A cool time to garden

Gardening tips courtesy of Yates.

Gardening tips courtesy of Yates.

Hellebores are a delight during the cooler months of the year.

Cool weather doesn’t have to mean the end of flowers. Here are some floral ideas to brighten up your garden.

Winter roses
You can add gorgeous winter colour into low light areas in your garden with hellebores. Also known as winter roses, they are perfect for growing in full-to-partly-shaded spots such as underneath the canopies of trees or in a pot on a shady patio. They are a delight during the cooler months of the year, putting on a prolific display of large, bell-shaped flowers right throughout winter and into early spring.

Hellebore Ruby Daydream is a spectacular hellebore from Living Fashion. It has stunning dark claret blooms that sit above the foliage. Growing to around 50cm high and 60cm wide, it flowers for many months and looks wonderful when mass-planted in a shady garden bed.

Despite having a delicate appearance, it’s a hardy plant that is both dry and frost tolerant. Ruby Daydream can also be planted in a container, creating a beautiful outdoor table centrepiece or winter courtyard focal point. Potted hellebores can also be brought indoors for a few days at a time to show off their flowers.

Trim off spent flower stems to keep plants looking tidy and promote further flowers. Feed hellebores every six to eight weeks during periods of new foliage growth and flowering with Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food to promote both healthy foliage growth and lots of beautiful flowers.

Regular applications of Yates Dynamic Lifter will also nurture and improve the soil and encourage earthworms and beneficial soil microorganisms.

Gorgeous cyclamens
Cyclamens (Cyclamen persicum) come in a range of beautiful flower colours, from pinks and purples through to white, scarlet and magenta, with some varieties having two toned flowers, ruffled petals or a light fragrance. Cyclamen’s heart-shaped leaves are also attractive and can have mottled colours. Beautiful potted cyclamens become available in the cooler months and many lucky Mums would have received one for Mother’s Day. With a little care, cyclamens can flower for many months and can be grown outdoors or indoors on a cool, well-ventilated, brightly-lit windowsill.

When watering cyclamens, only water the soil surface, avoiding wetting the flowers and foliage (to minimise disease) and only water when the soil feels a little dry. Remove any spent flowers by twisting them off at the base and feed each fortnight with a potassium enriched liquid fertiliser like Yates Thrive Roses & Flowers Liquid Plant Food.

When cyclamen leaves start to turn yellow in late spring, reduce watering and allow the pot to dry out in preparation for their dormant phase during summer. You can keep a dormant cyclamen in a sheltered spot outside in the garden (underneath a shrub is ideal) until new shoots start to emerge at the end of summer. The cyclamen can then be re-potted using fresh, good quality potting mix, to give it a new lease on life.

Roses
It’s bare-rooted rose planting time. A bagged, leafless bare-rooted rose bears little resemblance to the magnificent flowering plant it can become. Cast your mind forward to spring and summer when it will be delighting you with masses of blooms. Early to mid-winter is the time to get your bare-rooted roses planted.

Here are some simple steps to give it the best possible start:

  • Unwrap the plastic from around the roots and then place the plant in a bucket of water, so that all the roots are covered. It’s important not to let the roots dry out.
  • In a sunny spot that receives at least six hours of sunshine a day, dig a hole around 30cm wide and deep. Mix some Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food into the soil dug from the hole.
  • Create a pyramid shaped mound of soil in the bottom of the planting hole.
  • Place the rose in the hole with its roots sitting on and around the mound of soil. Ensure that the graft union (bump on the stem) will be sitting at least 5cm above the final ground level.
  • Backfill around the roots gently with Dynamic Lifter-enriched soil and water well.
  • Apply a layer of organic mulch, like bark chips or Lucerne or pea straw, around the new rose, keeping the mulch a few centimetres away from the stem.
  • Keep the soil moist while the new rose establishes.

Sometimes a rose will produce new shoots prematurely during winter. These are vulnerable to damage from cold and frosts. If your roses are developing tender new growth, help protect them by draping some shade or frost cloth over the plants.

Sow from seed
There are lots of lovely flowers to sow in early winter in warm areas. Sowing flowers now will reward you with beautiful blooms in a few months time, so it’s worthwhile spending a few minutes in June to get them into the ground or seed raising trays.

Statice is a tough annual that produces paper-textured, vibrant-coloured flowers in white, yellow, blue and rose, that can be picked fresh for a vase or dried for a long lasting floral display. Sow seed 6mm deep into trays or punnets of Black Magic Seed Raising Mix and transplant into a sunny spot in the garden when the seedlings are large enough to handle.

Alyssum Carpet of Snow is a drought- hardy annual that has masses of tiny white fragrant flowers over a long period and makes an ideal border, ground cover or potted flower. Scatter seed direct where they are to grow and lightly cover with soil or seed raising mix and keep the area moist while the seedlings establish.

Baby’s Breath Gypsophila is a popular cut flower and you can grow by sowing seeds in June. They can be sown directly where they are to grow in rows or clumps and plants will flower in around 10 weeks.

Before sowing seeds or planting seedlings into a garden bed, enrich the soil first with some Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food. It’s rich in organic matter and improves soil health and structure as well as encouraging earthworms and beneficial soil microorganisms.

Once the seedlings are around 5cm tall, start feeding each week with potassium fortified Thrive Flower & Fruit Soluble

Fertiliser, which contains a balanced blend of nutrients to promote healthy leaf growth and lots of colourful flowers.—

- Courtesy of Yates

Cool weather doesn’t have to mean the end of flowers. Here are some floral ideas to brighten up your garden.

Winter roses
You can add gorgeous winter colour into low light areas in your garden with hellebores. Also known as winter roses, they are perfect for growing in full-to-partly-shaded spots such as underneath the canopies of trees or in a pot on a shady patio. They are a delight during the cooler months of the year, putting on a prolific display of large, bell-shaped flowers right throughout winter and into early spring.

Hellebore Ruby Daydream is a spectacular hellebore from Living Fashion. It has stunning dark claret blooms that sit above the foliage. Growing to around 50cm high and 60cm wide, it flowers for many months and looks wonderful when mass-planted in a shady garden bed.

Despite having a delicate appearance, it’s a hardy plant that is both dry and frost tolerant. Ruby Daydream can also be planted in a container, creating a beautiful outdoor table centrepiece or winter courtyard focal point. Potted hellebores can also be brought indoors for a few days at a time to show off their flowers.

Trim off spent flower stems to keep plants looking tidy and promote further flowers. Feed hellebores every six to eight weeks during periods of new foliage growth and flowering with Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food to promote both healthy foliage growth and lots of beautiful flowers.

Regular applications of Yates Dynamic Lifter will also nurture and improve the soil and encourage earthworms and beneficial soil microorganisms.

Gorgeous cyclamens
Cyclamens (Cyclamen persicum) come in a range of beautiful flower colours, from pinks and purples through to white, scarlet and magenta, with some varieties having two toned flowers, ruffled petals or a light fragrance. Cyclamen’s heart-shaped leaves are also attractive and can have mottled colours. Beautiful potted cyclamens become available in the cooler months and many lucky Mums would have received one for Mother’s Day. With a little care, cyclamens can flower for many months and can be grown outdoors or indoors on a cool, well-ventilated, brightly-lit windowsill.

When watering cyclamens, only water the soil surface, avoiding wetting the flowers and foliage (to minimise disease) and only water when the soil feels a little dry. Remove any spent flowers by twisting them off at the base and feed each fortnight with a potassium enriched liquid fertiliser like Yates Thrive Roses & Flowers Liquid Plant Food.

When cyclamen leaves start to turn yellow in late spring, reduce watering and allow the pot to dry out in preparation for their dormant phase during summer. You can keep a dormant cyclamen in a sheltered spot outside in the garden (underneath a shrub is ideal) until new shoots start to emerge at the end of summer. The cyclamen can then be re-potted using fresh, good quality potting mix, to give it a new lease on life.

Roses
It’s bare-rooted rose planting time. A bagged, leafless bare-rooted rose bears little resemblance to the magnificent flowering plant it can become. Cast your mind forward to spring and summer when it will be delighting you with masses of blooms. Early to mid-winter is the time to get your bare-rooted roses planted.

Here are some simple steps to give it the best possible start:

  • Unwrap the plastic from around the roots and then place the plant in a bucket of water, so that all the roots are covered. It’s important not to let the roots dry out.
  • In a sunny spot that receives at least six hours of sunshine a day, dig a hole around 30cm wide and deep. Mix some Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food into the soil dug from the hole.
  • Create a pyramid shaped mound of soil in the bottom of the planting hole.
  • Place the rose in the hole with its roots sitting on and around the mound of soil. Ensure that the graft union (bump on the stem) will be sitting at least 5cm above the final ground level.
  • Backfill around the roots gently with Dynamic Lifter-enriched soil and water well.
  • Apply a layer of organic mulch, like bark chips or Lucerne or pea straw, around the new rose, keeping the mulch a few centimetres away from the stem.
  • Keep the soil moist while the new rose establishes.

Sometimes a rose will produce new shoots prematurely during winter. These are vulnerable to damage from cold and frosts. If your roses are developing tender new growth, help protect them by draping some shade or frost cloth over the plants.

Sow from seed
There are lots of lovely flowers to sow in early winter in warm areas. Sowing flowers now will reward you with beautiful blooms in a few months time, so it’s worthwhile spending a few minutes in June to get them into the ground or seed raising trays.

Statice is a tough annual that produces paper-textured, vibrant-coloured flowers in white, yellow, blue and rose, that can be picked fresh for a vase or dried for a long lasting floral display. Sow seed 6mm deep into trays or punnets of Black Magic Seed Raising Mix and transplant into a sunny spot in the garden when the seedlings are large enough to handle.

Alyssum Carpet of Snow is a drought- hardy annual that has masses of tiny white fragrant flowers over a long period and makes an ideal border, ground cover or potted flower. Scatter seed direct where they are to grow and lightly cover with soil or seed raising mix and keep the area moist while the seedlings establish.

Baby’s Breath Gypsophila is a popular cut flower and you can grow by sowing seeds in June. They can be sown directly where they are to grow in rows or clumps and plants will flower in around 10 weeks.

Before sowing seeds or planting seedlings into a garden bed, enrich the soil first with some Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food. It’s rich in organic matter and improves soil health and structure as well as encouraging earthworms and beneficial soil microorganisms.

Once the seedlings are around 5cm tall, start feeding each week with potassium fortified Thrive Flower & Fruit Soluble

Fertiliser, which contains a balanced blend of nutrients to promote healthy leaf growth and lots of colourful flowers.—

- Courtesy of Yates

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    Do you think Simon Bridges will still be leader of the National Party at the next election?