, silver and pale green. A sunny spot, well drained to moist soils of clay loam or sand (neutral to acid pH), in cool to warm climates, will suit Rosy Morn very well. Frost is no problem and a moderately sheltered coastal situation is fine. Prune hard after flowering finishes, and your silver-&-rose-pink picture is assured. Rose-pink & silver are such an Aussie dawn combo. If you want to echo it in the garden, scatter some Callistemon Rosy Morn amongst other shrubs, or better still, create a low hedge that you can keep trimmed. Regular clipping will maintain a continual flush of silver new growth.

The range grows to 3m x 2.5m in height and width. Their compact growth habit makes attractive flowering hedges or beautiful trees to line your driveway or fence, they can even be grown in large decorative pots. Diamonds in the Dark are deciduous plants and will generally lose their foliage between late autumn and mid winter, stunning new growth will re appear in spring.


11 There are few flowers as flamboyant as the hibiscus. Great for hedging, as potted specimens or in poolside plantings, give them full sun and a neutral to slightly alkaline, well-drained soil. Hibiscus hate drying out so maintain a thick layer of mulch (don’t let the mulch touch the stem of the plant). Flowers appear from winter into summer. Apply Searles Hibiscus & Bougainvillea Food to boost flowering. Hibiscus will grow just about anywhere in Australia but in cooler areas it’s advisable to select from coldtolerant or deciduous varieties. Prune in autumn to maintain vigour and bushiness. The native hibiscus is a national emblem of the Stolen Generation of Australia’s indigenous people.

Yellow Tabebuia (Tabebuia chry sotricha) or Golden Trumpet Tree is a good, reliable smaller tree (4 to 10m tall) producing large num bers of tubular yellow flowers in spring with few pest bothering them. Native to Brazil and north-ea stern Argentina, it flowers repeatedly through the warm months of the year. Tabebuias are semi dec iduous and tend to lose their leaves prior to flowe ring. Give this tree full sun and a well-drained soil.


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‘Sweet Lilikoi’ flowers are stunning and fragrant, too.

‘Panama Red’ fruit ripening on the vine.

more info on passionfruit problems, visit www.aboutthegarden.com.au


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For more tasty recipes from the garden, visit www.aboutthegarden.com.au


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Images with thanks to Bridestowe Estate Lavender Farm, www.bridestowelavender.com.au


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n’t come If you have sown seeds that did ations such lan up, consider the simplest exp t, eaten as that they were too dry, too we d. by birds or blown away in the win your e rov Planting in seed trays can imp to a success rate but it’s still a good ide to allow plant 10% more than you need s rate ces suc e for some failure. To increas like use a germination enhancing mix Searles Seed Raising Mix.

The Queensland fruit fly is common in the warmer times of year. After mating, the female lays her eggs under the skin of the fruit. When the maggot-like larvae hatch, they burrow deeper into the fruit causing it to rot. Searles Fruit Fly Trap is an effective reusable trap to monitor and control fruit fly activity around vegetables, particularly tomatoes, and around citrus trees. It contains a wick that attracts male fruit flies, traps and kills them, stopping the breeding cycle.


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Caladium bicolour variety

Caladium or Bleeding heart, Caladium bicolour. This warm season bulb produces brightly coloured heart shaped leaves in tones of red, lime green, white, pink and will remain on the foliage all the way through until next autumn then begin to die down for their winter dormancy. Caladiums would have to be one of the easiest plants to grow in pots. A semi shaded spot suits them best and regular watering. Wrightia ‘Arctic Snow’ is a wonderful small shrub which flowers throughout the year and makes a great courtyard specimen. An application of Searles Flourish will enhance its flowers which appear as a profusion of white, starshaped blooms.

Bindii are well on the ‘spread’ invading lawns, causing much pain and frustration. Bindii set seed late winter to early spring, so spray your lawn now, with Searles Lawn Perfect and repeat spray to kill emerging weeds.

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, fruit bats and microbats. Protects homes, gardens, patios, shop fronts and paved areas from both dogs and cats or rats and mice.

Protects one plant or a whole area — perimeter &/or band sprays. Repels — without harming animals or humans. Not considered a poison — no withholding period. Easy to use — spray on. Effective when dry. Safe, Proven and Effective. Available in 100g, 1Kg & 4Kg Sizes.

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Tropical

Darwin

Subtropical Temperate

Cairns Broome

Cool Mediterranean Arid

Townsville Whitsundays

N.T.

Mackay

Mt. Isa Longreach

Alice Springs Carnarvon

Hervey Bay

QLD

Gympie Roma Toowoomba Warwick

Coober Pedy

Geraldton Kalgoorlie

S.A. Port Augusta

Perth

Mt Gambier

Armidale

Tamworth

Orange

Adelaide Victor Harbour

Moree

N.S.W.

Bunbury Esperance

Rockhampton Gladstone

Blackall

W.A.

Albany

Emerald

Sunshine Coast

Brisbane

Gold Coast

Grafton Port Macquarie Newcastle

Sydney

Canberra Wodonga

Vic.

Melbourne

Tas.

Hobart

This bushy shrub attracts nectar-feeding birds from autumn through to spring with its beautiful golden flowers. It grows to 3m tall and spreads about 1.5m. Plant it in a moist, well-drained soil in full sun. Regular pruning after flowering will enhance its shape and promote better flowering. Great as a screen, garden specimen or container plant in large tubs.


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(Spiraea cantoniensis) Give it full sun, good drainage and keep it watered in summer.

Callistemon Candle Glow is a low to medium sized shrub producing lemon, sweetly perfumed brushes amongst the silver foliage. Full sun or light shade, and good drainage will suit; frost is no problem, and it loves coastal gardens.


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Visit us online for what to

grow now, harvest now & bake now.

These small, fuzzy, white insects distort new growth. Watch out for these insects on citrus, roses, indoor and outdoor ornamentals with the onset of warm weather. Control infestations with Searles Pest Gun. Repeat spray may be necessary.

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About the garden Spring 2017 magazine  

Great gardening advice for spring gardening in Australia. Packed with information on new release plants, easy care plants, growing passionfr...

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