Pittwater Life March 2018 Issue

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Garden Life

Garden Life

Delight Frangipanis in the – the amazing stars of

colours summer of sun, hydrangeas sea & surf

Always a favourite for

Christmas colour, hydrangeas

are flowering their

heads off! They look wonderful

in the garden, brightening

the semi-shaded areas and

glowing in the full, protected

sunlight. Once the older

varieties were either pink or

blue depending on the soil,

additional lime will deepen

the pinks and blueing tonic

(sulphate of aluminium) will

heighten the blues, but the

new named varieties will

maintain their colour. White

never changes. There are

hydrangeas of every size from

the tiny dwarf Piamina to the

tall traditional Mop Heads.

With so many to choose from

it is almost too difficult to

decide. There are the delicate

lace caps, the huge blooms

Frangipani flowers cast a

tropical spell over the garden

as they produce their

waxy sprays of star-shaped

blooms through the hottest

months of the year.

From white to pink, apricot,

yellow, gold or ruby red, their

fragrant flowers, two-toned or

striped, are a symbol of summer

sun, sea and surf.

of the traditional mop heads,

the cone-shaped flowers of

hydrangea paniculata bushes

Frangipanis are easy to grow

– but don’t underestimate

the size that they attain. A

frangipani should be planted

carefully in a spot where it can

develop to its full potential.

Frangipanis should be grown

in the full sun out in the open

where they will eventually

reach a height of up to five metres,

with a five-metre canopy.

that can be two metres tall.

The recently introduced

smaller growing Picotee

varieties with two-tone flower

heads are hard to leave behind

and if you have a semishaded

wall, the climbing

hydrangea petiolaris is just

beautiful.

They make wonderful shade

Hydrangeas are forgiving

trees that will let the sunlight

plants that are easy to grow.

through when they lose their

They like regular water and

leaves in winter. They grow

any good garden soil. Mulch

slowly and can be trimmed

the roots with compost to

back in the dormant months.

keep them cool and feed

Frangipanis grow well in

them in early spring to get

pots and are great for balcony

them going. Grow them in

gardens, but don’t expect

pots, or in the garden; bring

them to grow very big.

them inside when in flower

These magical trees look

or cut the blooms – they last

great around pools but keep

well in water.

far enough away so that the

falling flowers that look so

good on grass don’t get into

the water.

Hold back the water when

the tree is dormant, but in

summer your tree will respond

to regular water. Feeding is not

necessary but a good mulch

of cow manure in spring will

improve the flowers.

In the hot humid months

watch out for rust on the

leaves. It appears on the

underside of the leaf like a fine

brown dust. If it gets bad it will

defoliate the tree. At the first

with Gabrielle Bryant

Planning

your new

season

vegie patch

It is time to make a harsh decision.

Late-summer veggies

may still be producing capsicum,

egg plants, tomatoes

Cherry Guava a

them sweet grow on surprise

you will miss

and cucumbers – but if you let

Iout n full

on

flower

your winter

in my

veggies.

veggie

garden

You can

is

leave

my Cherry

them

Guava,

to the

end

sometimes

and leave

known

the gardens

as a Strawberry

Guava.

empty to recover

This

for

delightful

early

spring

evergreen

planting,

shrub

or

never

bite

fails

the

to

bullet

produce

and

a heavy

pull them

crop

out

of cherry

now

for

guavas

new

in

winter

early

crops.

autumn.

It

It is

is

a

time

small,

to

pretty

replenish

tree

the

with

soil.

rounded,

If you

glossy

have

green

a compost

leaves

bin

that

that

only

is

grows

ready,

to

empty

about

it into

the

three

garden.

metres

If

in

not,

height.

add

Keep

cow

it

manure,

trimmed into

mushroom

shape after

compost

fruiting.

The

and/or poultry

delicate

manure.

fluffy flowers

Dig in

some

are creamy

garden

white,

lime,

growing

potash

close

and

complete

to the branches.

fertiliser

They

and

are

water

followed

the soil

by

well

the

adding

tangy flavoured,

Wettasoil

granules

sweet, berry-sized,

to help the

cherry

water

red

penetrate

fruit that

the

are

dry

high

subsoil.

in vitamin C.

Unlike

New

the

crops

taller-growing

to plant now

deciduous

yellow guava

are

broccolini, cauliflower,

that needs

spinach,

cooking,

lettuce,

the fruit

carrots,

can be

parsnips,

eaten

potatoes,

raw straight

bush

from

beans,

the tree

cabbage,

or

used in

Asian

cooking,

greens,

jellies,

bok

drinks,

choy,

radish,

sauces or

spring

jams.

onions – and it’s

not

You

too

should

late for

protect

last zucchini.

the fruit

from

(Don’t

fruit

forget

fly with

to

a

leave

fruit fly

room

bait.

in the veggie patch for sweet

peas to plant on St Patricks

day, March 17th. Flowers will

bring

Get

the

into

pollinating

the

bees.)

‘swing’ of Xmas

It is time to relax and enjoy

your garden. Look at your

outdoor seating requirements

– the shops are full of

amazing chairs and tables.

Hanging cane egg chairs have

been trendy for the past few

years and now the ‘Swing

Seat’ is back. Nothing is more

peaceful than swinging in a

seat for two, sheltered from

the weather with a roof to

shade from the sun – makes a

sign spray, with Eco Fungicide. great Christmas present too!

72 68 DECEMBER MARCH 2018 2017

The Local Voice Since 1991

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