Colour to bring impact!
Creating colourful displays around the garden is a great way to break up patches of green but also to inject a bit of ‘personality’ to the mix.
There are many new forms of Petunias on the market. The ones to keep an eye out for are the new ‘Perennial Petunias’ which come in assortment of exotic colours! They have been bred to be more resilient to Australia’s weather and more disease resistant. What is a perennial petunia and what makes them different? These petunias should last 2-3 years in the garden compared to their annual siblings. Most of the annual forms are grown by seed and will only last 6-12 months in the garden. The newer forms are grown from vegetative cuttings or cells.
All Petunias are best grown in a northerly (in Australia)position in the garden as this has the greater amount of sun. They respond well to a liquid or powder fertiliser fortnightly as this encourages stronger growth and better flowering.
They look like petunias but they are different, trust me.These petite flowering babies are longer lasting and longer lived to the Petunia. Both plants come from the same plant family SOLANACEAE which is why they have a very similar appearance.
Calibrachoa is a perennial ground cover which loves to be grown in a warm sunny position in the garden. If it is grown in too much shade the plant will not flower and worst case scenario can result in the death of the plant. They require a prune in late autumn to keep them lush with a good growth habit. Feeding them fortnightly will kelp to better the overall performance of the plant.
They can be planted in containers for a splash of colour on the table or with a mixture of other plants. They also make a great ground-cover in the garden.
Dahlias are a classic beauty. They have been around for many years and with new breeding techniques they get better each year. There are so many new colours to choose from and the flowers come in single or double petals.
Dahlias have a tuber root system and they are evergreen above the soil for only spring and summer. During autumn they will die back to the soil level and disappear for the winter season. BUT do not worry they will re-emerge in the spring once the soil temperatures warm again.
They look great in a potted display with other low growing annuals such as Lobelia, Alyssum, Petunia etc. Dead head (remove finishedblooms) old flowers to encourage more Dahlia flowers to emerge.
One of my favourite plants to grow during the summer season is the humble sunflower! There are some stunning new colours available now in Australia for the first time.
In Australia you can not import sunflower seeds from overseas and the same restrictions apply to our breeders/growers. All the varieties are developed in Australia because of this. So the growers have the difficult task to reinvent the flowers and breed them to achieve new forms.
Sunflowers are best grown in a hot sunny spot in the garden as the flowers open with the sunlight. Dwarf or compact varieties are best suited to larger containers if you lack garden space. Make sure to use a rich potting mix as most sunflowers love a nice soil. If you choose to grow them in the ground mix in a bag of compost prior to planting with the existing soil.Mulch the soil with sugarcane to lock in moisture to give them the best head start. Keep the sunflowers watered and fertilised.
What is your favourite spring or summer flowering plant to grow?
Until next time, happy gardening! ©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook201