The delightful, cheery daffodils are starting to pop up in our gardens so we know spring is near.
The name daffodil possibly derives from ‘affodyle’ an old English word meaning early comer.
Some of the hardy geraniums will grow in a poor sunny part of the garden where they will delight you with pretty saucer-shaped flowers.
Foxgloves will grow in fairly poor, dry conditions in the light shade of a woodland setting. Remove seed-heads to avoid seedlings popping up all over the garden.
Most rhododendrons require little pruning with perhaps the occasional shortening of a branch.
Watch new growth and pinch out the tip bud of branches that grow too fast.
This is better than allowing them to grow long and then shortening them, better to pinch early and prevent unwanted growth before it starts.
Hellebores, or winter roses, flower right through the cold months and much of their show is created by the long-lasting bracts, individual blooms can last for weeks.
Ideal for those shady positions, increase by seed or division. There are many new varieties in flower in most nurseries now.
Pelargoniums make great indoor plants because the relatively dry air of most rooms suits them. In the garden they prefer well-drained, cool soil in a sunny position.
The major attribute of these tough, low maintenance plants is their ability to flower over a long period.
A wind break of mixed species of shrubs and trees is often preferred by gardeners who don’t like the constant trimming and who like variety in a hedge.
Mixed plantings should be carefully selected for harmonious relationships and soil preferences between plants.
With differing heights and shapes a double row of plants should be used.
Where trees are planted, place shrubs in front of these to increase the efficiency of the wind break.
Deciduous azaleas have striking flower colours in yellows, orange and salmon tones. They tolerate the coldest climates and grow about 1.2m, sometimes higher.
Propagation is by hardwood cuttings with a heel taken in late summer when the new season’s growth has become quite firm.
These make great potted standard specimens.
One of our iconic trees is the leatherwood whose honey is among our state’s treasures.
The white, open flowers are like dainty butterflies resting all over the branches with the red anthers tipping the stamens being most attractive in the early opening stages. It’s an ideal tree for a large garden.