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Small Trees for Small Gardens

to make & s hare

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Growing Peas New Release Roses What to plant now!

2016 ISSUE 77

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Issue 77


Small Trees p4

In store now p8

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

Front Cover Photography: Osteospermum ‘Blue Eyed Beauty’. Check out our yummy winter peas recipe on page 12.

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

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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: 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 2016 About the Garden Pty. Ltd.

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here is that certain kind of happiness in knowing that the act of planting a tree not only will provide shade and beauty in the garden, but also will (eventually) help to purify the air we breathe and combat ever rising environmental temperatures. Trees also provide a refuge and valuable home for many birds, mammals and insect life.

As suburban gardens become increasingly smaller with each passing year, it can become difficult to choose suitable trees to fit into these smaller gardens, with many people even opting out of the opportunity. Even if your garden’s restricted size may dictate to grow a minimal selection of plants, planting a small tree as a focal feature or element of shade should still be considered and there are some suitable choices that can be made to successfully make your outdoor living environment a beautiful one. Although most people have been growing the reliable mock orange Murraya paniculata as a successful hedge, if allowed to grow naturally, it will become a handsome, evergreen small tree to five metres high and four metres wide. This is a multi-trunked species that just happens to lend itself perfectly to being pruned as a hedge, yet is actually a delightful small tree. Mostly untroubled by many pests or disease issues, the murraya is also a relatively fast growing species and combined with reliable watering and a little feeding, can be expected to reach its maximum height within seven or eight years from planting. Regular tip pruning every six months or so will encourage a thick canopy to develop. Of course you will still be able to fully enjoy the delightful fragrant white flowers consistently throughout the summer period. Look for specimens that have not been heavily pruned into a small shrub. It should have a strong, vertical leader stem that can be further encouraged whilst removing any lower branches while in its initial stage of growth.


If spectacular flowers tick the boxes for you, then of course considering the use of Tibouchina ‘Alstonville’ should be highly considered. This long-time favourite of many gardeners can simply take your breath away when in full bloom from mid-summer through to late autumn. Tibouchinas’ are capable of growing well in heavy; clay based soil and welcome a slightly acidic pH in the soil of around 6. Their large velvety leaves are the perfect foil for the deep violet large blooms that smother the entire canopy as they become a true beacon of the garden.

As Autumn p rogress’s, it’s always a joy of the seaso to fully emb n and allow race the colo the gentle a smaller gard urs nd warming en spaces. Th w inter light into is is truly provide w he re m any deciduo the best of b us species ca oth worlds. It in cooler clim n goes without ates, an obvi saying that ous choice is and breathta often the m king Japane any se maples, A commonly se cer Palmatum beautiful en. Howeve th r, for warme gardens, no r localities and at are matter how even drier beautiful, th intended role ey can strug . gle to play th eir In place of A cers, conside r the use of myrtle Lage the ever faith rstroemia ind ful Crepe ica sp. Crepe around for a myrtles have s long as I ca been n recall, yet gardens. The are seldom y welcome used in sma strong, annua branches and ller l pruning of can be easil the vertical y maintaine height of aro d to a mana und three or geable four metres. Being of a d eciduous na ture they will present fiery colours of re d, orange and gold to light up the garden from May through June (and e arlier in some districts ), after which the fallen foliage make s th soil conditione e perfect mulch and r. Being water misers once established, they are cap able of grow ing in most parts of the country with ease and ca handle frost n well.


For a delicate Autumnal feel in the garden, consider searching for the unusual Cape Wedding flower or Forest Wild Pear, Dombeya tiliacea. This is a semi-deciduous species from South America that deserves better recognition to grace our gardens. The delicate maple –like foliage on this relatively fast growing species is a delight, while the pure white bell shaped blooms that form in pendulous clusters of two to five along its branches are a real treat at the beginning of Autumn. It will reliably flower with the cycles of the moon each year on schedule on cue with Easter no matter the date! This smaller form of Dombeya enjoys a slightly protected site away from intense heat and can handle light frosts well. During mid-spring and summer, it also enjoys deep watering while young, yet once fully established, can become self-reliant. Its delicate foliage will provide dappled light suitable for growing many shade loving, understorey plants such as bulbs, bromeliads and woodland style perennials.

In small gardens, consider using small trees as feature plantings in the front garden, or towards corners where seating can be placed underneath. Remember to keep deciduous species away from house gutters and avoid planting directly underneath any power or telephone lines. Although robust in growth, the above mentioned species are not regarded as having aggressive root systems, yet some thought should be placed as to where old (terracotta) drains or sewage pipes occur as they could be damaged with age or the movements of foundations and be leaking small amounts of moisture into the surrounding soil where any plant will (naturally) seek out and make the most of the situation. There are many opportunities to bring beauty and a sense of serenity and peacefulness to any sized garden, yet making the most of smaller spaces under the protection of a small tree is something quite humbling and can provide the perfect environment to place garden benches for sitting and chatting with friends, placing a collection of your favourite pot plants or provide shelter for that prized orchid collection where having a suitable green house may not be an option. Whatever the reason, planting a tree is one of the best jobs anyone who gardens can undertake, and knowing that in your own small way, you are helping the environment makes it all the more worthwhile.


Native tree species are always worthwhile considering for smaller gardens and a few worth giving a go in frost free areas are Melicope rubra ‘Little Evodiella’, Breynia ‘Ironstone range’, Native Daphne, Phaleria clerodendron and Waterhousia floribunda ‘Weeping lillypilly’. Growing to an average height of around five metres, the little Evodiella is quite spectacular when in bloom as it produces its clusters of bright pink flowers directly on the trunk and branches while all the time being clothed in deep green shiny foliage that are a haven for small nectar feeding birds and butterflies. This species will be regarded by your local bird population as a “haven tree’ as small birds such as finches, wrens and honey eaters will often hide in amongst its branches to avoid larger more territorial or aggressive species.

Breynia ‘Ironstone Range’ is not commonly sighted or considered as a small tree, yet will easily reach a medium height of just over four metres tall. Unlike the little Evodiella, its primary feature is not of flowering value, but rather its attractive deep burgundy, fern like foliage that will take centre stage in the garden. Once mature, it will take on a gentle weeping habit similar to that of a Japanese maple and in many cases (for warmer, humid climates) makes a wonderful alternative to that much loved (southern) species. It casts a gentle dapple light into the garden and can handle regular strong tip pruning if a dense canopy is desired. The Weeping lillypilly, Waterhousia floribunda is now a common sight in many streetscapes, yet should not be discounted for its high value as a small shade or screening tree. This lovely native belongs to the large family of lillypilly species scattered around the country and is highly adaptable in its planting locality. Enjoying full sun and able to grow successfully in confined sites, the weeping lillypilly boasts evergreen shiny foliage that is untroubled by insect concerns and will produce dainty, pendulous sprays of cream flowers from late spring into early summer providing a valuable food source for foraging native bees and other pollinating insects.





Flowering: It is a compact mounding plant that smothers in flower during late winter and springtime. The flowers are bright and cheeky with a darker throat. Habit: Each flower withdraws as it is spent so the plants have a very clean appearance with no older dead flowers showing. Size: 12cm H x 25cm spread. Position: They grow in sunny open areas where they get lots of sunlight. They do not like hot and humid weather. Plant into smart garden pots for use in outdoor rooms, into rockeries or bordering garden beds. Care: Diascias are fast growing garden plants in most well draining garden soils where the beds have been well prepared by incorporating some Searles 5IN1速 Organic Plant Food in the bed before planting.




This is the variety you want for an early and especially long flowering season. Particularly dry tolerant, it flowers in the classic, cool lavender tones ranging from intense purple to soft lilac. Flowers appear from early winter in Queensland and mid winter in gardens ‘south of the border’. Growing about 70cm x 70cm, it’s stunning in larger-sized pots of Searles Peat 80 Plus Potting Mix. Give it full sun.

‘Violet Lace’

‘Winter Lace’

11 Hellebore ‘Penny’s Pink’

Hellebore ‘Ivory Prince’


Ingredients 1 tablespoon of olive oil 1 brown onion, finely cropped 3 garlic cloves, crushed 250g chicken or lamb mince 2 teaspoons of curry powder 1/4 cup water 1 cup of fresh or frozen peas 2 tablespoons of mango chutney 4 sheets puff pastry, thawed 1 egg, lightly beaten


Heat oil in a frying pan. Add crushed garlic and onion and stir until browned. Add mince, stir until cooked. Stir in curry powder, water, chutney and peas and cook until water has evaporated. Set aside to cool completely. (The filling can be cooked the night before). Preheat oven to 230˚C. Line a flat tray with baking paper. Cut out 10cm round pastry circles and lightly brush the edges with beaten egg. Place a tablespoon full of filling mixture in the middle of the pastry circle, fold in half and pinch the sides with your fingers or a fork. Place on a baking tray and brush the outside pastry lightly with egg.

Bake in the oven for 20-25mins or until the pastry is golden brown. Serve with natural yoghurt and mango chutney.

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Year after year many gardeners are devastated by the damage Possums do to buds, flowers and new growth on their roses, shrubs, trees and herbs. However for over 30 years many rose growers, both amateurs and commercial and others ‘in the know’, have used and confirmed D-TER Animal & Bird Repellent’s real success. “I have used your D-TER for 6 months now – am thrilled at the results. It’s the only product to keep Possums off our roses on our 1.5 acres.” Marion C. Vic. “D-TER has made the difference between the joy of roses and the despair of seeing them stripped by Possums and Parrots … Thousands of visitors flock to see our garden and the roses in particular in October and November each year, I am so often asked if D-TER really works, I only need to point to the wondrous display of cascading roses as proof.” Heather C. NSW. “I have used D-TER for the past 3 –5 years and found it the only one to ‘deter’ the 10,000 (sic) possums on my quarter acre block.” Myra M. Vic. “We purchased your D-TER Animal & Bird Repellent last year to reduce the activity of possums on the roof of our home. The product has been very effective…..I wish to purchase a further 1Kg jar. Neil S. NSW

Importantly, D-TER is registered for use against all animals and birds, is extremely effective in repelling them, environmentally sound; very safe, not a poison, has no withholding period and does not harm humans or the creatures. For further information contact Lorac Australia Ph. 02 9589 0703

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Hints & Tips

Everlasting Daisies

Happitunias are a new petunia whose smaller-sized flowers are more than compensated for by sprawling and floriferous growth. Plant in full sun and feed every 2 weeks with Searles Flourish for excellent results.


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Hints & Tips

They have a long, continuous flowering period — usually from May until October. They are available in a rich tapestry of colours, ranging from white to pink, red and mauve. Some are even bi-coloured. The leaves come in a range of shapes — from broad to rounded, kidney, or heart shaped. They may be blotched, patterned, or even marbled on the upper surface. A cyclamen’s foliage is so pretty and distinctive that it can be worth growing for its foliage alone. There are even scented and miniature forms of cyclamen. Cyclamen aren’t fussy. Even though cyclamen grow fantastically indoors, they love the cold; it seems to refresh and revitalise them. Every few days give your cyclamen a drink and put them outside for the night. They will appreciate the cold, frosty night more than us! Never let your cyclamen sit in a saucer of water permanently — this will cause a yellowing of the leaves, rotting of the stems, and eventual death of the plant. Cyclamen appreciate a feed with a liquid fertiliser. If done fortnightly with Searles Flourish Liquid Fertiliser, cyclamen should continuously bloom until midspring. Another way to promote plentiful, long-lasting blooms is to remove the spent flowers. A spent cyclamen flower should never be cut off. Instead, remove tired blooms and stems by gently twisting them off at the base and pulling them away from the main bulb.

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Clivias are excellent for growing under the canopy of a leafy tree. They look spectacular planted en masse, especially when in flower. Clivias can be grown in just about any climate zone in Australia as long as they have protection from frosts and extreme cold. They can also become stressed and sunburnt if grown in full sun and allowed to dry out, so make sure they have plenty of shade in hot climates. Plants that are outgrowing their space in the garden can also be lifted and divided at any time of year. Apply Searles Kickalong Fruit & Flower Organic Plant Food.





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Winter is a time when Bindii start to invade our home turf, causing much pain and frustration. If you have ever walked on a bindii and felt the sharp pain they cause, you may be interested to know that it is actually the seed that forms the prickle. Bindii grows in the winter and sets seed from late winter to early spring. Bindii set seed late winter to early spring, so spray your lawn now, with Searles Lawn Perfect, to avoid the painful prickles in spring.

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Control scale and insects like mealy bug and citrus leaf miner on your citrus during winter before there take over and spoil all your hard work. Searles Ecofend Fruit & Garden Insect & Scale is a perfect fully organic spray to control these pests and keep the surrounding environment happy and healthy.

It is one of the most fragrant of all the David Austin Roses with an intensely floral scent in the myrrh family with hints of apricot. It forms a particularly healthy, upright, bushy shrub with few thorns. It can be grown either as a large shrub of around 1.6 x 1.25m or up to 3m as a climber.


Stone fruit are stunning when they burst into flower at the end of winter or early spring. In cooler zones, now is the time to buy barerooted varieties from your local garden centre.

I am a heavy bloomer in sunny positions during winter. I am perfect for floral arrangements.


All your seasonal planting


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grow now, harvest now & bake now. This dry tolerant groundcover is excellent for use in mass displays, as borders. It has similar growing requirements to Everlasting Daisy.

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Winter 2016 Ask for these great Searles products at your nearest gardening outlet. Ph: 07 5422 3000

About the Garden Winter 2016 gardening magazine  

Great advice for gardening in winter in Australia. View our list of top plants available in garden centres to plant for winter colour.