19.9 C
Newcastle
Friday, January 29, 2021

Shades of autumn

Finally, autumn and rain has arrived – my deciduous standard trees Catalpas are brown and dropping leaves.

This is normally an indicator that the ground below is cooling off, but this year, noticing the Plane Trees in the city have been brown for some weeks, I think this can be attributed to the lack of rain and heat during summer.

It is surprising that some of nature’s most colourful plants bloom in March, for example Tibouchina Alstonville, which was bred in Alstonville, NSW from lasiandra.

T. Alstonville bears bright purple flowers over a long period; it loves full sun with shelter from prevailing winds.

Each year, I wait eagerly for Sasanqua camellias to bloom – this versatile, hardy shrub will grow in sun or shade, it weathers heat and storm, is great in a pot or as a specimen and is ideal for planting along a narrow driveway for screening.

Although we hedge Golden Durantas, which to a certain extent, eliminates flowering, when allowed to grow freely, at this time of year they produce blue blooms – an ideal foil to their lime green foliage.

Very noticeable this year are the magnificent colours of Crepe Myrtles (Lagerstroemia indica), which have been successfully propagated into brilliant shades by Flemings Nursery in Victoria.

The flowers are borne on large terminal clusters in a range of colours, pinks, red, mauve, purple and now the very popular white.

This week

  • For those who forgot to plant sweet peas on St. Patrick’s Day, the weather is ideal now.
  • If your beds are prepared with poultry manure it is safe to finally plant pansies.
  • It would be wise now, after rain, to apply dolomite to roses.

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