Courtyard Garden Archives - Hedge and Stone

Acid Lovers…

Posted by | Acid loving plants, Camellias, Courtyard Garden, Garden Advice, Garden Design, Garden Maintenance, Mulching, Ornamental Trees, Soil pH | No Comments

Camellia101-2Acid loving plants…

http://backyardgardensjoseph.com/?bioener=japan-gay-dating-apps&fdd=7a Both feared and revered by gardeners, the acid loving plants include popular garden ornamentals such as azaleas, gardenias, daphne, camellia, pieris and rhododendrons. Producing some of the most beautiful and wonderfully fragrant blossoms, these plants can be problematic for gardeners, as generally, they prefer a pH of around 5.5; this lower pH allows them to absorb the nutrients they require.   Along with their particular pH requirements, these plants are sensitive to their microclimate and soil/water conditions.

Valuable maintenance tips for our acid loving plants

http://werksmanjackson.com/?milihuos=une-rencontre-avec-sophie-marceau-bande-annonce&46a=62  

Check and balance pH levels

ثنائي الخيار whitelabel Acid loving plants can survive in soils with a pH range from 5 to 6.2 however prefer the pH to be between 5 and 5.5. You can use a home pH test kit to test your soil – pick one up at your local nursery.  Soils that tend to be too alkaline or have a pH that is too high can be remedied by using the right selection of mulch and compost materials. A good solution is to use leaf mold; it tends to be acidic and breaks down quickly, making it excellent mulch that will also build the organic matter in the soil and lower the pH. If the pH needs adjusting there are many products available that introduce combinations of iron & sulphur into the soil to increase acidity and lower pH.

Mulch

go to site As acid loving plants tend to require a soil rich in organic matter, mulches that break down have the added benefit of building the soil as they compost. Choose mulches like lucerne & pea straw. Using a long-term mulch like wood chips will require a separate program for maintaining the organic matter in the soil below and as the root systems of these plants are sensitive, is not ideal. Rhododendrons and camellias have shallow, fibrous root balls, which need to be kept cool and moist.

Irrigation

http://sumarplant.ro/franciye/853 Regular watering is essential so choose a suitable watering system so either a well placed drip system or over-head system is preferred. Irregular, deep watering is not recommended as it causes the plants to drop their buds. Aerial sprays are an excellent choice for maintaining azaleas as spraying the underside of azaleas helps control spider mite infestations – a common pest affecting azaleas.

Pruning

go to site Only ever prune these plants to shape or when hedging azaleas – otherwise it is not required. Disbud Camellia japonicas to improve the quality and size of the blossoms; remove excess flower buds along stems for optimal spacing and leave two buds at the terminus of the branch only. Rhododendrons can be deadheaded; take care not to damage the nodes beneath the blossoms on the stem otherwise there will be no new growth or flowers next season.

Soil Maintenance

rencontre femme luxembourgeoise This includes checking and improving drainage and amelioration. Improve clay soils by adding organic matter and using gypsum or clay breakers where necessary. Sandy soils can be built up with the addition of organic matter.

Fertilising

enter In soils with significant deficiencies, feed acid loving plants with a fertiliser designed specifically for the needs of acid loving plants. They contain added iron and sulphur to help maintain a low pH and often also include a soil wetter to aid in maintaining soil moisture:

http://ecapguatemala.org.gt/poioe/7334 Disbud

source site To increase flower size and vigor of the japonica camellias, remove excess flower buds along stems for optimal spacing and leave two buds at the terminus of the branch only.

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Hedging outside the box…

Posted by | Courtyard Garden, Garden Advice, Garden Design, Hedges, Landscape Advice, Uncategorized | No Comments

Want to create or update a hedge using something other than the ubiquitous English box or Cyprus?

Here a some ideas for creating beautiful hedges using less common plants, to great effect…
photo2Strawberry guava or Feijoa sellowiana creates a dense, soft grey hedge with gorgeous flowers and delicious fruit…an edible hedge!
Lulu-FoliageThere are many varieties of Lily Pily being produced such as Syzygium australe and Syzygium luehmannii that make wonderful hedges. They are native and therefore much better suited to our dry climate. There are many, many cultivars being produced with a wonderful variety of foliage colors to complement their gorgeous, cream blossoms.
Port-Wine-Magnolia-Hedge-2The beautiful and fragrant Port Wine Magnolia or Michelia figo can be cultivated as a beautiful hedge.
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Creeping Fig, Ficus pumila can be used to quickly cover ugly brick or masonary fences to give the appearance of a low maintenance, neat, dense hedge.
maxresdefaultSalt Bush, Rhagodia spinescens, has soft grey foliage and is extremely hardy. With it’s silvery foliage it can be used to great effect as a hedge.
Correa-pulchella SG-2Correa pulchella or Salmon Correa has deep green leaves and punchy salmon pink blossoms. It makes a great, low hedge and as a native, is is very hardy.

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Flowering Quince, or Chaenomeles japonica makes a beautiful hedge. It is available in the deep pink/red or white flowering varieties. The blossoms appear before the leaves in late winter and make a stunning herald to spring.

Camellia

Sasanqua camellias are the fine leaves, prolific flowering camellias with the looser, more adaptable structures that can be encouraged to hedge.
l_plum_gorgeous11Loropetalum chinense is most commonly seen in its pink form, which has variegated foliage that blends from green to burgundy. It is a common hedging plant in Asia.
Callistemon-Perth-Pink-1Some varieties of Callistemon or Bottle Brush lend them selves beautifully to hedging such as. As natives, they are very hardy. Callistemon ‘Perth Pink’ is a great example.

b7494bccf0e1b238cdede177afbe0e08Leptospermum are commonly known as Manuka or Tea Tree and some varieties lend them selves beautifully to hedging, with their fine foliage, prolific flowers and gorgeous range of colours.
63c67155bdf98b411cd4bbbfbba5f1d8Rose hedges will require ongoing maintenance but are worth the effort for the stunning blossoms and that unbeatable fragrance.
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Lemon Scented Myrtle can be cultivated into a hedge and with its scented foliage and soft white blossoms makes a beautiful alternative.

Magnificent Magnolias

Posted by | Courtyard Garden, Garden Advice, Garden Design, Landscape Advice, Magnolia, Mulching, Ornamental Trees, Uncategorized, Winter | No Comments

magnolia-soulangeana_magnolia-genie-flowerHeralding the coming of spring, Magnolias, especially the deciduous varieties hold a special place in the hearts of many a gardener with their stunning displays of large, fragrant blooms on elegant naked branches. Originating in Asia there are over 100 species and unnumbered cultivars. They are well adapted to Australian conditions and provided you give them a good position and adequate food and water they will reward you for many years.

Magnolias can be a little sulky for the first few years so feed them well when you first plant them with a good compost, build a well around the base of the trunk to direct water into the root zone and mulch well to keep the roots moist and cool. Choose a north or east facing position with shelter from hot winds and frost.

Here are 10 of our favorites with a brief description and their height and width noted so you can make a good choice for your site:

rencontres femmes marocaines en france Deciduous varieties

magnolia_x_soulangeana_flowers_16-03-11_1-2Magnolia x soulangeana
cv. 3m X 3m; one of the old varieties and the basis of many cultivars Magnolia x soulangeana is perhaps the most common Magnolia seen in Melbourne gardens.

Magnolia_stellata_RJBMagnolia stellata 1.5m X 1.5m; a slow-growing medium-sized deciduous shrub of broadly rounded habit, flowering in early spring. This Magnolia is particularly stunning because of it fine white petals. It also comes in a pink variety Magnolia stellate rosea.

Magnolia-Caerhays-Belle2-590by387Magnolia ‘Caerhays Belle’ 7m X 5m; a very narrow, fastigiate shape, excellent for a small garden because it needs almost no pruning and has a beautiful fragrance.

Magnolia Philip TMagnolia ‘Phillip Tregunna’ 5m X 3m; an upright tree, with a vivid purple flower and a beautiful fragrance.

Magnolia rubyMagnolia ‘Ruby’ 3m X 2m; a beauty because of the beautiful, exquisite shape of the bud and also a white edge around each of the petals. Does well in a smaller garden and can be pruned to shape.

Magnolia vulcanMagnolia ‘Vulcan‘ 3m X 2m; a hybrid raised in New Zealand. The flowers are large, wine red and lightly perfumed.

Magnolia elizabethMagnolia ‘Elizabeth’ 4m X 2.5m; with perfumed primrose yellow fading to cream coloured flowers. It is later flowering than other magnolia varieties blossoming in late spring.

magnolia-royal-purpleMagnolia ‘Royal Purple’ 3.5m X 1.2m; a beautiful new magnolia from New Zealand; a narrow yet stunning column with 20cm cup and saucer shaped blooms, dark red purple with a gorgeous perfume. A great choice for a small space.

http://www.hedgeandstone.com.au/?miltos=site-de-rencontre-gratuit-pour-plus-de-60-ans&c29=6e Evergreen varieties

magnolia Little gemMagnolia ‘Little Gem’ 5m X 2.5m; a very popular plant used as an ornamental lawn tree or as for screening and even hedging. It is an outstanding variety of Magnolia grandiflora with a compact habit, deep green discolourous leaves and large white blooms.

 Magnolia st maryMagnolia ‘St Mary’ 6m X 3m: A wider growing variety with large glossy apple green leaves. It is a hardy and versatile plant that will tolerate a range of conditions and is relatively pest and disease free. During the warmer months it produces beautiful, creamy-white, fragrant flowers and will flower from an early age.

Potted Gardens

Posted by | Container Plants, Courtyard Garden, Garden Advice, Garden Design, Landscape Advice, Potted Plants | No Comments

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Creating a potted garden is just like arranging flowers; you build up layers of texture, colour and form in an arrangement to fill, highlight or lift the space…and when you are ready for a change, you just rearrange. Another reason for choosing to pot plants is that soil conditions and plant selection are not always compatible; if you have alkaline soil but love camellias a container plant may be your best option. Similarly, climate conditions are a factor; some of our favorite plants are too sensitive to be permanently positioned in the garden so container planting is a great solution allowing you to reposition the plant during the searing heat of summer or the frosty winter.

Here are some great tips for choosing and maintaining your container plants…

  1. The first considerations will be the practical; how much space, light, heat and water is available? How much time do you have for maintenance? Do you want to water regularly? When you have identified your needs you will be able to refine your plant selection.
  2. In temperate conditions you will be able to maintain ferns and succulents in the same space, otherwise keep to plants that will thrive in the conditions available. This will minimize maintenance and avoid disappointment.
  3. Choose plants for their foliage as well as their flowers. The foliage will be with you all year round but you will only have the flowers for their seasonal appearance. If you are after colour all year, there are many perfect container plants with colorful foliage such as aglaonema, coleus, caladium, begonia, hosta and bromeliad name a few.
  4. Use contrast in the colour palette; soft grey foliage really pops against burgundy’s and deep greens.
  5. Choose the right container. Drainage is essential so make sure there are adequate drainage holes in the base of the pot. Before you add potting mix, place some stones or chunks of broken brick or paving in the base to add another layer for free drainage. The three main types of pots available are plastic, terracotta and glazed ceramic pots. If the pots are going to be exposed to the summer heat, choose one of the glazed ceramic variety as plastic pots heat up quickly and soil temperatures can top 70°c which will destroy the root system of most plants. Terracotta pots are porous so are great for plants like lavender and geraniums which require excellent drainage but for most other plants will mean you must water daily. Choose a pot size that will allow the root system to develop.
  6. Use a good quality potting mix. Potting mix was developed for use in pots and unlike soil, which can set like concrete, fail to drain or even produce weeds, potting mix is free draining, sterile and compatible with plants. A well-composted mix has the right balance of particle sizes to hold air and water and has nutrients to feed the plants that are grown in it. There are special mixes developed for particular plants like orchids, camellias etc.
  7. Water wisely! Indoor plants are often over-watered, especially in winter; a sign that you are over doing it is yellowing foliage as the water-clogged soil is drowning the roots so that the plant cannot access oxygen. Plant saucers holding water prevent soil drainage so must be kept empty to avoid root rot. Conversely, outdoor pots need consistent and regular watering especially through the heat of our summer to prevent heat damage to the roots. As mentioned, container selection and knowing your plants requirements will help strike the right balance. Use a finger to measure the moisture in the soil.
  8. Ideally, pot plants are repotted every year or two in early spring; a chance to increase pot size and rejuvenate the soil and root system.
  9. Fertilisers formulated for potted plants are available and the liquid varieties are the best option to avoid over doing it. Fertilise when the plants are actively growing and will use the help. Avoid fertilising in the heat.

Goodluck!

Courtyard Gardens

Posted by | Courtyard Garden, Garden Design, Succulents, Vertical Garden | No Comments

Succelents

In a small courtyard style garden, bringing together the functional properties without cluttering the limited space can be a challenge. Here are a few design considerations that may help maintain the important sense of spaciousness, ambiance and calm that can make your small garden a relaxing haven from the business of everyday life.

Using the vertical planes for planting is a great move in a limited, walled space. It maintains the ‘space’ while providing you with the essential ‘green effect’ – for relaxation and rejuvenation. You can install simple espalier frames of Boston Ivy or go all out with a complex vertical wall of succulents, herbs or a rainforest wall of lush lilies, begonias, ferns and bromeliads. Green walls have the added ‘green benefit’ of absorbing reflected heat and cooling us down in the summer season.

Vertical planting also provides the element of texture and colour as the construction elements of the small courtyard garden should be kept simple and clean – large pavers add a sense of space, large wall mounted mirrors also contribute to the sense of space and serve the dual purpose of directing light and brightening shady spaces.

When considering the hard landscaping elements – the bones of the garden – delineate the functional spaces within your courtyard with internal walls, benches and planting etc. that are long and low on the vertical plane; allowing you to layout the area in a practical way without fragmenting and cluttering the overall space.

Choose your materials carefully; smooth textures and a consistent colour palette will create an uninterrupted visual flow that can make a small space appear more generous; match the existing building, pavers, retaining walls, timber and gravel.

The ‘borrowed landscape’ is an opportunity often over looked in small gardens; beyond your borders, neighboring views, trees etc. can become an essential element of your own garden adding ambiance and greenery. Consider the heights & material density of walls and fences, use screening plants and external windows, all without compromising your sense of privacy.

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