Australia day is all wrapped up for another year and another great weekend in the garden has just begun
Recent rain and milder temps have been just what the doctor ordered, but more very hot weather is on the way. It's time to get the garden ready.
It's time to:
Water trees and shrubs at the drip line not at the trunk: it is the feeder roots around the drip line that take up water and nutrients.
Water mango and avocado trees while the fruit is ripening.
Remove clumps of paspalum, summer grass, dandelion and thistle before they send seed. Remove just below ground level with a sharp knife or dandelion knife.
Trim roses to bring on an autumn flush. Feed with rose fertiliser and spray fortnightly to control black spot. Remove any leaves infected with black spot
and throw them in the bin.
Tidy hydrangea heads as they finish or allow them to age into pink and magenta tones through autumn.
Prune off finished flower heads from agapanthus before the seeds drop.
Agapanthus 'Queen Mum'
Feed apples, pears and stone fruit with blood and bone and cow manure spread out to the drip line of the trees.
Preserve chilli and tomato harvests by making chilli jams and relishes.
In the Bush Garden:
Ivory Curl tree, Buckinghamia celsissima
This is a stunning plant growing into a spectacular flowering medium to large shrub. In the wild in the rainforests of north Queensland it can grow into
a small to medium sized tree but it rarely grows beyond shrub dimensions in cultivation, particularly in cooler climates such as Melbourne. It flowers
in late summer and early autumn, with the long creamy flower-heads often completely hiding the dark green glossy foliage. It makes a wonderful feature
plant and should be trimmed back behind the spent flowers.
the first Ivory Curl tree flowers will start to emerge soon and you will see them lining the streets, particularly in the hills suburbs of Sydney, absolutely
covered in corn-cob sized yellow blossom flowers full of bees.
Ivory curl tree in full flower, alive with the activity of honey bees.
When extreme hot weather burns foliage in summer it's tempting to remove the ugly brown leaves.
But don't do it!
Even burnt leaves provide some shade to lower leaves and stems.
With more hot weather on the way your plants will do better if these scorched leaves are left where they are to provide shade. Prune them off in autumn
when the weather is cooler.
One form of pruning that is possible is the removal of dead stems, branchlets and twigs in Japanese maples. Cut them back to live wood.
Prune off dead branchlets from Japanese Maples to live wood. Photo - Graham Ross
Come away with us
Japan in Autumn
Autumn in Japan is Graham Ross’ favourite season with richly coloured gardens and landscapes. Colourful autumn leaves, known as koyo in Japanese, draw
as many visitors in autumn as the cherry blossoms do during spring. Chrysanthemums feature everywhere with fine exhibitions of their Imperial flower.
We’ll wander Japan’s most revered gardens and appreciate traditional Japanese garden design. High in the mountains at Nikko we’ll stay in Japan’s oldest
hotel, The Kanaya. We will stay in a ryokan and share ancient Japanese traditions. This journey through Japan is more than a holiday, it’s the total
Autumn foliage in Nikko.
The Great British Garden Tour of Scotland & Wales and the Hampton Court Flower Show
The new Scotland & Wales tour includes public and private, grand and intimate, walled and wooded gardens in Northern England, Wales and Scotland. High summer brings exhuberant borders,
a flourish of roses and spectacular weather for sightseeing.
Don't miss out on these fantastic tours. Go to the Ross Tours website, or call Royce or Roslyn at Ross Tours on 1300 233 200.