Flowers & Garden

There is no doubt that life is better with flowers and a garden. We have a small garden in  bayside Melbourne. It’s a typical suburban garden with a variety of established plants. It’s easy to have a pretty garden if you know how. All it takes is a little knowledge, sunshine, a dash of fertilizer and lots of watering.

Snow Tree Spring Blossoms

The spring buds on the Viburnum or Snowball tree celebrates the arrival of yet another beautiful spring. When in full bloom the Snow ball tree will produce big white balls of blooms.

Where to plant: Plant your Viburnum tree in a spot that has full sunlight and partial shade during the day. Plant in moist, well drained soil.

Maintenance: These hardy trees are known to resist most pests and disease. They also don’t need much pruning. You may  however want to trim the tree after flowering as part of your general garden care and maintenance.

Azaleas

Every garden should have one or two Azaleas.  Azaleas are easy to grow and produce masses of blooms in early spring. They come in a variety of colors including white, pink and various shades of red.

Where to plant: Azaleas prefer to grow in semi-shade spots in the garden with morning sun. They also like dappled light. Make sure to build up the soil with organic matter before planting. If you live in a very dry area you might want to add some soil wetting agent to ensure the soil stays moist.

Maintenance: Azaleas flower for a short time only.  Lightly prune Azaleas after they bloom each year to encourage good growth for the following year. Apply mulch around the plant and fertilize in spring. Make sure to water your plants in the heat of summer.

Vase Flowers – Yes – Azaleas are wonderful as cut flowers and can bloom happily in a vase for at least a week.

Sweet Violets

Sweet Violets are lovely to have in any garden. Their delicate purple flowers and bright green leaves create an unstructured bed of leaves and flowers and can soften the straightest garden path.

Where to plant: They are easy to grow but you need to plant them in a semi-shady spot. Plant them 23 to 30 cm apart in moist soil.

Maintenance: Once planted, Violets grow perennially, spreading through runners that grow from 20-30cm high. They form a luscious green carpet of growth that makes a good weed-excluding ground cover.

Vase Flowers – Yes – A big bunch of Violas in a small vase are so pretty. You will need alot of purple flowers to create a bunch for the vase. Make sure  not to include too many leaves as they can overwhelm the delicate purple blooms.

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Camellia are in Season

It’s Autumn here right now and the Camellia’s are blooming. We have planted a row along the front of the house as a screen and when they are all in full bloom they are just beautiful. The pink Camellias in our garden are your basic “Japonica” Camellia which you can buy in most nurseries.

Where to Plant: Plant Camellias in a semi shady spot. While they like the sun they need deep watering especially when growing and in summer. Do not plant Camellias in places where they will feel the full impact of direct sunlight all day during summer.

Maintenance: Excellent as a hedge plant Camelias do need to be cut back after flowering to keep them nice and bushy for the next season. Fertilise from time to time to promote growth and to keep them happy.

Vase Flowers: Yes – Camellias look gorgeous in a vase. Cut a few Camellias and arrange them in a vase of your choosing. They last a few days but take care not too place them too close to fires or heating ducts.

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Delightful Pansies

When to plant: Plant these beautiful flowers in Spring and Autumn.

Where to plant: They like a semi shady spot with sunshine during the day. Take care not to plant them in full shade as they will not grow well without a little sunshine.

Maintenance: You can fertilise Pansies with a small amount of general plant food. Remove the dead flowers as you see them as it will encourage new growth.

Vase Flower – Yes – Pansies look pretty in small glass vases. Ideal for decorating a dinner table as they are low enough to stay on the table and not get in the way of the conversation.

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Autumn

Autumn is a lovely time in the garden. It’s still a time when you can grow beautiful flowers. It’s also a time when other parts of the garden starts to tie. The leaves turn golden brown on the trees. Sometimes there are surprises – like the the Hydrangeas that are just clinging on.

Autumn is a time to;

  • Prune back the plants that have stopped flowering and to clear away any weeds.
  • Prepare the soil for the stillness of winter. Rake up any leaves, kitchen scraps and layer them in your compost bin.
  • Plant some strawberries in pots.  They will flower around October/November.
  • Plant Azaleas, Camellias, Citrus, Deciduous trees and shrubs.
  • Spring borders of pansies, salvia, dianthus, primula, cineraria, lobelia and viola.

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