Blooming marvellous

We’re well and truly into spring so by doing some hard work in the garden now, you can enjoy the fruits of your labours and relax with family and friends when summer arrives.

subhead: Do the basics first

Gardening should be therapeutic, relaxing and rewarding, not overwhelming and disheartening, so don’t try to do everything at once – work out which areas need the most attention and complete one section before moving on to the next. Get the less attractive chores like weeding and enriching garden beds with composted cow manure out of the way first. Once you’ve improved the soil, you can get cracking on the serious business of rejuvenating existing plants and introducing new ones!

Warmer days means rapid growth on all plants, so now’s the time to feed every plant you have. Slow or controlled release fertiliser granules are easy to apply, so once you’ve done this, water well then put a 5 to 10 cm layer of sugar cane mulch or pine bark on top and water again.

subhead: Then add colour

Add colour to your garden, courtyard or balcony this spring by planting long-flowering perennials. For those lovely sunny spots, chose Sunpatiens which come in a myriad of colours, Argyranthemums and Osteospermums (daisies to you and me), and try Bacopa as a groundcover or use it in a hanging basket. The bees will love you forever!

A fair few of us have a shady or semi-shady outdoor space where sun loving flowers just won’t work, so introduce foliage plants to create the colour instead. Heucheras are a fantastic choice for this job – the array of colours is huge from lime green to russet to burgundy. Many have interesting two-tone leaves and all throw flowers that dance high above the foliage.

subhead: Grow your own

Looking forward to those barbeques and lazy summer evenings? You’ll need food at your fingertips and there’s nothing better than home grown produce. Plant tomatoes now for crops that will keep on coming, and create a herb garden in the vegie patch or in pots, covering at night so the possums don’t dine on them before you do. Sweet basil is the tomato’s best buddy so you’ll have bruschetta in an instant –  just add some artisan bread like ciabatta or sourdough from your local bakery and you’ll have a tasty, fresh starter in moments.



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