Cassias are blooming lovely at this time of year
AMONG the large variety of trees flowering their hearts out at present are two of the tree cassias - the delightful apple blossom cassia (c. javanica), and the bright and beautiful golden showers (c. fistula).
Apple blossom is a beautiful broad-crowned tree that grows about eight metres tall and wide, making it ideal for a large garden to create a shadehouse effect, or overhanging the front fence where passers-by can benefit from its shade.
The fine fern-like foliage makes it an attractive tree even without the flowers, but when they appear in summer they are lovely.
Golden showers or Indian senna is a semi-evergreen, usually retaining some foliage during winter, producing a magnificent display of large, pendulous racemes of rich yellow flowers from late spring right through the summer, and these have a light perfume.
The tree grows about 6-7m tall and probably 5m wide, and certainly makes a real eye-catcher.
A gift for yourself
For many years we've been encouraging everyone to keep a Yates Garden Guide nearby, to assist them in knowing what flowers, vegies, herbs, fruit trees and ornamentals to plant and when to plant them.
That book has given us so much help over the past 50 years, and the upgraded editions of Australia's most popular gardening book have kept all of us well up to date.
Lo and behold, a terrific new Yates book Month by Month by Judy Horton arrived just before the Christmas break, and what a beauty it is.
As with the Garden Guide, it is divided into different climatic zones, then every month of the year has 20 dedicated pages containing some wonderful ideas, guides on what to plant for your climate, excellent tips to make life easier and/or the garden perform better, beautiful colour photos, and your own page to fill in as you go.
Give a vegie garden a chance in your backyard.
First, select an open sunny situation, where vegetables will receive as much sunlight as possible, preferably in a spot facing north to north-east to receive the early morning sun.
Provide protection from both cold and hot winds, or at least allow for that.