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Gardening Australia

Gardening Australia March 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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2 min

We all have different thresholds for tolerating surprises in the garden. Weeds are one kind of surprise (a surprise to the extent we didn’t mean for them to be there), and there’s usually only one way that will end (not well for the plant). But then there are the developments we observe but don’t act on straightaway. The pumpkin or melon vine, for instance, that springs out of the compost and romps all over everything. You could take it out at first blush, but you admire its sass, and next thing it’s quite a big plant, and then it’s flowering... so you let it stay, even though it has completely crashed the party. That’s if you’re an accommodating type of gardener. Some would rip that plant out on sight. We all…

2 min

Masses of fragrant, bright pink flowers adorn the ornamental cherry ‘Pink Cascade’ in spring. This new deciduous cherry tree has a weeping habit, with smooth grey bark and contrasting dark red branches. Its new leaves emerge as a rich coppery bronze before changing to deep green, then transforming into spectacular shades of orange in autumn. It makes a great feature tree for small gardens, growing to 2.5m high by 4m wide and offering interest year-round. flemings.com.au Add a splash of vibrant colour to your garden with the new ‘Brindabella Brilliance’ rose. This fragrant modern Shrub rose repeat-flowers every seven weeks with fully double orange blooms. Two more beautiful new releases are Hybrid Tea roses ‘Brindabella Divine’, featuring white flowers tinged with pink, and ‘Brindabella Halo’, which produces blooms with deep carmine-pink…

2 min

BOTANIC ENDEAVOUR Colleen Morris The Florilegium Society at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney This is a limited edition comprising 45 beautiful full-colour botanical paintings by artists of The Florilegium Society. The paintings are paired with newly digitised drawings by botanist Sir Joseph Banks and naturalist Dr Daniel Solander of some of the Australian plant specimens collected during the HMB Endeavour’s 1768–71 first voyage. They link the Banks and Solander specimens in the National Herbarium of NSW with the Living Collection of plants at the three botanic gardens in and around Sydney, and mark the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s voyage. Text includes botanical names, indigenous names and uses where known, and a description and quotes from the journals of Banks, Solander and artist Sydney Parkinson. Mail order via botanic.endeavour@gmail.com DOG’S BEST FRIEND Simon Garfield…

6 min
light bulb moments

As a gardener, few things are more pleasurable than planning the next round of planting combinations, and imagining a succession of bulbs flowering in late winter and early spring. I usually buy extra, as bulbs make a thoughtful Easter gift and, unlike chocolate eggs and hot cross buns, they’re kilojoule free, with each little parcel fulfilling the Easter promise of new life. If I don’t gift them all at Easter, Mother’s Day provides me with another opportunity. Either way, they’re a present that delivers twice – at the time of giving, and again when they bloom. There are lots of ways to incorporate bulbs into your garden. Here are a few ideas, from planting up pots to creating a brilliant succession of coloured blooms in beds over a period of months. the…

1 min
tips from the the expert

Andrew Forster, head gardener for Canberra’s Floriade floral festival, says for a long-lasting display with a succession of blooms, plant bulbs that are early, mid and late flowering. Three of his favourite tulips are the mid-flowering and fragrant ‘Ad Rem’, which has orange-red blooms with a yellow edge, late-flowering purple-black ‘Queen of the Night’, and ‘Passionale’, which produces large blooms in shades of lilac to plum, with purple exterior flames and a red wash inside. At Floriade, tulip beds are overplanted with annual flowers, including English daisy (Bellis perennis), chrysanthemum snow daisy, pansies and Iceland poppies. One of the most admired combinations at the last festival was tulips with orange and pastel-coloured Iceland poppies. For gardeners living in most temperate areas of Australia, Andrew says one of the most rewarding bulb combinations is…

2 min
true blue

Blueberry ash (Elaeocarpus reticulatus) has lots to offer, especially if you need privacy. It is tall, evergreen, narrow and fairly fast growing, with small, fringed white or pink flowers in spring and early summer that stand out against its serrated dark green leaves. To be assured of pink flowers, look for the variety ‘Prima Donna’. These dainty flowers, just 1cm in length, give blueberry ash the alternative common name of fairy petticoats. Perhaps fairies no longer wear petticoats, as blueberry ash is the name that is widely used. While the flowers are exquisite and deserving of admiration, it is the fruit that makes this tree a winner. Masses of edible blueberry-like fruits ripen from autumn and persist for months. They can be used to make tea or jam, but are best left…