Caryopteris x clandonensis
Magnolia Little Gem
Strobilanthes "pink bells"
Celosia argentea var spicata
Solidago (Golden Rod)
Dendrobium Hard Cane
Mansoa alliacea (garlic vine)
Duchesse de Brabant Rose
WHAT IS FEATURING IN THE GARDEN IN APRIL:
Autumn is upon us with its beautiful cool mornings, afternoons and generally lower temperatures. There is still some humid warm weather left in autumn to kick things along and hopefully some rain before winter sets in.
What wonderful rain we have had since Christmas. It is hard to believe the months of drought we went through. However we can learn from this. We can see what plants survived and how they have survived. There is no doubt that plants that were mulched survived better than those with little or no mulch. Trees that had some shade (at ground level) and therefore less soil exposure to the heat survived better. Some trees like the Poinciana (Delonix) and Brachychitons put on a wonderful flowering show in the dry.
Many trees shed their leaves to help conserve moisture. The trees that shed all their leaves normally each season, did so, but because of the dry these trees did not renew their leaves as quickly as they normally do. This was a problem for the plants growing underneath them.
A lot of shrubs and perennials did not flower at all or did not flower very well but they stayed alive even though they put on very little growth. Palms shed their fronds more so than normal but survived. Orchids flowered very well and were fine as long as they got the right amount of light they required.
Gardens that had a watering system giving them consistent water once or twice a week did better than gardens that didn’t get watered at all or not consistently. Now that the soil is lovely and moist we can think about what plants to grow. Trees are on the top of my list as shade is so important to us as well as our gardens. We just need to take a look around and see what plants have survived to know what plants to grow. Please stay safe and well in these challenging times and keep on gardening
The coleus add so much colour to the garden and they have come back beautifully with the wet weather. Take cuttings of them to make sure you always have some on hand to pop into the garden where you need some colour.
I particularly like the lime green one, but there are many colours and patterned leaves and some with unusual leaves as well.
The autumn flowering Salvias, Iodanthe, Purpurea, Pink Icing and Pink Icicles are coming into flower and looking brilliant. These can be trimmed after flowering.
With the cooler temperatures, seedlings of tomatoes, pak choi, silverbeet, eggplant, and kale will also take off. These vegetables look great amongst the flower garden as well as the vegetable garden, but they all need full sun.
Herbs do especially well during this time, so pop in some basil, dill, parsley, mustard, oregano, tarragon, borage and thyme. Not only are they great in cooking but they also look great in the garden amongst the perennials if you don’t have a vegetable garden.
Make sure that Phalaenopsis and Hard cane dendrobiums have a warm spot for winter. They don’t like night temperatures to drop below 10 degrees Celsius. April is the time we start closing the doors on the orchid house at night to keep the temperatures higher than 10 degrees Celsius. The orchid house is not heated but with all the other ‘tropicals’ growing in there it creates a micro climate which helps keep the humidity and warmth higher than outside. We also take the shademesh off the roof to allow more winter light into the orchid house.
All the orchids can take more light in winter as it is not as harsh as the summer sun. The Softcane Dendrobiums in particular can take full winter sun and that will also encourage flowering and no extra watering. The wisterias are losing their leaves now. This means that all the orchids in the courtyard will slowly get more and more light which of course means more flowers.
This is the time to look at Rose catalogues and order your roses. I think that the best time to plant roses for us is summer, when our rains come. However the best time to buy roses is during winter as you can get them bare rooted for a lot cheaper price than buying them in a pot.
Good Gardening and keep safe
IN THE GARDEN