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Gardening Australia

Gardening Australia July 2020

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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2 min

With the garden laid bare, and perhaps having had extra time at home to think about it, have you been staring out at your backyard and deciding you’ve got room to keep chooks? It’s not a small decision, but it seems that once you’ve fallen in love with keeping chooks, there’s no going back. This month, Costa, Millie, Sophie and Tino talk about why they love their flocks, and offer their best tips for healthy birds (page 34). You’ll also find a run-down of some excellent breeds – we call them ‘leading ladies’ – and a handy jobs calendar of what to do when, to keep them in fine fettle. Of course, not all winter gardens are bare, with some plants turning on a show through the cooler months, including hellebores…

1 min

The sumptuous blooms of ‘As Good As It Gets’ begin as a deep, velvety red, then age to a plum colour, enhanced by a delicious light citrusy fragrance. The rich-coloured roses stand out against shiny dark leaves. This compact bush, which grows to 60–90cm high and repeat-flowers, can be planted in a container or at the front of a perennial border. This and other modern Floribunda roses are bred for good health and strong disease resistance. wagnersrosenursery.com.au New to the Superbells range of calibrachoa hybrids, ‘Holy Cow!’ (below left) and ‘Holy Smokes!’ (below right) produce masses of petunia-like flowers from early spring to late autumn. Growing 20–30cm tall and wide, they look gorgeous spilling from hanging baskets, containers and beds. Calibrachoas perform best with six hours of sun and regular fertiliser.…

1 min

THE GARDENS OF EDEN NEW RESIDENTIAL GARDEN CONCEPTS & ARCHITECTURE FOR A GREENER PLANET Edited by Gestalten & Abbye Churchill Gestalten Limited space, budget and time can seem challenging for gardeners, but this book demonstrates that it can be easy to create rich, diverse habitats for plants and insects, and grow your own food, in almost any sized space. More than 20 small-space gardens are featured, including three in Australia. Each case study includes photographs, interviews with garden designers and diagrammatic plans. The book also provides information about different climate zones and soil types, with tips for self-sufficiency and sustainable gardening. INSECTS OF THE WORLD A FULLY ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO THE PLANET’S MOST POPULOUS GROUP OF ANIMALS Paul Zborowski New Holland Publishers Insects, with their diversity of colours, shapes, habitats and, in many cases, ability to adapt…

4 min
hooray for hellebores

Hellebores have bagged midwinter as their time to flower. In any other season, these dainty, downward-facing blooms might go unnoticed, but in winter they stand out and demand attention. As these plants grow to only about 40cm high, admiring hellebore flowers can mean getting down on your hands and knees to look at their pretty, often intricately patterned blooms, or at least bending down to lift up their flowers for a better view. It is worth the effort, though, as the flowers are charming. Another bonus is that they flourish in shade, particularly under deciduous trees. Add to this their huge variety of flowers and you have a very desirable plant. species & varieties Hellebores are perennials, and several species and many varieties are grown in gardens. Outstanding are the myriad forms of Lenten…

4 min
statement piece

So, let’s clear this up. Which is the stag and which is the elk? Well, both are epiphytes, but there are differences. The stag is larger and resembles upturned cabbage leaves. The elk looks like deer antlers hanging down. Native to Australia and most commonly seen here are Platycerium bifurcatum – an elkhorn fern with a mass of heart-shaped, overlapping, sterile plantlets, from which fertile, multi-branched, foliar fronds hang – and the wonderfully named P. superbum (unfortunately not pronounced the way we’d like for comic effect!), a staghorn fern with an impressive nest of fronds that grow up to 1m wide at the base. Both staghorns and elkhorns add lush, tropical glamour to the garden. They are true statement plants that make an eye-catching focal point, especially with uplighting at night. They…

3 min
hitting the high notes

My first encounter with a trumpet tree was in Brisbane, where I was stopped in my tracks by the sight of a tree smothered in large golden blooms. I assumed that it needed quite warm conditions to grow, but a few years later in Sydney, a splash of yellow caught my eye and, sure enough, there was a young trumpet tree happily in bloom. So why aren’t they grown more widely? I have no idea, but let me entice you to grow one yourself. Trumpet trees are a group of trees that once all belonged to the genus Tabebuia, but some of them have been moved to the Handroanthus and Roseodendron genera, just to keep us on our toes. They come from tropical and subtropical zones in the Americas, and can…