Autumn has finally arrived. It’s a brilliant time to get out into the garden, as temperatures are milder, making it more comfortable for both plants and gardeners.
If you want to add some colour for the cooler months in your garden have a look at correas, a small to medium Australian native shrub that is sometimes called native fuchsia.
They have bell-shaped flowers that come in bright and delicate pink, orange, pale green and white and bloom for many months from autumn to spring. They will tolerate a wide range of soil types and are terrific for attracting nectar feeding birds.
Correas do best in a sunny or partly shaded spot with well-drained soil and they also do well in pots. Give them a light trim after flowering and feed them in spring and autumn with a specialised native plant food. Look out for the following varieties in your local nursery: Correa Alba, Correa Dusky Bells, and Correa OMG.
If you are after plants that have stunning flowers and spectacular foliage, then begonias are hard to beat. They come in an amazing array of leaf shapes, sizes, patterns and colours.
They can be grown in the garden, in hanging baskets and in pots. Most begonias favour shady parts of the garden, or grow well on a sheltered verandah or patio, and even grow well indoors. They like a bright filtered light position with no exposure to the harsh midday sun and don’t like to be overwatered so allow them to dry out almost completely between watering. There are many varieties to collect such as: cane stemmed begonias, shrub begonias, tuberous begonias, elatior begonias and rex begonias.
If you are looking for something a little bit different for your garden or that has that wow factor have a look at Vigna caracalla (snail creeper). Also known as the corkscrew vine, this attractive evergreen vine with lavender and white flowers is native to Central and South America.
It has fragrant, remarkable flowers that resemble snails and thrives in a warm, full sun position. If you are in a cooler climate choose a sheltered spot protected from frost. It can make a very pretty addition in a hanging basket or container. Lightly prune after flowering to keep your vine looking good.
Quick tips for March: plant your cool season vegetables, like spinach, beetroot, onions, kale, lettuce, cauliflower and broccoli; time to plant containers and hanging baskets with cool season flowers such as viola, pansies, lobelia, sweet peas, Flanders red poppy and alyssum; and prepare your garden beds or pots for planting spring bulbs.
- Article courtesy of Glenbrook Village Nursery, 20 Ross Street, Glenbrook: www.glenbrookvillagenursery.com.au