By Amateur Gardner
Winter is now officially here and, we hope, with some good soaking rains for our parched soils.
Although the cold time of the year is now beginning, a good way to keep warm is to tidy up all the neglected parts of the garden we never seem to get to.
June is the month we see all the bare rooted roses displayed in the garden shops and nurseries.
Before you rush out to buy all those enticing bundles, do some preparation work of your soil if it has not been done before.
Roses enjoy at least four hours of sunshine, and the addition of some good compost worked into the soil gives the roses an extra boost to start.
Dig your hole at least 50cm by 50cm, and on the planting day, fill the hole with water and let it soak away.
Whilst doing this, soak your rose in a bucket of seaweed solution and then carefully place it in the hole, making sure the graft union is at least 4cm above the ground level.
Firm the soil around the rose and give it another drink with the seaweed solution.
Potted roses can really be planted most months of the year.
If you wish to replace a rose where there was one before, here a few extra hints for you:
Roses do not like to be planted where there was one before.
Dig the hole as stated previously, however, remove all the soil and place a cardboard box in the hole, filling it with fresh new soil.
Plant your rose into this and it will appreciate your extra effort and reward you by flourishing.
For good housekeeping, remove all dead leaves from your roses; making sure the fallen leaves are also collected to help stop the cycle of black spot in the garden.
Do not compost the leaves but place in your green recycling bin and hold off with the pruning until the threat of frosts are over.
Winter in South Australia has some hidden treasures of flowers.
The South Australian Blue Gum is one.
Eucalyptus Leucoxylon is a tall majestic tree with flowers that range in colour from cream to red.
Correas also give a good display in winter, however they are not as flamboyant, displaying small dainty flowers.
Correa Alba and Correa Reflexa both give long displays of flowers which attract birds and may be planted in full sun or part shade with the bonus of being frost resistant and easy to grow.
Also, divide your Agapanthus and Cannas in June, I am sure there will be some gardeners this year willing to take these hardy plants.
Rhubarb may also be divided and replanted out.