For the love of aromatic lavender
Gardening columnist JACKIE WARBURTON seems to be at lavender and pomegranates on this week’s column.
FRENCH lavender flowers in early spring and English lavender summer time. With the appropriate backyard plan for every selection, the identical color may be seen proper by the season.
“Hidcote” (Lavandula augustifolia) must be my favorite to develop as a result of it’s lengthy lasting and the plumes of flowers are pleasant within the backyard.
Formally often known as L. officinalis, it’s a member of the mint household and is derived from scorching, dry, Mediterranean climates, which suggests it grows nicely with our scorching summers.
The aromatic, deep-purple flowers sit above the gray foliage and a basic clip after flowering every year ought to maintain them in form.
This specific selection is prized for its fragrant flowers and among the best varieties for oil manufacturing. “Hidcote” grows to 40 centimetres by 50 centimetres and makes an amazing small hedge, which attracts bees, too. The foliage is aromatic, so place it the place it may be brushed previous to launch the aroma.
It wants some care in its first 12 months. Plant in soil that’s not too wealthy and doesn’t maintain an excessive amount of moisture. The soil pH must be round 6.5-7.5 and plant it the place there’s area to develop.
It’s typically lengthy lived for a small plant and may final for at the very least 15 years.
Lavenders don’t like being moved, however the perfect time to transplant them is in spring or early summer time and guarantee as a lot of the foundation ball is undamaged.
For a lavender with completely different foliage or completely different colored flower vary, search for Portuguese, French or Spanish lavenders. The latter have grown in reputation over the previous few years with a “Bee Comfortable” collection which might be fairly and extremely aromatic miniature varieties with beautiful upright petals on the prime of every flower head.
In the reduction of lavender within the hotter months and, after flowering, give them a feed of a general-purpose slow-release fertiliser. Lavender slicing may be taken in the summertime, and they’re going to root simply and supply plenty of new crops at no cost.
POMEGRANATES (Punica granatum) is an old style plant that may have many makes use of within the backyard.
It may be a bush or small tree and the autumnal foliage can also be a terrific background plant. With the messy progress of this plant, it is usually an ideal habitat for small birds all 12 months spherical.
Pomegranates are a troublesome plant for our local weather and deal with the sunniest, hottest spot within the backyard. Bushes received’t bear an honest yield till they attain maturity at round 5 to 6 years, however a tried and examined selection to strive for our local weather is “Ben Hur”. It’s an Australian-developed pomegranate and bred particularly for the house gardener, producing giant fruit as much as 1.5 kilograms.
Whereas it may be costly to purchase (as a result of nonetheless being below plant breeders’ rights and royalties), pomegranate seeds have large well being advantages.
Reducing and deseeding pomegranates is usually a little tough, however there are a couple of intelligent strategies on-line explaining easy methods to extract the seeds from the laborious shell with out a hammer.
I’m now wanting ahead to my pomegranate flowering and, hopefully, fruiting extra. Mine’s an unnamed selection from a sucker that I vividly keep in mind slicing from an outdated shrub in a backyard in Deakin a few years in the past.
- Deadhead chrysanthemums and dahlias to extend flower manufacturing.
- Trim spent seed head of agapanthus.
- Search for ants farming bugs on citrus and different fruit timber.
- Plant brassicas, lettuce and English spinach.
Who may be trusted?
In a world of spin and confusion, there’s by no means been a extra essential time to help unbiased journalism in Canberra.
In case you belief our work on-line and wish to implement the ability of unbiased voices, I invite you to make a small contribution.
Each greenback of help is invested again into our journalism to assist maintain citynews.com.au sturdy and free.
Turn out to be a supporter
Ian Meikle, editor