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Colouring in the garden

The best way to lift the spirits and get one motivated is to get your hands into the garden and plant some colour. This time of the year just a small planting project that takes a few minutes makes all the difference.

Fragrant Alyssum for sunSweet Alyssum

Whatís not to love about the sweet Alyssum? This gorgeous annual growing in sun cascading over the edge of a container has the sweetest honey fragrance and flowers virtually nonstop till the end of October. Alyssum flower makes a wonderful border plant for walkways and edging and in rocky gardens. They also make perfect fillers between spring-flowering bulbs such as Daffodils and Freesias. Sweet alyssum flower self-sows freely but itís the new larger flowering hybrids that catch the eye. Do not plant alyssum flowers in areas where children play as the fragrance attracts bees but on the other side, they are one of the best to plant in the worldwide initiative to provide flowers for bees to encourage healthy colonies for food security.

Lilium bulb timeTime for Lilium Bulbs

May into June is also time to plant the Ilium Bulbs. Lilies do well in the garden or in containers and will come back each year. Faces in the sun and feet in the shade is the tip here, so make sure the soil at their feet are covered with ground cover. With our warmer autumn and related soil temperatures the winter bulb planting season has been extended and you can still plant the rest of the bulbs till mid-June.

Frilly leafed hybrid cabbagesOrnamental cabbage

The fancy-leaved cousins of cabbage make a bold statement in the cool season garden. They are edible but are bitter so one would not grow them to eat but they make great companion plants in mixed plantings and always draw attention. They were developed as a winter colour leaf by hybridizing cabbage and cauliflower and after years of development we get the range of colours we have today. They are extremely cold-tolerant and need full sun to light shade. The more sun and colder the more compact they will grow.

The survivor plantThe Hop bush colours intensify in the cold

Dodonaea Purpurea also known as the Hop Bush is a shrub with attractive plum foliage that intensifies in colour in colder weather. Extremely hardy and tough it is a true survivor plant and grow equally well in maintained or neglected areas of the garden. Small ornamental, reddish or purple seeds are produced in summer and it will grow well in a sunny, to partly shaded position with moist, well-drained soil. As a hedging plant or windbreak they are quite striking particularly if pruned to shape in early spring to encourage bushier growth. If left untrimmed they can easily grow into an elegant shrub 3M in height and around 1.5M wide

Violas have pretty faces tooEverybodyís favourite

Pansies and Violas are just about everybodyís favourite flowering for months on end. Plant then now and they will be in flower well into October and even early November making them incredible value for money. Pansies through winter want full sun to most day sun to perform at their best. If you give them too much shade they will produce fewer flowers through the coldest months and only provide a mass show at the end of spring. Violas look just like pansies but have a smaller flower. Violas are for semi-shade and have the added fun element that their flowers are often fragrant.

Read more here on getting colour in the winter garden

Protect with Frost CoverDonít get caught this year

We are a few weeks away from first frost but if you have a special plant you need to protect from frost we recommend that you cover from the first week of May. Even though traditionally our first heavy frost is expected in week three of May let's not forget about the odd year it arrives early. Cover tender plants with frost guard which allows the plants to breath and also allows light in which means the plants can still grow inside the cover during winter. The best way is to make a tepee over the plant and then tie it down so that it does not blow off on a windy night.

Comments (1)Add Comment
written by Property Heaven, 10 June, 2013
I agree that plants are the best way to lift your spirits. Colour is always good and uplifting and plants create that harmony that everyone needs. Enjoyed this informative post.

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