Tidy up time
Neaten borders and beds, turn over the compost heap, and mulch well after weeding.
Plant wild gardenia (Gardenia thunbergia), Henkel’s yellowwood (Podocarpus henkelii ), and Cupressus macrocarpa ‘Gold Crest’.
Plant mint, rosemary, thyme, chives, basil, and rocket.
Try this: Grow different coloured basil between your petunias and other flowering annuals. Go for purple basil (spicy-scented with purple leaves and pink flowers), ‘Siam queen’ (green leaves with square purple stems), and ‘Magical Michael’ (compact and bushy with purple and white flowers).
Harvest strawberries, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, and celery.
- On hot days, mist houseplants like ferns and orchids to provide extra humidity.
- Punch holes in the bottom of plastic bottles and place them in shallow holes around plants. Fill with water to give seedlings slow-release moisture.
- Use a soaker hose rather than a sprinkler and water early morning to reduce wasteful evaporation.
- Remove old flower stalks and dead material around the base of spent perennials to prevent mildew and red spider mite.
- Spray roses against black spot, mildew, and aphids.
- Watch out for hawk moth caterpillars feeding at night on impatiens, arum lilies and fuchsias. Remove them by hand.
- Be aware of lawn caterpillar infestations and treat with eco-friendly pesticides from your garden centre.
Top pest tip: Spray early morning or late afternoon to avoid harming garden helps, like bees and ladybugs, that may still be active.
It’s holiday season, and a jolly good reason to celebrate! Live life to the fullest surrounded by the ones you love and a gorgeous garden to host them all in. Life is a Garden’s got a fully loaded, super fun summer entertaining and planting guide to get you in the spirit of things this December.
Wet vines from the garden can be transformed into gorgeous decorative wreaths, which you can secure onto your front door. Try ivy varieties, grapevine, and big num num (Carissa macrocarpa) with ornamental grass strands that’ll maintain colour for longer too. Add to the friendly vibes by adding a textured welcome mat available from your GCA Garden Centre.
Try this: Once you’ve gotten a solid run from your wreath, tie it onto a tree branch and hang some birdseed feeders from it.
Solar lights are the best-kept fun secrets this summer. Light up your pathways with lanterns, accentuate your trees with spiralled fairy lights, and make the patio pop with spotlights highlighting your gorgeous container beauts. Solar jars are also a sure win, to which you can add glass stones for extra sparkle. Solar jars look super magical when added to fairy gardens and scattered around beds.
Always lit tip: Wrap battery-operated fairy lights around your front door DIY wreath for added evening ambience as guests arrive.
Keep the kids entertained and educated with a ‘Find that bug’ quest. You can easily create a printable worksheet for your kids and their friends listing the goggas to be discovered in your garden. Alternatively, there are several local apps to be downloaded, which kids can use to identify their discoveries. Why not get them all to give a fun little presentation about the bugs afterwards!
Handy helpers top tip: To bring in friendly flyers and pest-munching bugs, check out this article: (link to that other article we did about bug/bird-friendly gardens)
Happy house plants
Consider playing with poinsettia (Christmas star) and amaryllis (Christmas flower) as part of your festive décor prep.