Caryopteris x clandonensis
Euphorbia ‘diamond frost’
Magnolia Little Gem
Strobilanthes "pink bells"
Solidago (Golden Rod)
Hard Cane Dendrobium
Habranthus (rain lily)
Lycoris (Spider Lily)
Mansoa alliacea (garlic vine)
David Austin Crocus Rose
WHAT IS FEATURING IN THE GARDEN IN MARCH:
MARCH is Preparation month
Cooler nights herald autumn and cooler weather but it is still the growing season with some humidity and hopefully rain around.
This is the latest time to repot orchids, so that they still have a few weeks to establish before their dormant period - winter. We are holding an Orchid workshop on the 20th March on potting orchids; see the What's Happening page for details.
Propagate: Mediterranean plants. Pelargoniums, Lamb’s ears, Statice and Artemisia love the cooler nights and this is a great time to propagate them.
Check out the rose catalogues and order bare rooted roses for delivery in June/July. The heritage roses are best for our climate. I have a list under Plants Grown of the ones I grow. I pot them up when I get them and plant them out into the garden when the rains come in summer.
Get the vegetable beds ready for the autumn crops by adding well rotted compost and mulch. Tomatoes, chard, Pak Choi, snow peas, beans, lettuce, beetroot, onions and kale can be planted now. It is a good idea to stagger plantings so that you can continuously crop. Vegetables do need a constant supply of water and should never dry out so keep the vegetable beds well mulched.
Plant Herbs; they are wonderful for picking to add to soups, casseroles and omelettes and they also help to deter insects in the vegetable beds or can be planted in the garden beds. Parsley, basil, mint, oregano, tarragon and thyme are easy to grow from seed or buy a plant or two. By picking often you will encourage new growth and always have a fresh supply.
Mulch garden beds to keep in moisture and keep out weeds. Any mulch is good mulch; shredded newspapers, sugar cane, Lucerne, shredded palm fronds and garden clippings are all excellent.
·Trim the summer Salvias and put in cuttings in case you lose any.
The Roses will appreciate some mulch so keep the soil cool and moisture in. A tidy up to trim off all the dead wood and thin stems would be in order. They are not showing any signs of fungus diseases which normally occur at this time of year.
A handful of blood and bone with 10% potash added or Sudden Impact for Roses will be beneficial when it rains to bring on the flowers for autumn. Sprinkle this around the base of each bush after some good rain and with more rain in sight.
Reduce watering of orchids to twice or three times a week as the nights are getting cooler, watering mornings or afternoon before 4pm.
Salvias are the backbone of the garden as they will tolerate dry conditions even though they may not flower in the dry. There are a few that put on a great autumn show and come in a great range of colours.
The Involucratas which are the autumn flowerers need summer rain to put on growth but they are waiting for the shorter days to flower.
Anthony Parker has beautiful glaucous foliage with blue flowers, a nice compact shrub under a meter. Slightly bigger and very similar is Blue Abyss.
Iodanthe has cerise flowers and is similar in foliage to Purpurea which has mauve flowers. Both are over a metre high so the flowers tend to hang down.
Madrensis can cover an area over 2 meters with its square angular stems, heart shaped leaves and large heads of yellow flowers.
Costa Rican blue and Mexicana are vigorous and form woody stems. They both have blue flowers and grow to over two metres.
IN THE GARDEN