Written by Amateur Gardner
The Adelaide pageant has been and gone and now the heat and flies are here saying it is December, and Christmas is fast approaching.
To keep the garden looking good, remember to maintain your housekeeping; water
deeply, sweep the paths, remove fallen fruit and compost, weed, mow the lawns and keep your secateurs close at hand.
The wisteria vines at this time of the year tend to develop a mind of their own so to keep them under control prune the long wispy tendrils.
Geraniums and pelargoniums need to be deadheaded and pruned, only lightly, but to encourage another flush of roses; in a few weeks deadhead the spent blooms.
Do not compost your rose prunings, but rather put them in the green recycling bin and if you see black spot on the leaves also remove and bin these leaves.
Some roses are more susceptible to black spot so if you are planning to buy new plants next year read the label carefully, ask about the susceptibility and perhaps choose another.
Two suggestions for December flowering perennial plants are Phlomis Fruiticosa (Jerusalem Sage) and Ageratum fruiticosa (Floss Flower).
Jerusalem Sage grows to maybe a metre with furry, aromatic grey leaves and will thrive in poor soils with minimum water requirements.
The bright yellow flowers appear in wholes near the top of the stems, are long lasting and maybe picked for indoors.
Just prune back to half the size in April.
The Floss Flower is an old garden favourite which requires more water than the Phlomis but is still fairly water wise and may become as tall as two thirds of a metre.
The light mauve flowers are a magnet for butterflies and will grow in part shade or full sun. Ageratums appreciate a light deadheading and a gentle prune to keep them at their best.
Until next month- may you all share in a safe and happy Christmas.