By Sue Montgomery | Horticulturist
The autumn tones are colouring the countryside. It is wonderful driving through The Hills area and seeing the changes. Maples, claret ash, liquid ambers and birch look colourful with their yellow leaves and white bark. Autumn is a great time to spend in the garden, planting out bulbs and ground covers.
Daffodils narcissus, the early golden daffodils “King Alfred” look best if planted in clumps. Freesias are fragrant and colourful. As it is cooler we can get those jobs done, raking the leaves and composting them or putting them through the mulcher.
The Camellia sasanqua with their glossy green foliage and beautiful flowers are providing colour in the garden. They are popular garden plants and grow in a wide range of climate zones. They flower from autumn through winter and into spring.
Shrubs in flower at present are buddleia and davidii “Black Knight”- butterfly bush with arching branches and deep green leaves with conical clusters of nectar rich flowers.
Plectranthus argentatus is a low growing plant with silver-grey foliage plant in groups for visual impact.
Annuals and perennials also provide colour in the autumn garden, Gaura butterfly bush with pink and white flowers is looking great as are succulents such as Sedum “Autumn Joy”pink flowers and silver wax leaves. Marigolds brighten the flower garden with yellow and orange flowers and the best contrast with blue salvias. Annuals require regular liquid fertiliser to promote strong growth.
Sweet Peas are usually planted on St Patrick’s Day, March 17 they are fragrant and colourful. Plant about 2 cm in soil and shoots will appear in seven days.
Belladonna lilies pink and white flowers spring up before the leaves. Evergreen trees that are flowering at present include Ivory Curl tree Buckinghamia with cream flowers up to 20 cm and glossy green foliage and Stenocarpus sinuatus -Firewheel tree with rich red flowers that the bees and parrots enjoy.
A visit to your local nursery will provide a great way to discover seasonal plants.