We have now arrived at the final month of summer. We are still enjoying our balmy evenings of entertaining or just relaxing after the heat of the day. Gardens and landscapes are alive with wonderful sights, smells, sounds and shades of summer. Summer is a time to enjoy but there are still plenty of gardening activities to keep us fit, active and in touch with nature during this time of year.
Good relationships are filled with life, with seasons of growth and of surviving, seasons of waiting and of abundance, seasons of developing and wonderful times of beauty.
Flowers and plants are fabulous gifts to celebrate the nature of great relationships. Garden centres, florists and garden retailers are filled with beautiful gift ideas that tell that someone special that they are loved and appreciated throughout the seasons of life.
Valentine's Day is on February 14th and is the opportunity to celebrate the special people in our lives. A bunch of flowers is a traditional Valentine’s Day gift that looks wonderful for a few days. There is a fabulous resurgence in the popularity of indoor plants. Plants continue to grow and bring freshness, brightness and life and are the perfect gift to celebrate great relationships. There are many great plants for this special purpose. Here are just a few.
Anthurium plants flower in many different colours and shades. They are easy to grow, are long flowering and the beautiful heart shaped flowers are perfect for the occasion.
Spathiphyllums or Peace Lilies are stunning with their dark glossy green foliage and pure white flowers produced in abundance.
Phalaenopsis or Moth Orchids are a beautiful long flowering gift at any time of year. There is a massive selection of colours available to suit any decor.
Fiddle Leaf Figs continue to be one of the most popular indoor plants. The large, lush leaves bring the jungle vibe to any indoor space.
Monstera plants have been one of the great plants that have led the resurgence of growing plants indoors. The old time swiss cheese variety is lush and easy to grow but there are many new varieties available now that have become a must in the indoor plant collection.
Consider the Birds and Bees this Valentine's Day
There is a massive selection of wonderful plants for pots, containers and gardens outdoors.
Recent bushfires have caused major devastation across the country. For many, homes and properties have been destroyed and lives have been impacted dramatically. There now comes the time of rebuilding and re-establishing. There are also many native birds, bees, insects and animals that have lost their homes. Birds, bees and insects are essential in helping to rebuild and re-establish our ecosystems and native bushlands. There are many beautiful native plants that not only look fantastic in gardens but will give our native fauna the opportunity to flourish and increase in numbers while their natural homes recover. Consider planting some wonderful Australian native plants such as grevilleas, callistemons, banksias, wattles, tea trees and melaleuca to help our native friends recover.
Diamonds for Valentines Day
Crepe Myrtles or Lagerstroemias are fabulous small growing summer flowering trees. These hardy and colourful trees are looking magnificent in gardens all across the country.
The ‘Diamonds in the Dark®’ range of Crepe Myrtles feature flawless near-black foliage from early spring, followed by masses of vivid blooms throughout summer. Their compact growth habit makes attractive flowering hedges or beautiful trees to line driveways or boundaries. The Diamonds in the Dark® range are perfect for planting in decorative pots and would be a great gift to give to someone special this Valentine's Day.
Like great relationships, plants will continue to grow and blossom through the seasons of life if they are cherished and looked after. Remember that as plants in pots grow, they will need to be repotted at some stage. Always use the best quality premium potting mix when the time comes to repot. Rocky Point Coco Pro is the professional nursery grade potting mix suitable for most types of plants. Coco Pro not only contains all the quality slow release fertilisers to feed and nourish plants for up to 14 months, but also contains water retention granules. Water retention granules hold onto the water and the plants draw the moisture from the granules as required. This means less watering is required, and plants remain healthy and happy with less attention.
The Edible Garden
Summer is a vibrant time in the kitchen garden with an abundant harvest of all the warm season fruits, vegetables and herbs. We are enjoying incredibly fresh, healthy, flavour filled goodness of homegrown produce as delightful rewards for our efforts. Summer salads are so much tastier when created from the home garden, Tomatoes, lettuces, capsicums, chillies, celery, sweet corn and an array of herbs are ready to harvest for our summer feasting. Fruiting trees such as apples, apricots, peaches, pears, plums and citrus are producing an abundant harvest of fresh and tasty goodness. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, gooseberries and boysenberries are just some of the small fruits to delight us at this time of year. It is a wonderful time of discovery to wander into the garden with a bowl or basket.
These plants are working hard for us and regular watering is important to maintain the quality and quantities of our summer harvest. Maintaining a nice thick layer of mulch helps to keep plant root systems cool, minimises water usage and helps to control weed growth. Rocky Point Sugar Cane Mulch is an ideal natural organic mulch that is perfect in the edible garden.
Spring Flowering Bulbs
There is great excitement in southern regions as spring flowering bulbs become available to plant from this month.
Flowering bulbs are a highlight in the garden and home. Spring flowering bulbs begin to flower in late winter and bring with them the colourful promise of the spring ahead.
Spring flowering bulbs are planted from February to May. Some begin to flower as the days begin to lengthen in late winter and others create spectacular spring displays and will flower throughout the spring months. Spring flowering bulbs include Anemones, Daffodils, Dutch Iris, Freesias, Grape Hyacinth, Hyacinth, Jonquils, Ranunculi, Scillas, Spring Stars and Tulips.
Select a position with good well- draining soil. Prepare the bed by digging in generous amounts of organic compost. This is particularly important in soggy or very sandy soils. Rocky Point ActivGrow is supercharged with over sixteen active ingredients including a blend of organic compost, composted chicken and cow manure, blood and bone, gypsum, fish meal, seaweed extract, iron, zeolite and trace elements. Rocky Point ActivGrow is suitable for all garden types and will ensure a brilliant flowering bulb display as winter comes to an end. Roots grow from the bottom of the bulb so ensure that your compost is dug in nice and deep. It is best to select a location that best suits the type of bulb being grown. Ask your local garden retailer for the best expert advice.
The general rule is to plant the bulb two to three times the depth of the height of the bulb. Bury a little deeper in sandy soils and a little shallower in clay soils. Plant with the growing point facing up and the basal plate (where the roots grow from) facing down. This basal plate is often easier to identify than the growing point. If you cannot work this out, plant on it’s side and the plant will sort it out for you.
Plant bulbs in clusters or in rows, depending on the effect required. In the garden, plant the bulbs two to three widths apart. Bulbs multiply and this will give several years before there is a need to thin them out.
Once bulbs are in position, backfill, firm the soil to prevent air pockets and water in well. Add a little more soil if required.
Planting Bulbs in Pots, Bowls and Containers
Potted flowering bulbs are a wonderful feature for spring. These can be brought indoors as living flower arrangements for special events and then returned to their outdoor location for longer flowering. Potted bulb gardens can be one type of bulb or mixed for a long lasting spring display. Many garden retailers will have packs of bulbs that can be grown together or ask for the best advice for creating your own unique mix.
When growing bulbs in containers, always use a premium quality potting mix such as Rocky Point’s Coco Pro. This will have the perfect drainage and include all the fertiliser required for stunning results.
Summer Garden Maintenance
Plants grow quickly in the summer heat. Remove summer flowering annuals as they finish their stunning displays and prepare beds for the planting of cooler month flowering plants as the change of the season begins to happen. Prune back summer flowering shrubs and perennials as flowering finishes to encourage bushy healthy new growth when the time is right. A light pruning of rose bushes now will encourage a wonderful autumn rose display.
Rocky Point has a huge selection of mulches to maintain a nice thick cover to have garden beds looking great and help plants through the hot summer days.
Enjoy the final month of summer in the garden as we look forward to the season ahead.