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In The Garden: November

Sow cosmos, zinnia, rudbeckhia, cleome and sunflowers
directly into the garden or pots. For a sweet addition to the garden, try the 'cupcake cosmos'. It has has fluted cup-like flowers in white and various pastel pink tones. You can source them online from:

Cut back spring-flowering hedges such as mock orange, westringia, rondeletia and viburnum, as they finish their show.

Old clumps of bearded iris can be lifted and divided after flowering. If left undivided clumps will spread out horizontally and the original central rhizome may die.

Coleus, impatiens, plectranthus and blue ginger are good choices for bare, shady spots. For more shade plant inspiration, see horticulturist Roger Fox's suggestions on page 26.

Regularly dead head spent rose blooms, including a good length of stem, to maximize follow-up flowers. Apply rose food after each flush of blooms and water in well.

Avoid water stress in citrus trees as they set next season’s fruit. Give trees a deep weekly soaking and mulch around the root zone to help retain soil moisture.

A layer of mulch about 35mm thick helps plants cope with the hot, dry weather by retaining soil moisture, and keeping roots cool. Apply a protective coating of DroughtShield to tender, large-leaved shrubs like hydrangeas to prevent wilting on hot days.