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Whats new this winter

What’s new: New plants to love

Narelle Smith gives us the winter lowdown for 2018

‘Fairytale Magic’ is a multiple award-winning floribunda rose in the Kordes’ range. Tested for proven performance from Brisbane to Melbourne, its fragrant, light-pink, full-petalled blooms sit atop an upright bush to 90cm. Good in pots and in the garden, it’s a new favourite at Treloar Roses.

Floribunda rose 'Fairytale Magic'

It looks like alyssum but this is the perennial form, Lobularia maritima ‘Snow Princess’. It’s a winner for massed displays of honey-scented flowers almost year-round. Plants hug the ground, getting to just 20cm, and spreading 40cm. Feed them every six to eight weeks to keep them going strong and cut them back if they outgrow their space. Try them in full sun in garden beds, pots and hanging baskets. From

Lobularia 'Snow Princess'

With larger, more textured flowers than the classic star magnolias, ‘Burgundy Star’ also has a fabulously narrow growth habit. In a decade it will reach 3.5m high and just a metre-and-a-bit wide - ideal for courtyards or driveway avenues. And did we mention that glorious colour! It’s been bred by the New Zealand-based Jury family, who also brought us ‘Black Tulip’ and ‘Vulcan’.

Magnolia 'Burgundy Star'

Enjoy the lovely new hellebore ‘Hannah’s Blush’ indoors for a week or two, then acclimatise it outside before planting into a well-drained, shady spot. For best results remove old flower heads when they finish and feed with a slow release fertiliser. Feed again in late autumn, then enjoy the winter show.

Hellebore 'Hannah's Blush'

Cool-climates berry fans will love raspberry ‘Chilliwack’, new to Mr Fothergill’s berry range. Peak season is mid-summer, and in ideal conditions a second crop of the large-sized, delicious fruit will be adorning the breakfast bowl in autumn. Plant canes 10cm deep in humus-rich soil, in full sun, 150-180cm apart.

Raspberry 'Chilliwack'

With spikes of acid green flowers in the summer, this is a great contrast in the flower bed. Kniphofia pauciflora ‘Lime Light’ is a low-growing poker to 60cm tall, and spreading to 45cm. For the best effect mass it in a group or crowd a few into a large pot. This is a good choice for a hot spot, as it is drought and heat tolerant. Cut back the faded flower spikes in autumn to keep it tidy. Order from

Kniphofia 'Limelight'

In the shed

Here are 3 ways to make gardening easier

1. Power Planter makes digging holes easier, but we also like it for mixing fertiliser and creating holes for deep watering. Four lengths of drill attachment fit to a cordless drill and make short work of planting. (A high quality drill will give you better control so this is a good excuse to lash out.) Sales and details at

2. Mealy bug is a pesky pest that is difficult to get rid of. The dynamic duo of eco-neem and eco-oil have now been proven effective against mealy bug, as well as sooty mould. Eco-neem and eco-oil are safe for pets, birds, lizards and beneficial insects, including bees - HIPPO Enhanced eco-oil even attracts beneficial insects to help deal with the pests.

3. Who Flung Dung is a nutrient-rich, biologically active, weed-free, absorbent mulch derived from chicken litter in sheds. The straw from the sheds is mixed with wood-shavings, then inoculated and composted for six months by Neutrog. The result is a super mulch on which plants and soil microorganisms thrive.

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Author: Narelle Smith