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The Magnolia

The Magnolia

In flower now with huge goblet-shaped blooms that burst from furry grey buds on bare branches. This is their charm; no leaves, just grey bubs and branches and glowing flowers. There are some incredibly beautiful hybrids available in your local nursery. Choose one now while they are flowering.

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What to do this week

What to do this week

Get ready, spring will be here before we know it. As we come to the end of winter here is a list of ‘last chance’ jobs:

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In the Vegie Patch: It’s time to feed strawberries.

In the Vegie Patch: It’s time to feed strawberries.

We are feeding our potted strawberries with Rocket Fuel (Neutrog) and watering with Harvest seaweed (Amgrow). Remember to water the soil, not the leaves, with a seaweed solution every two weeks.

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Fathers Day Swagman Pack

Fathers Day Swagman Pack

This week we have a great special to get your Dad his hands on a Swagman battery operated sprayer. It comes with Wet and Forget to get your house looking great this Spring.

 

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What to do this week:

What to do this week:

After heavy rain last week it’s timely to attend to our pots, check the drainage, make sure they are sitting on pot feet and draining freely. You can use a chopstick to open the potting mix and help with drainage.

 

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Early Flowery Spring

Early Flowery Spring

You might remember we planted spring flowering bulbs in pots around Mother’s Day; tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, ranunculus and anemones. The first of these tulips and hyacinths are flowering!

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Camellias in Pots

Camellias in Pots

Camellias make fine potted plants but you need to choose wide pots, not too deep, to accommodate their shallow root systems. Choose the varieties suited to pot culture with compact root systems. Bring them centre stage while they flower then tuck them away somewhere cool for the summer.

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In the Veggie Patch: It’s time to harvest cauliflower

In the Veggie Patch: It’s time to harvest cauliflower

Many vegetable gardeners believe that the date to start planting cool season crops is on the first day of winter. Big mistake.

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Star of the Season: The Sensation Lily

Star of the Season: The Sensation Lily

Lily bulbs are one of the most exciting bulbs to grow, with a scent, scale and drama hard to beat in the flower world. Lilies will look gorgeous for years.

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Star of the Season: the Aussie Wattle

Star of the Season: the Aussie Wattle

Do you know John Williamsons’ song … Cootamundra Wattle? “Hey it’s July and the winter sun is shining. And the Cootamundra wattle is my friend”. Worth looking up on YouTube; one of his best songs. We call him the ‘Living Lawson’. There are many beautiful forms of wattle, but this one, Acacia baileyana ‘Goldilocks’ is well worth growing.


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What to do this week: knock-out those weeds

What to do this week: knock-out those weeds

It’s timely to attend to our lawns at this time as winter weeds can weaken growth and should be controlled before they set seed. Here are Graham’s tips for a great lawn, all about control of lawn weeds.


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What to do this week: Prune climbing roses

What to do this week: Prune climbing roses

Every suburban paling fence should be swaddled with a rose! Our fence at The Garden Clinic HQ is adorned with Crepescule, a glorious old rambling rose from 1904. It can be trained against a trellis or as we have done, along wires attached to the fence. Some people are intimidated by climbing roses, uncertain of how to prune them. It’s not difficult; all you need is a sharp pair of secateurs and long leather gloves to protect your arms.

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What to do this week: Plant ‘Crown Vegetables’

What to do this week: Plant ‘Crown Vegetables’

Asparagus and rhubarb are two long-lived plants you can grow from crowns planted in winter. The crown is a section of the plant with roots attached. Crowns are more expensive than seed but offer a shorter wait till harvest.Both these plants do best with an entire garden bed to themselves

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The Brilliant Banksia

The Brilliant Banksia

Do you remember the Big Bad Banksia Man from the pen of May Gibbs in her famous classic, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie? May had a soft spot for banksias and so do we. Their golden candles are a beacon for bees and a haven for birds. Grow it as a dense shrub to provide safe haven for little birds such as the blue wren.

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In the Vegie Patch: Sow tomato, eggplant and capsicum seeds indoors

In the Vegie Patch: Sow tomato, eggplant and capsicum seeds indoors

Last week we sowed five seeds of an oxheart tomato (Cuore Di Bue Rugantino) in small pots in a mini greenhouse sitting on a heat pad in our laundry.

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In the Vegie Patch: Time to sow tomatoes

In the Vegie Patch: Time to sow tomatoes

July is a good time to sow tomatoes. It takes 6 to 8 weeks for seeds to germinate and seedlings to grow big and strong enough to be planted out in the vegetable garden.

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A Camellia Update

A Camellia Update

This week all the delectable varieties of Camellia reticulata are coming into flower. Flowers are massive; some as large as dinner plates, up to 25cm across. Flowers have a ruffle of petals, and come in rich reds, deep pinks and crimson. These beauties flower later and longer than other camellias, blooming between early May and late September. Most varieties bloom for two months.

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Plant of the Week: Luculia

Plant of the Week: Luculia

The lovely Luculia is a wonderful addition to your winter garden. We have just planted two of them in a new east-facing position in our patch with morning sunshine near the front entrance to our home.
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What to do this week: July Rose Pruning

What to do this week: July Rose Pruning

July is rose pruning month if you live in a frost-free garden. It’s best to wait until frosts have finished before pruning roses because new shoots will be frosted and the rose plant will suffer. Take a small container of Dettol and a cloth to clean secateurs between roses.

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What To Do This Week

What To Do This Week

As the cold weather continues its good to prune plants like bamboo, shell ginger, palms and canna. Feed native plants, in particular the hybrids, which will respond with fabulous flowering latte winter. Use a fertiliser specially for native plants. We love Bush Tucker (Neutrog). Cultivate between rows of vegetables using a single tine, made by removing two tines from a three-pronged cultivator. This opens the soil allowing air and water to penetrate and dislodges weeds.

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Winter Orchids

Winter Orchids

Dancing Lady (oncidium) is a captivating orchid, much more forgiving of bright light than the Moth Orchid. You can grow oncidium on bark slabs and in baskets and hang them in trees. With large fleshy pseudobulb and masses of roots, its prone to rotting if you over-water. Keep them between 18 - 22C during daylight and 10 – 18C at night and you will be rewarded with sprays of ‘dancing ladies’.

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What to do this week

What to do this week

The good news is that as winter arrives, weed growth slows. Here are a few jobs that will really make a difference.


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In the Vegie Patch … it’s time to plant rhubarb

In the Vegie Patch … it’s time to plant rhubarb

Winter vegetables are growing well in our patch despite the fact they don’t receive full day sunshine.


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Mad About Orchids

Mad About Orchids

Orchids, like our Stanhopea (Upside-down orchid) need feeding each month. So if, like me, you're mad about orchids take care of them now for the floral reward later. Here are some tips about three of my favourites to help make orchid care quick and easy.

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Winter Wallflowers

Winter Wallflowers

Wallflowers make the perfect winter and spring cut flowers; keep picking and dead-heading and they'll flower right through to spring.It is one of our favourite flowers, deliciously fragrant, a soft mix of mauve and apricot.

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What To Do This Week

What To Do This Week

This week in the veggie patch we're planting out and watching out for early winter pests.

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What to do this week: Graham's to do list

What to do this week: Graham's to do list

Time to build a compost system and turn the green waste your garden generates into a priceless resource.

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In the Veggie Patch: It’s time to plant strawberries

In the Veggie Patch: It’s time to plant strawberries

It is remarkable how the taste of home-grown strawberries is so much sweeter than the ones from the supermarket. Delicious sweet strawberries grow well in pots, vegetable gardens and ornamental garden beds.

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Time to Plant Flowers

Time to Plant Flowers

Stock, pansy, viola, poppy, primula and polyanthus can all be planted now.

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Persimmon: a Touch of the Orient

Persimmon: a Touch of the Orient

This small, upright, deciduous tree makes a fine autumn accent in any garden. Its spreading canopy, glossy green foliage, brilliant autumn colour, and a bounty of sweet, flavourful, bright orange-red fruit make it very desirable. Sadly the persimmon has gone out of fashion and needs to make a come-back.

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