Ho ho ho, Christmas is fast approaching and it is time to have your garden looking as festive as possible. There are many plants available in your local nursery right now to jazz up your December garden.
Looking for an alternative to the plastic Christmas tree? Why not try an Australian native Adenanthos sericeus or Albany Woolly Bush. It has extremely soft foliage, hence the name, and will happily live in a pot so it can be taken inside at Christmas and then put back outside in the garden.
It has small red flowers which appear in spring and summer and will attract nectar-loving birds. This native will tolerate light frosts. It grows up to 4m and 1.5m wide. If planting in the garden, put it in full sun or light shade in well-draining soil. The Woolly Bush hates having wet feet so avoid boggy, poorly drained soils. It is a very hardy shrub once established and needs little care.
A hardy summer flowering beauty for your garden is the dwarf grafted flowering Eucalypt, known as Corymbia ficifolia. These are spectacular Australian native plants that produce festive colour around Christmas. Dwarf grafted eucalypts grow to around 3 to 5m tall and have masses of beautiful buds and bee and bird attracting flowers from mid to late summer.
Their compact habit makes them ideal for smaller gardens and for also growing in pots. They come in a range of reds, oranges, whites and pinks.
Nothing says Christmas like a potted poinsettia. These are a popular and beautiful gift and are available in a range of gorgeous colours, from the traditional deep red to dark and light pink as well as creamy white. To grow them best here in the Mountains they need to be positioned in a warm, protected spot away from frost and strong winds.
Poinsettias require half to full sun and thrive in fertile, well drained soils. They can also be kept indoors in a warm spot that receives at least six hours of indirect sunlight.
It’s also important to feed poinsettias regularly to keep the plants healthy and promote lots of lovely flowers – it’s actually the bracts that are the colourful part of the plant, with the flowers themselves being small and yellow in the centre of the bracts.
If you receive a potted poinsettia, after flowering finishes give it a good trim. It should be potted up into a larger pot, using good quality potting mix or planted out in the garden. This will help give it a new lease on life and hopefully flower again for you.
We hope you have a happy and safe Christmas!
- Article courtesy of Glenbrook Village Nursery, 20 Ross Street, Glenbrook. For details see the website: www.glenbrookvillagenursery.com.au