Get your garden ship-shape for Christmas and a summer spent outdoors – heady perfumes of tropical flowers, lush lawns and great company will make for memorable summer nights.

Flowering now

  • Trees & Shrubs:
    Cuphea, convolvulus, duranta, frangipani, fuchsia, gardenia, hibiscus, hydrangea, jacaranda, lavender, osmanthus, poinciana, protea, rose, salvia
  • Natives:
    Backhousia, NSW Christmas bush, flannel flower, silky oak, melaleuca (paperbark), eucalyptus
  • Annuals & Perennials:
    Aster, calendula, candytuft, Canterbury bells, cleome, cornflower, echium, erigeron, gazania, geranium, gerbera, hollyhock, linaria, lobelia, Marguerite daisy, marigold, nasturtium, petunia, rudbeckia, verbena, zinnia
  • Bulbs:
    Agapanthus, canna, dahlia, daylily, dietes, gladiolus, hippeastrum
  • Climbers:
    Bougainvillea, mandevilla, pandorea, star jasmine

Plant/sow

  • Fill your garden with aster, marigold, petunia, phlox, salvia, sweet William, verbena and zinnia.
  • December is a great time to plant container-grown bougainvillea, mandevilla, passionfruit and wisteria.
  • Enjoy fresh produce from your garden by planting beans, beetroot, carrot, Chinese cabbage, lettuce, radish, silverbeet and tomato.

Fertilise

  • Boost houseplants with seaweed tonic. But before applying, place plants outside under cover, so the smell doesn’t fill the house. You can leave the plant outside for the day.
  • Before applying fertiliser to your lawn, water it well and water again after application.
  • Feed your ferns and palms a suitable slow-release fertiliser. Check the strength of the fertiliser before applying, as it can be too strong for particular plants.

Prune

  • Trim any spring-flowering plants which have finished blooming.
  • Snip off old blooms from rose plants which have finished flowering and fertilise well.

Pests & diseases

  • Check azaleas for azalea lace bug. A dull mottling or silvering of azalea leaves are signs of an attack. Yates Baythroid will fix the problem.
  • Apply snail bait liberally to prevent slugs and snails munching on new growth. Make sure the bait is out of reach of young children and animals. Alternatively, spray the area with copper oxychloride or use a homemade beer snail trap.
  • Spray caterpillars on edibles and ornamentals with Dipel. Or use derris dust, but wait at least one day before harvesting edibles.
  • Protect azaleas and fuchsia from twospotted mite with a systemic insecticide.
  • Rust, mildew, black spot and other fungus on roses, ornamentals and vegies should be sprayed with a fungicide.

General garden Care

  • Water citrus and feed with specially formulated citrus food. Mulching around the trees will help to retain soil moisture.
  • Train your shrubs, trees and flowers to withstand dry conditions by avoiding frequent light watering.
  • Pot some annuals for late summer colour and plant annuals in the garden to fill any bare spaces.
  • Harvest your vegies frequently. Regular picking encourages more growth.
  • Make sure your garden beds are well mulched.
  • Place sand in saucers under potted plants to stop mosquitoes breeding there.

Buy now

  • Christmas gifts for friends and family.
  • Buy a living Christmas tree. Consider dwarf lilly pilly or NSW Christmas bush
  • Annuals for summer colour.
  • Dipel or derris dust
  • Mulch such as lucerne or sugar cane
  • Lawn fertiliser