Smell the roses & herbs & lavender…

With the Melbourne Cup public holiday coming up, some might be turning their thoughts to watching a certain horse race but we like to think of it as an opportunity to get a bit more gardening in!

There’s a lot going on here at Acorn Nursery, veggies and Summer colour are ready to be planted, the gift shop is full of exciting new products and the cafe has a new menu. It’s our favourite time of the year!





You might remember the little sneak peek from our September newsletter but the real thing is now in store. Our new range of vintage and handmade homewares, textiles and furniture from India has just arrived and we’re completely obsessed! Every piece is unique so you’re sure to find exactly the right thing for you.







Tony’s Tips

November 2019

It’s been an unusually cold first half of spring. A lot of plants are a bit behind where they should be by now but we are still lucky to be in a cool, wet and green part of Australia. It’s hard to believe it but Christmas is only about seven weeks away. Start thinking ahead as annuals planted now will look great for Christmas and New Year.

Salvias are now coming into season, with more varieties available each week. I expect Bougainvillea in early November but Hibiscus won’t be available until late November or even December. Vincas are now available and I recommend planting them now. They are heat-loving, drought-tolerant annuals with colourful and long-lasting blooms that only require a little TLC.

Calibrachoa love the warmth and are ideal to add colour to your pots, baskets and garden beds. We grow them in small, medium and large hanging baskets with great success. They love good drainage and soil improved with orange Osmocote.

Traditional Hydrangea Macrocarpa are looking great and this is the best time to choose, plant and enjoy them in your garden. Mandevilleas and Dipladenias are colourful bushes and climbers that are great in both pots and the garden. They will flower from late October through to May with the right care. English lavenders are also coming into their own as we head towards summer. Both normal and dwarf types are neater in growth, more fragrant and most colourful in November and December.

Many plants are coming to their most productive and visually spectacular period at this time of the year. Get out in the garden and enjoy it!

Things to do

  • Trim roses after their first flower flush and feed them well with high k rose food such as Sudden Impact to encourage new growth and a new flush of flowers. A rose can be back in flower 6 to 7 weeks with a trim and feed at this time of year.
  • Protect your tomatoes with regular doses of Tomato Dust. Feed with a high k fertiliser when you see the first pea-sized fruit.
  • It’s now warm enough to plant basil out in the open, and the last chance to plant tomatoes. We have a great range of chillies, herbs and other veggies perfect for planting now.
  • Increase the effectiveness of watering and natural rainfall on your garden and long-term potted plants by applying Saturaid, which I consider to be the best wetting agent. It ensures water repellent soils become water accepting soils. Mulch garden beds with a quality mulch to ensure the moisture stays in.
  • If you haven’t already, prune Azaleas back after flowering, especially the sun hardy Alba Magnifica types, which can be pruned quite hard. Always feed with an acidic plant food after pruning.
  • For all horned or winged lavenders such as Avonview and Princess Violet Lace, prune as hard as you can while still leaving some foliage. Lavenders can’t shoot from the bare wood but love a hard prune as long as there is some foliage to draw sap up and to sustain the plant. Daisies and Rosemary are the same.
  • Gardenias are loving a bit of warmth but keep up with the Harry’s Gardenia Food and water lightly over the whole plant to increase humidity.