There is something very special about the summer sounds and smells of this area. The call of the storm bird (koel) after a hot day as the storm clouds roll in from the south west and then the wonderful smell of eucalyptus trees after the storm rain. Or the beautifully monotonous croak (not ribbit) of our lovely green tree frog in the down pipe. The sound of cicadas on the still humid air or the smell of freshly mown lawn. All these things make us glad that we live and garden in the best part of the best country in the world.
However, the summer also brings with it a list of garden jobs as long as your arm. Right now its time to prune your hybrid roses by about 20 per cent, then feed and deep water them. This will bring a flush of flowers in a few weeks.
Fruit fly is a serious pest at present. You can spray, bait or trap them, but whatever method you choose, do it with urgency. If youre going away for a break, and you cant get anyone to water the garden, give the garden a deep watering on your odds or evens day, top up the mulch and stand the pot plants in about one or two centimetres of water in the bathtub or laundry tub in a well lit room before going. If you are not going away and want to try your hand at growing a few cuttings from your favourite garden plants now is the best time to do it. All you need is a styrofoam box filled with washed river sand and placed in a shadehouse or under a shady tree. Dip each cutting in hormone powder, make a hole with a pencil and firm it in. When all cuttings are planted simply water in with tepid water and then water each second day to prevent drying out.
What to plant now
Flowers: Petunia, marigold, vinca, salvia, cockscomb, portulaca, sunflower, coleus and celosia.
Vegies: Ceylon spinach, snake bean, sweet corn and pumpkin (together as one complements the other). Also plant herbs such as sweet basil, mint, oregano, coriander, lemongrass and garlic chives.
Gardening tip: When planting moisture loving plants be sure to sprinkle a little water storing granules in the planting hole.
To all our Lismore Garden Club members, and indeed all of you lovely gardeners out there, may you have a safe and happy family Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year. And remember the real reason for the season.
Finally: And the Angel said to them, be not afraid, for behold, I bring to you good news of great joy which will come to all people, for to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10 & 11.
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