Our gardens awake this morning to the chance of light rain early, clearing to another glorious summer day.
It's time to spread the mulch around and make the most of any recent rain. Your garden will thank you for it once the heat of the day begins in earnest.
It's Time To:
Feed 'em up
Nobody likes a skinny lemon! They don't need to be on a diet, they need fattening up. In fact, citrus need feeding every three months. Feed your citrus
trees with a good fruit fertiliser like Gyganic from Neutrog.
Choose an easy to remember time every three months, like the change of season, so you don't forget.
Feed your citrus with the change of every season.
Enjoy and relax
Admire the Hydrangea: elegant, large heads of blooms are teamed with impressive foliage in a range of white and soft colours for semi-shaded gardens. The
long-flowering ‘You and Me’ range make superb pot plants. Keep these beauties moist.
In the subtropics, why not install a daybed in shady quiet spot, perhaps near some perfumed plants, such as gardenias, frangipani, tuberose, brugmansia,
bush ylang ylang Arabian jasmine or beehive ginger nearby. Relax here with a book during the hottest part of the day.
Check out more summer jobs at It's Time To: Temperate Gardens in December, and In The Subtropical Garden December
Iron Bark, Eucalyptus sideroxylon
Iron Bark, Eucalyptus sideroxylon, a stately, narrow upright medium sized gum tree to 25m and a canopy in time to 15m, with deeply furrowed contrasting
grey to black-coloured bark.
The pendulous leaves are a leathery texture and striking silvery, blue- grey colour with very showy cream, pink or red typical staminate gum-tree flowers
which hang down in huge clusters in late winter and spring. The flowers are extremely attractive to native and European bees, beneficial insects, and
all nectar feeding birds.
A handsome shade tree for gardens, parks, streets without overhead power lines and open areas. It is native to Queensland, NSW and Victoria. Its ability
to grow in a wide variety of soils and in polluted air and strong solid timber adds to its popularity.
Iron Bark, Eucalyptus sideroxylon, a stately, narrow upright medium sized gum tree. Photo - Graham Ross
It can initially be slow growing but responds quickly to care and fertilising.
This is one of the finest gum trees and the best of the ironbarks available.
An excellent pink flowering form can be found in nurseries as E. s. ‘Rosea’ and is smaller growing to 10-20m.
The adjacent photograph was taken at the glorious Musk Cottage Garden near Flinders in Victoria’s Mornington region. The dramatic garden design, by Rick
Eckersley, places the Pink Flowering Ironbark at 5m distances on a formal grid patter; a pure magic selection and design.
Rose scale can appear on the leaves or stems of newly planted and mature rose bushes during warm weather and comprise one of several different types of
Rose scale on trunks
White louse scale looks like shredded coconut on the stems and can build up to a thickness of 50mm if left unattended. If this scale is not treated it
can be fatal for the roses.
Soft waxy scale will appear on the upper rose leaf surface and on the stems spreading quickly to cover the entire stem and 60% of the leaf surface. Generally
this scale, either coloured pink or white, will appear firstly along the leaf midrib. They quickly produce an excretion called honeydew which will
attract ants and ultimately black sooty mould.
All roses should be sprayed with lime sulphur straight after pruning in winter to help disinfect the stems of scale eggs and surviving adult scale.
Once leaves appear stop using lime sulphur and switch to spraying with a horticultural oil such as PestOil or Eco Oil.
In the Veggie Patch
A rainbow of root veg
An early summer surprise greeted me recently when planting in the veggie patch. These wonderfully colourful carrots have been an outstanding success this
year, and my grandson just loves them.
Photo - Linda Ross
It's time to plant your lettuce seedlings and enjoy fresh summer salads everyday. Choose cut-and-come-again varieties and plant plenty, especially if,
like me, you've got a few extra mouths to feed.
Come away with us
Far North Queensland
Escape the winter chills. Discover Port Douglas, Mossman Gorge, the Daintree, Cairns, Botanic Ark and Great Barrier Reef. Witness heliconia, lipstick palms,
miracle fruit and fan palms in tropical glory. Visit private gardens, meet gardeners and sample unusual tropical fruits. Full itinerary to be released
Don't miss out on the fantastic Far North Queensland tour. Go to the Ross Tours website, or
call Royce or Roslyn at Ross Tours on 1300 233 200.
One of the many beautiful tropical vistas in Far North Queensland. Hinchinbrook Channel.
Mikey the Powerful Owl a big hit this Christmas
The new book by Georgia Cameron, with incredible photos by Michael Bianchino, is selling fast. But if you are looking to find a copy of 'Mikey the Powerful
Owlet: Saving Byles Creek Valley' for your special someone this Christmas the Beecroft Children's Bookshop still has a few in stock.
Mikey's book display at the Children's Bookshop at Beecroft. Phone (02) 9481 8811
Big stories of the year: 5000 Poppies Project goes to Chelsea
It has been a huge year for Phillip Johnson and the 5000 Poppies team, a year that has not only seen the project grow enormously, but has exported it to
the world - first at the Chelsea Flower Show, and then on to France where the team established a moving tribute to the souls lost at the battle of
It was the biggest story this year by a country mile. See what all the fuss is about and read the 5000 Poppies Project here.
Graham within the incredible 5000 Poppies Project display at Chelsea
Big stories of the year: Barangaroo
The gates of the Barangaroo Reserve have been open now for over a year, and it has been a very popular story in Garden News at the Garden Clinic. On opening
day back in August 2015 we talked on air with CEO, Craig Van Der Laan, and he joined me again this morning to talk about the ongoing development of
this incredible Sydney landmark.
Barangaroo Reserve. Photo - Accesspr
It has been a huge year for Barangaroo, a year that included huge growth in visitor numbers, opening of improved pedestrian access from Wynyard Station,
another stunning NYE fireworks display and a swag of awards including the international awards for design, engineering, landscaping and sustainability.
We congratulate the team at Barangaroo, and Mr Van Der Laan on a great year.
Check out the full page special on the opening day of Barangaroo Reserve from back in August 2015.