The new year brings anticipation and hope. The challenges of the past are history, as we look towards the adventures of the year before us. Plants and gardens are a great inspiration. The consistency, resilience and reliability of nature throughout the changing seasons allows us to enjoy the harvests of past projects, the beauty of the presence and a hope for the future.
Welcome to a New Year in the Garden
January is a great month for relaxing and enjoying the good things of life. The garden is filled with splashes of bright summer colours and shady spots to enjoy a cool drink and soak up the beauty of nature.
January is also a time for planning and setting some goals for the year ahead. New Year’s resolutions are set at this time of year. We have ambitious plans of more exercise, eating healthier, spending more time outdoors and achieving goals that make the world a better place. These grand plans describe life in the garden beautifully. Why not make 2021 a fabulous year in the garden?
Enjoy the Shades of Summer
Summer is a time of year with a temptation to shut up the home, not leave the comfort of the air condition and miss out on the joy of summer outdoor living. The warmer weather of summer brings with it the season of entertaining with warm balmy evenings enjoying the company of friends and family. Entertainment areas have become an important part of our homes. There are many wonderful plants to brighten and bring life and freshness to these areas where we spend so much of our Summer.
Summer is a very colourful time of year with lots of yellows, reds, blues and whites featuring in garden displays.
There are fantastic climbing plants such as Star Jasmine, Mandevillas, Dipladenias, Allamandas, Climbing Roses and Pandoreas that love the summer warmth. These plants are excellent for transforming unattractive fences and structures into colourful landscape features.
Bougainvilleas love the warmth and fill the summer landscape with brilliant colour. Many Bougainvillea are strong climbing plants that require larger areas but there are wonderful ranges of small growing Bougainvilleas that are perfect for pots and hanging baskets. Bougainvillea Bambino are one of these ranges that are tough, easy to grow and available in a huge selection of colours.
Alyssum, celosia, cosmos, gerbera, impatiens, lobelia, nasturtium, marigold, petunia, phlox, portulaca, vinca and zinnia are just some of the flowering annuals that are available to add brilliant splashes of colour to pots, hanging baskets and garden beds for the warmer months. Young plants are available as seedlings in punnets with a large selection of changing seasonal favourites available throughout the year. These have been a popular way for gardeners to create brilliant colour displays for many years. Now days these plants are also available as potted colour and advanced 6 pack and 10 pack seedlings already in flower and looking great. This is a great way to add instant summer colour to outdoor living spaces. Be sure to have the growing areas nice and moist before planting and to water new plants regularly while they establish. Plant in the cool of the evening or early morning to avoid the harsh midday sun.
Growing in Pots
Creating potted gardens are great summer gardening projects that can be achieved without needing to be out in the harsh summer sun. There is a huge selection of pots available for outdoor and indoor use with styles and colours to suit every décor.
Plants grown in containers will only grow as well as the potting mix that they are planted in enables them to. Always use a premium quality potting mix for the best results. 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. These water retention granules hold onto the water and the plants draw the moisture from the granules as they need to. This means less watering is required, and plants remain healthy and happy with less attention.
Shade with Colour
Spending a lazy afternoon in the soothing shelter of a shady tree is one of life’s pleasures. While those in southern states can enjoy the luxury of the shade of beautiful elms, plane trees, ashes and maples, there are some wonderful shade trees that can be grown in most parts of the country. Lagerstroemias or Crepe Myrtles are beautiful summer flowering small trees that will create a favourite summer spot in the garden. These are incredibly hardy and available in different heights and flower colours. The Diamonds in the Dark range are particularly stunning with ‘almost black’ foliage that contrasts beautifully with the abundance of bright flowers that are produced.
Sitting in the shade of a gum tree is a very Australian thing to do. Gum trees are magnificent in the Australian Bush but are too large for most gardens. There is now the wonderful solution of grafted Eucalyptus. These are grafted to create a smaller growing gum tree that suitable for smaller gardens or even in pots. The stunning flowers are produced in abundance and flowers happen without waiting for the trees to mature. The flower colour of seed grown Eucalyptus trees can vary greatly, Grafted Eucalyptus will reliably produce flowers true to the colour that is on the label. This is a great way to have a home among the gum trees, without the size issues.
Whether enjoying summer in the shade of a tree or covered patio area, there are shade loving flowering plants to add splashes of colour and beauty to our favourite Summer spots. Impatiens, Begonias, Lobelias, Fuchsias, Plectranthus ‘Mona Lavender’, Heuchera and Lamium are just some of the great plants to brighten our shady locations beautifully for our days of Summer.
The Edible Garden
What better way to fulfil the resolution of eating better, than growing fresh and healthy food at home. Summer is a great time of growth and harvest in the orchard and the veggie patch. Summer feast are brought to life with regular harvests of goodness filled vegetables, salad greens, berries and fruits.
Summer is a great time to plant up food bowls as part of your summer décor. There are excellent herbs such as basil, thyme, oregano, mint, lemon balm and parsley that not only look fantastic but are fresh and tasty additions to summer meals. This is also Chilli season. They love the heat, grow quickly to produce a spicy summer harvest. There are lots of varieties from mild through to mega hot and these are also excellent to grow in pots.
The Sweet Scent of Summer.
A stroll in the cool of the evening is a pleasant end of the day activity as the air is filled with the sweet fragrances of summer flowers. Frangipanis, Gardenias, Star Jasmine, Murrayas and Roses are just some of the plants to delight our senses.
Plants are working so hard producing bright summer flowers and sweet summer scents because of the abundance of insects to attract for pollination to happen. This is the time to watch out for aphids, thrips and caterpillars that can cause problems in the garden. Treat the problem pests and bugs and leave the good guys to do their work. Ask your local garden centre experts for the best advice for the health of your garden.
Summer Gardening Tasks
Summer is a great time to enjoy life but can be a hard season for your plants and gardens. There are a few summer gardening tasks that will keep your garden looking lush and healthy during these warmer months.
Water deep and water regularly – Early morning and evening watering of the garden can be a relaxing pleasure. A chance to enjoy the everchanging beauty of new blooms, new growth and new life. Applying water retention granules to your garden beds can reduce water use by up to 50% and will make the most of every drop of any summer rains.
Mulching garden beds does not only have gardens looking great for your summer entertaining events but is crucial for the health of your garden plants over these hot months. A nice thick layer of mulch helps to keep plant root systems cool, is vital in reducing water usage and helps to control weed growth.
Rocky Point are the leading producer of quality garden mulches, in both soil improving and decorative mulch. There is a range to suit every garden style and these are available at leading garden retailers.
Summer is a time of abundant growth. Be ready to get out the pruners and clippers. De-head summer flowering plants as blooms begin to finish. This will help to keep everything looking tidy, assist in controlling bugs and encourage lots more flowers to appear. As summer shrubs finish flowering a light tidy up will keep garden beds looking neat. To prune back hard at this time of year will encourage new growth to happen which will put the plant under further stress. Wait until autumn arrives for major pruning projects.
Have a relaxing summer and enjoy the fruits of your labour as you recharge for the adventures of the seasons ahead.