Graham is back in the Garden Clinic studio this weekend after another successful tour of Japan.
And he will be very busy in the garden afterwards with peak planting season drawing to a close, and lots of jobs still to be done.
Let us know what you're doing in the garden this weekend. Log on to the Garden Clinic Facebook page and tell us what's going into your garden.
Springtime in Japan was great, but autumn in Japan must be seen to be believed, and Graham is heading back to see it later this year. Go to Ross Tours International for more details.
It's Time To:
In the temperate zone
Select autumn foliage trees and shrubs while they are at their peak autumn colouring. Check out the local beauties in your area then shop at Garden Clinic
nursery partners for that special specimen plant.
Plant while weather is cool enough not to stress transplanted plants but still warm enough for roots to establish well before winter. Boost soil with organics
or compost before planting.
In the sub-tropics
Deal with fungal and bacterial infections, which are encouraged by moist, humid still conditions. Many gardeners use a milk mix to eliminate infections
– one part full cream, organic milk to 10 parts water.
Plant the seeds and seedlings of winter vegetables and topdress with spoilt lucerne. Sow a small quantity each week. Traditionally cold climate (European)
vegetables are grown during the ‘A months’ (April to August).
Native Wax Flower, Crowea saligna
Native Waxflower grows about a metre wide and tall, as an open, relaxed shrub naturally occurring on the sandstone areas of the NSW Central Coast under
the shade of taller gums.
It is therefore ideal in shady gardens or a position with morning sun under the protective canopy of taller plants.
It can be slightly frost tender.
It is grown for its profusion of waxy rose-pink starry flowers from autumn to late winter.
The Victorian species is Crowea exalata, and like its NSW cousin, is grown for its profusion of starry pink flowers except the Victorian species tends
to have smaller flowers that appear sporadically throughout the year.
It is more frost hardy and prefers moister, cooler conditions.
Both species should be lightly trimmed after flower to keep bushy and to prolong the life of the shrub.
Both make terrific rockery plants and put on a great show when in flower.
Garden centres generally sell smaller plants which are preferable for growing in the garden as they quickly establish from tub stock and 3-4” potted plants.
There are a couple of hybrids available with deeper pink flowers thought to be hardier crosses between the two species from NSW and Victoria or improved
selections of the two species. These include ‘Bindalong Compact’, ‘Southern Stars’, Festival and ‘Poorinda Ecstacy’.
Native Wax Flower, Crowea saligna
Bee hotels popping up in gardens everywhere
Autumn is also the time of year for native bees to begin nesting, getting ready for the colder weather ahead. Native solitary bees will search for small
holes in trees, walls and structures to hide in, cap off the ends with mud or resin and shield against the winter chill.
Get the kids involved this school holidays. It's easy to do and helps give our little native pollinators somewhere safe to rest over winter.
Providing a home for native bees over winter can be great fun, and looks great in the garden.
Come away with us
Linda heads to Mexico & Cuba this October
Come join us for an adventure into the home of some of our favourite plants, Mexico & Cuba.
Mexico is home to frangipani, vanilla, tequila, dahlia, zinnias and chocolate! But it's not just the plants that we're looking forward to. We also walk
the ancient pyramids of Aztec & Mayan civilisations, experience traditional foods & share the colour of Mexican life. In a nutshell we visit
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico City, San Miguel de Allende & the Yucatan peninsular. We'll visit one of Mexico’s greatest artists, Frida Kahlo’s unique
home, garden and studio in the compound of Casa Azur.
In Cuba we stroll through Old Havana in the footsteps of Ernest Hemmingway, visit the incredible orchid sanctuary at Soroa, and the beautiful valley of
To join Linda and the group on this fabulous tour go to the Ross Tours website,
or call Royce or Roslyn at Ross Tours on 1300 233 200.
Just another day on the Malacón, Havana's sea-side main drag.
Hercules Friendship happy in his new home
He's travelled a long way from where his ancesters were re-discovered in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. Today 'Hercules Friendship', the Wollomi Pine
that accompanied me to Japan recently has settled into his new home in the grounds of the Hotel Kanaya in Nikko.
In his latest post on my Instagram feed Hercules writes; "My trip continues on to my final resting place & meeting so many of Big G's friends. I'm
loving all this new culture. Heian Shrine, a Shinto temple with beliefs very similar to aborigines around my home gully. Built in 1895 to celebrate
1100th anniversary of founding of Kyoto when it was capital. It's dedicated to spirits of first and last big leader blokes, emperors of the time. These
respectful feelings like Outback people. A lovely couple of ladies one a geisha Moma-san the other a younger Meiko in training. She's a friend of Linda
Ross in Sydney. So many family connections, I feel relaxed here. My box is hidden behind group at the golden gates of Nijo Castle home of super big
dude Shogun. Then woosh, what the ? .......... I was on a railway station when something flew past like a plane. G said get onboard it's a bullet train.
More to see, a palace, a castle and amazing flowers. I'm all for it. Let's go."
A little montage of Hercules' happy snaps from Japan in Springtime. Photo - grahamross_betterhomes