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It's time to: Temperate gardens in August

The winter chill is beginning to wane, things are heating up for spring in the garden.

It's time to shift up a gear and get the garden ready.



Brighten shady areas under trees with clivia, pictured below, whose late-winter blooms in warm tones of orange, salmon, yellow or cream add welcome colour to dull corners.


Brighten shady areas under trees with clivia. Photo - Robin Powell


Admire late winter blooms on ‘Spring Promise’ buddleia. This quick-growing, arching shrub to 3m is topped with profuse ivory-white heads of delightfully fragrant flowers from now until mid-spring.

Mass plant the new hybrid forms of Osteospermum daisies for vivid colours. The flowers smother the compact, rounded plants and shimmer in the sunlight.


Refresh and nourish

Refresh strappy leaf ornamental grasses by shearing them off close to ground level. Encourage a quick response to this this tough love with a handful of organic fertiliser.

Condition the soil around roses, magnolias and camellias using a seaweed solution and a generous layer of organic compost and aged cow manure.

Feed citrus with an organic-based fertiliser for fruiting plants and a 35 mm layer of compost or aged manure. Boosting new growth now allows you to avoid peak citrus leaf miner season in late spring.



Prepare irrigation systems for spring watering demands. Flush the lines clear, check and repair any leaks and replace any outlets, which aren’t working properly.

Sharpen and clean garden digging tools. Lightly sand wooden handles then protect with a coat of oil.

Redefine lawn edges using a sharp spade. This severs underground grass runners preventing them spreading into your garden beds. A clean edge looks neat too!


About this article

Author: Elizabeth Swane