I’ve been busy doing hedging for a number of clients recently. This prompted me to think about what makes for a good hedge? Regular trimming without doubt encourages thick foliage and dense growth. Leaf size is an extremely important consideration when choosing a hedge. The lower the hedge, the smaller the leaf you will want to keep the hedge looking “tight”. Popular hedges (by their common names) include: photinia, viburnum, box, murraya and lilly pilly. These varieties are hardy and flourish with regular pruning.
I’ve just spent a good part of my day removing the spent flower heads of in excess of 400 Agapanthus at a client’s property just outside Berry! (Removing the flower heads prevents undesirable seed propagation.) These evergreen plants with narrow, straplike leaves provide a colourful display of blue to purple or white flowers every summer. Agapanthus are particularly impressive when used to line garden borders or massed on sloping hillsides. They are generally hardy, low maintenance plants which thrive in full sun or part shade. They can be readily propagated by dividing expanding clumps.
The perfume of wisteria heralds the arrival of spring. As a deciduous climber, wisteria provides interest in the garden all year round, with a mass of lilac to white flowers in spring, beautiful green foliage in summer to autumn and a bare vine in winter. Wisteria requires full sun to flower and responds well to shaping. Throughout summer, when new growth leaders appear, prune them back 20-30cm from the main leader. This will promote flowering the following spring and ensure that your climber is not a tangled mess by summer's end.
Winter is the ideal time to feed roses. Add horse, sheep or cow manure, blood and bone or a commercial rose food after pruning your roses in June or July. Additional manure and compost can be added throughout the growing season. Feeding roses, coupled with regular pruning, are the best means to ward of pests and diseases. Roses require little watering and do not tolerate humidity, so they thrive in a hot, dry summer.
Avid veggie growers beware! Do you know that there are good and bad ladybugs (also known as ladybirds or ladybeetles)? Ladybugs help to control aphids, mites and scale insects, but if you see one with 28 spots, this is the leaf-eating ladybug. Handpick them from your plants.
Here’s a couple of simple tips to care for your roses. If aphids are a problem, they can be removed with your fingertips or a soapy rag. If your roses are showing signs of black spot and other fungal diseases, remove the infected leaves and dispose them in the garbage.
Vaughn loves to transform outdoor spaces. He has studied aspects of horticulture and with plenty of experience tending South Coast gardens, he can maintain and help your garden reach its full potential.