What veggies and flowers can you plant now - Mar 19, 2021

What's the secret to growing African Violets.

Dear gardening friends.

I spotted this amazing purple flowering tree called Tibouchina alstonville yesterday, in Mortdale. The fabulous purple flowers really popped, up against the White House.

You will be seeing Tibouchinas flowering everywhere during autumn, because these trees and shrubs, always perform better, after summer rain.

We have new varieties that don't grow as big as this beauty.
Look for one called "Purple Star".
It has more compact foliage, more flowers and it only grows 2 metres high.

We also have Tibouchina Jules and Groovy Baby. These cuties, only grow one metre high, and are suitable for smaller gardens.

It's a great time to plant everything during autumn, and this rain is making our plants grow even faster. Come see us for the best plants.

Anne Martin Henry lives in Ambarvale and she started growing African Violets 15 years ago. She's had this beautiful pink flowering African Violet since the beginning.
It's the biggest I've ever seen.

What's her secret?

She's found they grow best in her kitchen, in front of this eastern facing window.
The morning sun streams in through the glass every morning, and the plants respond with fresh new growth and spectacular flowers.

She waters her plants from the bottom. She has special African Violet pots that absorb moisture through the walls.

When she couldn't buy these anymore, when our supplier finally retired, she switched to Bermagui Mudworks African Violet pots. She's having great success with these too.

She fills up the saucer and lets the plants soak up the water.

Anne grows new plants from leaves, she simply removes a leaf and plants the stem in a pot.

She told me a story about buying an African Violet that was covered in Mealy bugs.
It was in a terrible state.
She didn't get it from us.
She managed to find one leaf that didn't have any bugs, and she grew another plant from that.

She's getting old now.
You could tell that she's been a keen gardener all her life.
She wouldn't let me take her photo.
She let her plants do the talking.
We had a laugh.

Anne kindly gave me a Madagascar Palm.
Check it out at the front of our store.
You can tell it's from Madagascar by the thorns on the trunk.

Hayden's Succulent Garden has been a sales sensation. It seems everyone wants to win this amazing succulent pot.
We've sold $1,000 worth of tickets in the first week. It's certainly beautiful.
Tickets are 3 for $5.00 or $2.00 each.
Winner will be drawn at the end of the month. All money raised goes to Beyondblue. Come buy a ticket.

We did a Guerilla tree planting last Sunday.
We planted 5 advanced Jacaranda trees in a carpark that has been treeless for 30 years. It looks so much better already.
Trees make a city look loved.

This weeks rain has helped them get settled and I can see fresh new growth appearing already.

If you're thinking about doing some Guerilla gardening, do it this month.
Warm soil and cooler nights makes plants grow faster, and recent rain, means conditions are perfect.

Still having a lot of interest from people wanting to know what's in season now?
When Covid started 12 months ago, we suddenly realised that most people didn't have a clue about seasons. They thought tomatoes and other vegetables grew all year round. They don't.

What can you plant now??????

HERBS – plant chives, curry, dill, mint, parsley, sage and thyme.

FRUIT & VEGETABLE – plant artichoke, asparagus, beetroot, broad beans, broccoli, Brussels sprout, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, endive, leek, lettuce, onion, peas, snow peas, silver beet, spinach and radish.

FLOWERS – plant alyssum, aquilegia, begonia, calendula, cineraria, cornflower, cyclamen, delphinium, dianthus, erigeron, foxglove, geranium, hollyhock, larkspur, lobelia, nemesia, pansy, polyanthus, poppy, primula, ranunculus, snapdragon, stock and viola.

Remember if your planting seedlings, you have to improve the soil first before planting.

Dig Tim's Cow Manure into your soil.
One bag treats about 3m2.
Water twice daily for a week then once per day after that. Conditions are perfect
Get gardening now.

A group of special kids came to visit me yesterday. I was asked to speak about what we do here? The adult kids came in different outfits, to suit their personalities.

I was cleaning dead leaves from Geraniums when they arrived, so the talk started about how important it is to keep plants looking healthy.

As I looked up, I noticed a boy wearing a football jersey wasn't interested. A group of three had decided already, that I was boring.

I took the group out to the dock area and spoke about how as plants arrive, we price them, and then we bring them inside for sale.

I spoke about how important it is to repot overgrown plants into bigger pots, to encourage more growth and healthier plants.

I began asking the kids questions about the subject and I was surprised how educated their answers were.

The kids became more interested. The footy jersey boy lost his mojo and even he came forward and got involved.

We talked about how exciting it is to grow trees from seed. I showed them Jacaranda trees, and Butterfly trees, that we have grown from seed here.

I told them how the Butterfly tree has leaves that look like a Butterfly and that there is a tree in Mawson Park that's got seed pods on it now. "Why don't they grow their own tree?"

They got very excited about this.
They had to walk past the park on the way back.

We talked about how plants are used in perfumes and lotions. They crushed a mint leaf and they realized it smelt like tooth paste.

We crushed an Aloe Vera leaf and rubbed the juice into sores on our hands.

Then we went to the potting up bench, and watched each other pot up a 'Money Plant" cutting to take home. You could tell they'd never touched potting mix before.
I gave them a score out of 10.

We watered our plants, and washed our hands. We took a Coleus cutting home to grow in a jar of water.

They had all come alive.
The transformation was amazing.
"Did you all have a great time", I inquired.
"No" one boy up the back responded.
I laughed.

Gardening fills you with endorphins and gives you energy. It makes us happy.
Autumn is a great time to garden.
Come and see us if you need help.
We have lots of goodies.
Happy gardening