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HARGRAVES NURSERYLAND’S SEASONAL NEWSLETTER

Dear Garden Club Member, Autumn is a wonderful season. We start to get mornings with a cool edge to them but the days are warm and the amount of rain we have had means our gardens are begging for us to be in them. Ken is in Myanmar (Burma), having an amazing time, as you will see from his article. My sisters and I went to Melbourne last week to see Cliff Richard - he’s still got it. Whilst there, we visited the Fitzroy Gardens. The conservatory in the Gardens was choc-ablock with tuberous begonias. They are one of the most showy plants, with their huge vibrant flowers. I love them. Captain Cook’s cottage, also in the Gardens, (actually his mam and dad’s cottage) is small and cosy. The cottage garden out the back is beautiful. They have re-created an 18th century garden with herbs, flowers and vegies from that era. A minus was, Cook’s father had a Geordie accent instead of a Yorkshire accent in the recording in the cottage. Only another Geordie would pick that up! Although Victoria is in drought and having bushfires, the parks and gardens in Melbourne looked beautiful - the difference water makes! They are a wonderful refuge for Melburnians. We hope that now we have changed to electronic means of communication, you will continue to connect with us. When we started the newsletter 18 years ago, we had no idea we would end up with more than 30,000 members. You can still print out our monthly offer or just tell the staff at the tills and they will facilitate your purchase with the help of our new computer system. As gardeners know, autumn is the perfect time to plant, whether it’s bulbs, seeds or plants; so we look forward to seeing you in the nursery during our wonderful Autumn Sale where every plant over $14 is 50% off the marked price. Good Gardening, Sue

Seedlings to plant now

Flowers; pansies, poppies, cineraria, violas, marigolds, primula, polyanthus, sweet peas. Vegies; broccoli, Brussels sprouts, lettuce, silverbeet, spinach, peas, cabbage, cauliflower, onions and everyone’s favourite - broadbeans.

Open Mon - Sat 8 - 5

AUTUMN 2013 No.74

WHAT’S HOT THIS AUTUMN?

Here is a heads up of a few varieties of plants that you may not know yet. Firstly, in the protea range is a lovely new addition to the Leucodendron called ‘Burgundy Sunset’ with beautiful burgundy foliage which looks almost black in colour. Flowering in autumn and winter with red tips followed by cones perched on top, it is a very striking feature accent or contrast foliage plant in any garden. Great for coastal gardens and useful as a hedging plant with a difference. Height is to about 2.5 metres and likes a full sun position. There are also a few different varieties of tibouchina. Tibouchina ‘Allure’ - prolific flowering with a lilac coloured flower, growing to a height of 1 metre but with a 2 metre spread makes it ideal for low hedging. Tibouchina ‘Illusion’ - long flowering variety with multi coloured blooms, opening white with a blush-pink margin, that matures to deep pink. Growing to a height of 2.5 metres, this would be an outstanding screening plant for privacy with great colour. Tibouchina ‘Peace Baby’ is a dwarf with heights of up to 1 metre with large white flowers. It’s perfect for pots. Autumn is a great time to have a look at these varieties in the nursery, as well as your old favourites - Tibouchina Jules, Jazzie and Alstonville. Bec

MAY GIBBS SWEET PEA FAIRY

Much loved children’s author and artist May Gibbs created the charming image that has been chosen to illustrate Yates Seed of the Month for March 2013, May Gibbs Sweet Pea Fairy. It is a pretty, pink and white, low growing (to 30cm), late-blooming sweet pea that is ideal for pots or as a ground cover. Funds raised from the sale of this packet support two of May’s favourite children’s charities, the Northcott Society for Crippled Children and The Spastic Centre. St Patrick’s Day, March 17, is the traditional day to plant your sweet pea seeds. If you forget you can plant seedlings later. We have a range of sweet peas for pots and garden, climbing and not, in red, purple, pink, blue and white. The more you pick them the more you’ll get. The perfume is to die for! Sue

Sun & Public Hols 8.30 - 5

(Daylight Saving till 6pm)


KEN IN MYANMAR

Travel, looking for new ideas, new products, tasting new food and meeting friendly people with different cultures is one of my favourite pastimes. This time I am in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). It was dark when we landed at Yangon (Rangoon). A long stint at immigration and I was on my way in a very old but fast taxi to my hotel.

6am the next morning I was up walking around the streets, it was just daylight. Traffic was just starting to move, cars, trucks and buses, no motorbikes (they are forbidden except for the police) and very old buses with the conductor leaning out the door touting for customers. Walking along the streets is a hazard, pot holes, missing concrete slabs over drains and over one metre deep sewerage drains. Out the front of our hotel are barbed wire barriers and sand bags as well as a large number of uniformed police, several with very large rifles who are very young and seem to take no notice of anything. After breakfast I negotiated a deal with the taxi boss to take me around some out of town nurseries. Once again I had a trip of a lifetime as we sped through the traffic to our rural destination. During the morning I visited 27 nurserygarden centres, pot sellers and a couple of market gardens. Unfortunately I don’t speak Burmese and my taxi driver had no English except to up the price when I lingered longer so there was not a lot of communication. I have never seen so many different shapes, sizes and colours of generators. Every shop, stall and house has one. They are necessary because the mains power goes off every few hours. Back in Yangon I walked through their Botanical Gardens and city park. I had to pay to go into the park but it’s free to locals. We then flew to Bagan in central Burma. It is the dry season here at the moment and this is reflected, as you will see in the photo, in the parched red landscape. This area is covered with 1,000’s of temples and stupas mostly from the 11th -

13th centuries. In 1976 about 1,000 of them were damaged in an earthquake and lots of repair work is still being done. Bagan was the capital of Burma 1,000 years ago. The people here live a simple lifestyle still carrying water for their everyday needs.

On to Mandalay, a complete contrast and lush green; a lot of food is grown here, peanuts, paw paw, citrus, bananas and 50 varieties of mangoes. Next stop was Heho and Pindaya, a lot of crops are grown in this cooler, hilly area. Kalan, a former British hill station can be found in the Shan Hills. Of course wherever we go we encounter hundreds of Buddah statues old and new. The markets here were excellent! I’m writing this from Inle Lake, Myanmar’s second largest lake (116km2) and one of the highest in altitude (880m). The hotel is made up of small cottages on the edge of the lake. One of the most interesting aspects of this lake is how it is used by farmers. Water hyacinths grow on the surface of the lake, the farmers then add weed from the lake (like seaweed) and put it on top, then some soil on top of that and grow their vegies in this fertile, floating garden. We saw beautiful tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, all your Asian vegies. They are set up like our garden beds, leaving about a metre path between them, enough room for their boats.

Well, as you can, see it’s time for a beer then I’ll try and ring Sue. Modern communication still has a way to go - but that’s part of the attraction. I’m off to Laos next week, look forward to seeing you in the nursery when I get back and telling you more about my favourite pastime (next to gardening). Ken


“I’ve had mine for 20 years”

AUTUMN LAWN CARE

It is not uncommon for secateurs to be used and then thrown back in the shed or garage. When you get them out they are rusty, stuck together and stiff. With a little bit of maintenance, your secateurs will last a long time, be easy to use and not damage your plants.

The hot and dry summer certainly took its toll on our lawn at home and I’m sure many of you have had similar experiences. Although late summer rains saved our lawn to some degree, we still have some brown patches of varying shapes and sizes that spoil the look of my pride and joy.

When you have finished pruning, spend a little time cleaning your secateurs. It can be as simple as rinsing them under the tap or pulling them apart and cleaning them with a stiff brush. After cleaning, wipe them over with some methylated spirits or bleach, this will sterilise them and help prevent spreading disease amongst your plants. Wipe them over with some vegetable oil before putting them away. This will prevent rust and ensure that next time you get them out they move freely. You also need sharp secateurs. If the blade is blunt, it will damage the plants, leaving not only untidy looking cuts but also places that disease can enter. Pull apart your secateurs and run the blade over a sharpening stone (we have sharpening stones available in the nursery). If the blade is sharpened regularly then it will only need a quick run over the stone to maintain a nice sharp edge. If they haven't been sharpened for a long time then it may take a bit of time to bring back an edge and remove any chips and nicks in the blade. There is a wide variety of secateurs available and with a wide price range. You get what you pay for, so purchase the best pair you can afford. It will also depend on how much pruning you intend doing. Felco secateurs are regarded as the benchmark and are widely used in the horticultural industry. I have a pair of Felco 2 that I have had for 20 years, they have done a lot of work but are still in great condition. When pruning it is important not to use your secateurs to prune branches that are too thick. A maximum of 20mm is the limit of comfortable pruning with secateurs. If you need to prune thicker branches then use loppers or a pruning saw. Trying to force your way through thick branches can damage your secateurs, and your hands. Give your secateurs a bit of love and care and you’ll be friends for a long time. Emmett

Autumn is a great time to rectify our lawns. Start with a good watering with Seasol. This is a tonic that will stimulate root and shoot growth. It can be purchased as a hose on product or you may choose to use a watering can. The addition of some Wettasoil or similar product will aid water penetration in the soil.

IT’S BULB TIME! And we have 30,000 of them.

Yes it’s that time of the year when you can look at all the pretty bulb packets and drool. Plant bulbs in pots using a Premium Potting Mix. When they’re finished flowering, you can move them under a tree and allow them to die down naturally so they can build up reserves for next year. Some liquid fertiliser at this stage will help flowering next year. ‘Naturalising’ is a big movement in England and we saw a lot of show gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show last year using this method. It means planting bulbs under trees or in the lawn. Freesias, bluebells and ixias are perfect, and you can leave them in year after year. The only minus is they can look a bit ‘scraggy’ when they are dying down. You can mow over them when they’re done. To tempt you, our ‘March freebie’ is buy 10 daffodil bulbs and get 10 free. How can you watch an onion turn into a stunning yellow trumpet and not wonder? Sue

Large dead patches can be dug out and patched with a piece of turf. We sell turf rolls by the square metre, they can be ordered for pick up on Saturdays. We usually stock couch, kikuyu and buffalo turf. These rolls are easily cut to shape with a sharp spade to fit the patch. Smaller patches and dead patches will cover over in time or you may choose to sprig the gaps with runners pulled out of your lawn edges or from a roll of turf. Next step is to give the lawn a liberal application of fertiliser, Shirley’s No.17 or Grassmaster are my favourites, followed by a thorough watering to wash in the fertiliser, or you can fertilise when it’s raining. Your lawn should soon be back to its glorious best. Ken

COMPLETE LAWN INSECT CONTROL

Through the warmer weather, especially in autumn, lawns are likely to come under attack from insect pests such as armyworm, black beetle (both adults and the larval - curl grub - stage), other scarab beetles, billbugs and stem weevils. Some pests chew grass roots, while others eat the grass leaves. It can be difficult diagnosing exactly which pest is causing problems for your lawn, but now Yates Complete Lawn Insect Control removes the guesswork by taking care of most of these pests with one easy, hoseon application. This new product is a combination of two effective insecticides, Confidor and Baythroid, that work together to kill both leaf-eating and root-munching insect pests in lawns. As a bonus, the systemic action of one of the insecticides means it moves into the grass plants where it can continue providing protection for months. It is available in a convenient 500ml hose-on container that treats 150m² of lawn.

AUTUMN SALE

50

% off every plant over $14


‘Feel well and healthy’

or ‘Salvere’ in Latin is where salvias get their name. Salvias form the largest part of the mint family LAMIACEAE. There are about 900 species of salvias of all different shapes, sizes, and flowers. The most well known of the salvias is the common herb sage, a herb valued not only for its culinary and medicinal qualities, but also its furry, silvery grey foliage in gardens. Salvias are very hardy plants and are great fillers for those dry spots. Although, as with any plant, you will need to water it to get it established. Salvias come in many varieties, different shapes and sizes. Some of the popular ones are: Wendy’s Wish - A beautiful fast growing drought tolerant shrub growing to approximately 80cm – 1m in height with amazing magenta coloured flowers which will flower for long periods throughout the year. Hot Lips - One of the hardiest salvias growing to just over 1m tall and has amazing bi-colour red and white flowers. It’s a real standout when in flower. African Sky - Another hardy water wise shrub growing to approximately a metre in height with a spread of about 60cm. It displays an abundance of sky blue flowers for long periods through spring and again in autumn. Pineapple Sage - Another great salvia growing about 1.5 metres tall with long tubular bright red flowers in autumn. Leaves of this plant have an aroma similar to pineapple which can be used in teas and cooking. Leucantha - A beautiful, stunning salvia growing to about 1m in height with deep velvety purple or white flowers. It is a must in any garden. Salvias make great small shrubs in places where other plants struggle. Depending on the variety they can flower through spring, summer, autumn and some even into winter. Looking after salvias is easy as they don’t need much care. Plant them in full sun, give them a light trim after the first flush of flowers have finished to promote more flowers, then a hard trim back in winter and fertilising in spring will keep them looking fresh for years. James

GET OUT THERE IT’S COOL!

As the days begin to cool down, autumn is a great time to get out and give everything a bit of a tidy up, especially after the hot days we’ve had. You may find that there is a bit of dead or ‘tatty’ growth around. In particular, lilly pilly hedges will need a light shave. You may as well give them a spray with Confidor to eliminate any remaining psyllid presence or pop in some Confidor Tablets. I find Searles Native Food or Native Garden Gold a good fertiliser to give them and they will also benefit from some mulch. Remaining summer vegies can be removed, weed the beds and dig in lots of cow, fowl or sheep manure to prepare for your next crop. Prune and feed citrus, cut any dead wood out or overlapping branches to let more light through. Trees under 3-4 years old may need some fruit removed to stop your branches from snapping with the weight. This also ensures the remaining fruit are of better quality and larger. Feed them quite heavily with any manure or Fruit and Citrus Fertiliser (about 1kg per year of growth) up to 5kgs. Dead head roses and remove any growth affected with black spot. Give them a feed with a rose food such as Sudden Impact. Mulching with pea straw or lucerne before winter is also beneficial. Camellias should be coming into bud, and will need a good feed too. I use Azalea and Camellia Fertiliser with a handful of potash. Mulch over the top with a little peat moss and pea straw. For those who want one fertiliser for everything, we have Organic Life which is an organic, slow release pellet, similar to Dynamic Lifter but with a lot more goodies in it. Don’t forget to give magnolias and other flowering and fruit trees a good feed so they can store it over winter and use it in spring then you can sit back and watch the leaves change before you have to rake them all up. Danny

50

SPRING SALE %

AUTUMN IS THE TIME TO PLANT

For years autumn has been considered the best time to plant trees and shrubs. By planting in autumn you are avoiding the summer heat. The plants get started during autumn and are strong enough to handle winter. During spring they get well and truly established ready to handle the trying summer conditions. So - get planting! Ken

630 Old Northern Rd, Dural 2158. 96511833 www.hargravesnurseryland.com.au

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Hargraves Gardening News Autumn 2013