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It certainly has got into true winter cold this past week and we will certainly see plenty of frost as the weeks go by. Fortunately spring is just over six weeks away and then we get back to our favourite season – summer! Even though the garden is low on the chore list there are some things that need to get started and of course colour never sleeps so there is always something to do to boost your bedding plants. Azaleas and Camellias are setting buds and coming into flower now giving an opulent splash of colour in semi-shade and half sun.

Camellias add permanent structure to your shade garden and also look great as a container specimen. Make sure that your shade gardens do not dry out too much as this often leads to the buds dropping off or not opening fully. Mulch well with acid compost and feed them every month with Colourburst Azalea and Camellia Food which has been specially formulated for these acid lovers.

Winter is not often thought of as a feeding time in the garden but with an organic fertiliser like Bounce Back you can get great results in the winter garden. Besides the winter perennials and colour that need feeding, Bounce Back as an organic fertiliser is slow release so all the shrubs and evergreens also benefit from nutrients available without the competition from summer growers. It is a 3:1:1 fertiliser with a full range of secondary nutrients and micronutrients in a natural form. Applying now will see your garden through to spring feeding at the end of August.


Indoor Flamingo Lilies

Add a touch of the warmer tropics to your indoor décor. Anthurium also known as Flamingo Lilies are easy to grow with attractive foliage and long lasting flowers year round. Indoors in the brightest possible light they last for months and range in the popular colours of pinks to red and now in white and purples too. While Anthurium’s are able to handle dryness around the root ball, they need to be watered thoroughly and then allowed to dry slightly before watering again. Drying out to much can cause the tip of the leaves to burn and root damage, while over watering can also cause root damage and sudden yellowing of leaves. Feed them with Multifeed Flowergro once a month for best results.


Birds in the Garden

Feeding stations for garden birds is the best way to keep birds returning. Different birds are attracted to different things so a variety in your offering will make all the difference to what birds you attract. Suet is high in protein and helps to fatten the birds up to protect them against the cold. We recommend always adding suet to your feeding station this time of the year. Also try the bird pudding which has a nutty base and attracts different birds. The Bird seed bells and tower block feeders are great for attracting smaller birds as the doves and pigeons can’t hold on to them to feed. Also more and more popular are the Nectar Feeders that attract the honey birds to the garden. Don’t forget the fruit, this time of the year there is very little in the line of berries and such to feed off of so you can keep them happy with an apple or even orange halves. The more regularly you freshen up your feeding station adding variety, the bigger the variety of birds that will visit your garden.

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