Winter is on the way out and there's plenty of work to be done ahead of spring.
This weekend I'm broadcasting from the 4BC studios in sunny Brisbane where the Ekka is on again.
Also on again, and only ths weekend, the 2017 'Fairy Wand' Camellia Pack includes the start of the winter season - Stunning miniature flowering camellias. The shrubs are full size, it's the flowers that are miniature.
Though they're often flouted for their flamboyant cousins, we think miniature flowering camellias should be planted much more often.
You can join or renew your Garden Clinic Membership online at Platinum level this weekend and get your 2017 'Fairy Wand' Camellia Pack online now.
Join today welcome a 'Fairy Wand' camellia into your garden.
Join or renew your membership today and welcome a 'Fairy Wand' camellia into your garden. Photo - Hannah MacCowatt.
It's time to
Plant some winter flowers
Mass plant the new hybrid forms of Osteospermum daisies for vivid colours. The flowers smother the compact, rounded plants and shimmer in the sunlight.
Osteospermum 'Blue Eyed Beauty'.
In the Subtropical Garden
Sow seeds or plant seedlings of: beetroot, green beans, carrot, celery, coriander, kale, leek, loose leaf lettuce, pak choi, raddish, radicchio, rocket,
tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, silverbeet and spinach.
Repot and plant lotus and waterlilies plants, dividing plants where the pots are choked. Handle lotus tubers very carefully, with special attention to
the brittle young shoots. Plants thrive in rich clay topsoils to which cow or chicken manure has been added. Maximise flowering by fertilising regularly
during the growing season, adding additional chicken manure (wrapped in paper towels) or proprietary fertiliser tablets pushed down into the pots every
2 to 3 weeks.
Want more winter jobs to do in your garden? Check out the full articles here - It's time to: Temperate gardens, and In the Subtropical Garden
This insect is particularly a pest of indoor plants and potted plants on balconies.
It appears as a white or grey mealy or sticky white mass in the forks of leaves, flowers and stems of plants.
The insect can also exude a sugary substance attractive to ants and lead to black sooty mould fungus.
Mealy bug on Hoya plant. Photo - Graham Ross
It is important not to over-water potted plants during winter and avoid stressing the plants in any way attracting mealy bug attack. Keeping the leaves
free of dust and airborne kitchen grease and clean is another step to take.
There are several treatments effective to controlling mealy bug. Using a cotton bud and dabbing the insect with methylated spirit is effective. Spraying
with horticultural oil or agricultural soap, like Yates Naturasoap will work. If all else fails sprinkle Bug Killa granules on the soil and water in.
Grevillea 'Sandra Gordon'
One of best known tap shrubs or small trees in the grevillea family.
It's striking yellow flower spikes in late winter and spring a real garden feature. Flower colour varies from gold to bright yellow maybe because of variations
in source of cuttings or climate.
Best trimmed annually after main flush of flowers to keep compact as it can get to 6-8m if left unpruned.
Leaves are grey- green and lacy in appearance.
It's handy for a quick growing screen or small specimen tree. Prefers well drained soil but adaptable to clay loans and sandy soils. Suitable for coastal
or inland planting and drought resistant and suited to a wide climatic range from Mediterranean to sub tropical and warm and cool temperate.
Because of its profusion of nectar and pollen filled flowers and it's height away from cats it's a great native bird attractant. Also useful for bees and
pollinating butterflies and insects.
Grevillea 'Sandra Gordon'. Photo - Graham Ross
Come away with us
The best of the best: Great Gardens of Europe
The Great Gardens of Europe tour is one grand
tour to see the highlights of a European spring – great flower displays in Holland, France and England including Monet’s Giverny, Kenkenhof’s tulips,
the Chelsea Flower Show and so much more.
Just as Monet painted it, we visit Giverney whilst in France on the Great Gardens of Europe tour.
The Race That Stops A Nation
Go behind the scenes at The Emirates Melbourne Cup.
Special visit to see the Flemington racecourse rose garden before the race, when the roses are looking their best. Highlights include the Coombe Melba
Estate, Cloudhill Garden, Werribee Mansion and the Victoria State Rose Garden
See more of these, and all of our tours at the 2018 Ross Garden Tours programme launch on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at the Lion Gate Lodge, Mrs Macquaries
Rd, Royal Botanical Garden, Sydney at 11am. Meet the Ross Family over morning tea and learn about our Garden Tours for 2018.
Remember, bookings are essential! Go to the Ross Tours website,
or call Royce or Roslyn at Ross Tours on 1300 233 200 and book your place today.
Go behind the scenes at The Emirates Melbourne Cup this November.