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Gardening Australia

Gardening Australia

July 2021
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Australia’s number one monthly gardening resource, ABC Gardening Australia magazine is packed with step-by-step advice and stunning design ideas from its popular team of experts. Whether you are a novice gardener or have a green thumb and years of experience, you’ll find the advice you need.

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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.

I’m keen to see if Josh’s bird nesting material dispenser works. He and his children, Caitlin and Ollie (below), have put one together this month, and it’s a great school holiday project if you’re hanging out with young people. However, as far as I’ve observed, birds are like their nemesis, cats, in that they’ll do what they want when they want, thank you very much. (Yes, funny that, being wild animals and all…) It doesn’t matter how much nesting material I leave lying around for them in my backyard – I’ve even started a junk shop for them on top of my little garden shed; it seems they prefer to sit on the relatively new brush fence and fillet that instead. They show amazing precision! However, the dispenser might be the…

2 min.

Add a blaze of colour to your winter garden in pots or beds with three new giant-flowered viola hybrids that flower from autumn to spring. ‘Lemonberry Pie’ (far left) is a mix of dark-faced yellow and purple, creamy yellow to white, and fading blue blooms, all covering compact green foliage. ‘Citrus Mix’ (middle) produces white, yellow and orange flowers, and bold ‘Royal Mix’ (right) has rich purple and yellow blooms. Growing 15–20cm high and wide, they thrive in full sun and tolerate heat, frost and dry conditions. oasishorticulture.com.au These drought-tolerant flowering plants are superb for a dry garden. King’s spear (Asphodeline lutea) makes a vertical statement with dense racemes of fragrant yellow stars (right). A clump-forming perennial, it grows to 60cm high and 30cm wide with flowers from spring to summer. Wild…

2 min.

THE BOTANICAL ART OF WILLIAM T COOPER Wendy Cooper NLA Publishing This is a book to treasure, with its sumptuous illustrations featuring renowned bird painter William T Cooper’s sketches, studies and paintings of plants, as well as many of the finished illustrations in which they appear. These images are the botanical detail forming the backdrop to his bird portraits. They celebrate much of Australia’s flora while giving an insight into Cooper’s artistic process. Author Wendy Cooper, the artist’s partner in both life and work, complements her husband’s art with notes about where a specimen was collected or what attracted him to a particular branch, fruit or flower. She also provides detailed botanical descriptions for each plant and personal notes about the location where each was found. MY FORESTS Janine Burke The Miegunyah Press This book explores the…

3 min.
bright sparks

Which flowering annuals are around at the moment to give our gardens a lift? Well, you don’t have to go much further than cinerarias. Traditionally, they bring a splash of blue or mauve-blue with their heads of daisy flowers but that’s just the start of what’s on offer today. Many years ago, cinerarias were grown extensively in public spaces and parks, as well as home gardens, where they brought lots of winter cheer. In my own garden, I had a patch that grew really tall. At close to 1m high, they were like a forest of blue right throughout winter. One spectacular winter display that always stays with me was regularly staged in The Conservatory in Melbourne’s Fitzroy Gardens, where cinerarias were combined with frothy schizanthus and white primula. As garden fashions…

4 min.
new look wattles

There are few plants more recognisable to Australians than wattles. Found throughout the continent, this collection of clever colonisers has won generations of fans over the years. Probably the best-known wattle is the golden wattle (Acacia pycnantha), our national floral emblem. Such is its status, the mostly green and gold colours of the wattle genus are also the national colours for our sporting teams. The main reason why wattles are so often found in bushland is that they are highly successful at colonising disturbed landscapes, such as those found in the aftermath of a bushfire. They germinate profusely and grow at a rapid pace when conditions are right, but can also survive harsh conditions to grow and thrive when the good times return. Another reason for their success is that wattles are…

1 min.
pick of the bunch

1. Acacia cognata ‘Limelight’ A compact river wattle that grows 50cm–1m high. Other small varieties include ‘Bower Beauty’ (70cm–1m) and ‘Mop Top’ (60cm–90cm), which has soft, weeping, colourful foliage. 2. A . cognata ‘Lime Magik’ Fast-growing feature shrub or small tree with soft, lime-coloured leaves. Grows 4–10m tall or prune to shape. 3. A . fimbriata ‘Crimson Blush’ Naturally compact and fast growing to 1–2m high and wide with crimson new growth. Ideal for a low hedge. 4. A . leprosa ‘Scarlet Blaze’ Rich red, ball-shaped flowers in spring on a slender, weeping tree that grows to 4–5m high. 5. A. cognata ‘Waterfall’ A prostrate wattle that can be used as a fast-growing groundcover or grafted as a weeping standard. PHOTOS ANGUS STEWART, PLANTS MANAGEMENT AUSTRALIA…