Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Arctotis Eye-Catching Feature; Weekender Columnist Neil Fisher Is from Fisher's Nursery, North Rockhampton. You Can Chat with Neil on Radio 4ro's Gardening Hour after the 6am News on Tuesdays

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Arctotis Eye-Catching Feature; Weekender Columnist Neil Fisher Is from Fisher's Nursery, North Rockhampton. You Can Chat with Neil on Radio 4ro's Gardening Hour after the 6am News on Tuesdays

Article excerpt

IT IS always good to get out of town for a while to see different ways that gardeners have established gardens and created colour effects in the garden, and particularly to see plants commonly grown around our area out of their own habitat, so to speak.

This can be the ideal opportunity to see how plant varieties survive in conditions that differ from what we experience around Rockhampton.

I find that plants have obviously not read the horticultural books on how they are supposed to behave in certain conditions.

This last week I have travelled to Toowoomba and, believe me, if you think our region was cold, Toowoomba makes Rockhampton seem like summer. So when you see a plant blooming like the African Daisy or Arctotis after a frosty, wet morning, you know that this plant is tough.

The gardening style of Toowoomba is changing from the traditional flower gardens to a more generic style that is common in most major towns. But it was interesting to see the way that a number of gardeners have used Arctotis or African Daisies in garden displays.

For some reason, gardeners have not warmed to the beauty of the Arctotis in the Rockhampton region like they have in areas to the west and south of Rockhampton. In fact, only last week I was admiring a collection of Arctotis in Mount Morgan.

There are many spectacular flowering Arctotis hybrids that are ideal as ground covers, borders or even as a colourful cover for sloping gardens or embankments.

Being hardy, sun-loving plants, they can handle just about any type of environment, though being well mulched may be required in certain well-drained soils.

Commonly known as African Daisies, they are not to be confused with Osteosperma that was formerly known as Dimeothecas.

The dense silver foliage and colourful blooms of the Arctotis make an eye-catching feature in any garden. The range of flower colours includes variations of red, white, yellow, pink, orange and mauve, with contrasting centres.

It should be noted that on cloudy days, or even as the afternoon shadows fall upon the plant, the flowers will close up, and sometimes they will tend to flower on the sunnier side of the garden first. …

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