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Hi Gardeners,

As we admire the dazzling colours in a summer garden accompanied with the beautiful scent of the Frangipani, the Bougainvillea and Hibiscus whilst sitting under the shade of your Poinciana or Jacaranda tree, let’s welcome in 2023.

To have a happy home……..

I did a Google search and found that the average Queenslander spends more than $400 on gifts for Christmas and more than $500 per year on plants. Flowers make you happy and put a smile on your face, so let’s get gardening.

The best value for money is to buy annual flowers. Although people think they are short term and a lot of work, this is not true. They are outstanding!

You can make a theme with these beautiful annuals or bedding plants, create drifts of colour or mass plant one colour. If you don’t have the room, you can use large pots and highlight areas such as decks or on patios.

Flowering plant suggestions for this time of the year are:

Alyssum Begonias Celosia Cineraria Cosmos Dahlia Dianthus Gazania Impatiens Lobelia Marigolds Petunias Phlox Portulaca Snapdragons Verbena Vinca

By dead heading the flowers on your plants you will motivate the flowers to produce more abundant flowers.

As you can see the flower world is your oyster.

HANGING BASKETS

Do you want to dress up your patio, deck or pergola? Well, how about some hanging baskets? The bigger the basket the more beautiful and fuller they look, plus they won’t dry out as much.

If using plastic hanging baskets, just add a good potting mix and plant out. Wire hanging baskets, with chain hangers and liner, allow for the holes in the side of the baskets to be used for layer planting. The liners are a big attraction for the local bird life, assisting them to build their nests. Let them have the liner, you can always replace it, but you can’t replace the new life who find you and your garden very attractive.

When planting out the hanging baskets, balance them in a pot or bucket for easier handling. Always use a good potting mix such as Searles Platinum Potting Mix which has good water holding capacity, or a potting mix which contains a wetting agent, to ensure the mix is wet. Most decent potting mixes contain sufficient slow-release fertilizer for 6–8 months. Liquid feed once a month. As they dry out quickly, a daily watering during summer is required, with 2-3 times a week in the spring and autumn months preferred.

The baskets are best hung in a semi-shade position out of the hot afternoon sun and ideally in a wind free position.

When choosing feature plants for your hanging baskets, pick a plant that is upright and those with flowers that hang down. The annuals mentioned above look fabulous with spillers like Ivy Geraniums, Lamium, Thymes, Vincas and even Dwarf Agapanthus, Mondo Grass and Cat Mint adding to the splendour.


LEMON VERBENA

Smelling the crushed leaves of this deciduous shrub will make you want this plant for your garden. They are be grown either in a pot or in a protected sunny position in the garden.

It can grow up to two metres, with the leaves having a spicy lemon scent which can be used in cooking and as a tea. Pick only the best leaves (as the older leaves can become quite tough) which can be use dried or fresh for a tea or added to a punch. Freeze individual leaves into ice cubes and then add to your favourite drink. Alternatively, the leaves can be used medicinally for upset tummies, tired eyes or as a mouthwash. Trimming on a regular basis will keep the plant neat and tidy.

Happy Gardening,

Jill

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