Thursday, January 31

Screen Queens


I was asked recently what a suitable screening plant was for a sunny position?
Here are my top 3 ...

1. Best "Grey Foliage screen" Westringia 'Wynyabbie Gem'
"Wynyabbie Gem" is a 1.5m tall x 1.5 m wide bushy shrub native to Australia. It is also know as native rosemary. This hardy shrub features grey/ green fine foliage. Pretty little mauve flowers appear in spring and throughout the year. I think it's a little under-used in today's gardens. There are so many great reasons to grow this screen. Team it with grey, silver and black foliage for a muted modern palette or use it as a back drop in formal gardens.

2. Best "Tough as Boots Screen"- Viburnum tinus.
I rave about this plant allot. It's an old fashioned shrub that can grow over 3m if left unpruned, but easy to maintain at a medium height. Plant viburnum in a row about 1m apart for a brilliant evergreen hedge or screen. The screen can be kept as low or tall as you like. The lush foliage is covered in clusters of white flowers with a flush of pink in spring. People will knock on my door asking "what is that screen?". It always looks lush, even in the hottest of weather.

3.Best "Red Hedge"- Lilly Pillys.
Pop into Serenity Nursery and you will see several varieties of Australian native lilly pilly. The lilly pilly come under three botanical names- Syzygium, Acmena and waterhousea.  If you are wanting a taller growing screen plant Lilly Pilly Backyard Bliss. It will grow 2-3m tall with magnificent red new growth. This particular lilly pilly is popular as it is psyllid free- so there will be no dimpled foliage in sight.  "Backyard bliss" responds well to pruning and can be pruned to any height.

Hope this will help solves your screening needs...Krystal

Monday, January 28

Out of the Square

 What a quirky idea for a garden gate. It is sometimes these hand-made off beat elements that can make a garden and give it a sense of personality. An"out of the square" detail can break up common garden elements such as lawn, retainer walls and hedging and give your garden life!
Image via Dying of Cute.

Yellow be or not to be...

Someone recently asked us...

Q. "How do I prevent my cucumbers turning yellow".

A. First we would suggest checking the variety of cucumber planted Check the seed packet or seedling label as there a many varieties of cucumber that are intended to be yellow, such as the armanian cucumber. Once you are certain the cucumber is a green variety check your harvest time. Cucumbers are generally ripe between 50-70 days. Cucumbers love a sunny spot and with the right care should thrive during the warmer months. They are fast growers with a shallow root system so frequent harvesting is important. Yellow cucumbers are often the result of over ripeness. Cucumbers should be picked when they are firm and bright green to dark green. If they are left to yellow on the bush they can become bitter and inedible.

Yellow By Design:
A cucumber that is yellow to cream in colour.

Armenia Cucumber (picture above). A yellow cucumber with a wonderful refreshing taste. We grow it in the organic nursery grow house. Sow the seeds in spring or summer. It can be trained up a trellis or left to sprawl.
Our Tip for Growing cucumbers: Use Plants Plus Organic Groganic soil improver to help prepare the soil structure. Fertilise with Neutrog Rocket Fuel, it's a fantastic organic pellitised fertiliser to use from 2 weeks right through the growing season. Keep cucumbers moist and choose a sunny spot in the garden.
Also try Crystal cucumbers a pale apple-sized cucumber that is juicy and lovely to eat on it's own.