Buddleia Calodendrum capense
Dombeya calanthe Echium
Magnolia Little Gem Nerium oleander
Punica granatum Pseudobombax ellipticum
Robinia Pseudo-acacia ‘freesia’
Torrenia Turnea Waterlillies
Dendrobium (Thai species)
Arthropodium (Renga Renga Lilies)
Curcuma (Cape lily)
Habranthus (Rain lilies)
Hemerocallis (Day Lilies)
Campsis grandiflora Dalechampia Mandevillea
Bromeliads Aechmea Billbergia
Renga Renga Lily
Vanda Orchid & Portea Bromeliad
WHAT IS FEATURING IN THE GARDEN IN NOVEMBER:
November is a big pruning month for the shrubs that flower once a year and only in spring. They must be cut back now, so that they will put on growth over summer in order to flower for spring the following year. This is important for the May bush (spiraea), Banksian Rose, Brillantasia, Photinia and Wisteria. I also find that a good time to prune is after good rain so that the plant puts on new growth fairly quickly without any die back. The wisteria, banksian rose, photinia and May bush can all be cut back with electric or battery hedging shears, particularly if they are large. These plants can be cut back by up to two thirds, if they are well established.
The winter flowering Eranthemum, Pachystachys, Justicia aurea and Schaueria flavicoma (Miss Milly) all need a tidy up at this time. Trim all the heads off, reducing the plants by half and giving more light to the new growth coming through. These trimmings can be left in the garden and then mulch put over the top of them.
The spring Salvias; Phyllis’ fancy, Waverley, Miniata, Microphylla, Wendy’s Wish etc can all be cut back once they have finished flowering and will flower again over summer. Cutting back keeps them compact and produces stronger stems for the new flowers.
After plants are cut back, it is a good opportunity to mulch. If the cuttings are fine, they can be put straight back onto the garden or if too coarse, put through a mulcher and then put back onto the garden. The cuttings that have a node or a joint can be potted up to give you new plants for the garden or given away to friends.
BIRDS IN THE GARDEN
There are many trees and shrubs we can grow to encourage the birds into our garden. The first tree that I planted when we moved to our block at Mount Crosby was the Drunken Parrot Tree Schotia brachypetala which is from South Africa. After 35 years the tree has reached four metres and about the same wide and the racemes of red flowers are much loved by the lorikeets. It is very drought tolerant, slow growing and loses its leaves just before flowering in spring.
Another tree that is of similar dimensions is Evodiella muelleri or the Little Evodia which comes from North Queensland. It grows to about the same height as the Schotia and the flowers are a soft pink and sit along the branches of the tree in summer. The lorikeets also love the nectar from this tree and after they have had their fill little green apples form as the seed capsules. This tree will only lose some leaves in dry times.
The flowers of the Umbrella tree Schefflera actinophylla are also much loved by the parrots but unfortunately it seeds in plague proportions and are spread by the birds which can be a nuisance.
Grevilleas are the most popular grown shrubs to attract birds, mostly visited by the honey eaters and the noisy miner birds. The varieties of Grevilleas are enormous and a very important food source for birds during winter when flowering is at its peak.
The red Dombeya, Dombeya cacuminum is also popular with parrots during August when it flowers magnificently.
The King Parrots love the seeds of the book leaf pines Thuja orientalis and also of our native Alphitonia excelsa. These are both small trees, evergreen and do very well in our area.
This is also the month that our Spotted Gums make their presence known. They loose their bark like animals shed their winter coat and it simply falls everywhere. It is a small price to pay however as these 80 foot giants are the pillars of our garden and being big it is hard not to notice their beautiful trunks changing colour throughout the year. At the moment their trunks are blue and the bark dropping off in bits and strips show of their white new skin, which will over summer turn to pink, then to back to blue over winter and the process starts all over again. The bark does add mulch to the lawn as it is thin and easily crushed with the mower and of course to the garden beds.
Staking a rose is important as there should be no movement of the main stem and consequently the roots in strong winds. I have found that a tripod, unless it is in the ground a good 30cms or more is not stable enough so I have started using pickets on the large roses like Monsieur Tillier. If a picket is hammered into the ground with a picket ‘donger’ it is very stable and also it has holes in it so that you can tie the rose at various levels. It is a good idea to place the picket as close to the main stem of the rose as possible and preferably before the rose gets too large.
IN THE VEGETABLE GARDEN
In the vegetable garden, plant seeds or seedlings of beans, zucchini, tomatoes, egg plants, basil and Chinese cabbage directly into the garden beds. The basil will help keep insects at bay. Lettuce seedlings should be growing well but will appreciate some shade. The vegetable garden will need to be watered each day if it doesn’t rain. The pumpkin and melons should be setting fruit now and you could put more seeds in if you can store them.
IN THE GARDEN