In the Garden This Week23 September 2017 Linda & Graham Ross
The hot and dry conditions ahead will test our fledgling spring gardens. So we're deep watering and getting ready to move delicate things inside.
We'll also be feeding our perpetual bulbs, planting summer veg, and spreading the mulch to make the most of watering. With some luck we can hit the road to admire the spring display around the gardening nation and the world.
In the garden this week we had a visit from an unwelcome, and more and more commonly occurring garden pest - the Brush Turkey. Luckily, we were able to intervene before major damage was done to some delicate plants. Sandra has developed an ingenious control too. Necessity really is the mother of invention! Check out the video on the Garden Clinic Facebook page.
What's eating my vegies?
There are aphids all over new growth at the moment. Check succulent new growth on roses, maples, veges, stone fruit trees and citrus for aphid attack.
Use Yates Naturasoap, Natures Way Herb & Vege Spray, pyrethrum sprays. Hiding merely relocated them to the ground to return to your plants.
Richgro Bug Killa granules is useful for ornamentals where bees are not present, but certainly not on edibles.
What should I be doing to my lawn?
Deep watering with sprinkler, hand weeding those dreaded bindi and adding a handful of dolomite per square metre. Next weekend add lawn fertiliser after a good soak.
Can I prune natives now?
After Australian plants like bottlebrush and winter flowering grevilleas finish, it's a terrific idea to get in quick and prune them back by one third before they reshoot with spring growth. This thickens them and helps then live longer.
Grevillea 'Dorothy Gordon'. Photo - Shutterstock
What can I sow this weekend?
Summer vegetables can be sown now like tomatoes, zucchini, corn, pumpkins, beans, cucumber and chilli.
Those wanting to grow a picking garden can sow zinnia, amaranthus, Queen Anne's lace, chocolate lace, cosmos and Cleome. Dahlia lovers can start planting tubers. And Lily lovers can watch for new shoots popping out from the soil. Rose lovers will be feeding and watching new buds unfurl. It's an exciting time.
What do I do with daffodils, Dutch Iris, freesia, ixia and jonquils?
Perpetual bulbs that pop up and flower each year should be liquid fed as they die down in readiness for next years flower development.
To prune hibiscus to remove old foliage and thicken shrubs up. After pruning give them a good drink and feed to promote new fresh growth. Spray new foliage with a combo of Eco neem and Eco oil to deter beetles.
Last chance to apply hydrangea blueing tonic to those who want blue hydrangeas at Christmas. Purchase from the nursery and water in. Those wanting pink hydrangeas should apply a sprinkle of garden line around each plant.
Spring festivals and open gardens abound in September and October. Here's our list of the best New South Wales and ACT has to offer this week.
Tesselaar Tulip Festival
The team are starting the festival a week later this year after an unusually cold start to spring delayed the flowering of the tulips. But it won’t be long until this year's display is in full bloom, and they have extended the show to give tulip fans the best opportunity to see them at their peak.
Visit the Tesselaar Tulip Festival website for further details and tickets.
Floriade is a spectacular – and free! – celebration of spring. Part-garden show, part-spring festival it draws nearly half a million visitors every year, who come for the flowers - especially the tulips!
Tulip Top garden
Just north of Canberra on the Old Federal Highway, Tulip Top is a hidden garden that focuses all its attention on one flower-filled month in spring. Open from September 16 until October 15.
The hot summers and cold winters at this stunning Southern Highlands garden replicate the climatic conditions of those in China, so the peonies are perfectly at home and produce beautiful and generous blooms.
Read more about Chinoiserie, and it's creator Dominic Wong in this month's feature article by Robin Powell.
High atop Mt Wilson in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, Nooroo is famous for its wisteria collection, hostas, lilly of the valley and Japanese iris have been planted to compliment the delicate pastels of the wisteria. Nooroo also has many rare maples, azaleas and rhododendrons.
In Spring, from August to late November, in addition to the Wisteria collection, camellias, magnolias, lilacs, peonies and many other trees and shrubs are in full flower.
Simply stunning: the spring display at Nooroo, Mt Wilson. Photo - Lorna Rose
Perennial Hill, Mittagong
Perennial Hill will be open for Tulip Time in the Southern Highlands, but only for this weekend. Don't miss your chance to see it on your way down to Floriade.
Plants are a long-term passion for Wayne and Sue Tapping, who for decades ran a wholesale nursery, landscape yard and retail garden centre. They have created a personal garden at their home, Wildwood, in Bilpin in the mountains west of Sydney.
The five-hectare garden is part wild, with mature grey gum, messmate and blueberry ash, and part formal, cool-climate garden, with avenues of dogwood, cherries and maples.
On the Road
WA Golden Wattle not welcome everywhere
This wattle has many common names and is also botanically known as A. cyanophylla but now A. saligna. It is native to a wide region of soil types of WA but introduced to Sydney in the 1950's where it is now, along with all eastern states, a noxious weed.
It produces vast quantities of viable seed annually growing quickly, a metre a year, and very tall dominating slower growing local native plants. This rapid cycle creating dominance over local native plants and becoming as weedy as lantana and privet. The same thing has happened in South Africa, South America, and the Middle East.
It is now being controlled in Africa with an introduced disease and a weevil like a cane toad biological control.
Farewell to the Italy Tour group
Last night we said arrivederci to Sandra Ross and the group as they fly off on the Gardens of Italy tour. They will soon be enjoying Italian cities and some of the world's best renaissance gardens in the beautiful Tuscan sunshine. Rome, Florence, Venice and Stresa - what an unforgettable experience!
Always wanted to see the gardens of Italy? Ross Tours will be returning there with Michael McCoy April 2018 on the Gardens of Italy and Sicily tour, visiting Rome, the Amalfi Coast, Capri and Sicily.
To find out more about this or any of our tours go to the Ross Tours website and have a look at our 2018 programme., or call Royce or Roslyn at Ross Tours on 1300 233 200.