Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Flamin' Beautiful; Floral Display Offers Abundant Colour

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Flamin' Beautiful; Floral Display Offers Abundant Colour

Article excerpt

WHEN driving around our corner of the world, it can be fun to take a diversion and head down a road you've not seen before or not for some time anyhow.

For us, it's good to see the different gardens and note what types of plants are being grown and how some varieties obviously are survivors, judging by their surroundings.

Some of these include such eye-catching plants as the flaming beauty (carphaelea kirondron).

These are not very commonly grown shrubs, but obviously easy-care plants that make a lovely display, quite often in neglected front gardens and footpaths. But they grow best where they receive some attention.

Flaming beauties love full sun (or semi-shade where necessary), require mildly acidic well-drained soils and reach their full potential where they receive fertiliser during the growing season and regular watering, which has certainly not been too often this season.

They flower almost all-year round, producing large heads of flowers that are actually red bracts with tiny, four-petal white flowers dotted throughout.

The flower heads should be removed when they fade to keep it attractive and pruned to shape when necessary.

They're not easy to find, but garden centres do seem to have them at times. If you can't find them, they grow quite easily from cuttings about 10-15cm long, retaining a couple of leaves. Plant them in good-quality potting soil. It's also worthwhile popping a couple of cuttings into a glass of water that can be kept on the window sill in the kitchen for a week or two as they should start sprouting some roots.

Garden maintenance

THE weather has certainly upset some vegie gardens at present, so if you have any containers or beds looking rough, it's a good idea to remove the rest of the crop and start preparing it for your autumn planting.

Tomatoes that are still producing but suffering such problems as sun scald (where the fruit has brown dry patches on it) need to have as much foliage cover as possible, so don't remove it too soon. …

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