Time to reflect as spring draws near


There’s only 11 days left until spring.

Before winter is over, re­flect on your garden and consider what could be planted to improve the garden’s structure.

Are trees needed to provide a canopy and, more importantly, shade?

Before purchasing new trees, there are a few points to consider – find out the mature height and width of a tree before buying.

When the tree is fully grown, where will its shadow fall and will it obstruct overhead power lines. Average-sized gardens can only comfortably accommodate two or three large trees.

Any garden plans should involve decisions about evergreen and deciduous trees. Evergreens are invaluable in basic planning as a screen, whereas deciduous trees provide autumn foliage.

Some display spring blossoms at times, as well as having the ability to supply shade to a specific area of the house during summer, while letting light in during winter.

It is important to blend both deciduous and evergreen trees, noting that this type of structure isn’t achieved overnight. From time to time, you will remove plants that have lost their interest or haven’t achieved what was originally planned for them.

Garden planning can be simplified. Theoretically, trees should be used towards the back of the garden because of their height and they will provide a backdrop for shrubs and ­flowers.

Don’t overlook citrus as they are excellent for screening and are perfect as specimens in the garden and they are, of course, evergreen.

Below is a brief list of trees beginning with evergreens that perform well in the Hunter, remembering though, to consider any climatic conditions peculiar to our area such as a frost or salt.

Evergreens (don’t lose leaves) – Acacias (wattles), eucalypts (smaller growing varieties), Lilly Pilly, Magnolia Little Gem and Teddy Bear. Tuckeroo, Cypress Naylors Blue and Leightons Green.

Deciduous (leaves drop in autumn) – Jacaranda, Acers, Crepe Myrtle, Ash, and Crab Apples.


Roses that were pruned three weeks ago and fertilised with poultry manure should now be fed with a handful of rose food.

Apply peat moss around the surface of camellias and azaleas to protect them from drying winds of winter.

Apply Flourish weekly to spring annuals – primula, pansies, stock and poppies.

Prune hydrangeas by one-third – cut just above a pair of eyes.

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