Do you ever despair that your garden isn't the way you want it? Or that it never gets any better?
A valuable method to improve your garden design is to record your changes and progress with your camera or phone. Flip back through some old shots and you'll realise that it's much better than you think and you'll be astonished at how far apart everything was when it was first planted.
You'll remember the pleasure you had in a special flowering or planting combination or the day your favourite tree got its first acid-green spring leaves. And the dates on those photos will help you know what happens when and what to plant for good flower and foliage combinations in every month.
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Another great way to get ideas for your garden as well as learn about plants that grow well in your area is to visit local open gardens when the opportunity arises. One terrific opportunity is on 27 and 28 March at the annual NERAM fundraiser, being held in a fabulous garden at Wyuna Lodge at 299 Kellys Plains Rd.
Autumn is still a busy time in the garden, with plenty of jobs to keep us all active.
Trim summer-flowering shrubs as they finish flowering. Include Hebe, Abutilon, daisies and geraniums. Use the prunings to propagate new plants.
Take advantage of any autumn rains by spreading a fresh layer of mulch over beds after they've had a good soaking.
Make sure there's plenty of food for bees and other pollinators during the colder months by planting autumn and winter flowerers such as Aster, Bergamot, Calendula, Camellia, Chrysanthemum, Dahlia, Grevillea, Helleborus, Liriope, marigold, Penstemon, red-hot pokers, Rudbeckia, Salvia, sunflower or zinnia. Install an insect hotel to encourage a range of pollinators to take up residence in your garden.
Cover shaded ponds with firmly fixed netting to catch autumn leaves before they foul the water.
Watch out for gall wasp swellings on the stems of wattle (acacia spp). Cut them off, bag and dispose of them in the garbage so they don't reinfect your plants.
Feed all potted plants before the cold of winter stops their growth.
The Armidale Garden Club's next meeting is on Thursday, 25th March at the Uniting Church Youth Club Hall at 7:30 pm. For more info, please call 0412589414; otherwise just come along!