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Arno's South East QLD Report

The days are starting to cool off and it's a very pleasant time to get stuck into the garden. Before you know it, the day has gone.

We’ve been waiting patiently for the ‘wet’ to finally arrive and, and moisten the soil. Now that it’s started to rain, there has been a great surge of growth.


Proiphys amboinensisis a stunning native plant


Its Time to……

Now is a great time to plant, transplant and divide plants. I like to incorporate organic matter and some soluble seaweed extract and humic acid when I prepare the area and once plants have established and are growing vigorously, apply a handful of a balanced garden fertilizer that includes ground rock minerals. Continue to prune plants lightly to keep things fresh and remove dead flowers and unwanted fruit and pods.


I’ll be pruning my Evovulus ‘Strathpine’ after the flower flush


In the Veggie Patch

Now is the time to start planning what you will be growing over the cooler winter months. I like to make a list of the plants I will grow and draw up a plan. Then it is a case of removing the declining summer vegetables and, bed by bed, incorporate fertilizer and compost. Most annual vegetables thrive in disturbed bacteria-dominated soil, and making the effort to break up and turn the soil will produce vigorous, tender and productive crops over the cooler month. Many winter vegetables need a long growing season, so towards the end of March or early April as night temperatures drop, sow broad beans, cauliflower and parsnips.


Wild rocket is a reliable salad green all year round


Flowering now

What a great time to spend the evening hours on the verandah or terrace and enjoy those pleasant autumn nights with the scent of night flowers on the gentle breeze. If you enjoy perfumed flowers, plant some night flowering trees for maximum impact. Frangipani trees are beloved for their perfume, but this varies immensely from tree to tree, so let the nose do some research. Three of my favourites for scent are ‘San Germain’(rich honeysuckle) and ‘Vera Cruz Rose’ (unmistakenly like a rose) and the evergreen frangipani, Plumeria obtuse ‘Singapore White’, (citrus-like). The Ylang Ylang Tree (Cananga odorata) will perfume the garden and its distinctive scent, widely used in massage oils and is of course the key component of Chanel No. 5. This tall upright tree, likes some shelter from wind. The Champak Tree (Magnolia champaka) is a beautiful lush tree and is covered with cream, perfumed flowers over the warmer months. Closely related is the famous Pak Lan (Magnolia alba) – the extract of which is a key component of ‘Joy’, the most expensive perfume in the world. The Perfume Tree (Fagraea berteroana) is an attractive tree covered in white flowers. Another native tree is the Native Daphne (Phaleria clerodendron), which enjoys the protection and semi-shade of nearby trees. The trunk of the tree is extraordinary when covered with the white perfumed flowers.


Plumeria 'San-Germain' is famous for its perfume


Whats on

12-13 March – The Ipswich Garden Expo at the biggest event this month

12-13 March – International Palm and Cycad Society of Australia show at the Mt Coot-tha Auditorium. If you are after some palms or cycads this is the event not to miss.

12-13 March – The Beaudesert District Orchid and Foliage Society’s Aurtumn Show, Canungra School of Arts, Pine Street, Canungra

19-20 March – Bromeliad Society of Queensland Autumn Show, The PCYC Club, Les Hughes Sport Complex, Baker St, Bray Park

19-20 March – West Brisbane Orchid Society Show, Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mt Coot-tha Auditorium. 26-27 March – ‘Queensland Orchid Society Show, Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mt Coot-tha Auditorium.

About this article

Author: Arno King