Although spring has officially not yet begun, no matter where you live in Australia established gardens with camellias and azaleas in full bloom certainly make you think it has.
August is always about exotics like camellias and azaleas. However, if you have a new garden, perhaps planting some Australian natives is the way to go. Wattles have started transforming the bush with their golden puffs of blossom.
They are super fast growers and often called “nursery plants” as you put them in to quickly grow and fill a space while other slower plants are maturing. Consider planting one in your garden for wattle day on September 1.
Grevilleas, boronias and wax plants are also very pretty and in flower now. Flowering plums are in bloom too. They have dainty pale pink blooms followed by burgundy coloured leaves and are often used as nature strip specimens. Watch that they don’t dry out, and relish their short burst of energy as the first hot windy day we get usually sends their petals flying like snowflakes.
For perfume in the garden, daphne, osmanthus and jasmine are the pick. Or spoil yourself and buy a pot of flowering fragrant bulbs inside like hyacinths or ‘Earlicheer’ jonquils, or a stunning orchid whilst they are in bloom.
Five Things to do Right Now
Camellia sasanquas that have finished flowering can benefit from a light trim all over before their new growth starts to help them bush up, especially if you have planted them recently or want them to be hedged.
If you’re in the tropics, prune back your hibiscus and then feed with chicken manure. It’s also a good idea to prune back any trees prone to breaking in the cyclone season.
2. Remove suckers
Watch out for suckers appearing from below the graft on any flowering or fruiting trees like plums, peaches, cherries and apples or crabs. These can quickly take over, so need to be removed as low down in the ground as you can get with a sharp knife or Secateurs.
3. Plant liliums
Even though spring bulbs are up and away, you could consider potting up some liliums, like Casablancas or Asiatics, for a sublime potted display that can be brought inside for short spells.
4. Get some fruits and veggies growing
Loquats are still in season. They are a very handsome tree belonging to the same family as apples and pears, and have delicious golden fruit and glossy large green leaves with a white felted underside. Watch though that they don’t harbour fruit fly.
It’s too early in frost-prone areas to plant basil and tomatoes, however many coastal areas can get away with planting this early. The earlier these go in, the earlier harvest can begin. Yum.
5. Give your grass some TLC
A must-do job is to turn your attention to your grass. Rake vigorously to remove dead thatch, then top dress with top dressing (not top soil) which you can buy bagged. This will gently feed your lawn and spur on new, healthy growth to quickly repair bare winter patches.