Regretting not spraying against bindii in winter? Bindii (Soliva pterosperma) is a low-growing annual herb with leaves like a carrot top. It produces a single flower at its centre that matures into a prickly seedpod that sticks in bare feet.
A hedge is many things. It can define areas of the garden; shield you from the curiosity of passersby; block ugly intrusions into your view; protect your privacy; offer favourite plants a green backdrop against which to dazzle; or simply give your garden a nestling sense of enclosure and cosy comfort. Here Graham Ross answers the most-asked questions on hedge cultivation and care.Read More
Given the chance those annoying little suckers bothering your flower buds now can become an infestation later. But if you get in early enough you can manage the problem without using any chamicals, just a few little backyard-buddies. Its time to get out there and evict your unwanted tennants!Read More
A silvery trail on foliage is the telltale sign of this pest. Eggs were laid in the leaf by the moth last year and the trail is the hatched insect eating its way out. Further in their lifecycle leaf miners curl the leaves completely in on themselves, and pupate into small moths. These are active at night, so are rarely seen.Read More
This is the king of the autumn caterpillars, a voracious eater that grows into a sizeable creature up to 7cm longwith large spots along its body and a white-tipped spine at the end. It feeds on tender foliage, and can decimate a patch of impatiens or sweet potato in a couple of days.Read More
Despite their name, Azalea lace bugs are also enemies of rhododendrons. Their attack is evidenced by widespread silvery mottling and sticky, brown patches on the underside of leaves. It’s best to spray now, at the beginning of the growing season.Read More
Peter Gilmore’s delicious ‘fettuccini’ uses golden squash as both noodle and sauce in a
dish that’s much easier than it looks.
When I was a child all our neighbours and friends had a large tub - generally an old enamel washing machine tub - buried close to the vegetable garden. This was the ‘brew’ tub. Ingredients for the brew - compost, manures and seaweed - were widely discussed and benefits widely acclaimed. And it turns out these gardeners were onto something!Read More
Plants clipped into balls add form and structure to the garden, and beautifully balance wilder, looser planting. The repetition of shapes develops rhythm which holds the garden together, while the contrast with other shrub shapes adds variety and interest.Read More
While subsoil drainage, such as drainage grates, gravel pits and sumps, are effective in light rain, heavy downpours overwhelm pipes and the water sheets across the landscape. Arno King has some tips top help cope when the heavens open up.Read More
Most warm-season grasses stop growing when the nights turn cold, allowing weeds to get a foothold while your attention has turned indoors. So now is the time to target terrors like bindii, wintergrass and dandelions and avoid seeding - and many years more weeding.Read More
Most warm-season grasses stop growing when the nights turn cold, allowing weeds to get a foothold while your attention has turned indoors. So now is the time to target terrors like bindii, wintergrass and dandelions and avoid seeding - and many years more weeding - before boosting growth for lush summer lawns.Read More
Planting punnets of vegetable seedlings is easy, but it is much more cost-effective and more fulfilling - not to mention offering wider choice and better results - to sow seed directly into the garden. The key is to sow plants suited to your climate, at the appropriate time of year.Read More
Ken Lamb, Australia's master of Japanese pruning techniques, took to a historic, mature camellia at Retford Park as part of a three-day, hands-on workshop on creative pruning, held at the Southern Highlands National Trust property last winter. The camellia, an old japonica with a pendulous habit and flowers in both solid and variegated pink, had only ever been pruned to stop it intruding onto the driveway, and it now formed a solid wall of dark green, shutting off views to the house.Read More
For stunning contrast of texture and form, huge repeat flowering and fragrance to die for there is nothing quite like the Queen of the Night orchid cactus, a plant that is as easy to propagate from cuttings as it is to grow.
To make a balcony feel like a garden it needs to surround you with plants. Somehow you have to get some plants up at eye level, and even above it.
A small tree would be just the thing, but on most balconies a pot big enough to support a large plant is just too heavy once it’s filled with moist
soil - and a tree! A more pragmatic approach is to arrange smaller pots at different levels. You need to get those pots up off the ground to really
appreciate your balcony garden. Here are a few ideas.