Out of Lockdown and into the Garden!

Here we are again coming out of lockdown and hoping it'll be the last time! We always love spending time in the garden but there's something about that fresh-out-of-lockdown feeling that makes us appreciate it even more. This is a great time to make the most of the last of the cold weather—do any major planting you have planned and enjoy the hints of spring just around the corner!

Copper Pots

Every piece in our exclusive range of handmade vintage copper and brass pots is unique. We find that there's one to suit every interior design style and we're always thinking of new things to do with them! They obviously make the perfect pot for a feature indoor plant but they can also be used to store spare blankets, firewood, or as an umbrella stand!

Tony's Tips

Although it is the last month of winter, August is also when we see the early signs of spring! Magnolias are flowering, plum blossom is well on its way and the roses are shooting away strongly.

Traditional favourite Daphne is at its best this month. It loves a very well-drained position up on a mound of improved soil in a shaded position or in a pot with a suitable potting mix. Daphne hates wet feet! Boronia also loves good drainage and a good prune and feed after flowering. I'm told it has a beautiful fragrance; I can’t smell it but I grow it for my wife.

Deciduous Magnolias are always a treat in August with their amazing display of large colourful flowers. In nature, they grow up in the hills so plant up on a mound of improved soil to ensure good drainage and spectacular results.

The first tomato and petunia seedlings will be available later this month and lots of other new season stock will come in as the season starts to change.

There are lots of plants to brighten up your garden at this time, winter and spring flowering Lavenders are great, as are perennial Wallflowers, new season African Daisies and winter-flowering natives. There can be a lot of happiness in your garden if you want there to be. August is an excellent time to plant most things so that the plant is accustomed to its new home and can get the best out of spring!

Things to do:

  • Prune soft herbaceous perennials and shrubs such as Fuchsias, Salvias, and Heliotrope to encourage new growth.
  • Feed roses with a suitable fertiliser if you haven’t already and use the same food on bulbs that have finished flowering to fatten them up and ensure they flower next year.
  • Prune hedges such as Pittosporum, Portuguese Laurel, and Lilly Pilly now to establish the desired height and shape for spring growth. Don’t prune spring-flowering hedges like Spirea and Michelia until after flowering. Feed after pruning to encourage strong new growth.
  • Control Bindi and Clover in lawns with a suitable selective weedicide. I find the most effective way to apply it is by mixing the concentrate in a watering can and carefully applying it.
  • Start feeding Gardenias with Harry’s Gardenia Food as the soil starts to warm in the second half of August. It’s been a long and cold winter and the Gardenias will need some help to move forward.
  • Feed evergreen shrubs and perennials growing under deciduous trees in late August with a complete fertiliser. Whilst the trees are still asleep the plants underneath can take up the food in preparation for spring!
  • Remember the main three rules in planting new plants:
    1. Don’t tease the roots
    2. Don’t plant the plant deeper than it was in the pot
    3. Always plant into improved soil!

Plant of the Month

Strawberry Big Sweetie

Strawberry Big Sweetie

Our favourite Strawberry Big Sweetie will be available again this month. This is a commercially grown variety that produces large, sweet red fruit over a very long season. Like all strawberries, it likes a sunny, well-drained position with regular encouragement from a high potassium flower and fruit orientated fertiliser. I have had great success growing them in large pots and hanging baskets.