Increase the value of your property!

At this time of the year many people are thinking about putting their properties on the market towards the end of Spring and in Summer. With the current lock-down, there has been a dip in property trading and this will surely take off once the restrictions are lifted. Property values have gone down slightly according to market trends and there are varying predictions for the remainder of the year. If you are thinking of putting your property on the market, put all the odds in your favor. Invest in some plants and landscaping to make the garden pop, and this will increase your property value by thousands of dollars!

And if you are thinking of doing it in a couple of years, the best time to start is now!

Take a look at the photo below.  The difference is striking.

Cost of landscaping and return on investment?

It can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,500 for the landscape design of a small garden, $1,500 to $3,000 for the landscape design of a mid-sized garden, and roughly $3,000 to $6,500 for that of a large garden. According to research, good landscaping can add up to 20% to your home’s overall value. That could be $100,000 or more when you sell your property.

With the recent lock-down, a lot of people have realized the importance of the garden. Houses with great looking gardens make you feel better and have a greater appeal. It is also worth noting that houses in streets that have many trees on sidewalks also have a higher value.

What is great with landscaping is that it immediately adds value, but also increases the value over time. Plants grow to be more beautiful every year and provide fantastic flower shows, more fruit, or lush foliage.

How to get started?

It is a very easy process. The first thing to know is when are you going onto the market? Second thing is to know is who your potential customers are and what do they like.

Once this is established, setting up your property for success is a 4 step process:

1. Tidy!  Take a good look at the garden and remove anything that looks ugly and unfashionable. Some plants are probably overgrown and need a good trim to tidy them up. Let some sunshine and fresh air flow through. Give existing plants some fertilizer to make them nice and lush.

2. Lawn. If you have a sad-looking lawn, fix it! There should be no dead patches. Put down topsoil and grass seed, water it regularly and it will be looking great in no time.

3. Ask the experts. Send us an email at sales@hellohelloplants.com.au with your photos and measurements of your yard. We have a wealth of knowledge about garden design and we can tailor a plan to make your garden pop.

4. Start Planting. Plant your big and cheap plants now for an impressive garden later. Doing this simple process can make all the difference.

There are some tips to consider:

Privacy – We all want to feel cozy in our backyard, but that is not possible if we have that nosy neighbor always peeking over for a chat. Some tall Lilly Pillies like Neighbours-be-Gone or a Silver Sheen Pittosporum hedge should quickly fix that problem.

• Lawn edging- A neat lawn that looks restrained and tamed, gives the appearance of being easier to maintain and is a popular selling point.

• Mulch and Weed – Keep those beds tidy and mulched with some black, red, or natural mulch, whichever creates the best harmony with the rest of the garden and the house.

• Repetition- Instead of having too many varieties of plants, consider planting a lot of the same plants in clusters for more dramatic effect.

• Trees- Keep in mind that some trees grow quite big.  Some are maintenance-free, while others do need some care. Be careful NOT to plant big trees close to structures, pipes, and pools as they might cause damage further down the line. If you are unsure about what trees to plant, reach out to us and we will advise you.

• Instant look- If you want the instant look, be sure to pick out bigger pot sizes with established plants. If you are unsure if they are suitable, give us a call or send us an email.

Our plant recommendations:

The most popular plants that make a big difference are Lilly Pillies, Topiary Box Balls, Maples, and cottage flowers such as daisies, cordylines, and grasses.

• Colourful Flowers – These make the garden pop with life and are too easy to plant!

• Maples – Japanese maples are one of the most popular plants to give a garden a wow factor. We have lots of big established ones to achieve instant transformation.

• Privacy screens – Here are some of the best instant screens for privacy

• Topiaries – Standard plants and Topiaries look fantastic and have a great appeal. It is really easy to pop in English box balls or standard lilly pillys for a striking modern look.

• Natives – Native plants have a high appeal and are beneficial to the local fauna. A few bird attracting plants such as banksias, Callistemons and Grevilleas are especially good, and seeing beautiful birds in the garden is a great bonus.

• Tropical corners – We all love little cosy tropical corners, and those are easy to achieve with giant birds of paradise, palms, and cordylines for colour

• Grasses – Grasses are great for borders, accents, or focal points.

• Box – Perfect for edging, they give shape and structure to gardens.

• Rockeries – If you have an unruly little wild rock corner, you can easily pop in some tough sedums succulents that will suppress weeds and give some great color.

• Groundcovers – Ideal to suppress weeds and cover some unsightly places

• Climbers – Some climbers can go up on fences or structures and look fabulous.

• Trees – Some trees have such a striking look that they can transform any garden One such plant is the silver birch, easily one of the most popular feature trees in Melbourne.

• Indoor Plants – These bring indoor spaces to life and make a house feel like a home.

That is all for the plant suggestions. All the best in transforming your yard. It is definitely a very rewarding effort!

October in the Garden

Hello Hello, dear gardening friends! It is quite hard to believe that October is here already! With some beautiful warm days now in Melbourne, we are eagerly anticipating the end of lockdown. With the incredible amount of orders we have received and the thousands of plants we have delivered the past month, we know for a fact that many of you are making the absolute best use of this time, to reconnect with nature and enjoy some sunshine in the garden, amongst all the pretty plants.  


Soon we will be having people over, for a little party or a catchup barbie, and we can flaunt our amazing gardens. After all the hard work we have put in, we deserve a little praise! There are always little touch-ups to do, little nooks and crannies to fill up, with some colorful flowers perhaps, and general maintenance to do. Maybe you did not think about the garden too much over Winter, but now with the warm weather, you want to spruce it up. If that is the case, there are easy ways to make the garden pop and looking amazing without breaking too much of a sweat. Gardening works wonders for the body and the soul, so let’s get digging and planting!

Maples

This is a great time to choose your maple as they are at their best right now, putting on an amazing display, with their spectacular array of foliage types and colors. Maple trees can provide a striking focal point in your garden, be the perfect plant to put in a large container on your patio or grow into an impressive bonsai specimen. We have dozens of Japanese maple varieties in various sizes, with a large assortment of leaf shapes and colors ranging from shades of green to orange, red, purple, pink and variegated.

Click here to see them all!

Striking foliage grasses

Grasses are starting to bounce back after naturally dying back in Winter and are looking great. Here is an exciting selection of grasses we have right now that will make any garden look amazing!Click here to see them all!


Bare Rooted Plants – Sale Ends Monday!

There are no more bare-rooted roses, but we still have a few great bare-rooted trees such as Maples, Claret and Golden Ash, Robinias, and Mop-Tops.
SALE ENDS MONDAYSee Full list of Bare Root Bonanza here!

Flowers

• We have a fantastic selection of perennial flowering plants in store right now that are already flowering or just about to flower. You can easily plant these in your garden to make it pop with interesting textures and colors all Spring and Summer long.

Companion plant: Here are a few flowers that you can plant from seed right now: marigolds, salvias, petunias, sunflowers, asters, delphiniums, foxgloves, snapdragons, cosmos, and dianthus. Naturtiums are a great companion for Summer tomatoes and capsicums, as they deter many pests.

Tube Flowers. We also have a great selection of flowers in small pots (tubes) of 3-4 inch diameters. These are cheaper alternatives to larger sizes, grow very fast, and will bloom beautifully in the next 2-3 months or so.

More exciting flowering plants! Here are some new and exciting varieties of flowers we have in store.

Fruits

Going into your garden, picking your own fruit, and enjoying them as fresh as they can be, is really a special feeling. If you choose a dwarf variety, you do not always need much space for them, as they are happy to grow in big pots and you can trim them to your preferred size. Now if you have space, by all means, plant a full-size variety and put them in the ground and let them grow into bountiful monsters! You could then perhaps exchange or sell your surplus produce!

Citrus plants. We have a great variety in 4L pots that are on sale right now! Citrus trees have been hard to get and in high demand this year, but this batch is new in. These are fantastic varieties that were originally destined for Victorian fruit farms, so you know they are born to produce fruit, plus they are very affordable.

Stone Fruit. Here is a great selection of the most popular, some of the rare varieties, and some dwarf varieties, ideal for small spaces. These are in limited quantities, so better hurry up.See full list here. 

Various fruits. Here are some other interesting fruit trees for you.

Veggies, herbs and Greens!

Summer/Spring veggies such as tomato, peppers, squash, eggplants, zucchini, chilies and basil can now be safely planted out in the ground! It is warm enough for them to grow beautifully. Remember to water them in properly with some seaweed fertilizers, which will help them settle in their new spot. See full list here.

Before planting your summer crops, dig in a generous amount of compost and manure in your veggie patch as these plants are quite heavy feeders. If you have experienced blossom end rot on your tomatoes in the past, it could be that your soil is deficient in calcium, and adding some garden lime will fix this issue. Just be aware that garden lime also raises the pH level of soils high in acidity, to make them more alkaline.  

• If you still have remaining Winter veggies, which are surely flowering right now, time to say goodbye. You can juice the leaves or use them in your compost pile. It is not worth saving the seeds, as they will most likely not grow into the same plant you harvested them from. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, and turnips come from the same Brassicaceae mustard family of plants and cross-pollinate each other resulting in a hybrid plant when their seed is planted. 

Leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach, rocket, endive, silverbeet, mustard greens, and celery will all grow well in the garden right now until the early hot days of Summer are here. If you have limited space, you may want to favor Summer veggies instead and leave the leafy greens for the cooler months. You can also get creative and plant lettuce/rocket under or around your tomatoes/capsicums as they usually have shallow root systems that will not interfere too much.  Planting them every couple of weeks will ensure a steady supply. See full list here.

• Root Veggies such as carrots, radish, turnips, parsnips, and beetroot are also great to plant right now. These are best sown directly in the soil. Young leaves can also make a tasty addition to your salads.

Culinary herbs are really easy to grow and can be grown in pots on your balcony or your patio. They will grow well in shaded, partly shaded and sunny spots. You can harvest them and they will simply grow back. You can also chop them up, dry them and create your own mixed herbs for later use. Once you start planting your own herbs, you will never buy them at the supermarket again.


Click here to see them all.

Herbal Teas are perfect to aid digestion, sleep, and have many other beneficial virtues. You can either dry the leaves up for storage or use them fresh. 

• Interesting herbs. These are beautiful variegated varieties that have a different and interesting look to them. They look fantastic in pots.

Pruning, Repotting & Weeding

Spring flowering plants that have already bloomed can be deadheaded to keep them nice and tidy, and encourage more blooming. 

• If your potted plants are looking overcrowded, you can always trim them or split and re-pot them into new pots. Make sure to use the right potting mix for them.

Scraggy plants. If you have tried to revive and fertilize old and sad looking plants to no avail, perhaps it is time to replace them. Rework the soil after pulling them out and let it settle for a week before planting a new plant there.

• Always stay on top of the weeds. With all the Spring flowers blooming and then releasing their seeds in the wind, you will see small seedlings popping up everywhere. It is easier to get them while they are still small by disturbing the topsoil and applying some mulch.

Soil, Fertilising, and Mulching

• For your veggie patch, if you have very poor soil, mix in generous amounts of rich compost, manure, and also some blood and bone meal. If your soil is already quite good, instead of turning it over, try top dressing. Turning the soil over when you already have healthy soil will disturb the delicate worm and microbial systems, which take time to build and are important for good plant development.

• Improve the growth, health, and yield of your plants by nurturing the soil as an alternative to using fertilizers. You can do that by restoring the beneficial microbial activity in your soil with some compost tea.

• Put some rich compost or well-aged manure around your fruit trees, to give them the well-needed boost for the Summer fruiting season.

• It is best to give some liquid feed to Summer flowering annuals every couple of weeks with a complete liquid fertilizer, to encourage healthy and vigorous new growth. You can also add some slow-release granular fertilizer that will feed your plants over a period of 3 to 6 months.

• You can put some fresh mulch around your plants to keep weeds at bay. If you are putting mulch for the first time, make sure to choose the right ones as they change the PH of the soil when they break down. Pine bark mulch creates acidity when breaking down, so it is perfect for Azaleas or Camellias, whereas straw or sugarcane are recommended for veggie beds. Do not put mulch too close to the stems but rather around it, as this will encourage the roots to grow outwards to find water and make them stronger. Also, make sure to give the soil a good soak before mulching. When watering over mulch, it needs some extra water to make sure it penetrates into the soil.

Pests & Disease

Now that there are lots of new shoots and seedlings, coupled with some warm weather and few showers here and there, there will be more insects in the garden.

Aphids. Keep an eye out for them as they love the tender new growth. If there are not too many, you can leave them to help build the beneficial insect population that will then take care of the aphids for you later on. If you have an infestation, on the other hand, you can make some homemade aphid spray to apply under the leaves of affected plants. Mix 2 tsp vegetable oil, 1 tsp dishwashing liquid, and some garlic cloves crushed,  mixed in 1lt of water, and left to infuse overnight. This is completely safe for other beneficial insects. Also, think of planting some beneficial insect plants that will attract ladybirds and they will take care of aphids for you. A favorite plant for ladybirds is the Angelica herb.
• For ants you could sprinkle some diatomaceous earth on the ground where there is a lot of ant activity but only when it is dry. You will have to reapply it after it has rained. It is a natural organic control method that will not harm other insects.

Citrus gall wasps are starting to emerge now that there is new growth. You should inspect your citrus trees and shave off of any galls you see with a potato peeler, exposing the wasps to die instead of cutting off the stems. If you cut the stems, it will encourage new growth that the wasps love. Some extra protection can be given by setting up some wasp traps.

• Keep an eye out on your Rose plants for common diseases such as black spot, rust, and mildew. If you have noticed any fungal disease in the past on your plants, now is a good time to spray them with some organic copper-based fungicides.


That’s it for this month
! How exciting!

Wishing you all the best in the garden! Keep smiling, be happy and as usual, stay safe lovely people  🙂

Gardening October Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

BARE ROOT BONANZA!! YEEHAW!!

Well Hay There, fellow Gardener,

It’s your big day! We have some Rootin’-tootin’ Bare Rooted Deals on your favourite trees happening right now. Maples, Ash, Mop Tops and more. These are the last of the season, so giddy up and get them while they are still here. The weather is ideal over the next two weeks to put them in the ground.
Happy Trails! YEEHAWW!

Bare root plants are usually cheaper than the same size potted plants available at other times of the year. They are very practical and easy to plant because they are dormant until early Spring. They have the time to get adjusted to their planting spot and do not suffer from transplant shock that can usually stunt plant growth for a little while.

Here is a practical guide about how to best plant them. Click here.

Father’s Day 2020 in the Garden

In Australia on Sunday the 6th of September we celebrate Father’s Day, a celebration of dads, honouring fatherhood, paternal bonds and the role fathers play in society. Do not miss this opportunity to tell your dad and/or granddad how much they mean to you on this day, but also every other day!

This year in Victoria, Father’s Day is possibly a bit tough for many of us, as lockdown restrictions might mean we can’t see dad on the day. But we can still get creative and send some love his way! Especially some wonderful plants and supplies for the garden.

Father’s Day Deliveries to Dad

All around Victoria, the postal, courier and delivery network is feeling the strain of lock-down demand, and here at Hello Hello Plants we are working double shifts and delivering every day from morning to night just to keep up! That being said, there are some delays all round.

If you want to give dad the gift of plants, these may not reach him in time or on Father’s Day. We suggest two options:

1. The best choice is getting dad one of our email gift vouchers. While we also offer physical gift cards, we’re all at the mercy of Australia Post at the moment and we cannot guarantee that a posted card will arrive on time. You can elect to have this sent straight to dad’s email, or sent to your own email to then forward to him or print on the day. Then he can order what he wants on our website and get home delivery.

2. If you want to specifically pick out plants for dad, you can still order a surprise gift for him, and then send him copy of his order on Father’s Day and let him know it’s on the way. Our current turnaround time is 1-10 days with an average of 6 days during lockdown. Just specify in your order notes if we shouldn’t deliver BEFORE Father’s Day!

Gift Vouchers and Hand Written Cards!
How about giving dad the gift of his choice? A gift voucher is perfect if you have no idea what he would like and want to let him choose. Also, we can add a handwritten card to your plant order for a very personal touch if you go for option 2 above!

Top specials for our superhero, DAD!

Click here for even more current specials!

Some more plants that Dads Love! Pines and Bonsais!

Fertilizers!

He spends so much time out in the garden and it should look like a million bucks! Healthy soil and the right fertilization regimen makes plants thrive and bloom. It makes all the time spent out there worth it. Here is a new selection of quality Australian made fertilizers you can get for him.

Potting Mix and Compost!

When you buy beautiful plants, you should not risk planting them in bad soil. There are so many potential problems, such as PH, drainage, pathogens, nutrient content, etc. So for stress-free planting, choose some professional planting mix  that will guarantee greater plant success!

September in the garden

Hello Hello, dear gardening friends! September officially marks the end of Winter and the arrival of the most anticipated season for gardeners, nature, and sunshine lovers alike: SPRING! 

Let’s open up the windows and let the fresh air in. Birds and baby animals are back, bees are busy buzzing around, flower buds are opening up, sharing their delightful fragrance and the new tender leaves are slowly unfolding. Plums, cherries, peaches, nectarines, apricots, almonds, ornamental pears, and magnolias are putting on quite a show of flowers right now, and the bees are loving it. We will be rewarded with some yummy fruit in a couple of months. You must be feeling more energized, soaking up some natural vitamin D from the sun and you are motivated to spend more time in the garden. That is just perfect! There is so much to do out there.
Some of us have neglected the garden just a little bit over Winter, it like a jungle out there (those guilty, raise your hands!). But don’t let this stress you out, as gardening is about having a good time out there. You still have about two weeks before the soil temperature starts to rise and by then you should ideally have prepared your garden beds for new plants, so as to plant them out until the end of September.

Ok, it’s time to roll up your sleeves. We have a lot of things to do in the garden!

Bare Rooted Plants

If you haven’t bought your bare root plants yet, the next three weeks is your last window to get them for this year. Bare root plants are usually cheaper than the same size potted plants available at other times of the year. They are very practical and easy to plant because they are dormant until early Spring. They have the time to get adjusted to their planting spot and do not suffer from transplant shock that can usually stunt plant growth for a little while.

We have a beautiful selection of weeping cherries, Standard Roses, Ornamental Pears, Mop Tops, and Silver Birches. (Click on the links to view the products)

If you have already planted your bare root plants, remember to keep the soil moist. They are starting to grow leaves and will need water to grow properly.

Here is a practical guide about how to best plant them. Click here.

Flowers, Bulbs and Seeds

• Here are some perennial flowering plants that are just about to flower, that you can easily pop in your garden to give you some beautiful colors.

• Here are a few flowers that you can plant from seed right now: marigolds, salvias, petunias, sunflowers, asters, delphiniums, foxgloves, snapdragons, cosmos, and dianthus. Marigolds are a great companion plant for summer tomatoes and capsicums, as they deter many pests.

• We have an beautiful range of deciduous magnolias in store right now that are in full bloom for the next couple of weeks! Click here to see them all.

Fruits

Soon we will be able to bite into our favourite sweet and juicy summer fruits. No need to be envious of the neighbour’s fruit loaded plants, as you can have your own trees, pick fresh fruit, and enjoy them when you feel like it.

Berries are so yummy and easy to grow. We have an amazing selection of blueberry, blackberry, and dwarf mulberries. Perfect for healthy breakfasts or desserts. Click here to see them all.

Stone fruit trees are flowering and putting on a show for us, while making the bees very happy, before giving us some amazing Summer fruit!  Click here to see them all.

Citrus plants. Imagine sipping on some fresh home pressed lemonade or a mojito with lime from your garden this Summer! We have a great selection of dwarf and full-size trees such as limes, oranges, mandarins, and kumquats. If you don’t have much space, consider espaliered trees that are perfect for a patio or balcony. Click here to see them all.

Vegetables & Herbs

Summer veggies such as tomato, peppers, squash, eggplants, zucchini, chilies and basil can be sown in pots or trays and kept in a greenhouse until the weather is above 20 degrees Celsius during the day and ideally above 13 degrees at night. Planting them in the garden right now will shock and stunt them, also making them more vulnerable to disease and not perform well for you over Summer. So a little patience will go a long way!

• Keep an eye out for our Summer veggies selection coming in store in a few weeks! Some places are already selling them, but truth be told, they will not grow properly unless they are in a greenhouse.

• Check the weather forecast for warmer temperatures and later during the month choose a few days that are overcast and rather cool to plant your small plants out in the garden. Remember to water them in properly. Some seaweed fertilizers can help them settle in better in their new spot.

• With the temperatures slowly rising and days getting longer, many Winter veggies will bolt (go to seed and loose their lush leafiness) so it is time to go through it all and use them up. You can either use them generously in your kitchen or also harvest and freeze them for a steady supply over Summer.

Leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach, rocket, endive, silverbeet, mustard greens, and celery will grow well in the garden at the moment. Consider working out some space for them and plant them every couple of weeks for a steady supply. Fresh salad bowls will be a perfect addition for barbeques over Spring & Summer. Click here to see them all.

• Root Veggies such as carrots, radish, turnips, parsnips, and beetroot are also great to plant right now. Young beetroot leaves make a tasty, colorful addition to your salads.

Culinary herbs will go really well with your Summer veggies, both as companion plants and as cooking condiments. We have a fantastic variety right now such as mint, thyme, oregano, marjoram, verbena, chamomile, etc. Many are great for green teas and that is medicinal. such as the pineapple sage or arthritis herb. Click here to see them all.

Herbal Tea Herbs are perfect for brewing your digestive home teas. You can either dry the leaves up and store them or use them fresh. These aid with digestion, sleep and have many other beneficial virtues.

Pruning, Repotting & Weeding

Winter-flowering natives and non-natives can be pruned back and deadheaded to keep them nice and tidy. You can also prune back your evergreen trees to encourage new growth this Spring.

• If some of your potted plants have become overcrowded or looking sad, now is a great time to split them up and re-pot them. The sad-looking ones are usually root-bound and could use a light root trimming and then potting into a bigger pot, or a top up with some fresh potting mix. Keep them partly shaded and protected for at least a week after this, then you can give them a liquid or foliar fertilizer feed. Also remember to remove the dead, damaged, and excessive growth to improve air circulation. Your succulents can be divided up and put into new pots. More plants!! YAY!

Scraggy plants. In their prime, they looked fantastic! But now some plants are not performing well despite being pruned, fertilized, and taken care of. They are prone to disease and put your other healthy plants at risk. They could be old and have dwindling strength. Consider pulling them out and replacing them with something that will perform for you. Remember to rework the soil and let it settle for a week or two before putting a new plant there. If you are unsure if your plant can bounce back, you can always send us a photo of the plant with some details and we will give you some advice.

• Stay on top of the weeds and pull them out as soon as possible, as with the longer days they will start to set seed and drop it…all through your garden! And you do not want that to happen, as you will be fighting weeds all Spring and Summer long if they start spreading in your garden.

Soil, Fertilising, and Mulching

• If you have poor soil in your vegetable beds, with a couple of small Winter crops still growing, you could start harvesting and emptying the beds to prepare them for Spring vegetables. Throw in generous amounts of rich compost, new soil, manure and blood and bone meal and turn it over to mix it thoroughly. Let it settle for a week or two and it will be perfect for your tomatoes, eggplants, and capsicums during Spring and Summer. It is also a good idea to test the PH of the soil and amend it as necessary. Remember that the PH will change with the new additions so test it at various intervals. The aim is to get a neutral Ph of 6-7, which vegetables thrive in. Sulphur (liquid or pellets) and pine mulch make your soil acidic whereas lime and mushroom compost increases alkalinity.

• If your soil does not hold on to moisture and goes dry way too fast, you can add some Soil Wetter to improve clay and compacted soil. This makes your plants thrive better as the soil humidity does not fluctuate wildly, and it allows watering and rain to penetrate to the roots where the plants need it rather than just running off the surface.

• Restore some beneficial microbial activity in your soil with some compost tea or using a liquid product such as Gogo Juice.

• Put some rich compost or well-aged manure around your fruit trees, to give them the well-needed boost for the Summer fruiting season.

• It is best to give some liquid feed to Winter/Spring flowering annuals every two weeks with a complete liquid fertilizer. 

• You can also add some slow-release granular fertilizer that will feed your plants over a period of 3 to 6 months.

• You can put some fresh mulch around your plants to keep weeds at bay. If you are putting mulch for the first time, make sure to choose the right ones as they change the PH of the soil when they break down. Pine creates acidity, so it is great for Azaleas or Camellias, whereas straw or sugarcane are recommended for veggie beds.

Pests & Disease

There are always pests and diseases lurking around, but we do not see them a whole lot in Winter thanks to the cold that keeps them at bay.

Aphids will be back in the garden once the temperature rises, so you need to keep an eye out for them on new tender growth, especially on roses and stone fruit trees. Numbers can increase rapidly if left undetected. Soon enough the ants will be back to farm the aphids  and will be placing them strategically around the plants in your garden. You can simply blast them off with the hose. You can also make some homemade aphid spray to use under the leaves of affected plants. Mix 2 tsp vegetable oil, 1 tsp dishwashing liquid and some garlic cloves crushed,  mixed in 1lt of water and left to infuse overnight. This is completely safe for other beneficial insects. Also think of planting some beneficial insect plants that will attract ladybirds and they will take care of aphids for you.

• For ants you could sprinkle some diatomaceous earth on the ground where there is a lot of ant activity but only when it is dry. You will have to reapply it after it has rained. It is a natural organic control method that will not harm other insects.

Citrus gall wasps are starting to emerge now that there is new growth. You should inspect your citrus trees and prune off of any galls you see and dispose of them properly by either bagging and sun drying the stems, burning them, or burying them deep in the ground. Some extra protection can be given by setting up some wasp traps.

• There are a lot of fungal diseases that can attack your rose plants such as black spot, rust and mildew, and Azaleas are vulnerable to petal blight, because of the rising humidity thanks to the rain and warmer temperatures. If you have noticed any fungal disease in the past on your plants, now is a good time to spray them with some organic copper-based fungicides.

Leaf curl is mainly a disease of peaches and nectarines, though it may also affect almonds and apricots. It’s caused by the fungus ‘Taphrina deformans’ and occurs wherever peaches and nectarines are grown. Some symptoms are leaves that are entirely or partially curled, distorted, and are initially pale green in colour before turning red or purple. This will result in fruit that has raised, irregular rough patches, usually red in colour. Such fruit often falls prematurely. You can treat this with commercially available copper or lime-based fungicide sprays just during bud swelling, but before they have opened. Once opened it is too late to spray as the leaves will get damaged.

That’s it for this month!

Keep yourself busy in the garden, there is no better therapy to stay mentally and physically fit! And as usual, stay safe lovely people  🙂

Gardening September Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

August COVID-19 Update

In line with the Victorian Government’s latest direction to prevent the spread of COVID-19, our Campbellfield retail store will be closed from Thursday the 6th of August to all customers except for genuine tradespeople (builders, landscapers, developers, farmers etc).

You can continue to purchase plants from us online via our website, or over the phone on (03) 9359 3331. Our retail store’s customer service staff will switch focus to answering your phone and email inquiries. We will continue to offer our contactless delivery service throughout metro Melbourne and regional zones, as well as posting smaller plants across the East Coast of Australia. In support of all those people doing the right thing and staying at home, we have decided to continue to offer free delivery on all orders over $300 within Metro Melbourne and to most regional Victorian centres, despite the cost to our business.

In the last few weeks we have received an unprecedented number of orders for delivery, but we are confident in continuing to fulfill your orders. There may be some delay as we adjust our business to face these new hurdles, re-deploying staff and managing the change. But we have met the challenges this year has thrown at us so far, and our 6-vehicle fleet will keep doing laps of Victoria from morning to night 7 days a week. We have maintained growing at our own farm in preparation for Spring despite these uncertain times, and we are working closely with dozens of suppliers and small Victorian growers to maintain availability of the broadest possible range of plants.

As the Victorian Government has announced, we can & will also continue to operate a Click & Collect service, allowing you to pick up your plants from our Campbellfield store. If you are picking up from us after Thursday the 6th of August, you will receive special instructions on how to safely do so. However, if you do select this option, please ensure that you are not violating stay at home restrictions by visiting us to collect your plants. Instead, it’s safer to select one of our contactless delivery options.

It is not unusual at the moment for all of our phone lines to be busy with customer inquiries. If you cannot get through to us over the phone on (03) 9359 3331, please email sales@hellohelloplants.com.au for general inquires, to check the availability of any products or to make an order. For an existing order, please email orders@hellohelloplants.com.au.

You can also still get a free Garden Design Consultation and we will be delivering these via video chat (Zoom, Facetime, etc). We have limited places so it’s best to book in advance.

Please be kind to our staff. They all want you to get your plants, and they are working extremely hard to make sure you do so.

Keep calm and garden on Victoria, from all of us at Hello Hello Plants.

August in the garden

Hello Hello, dear gardening friends! August is here and we start yet another exciting month in the garden. We are still getting a few frosty mornings in Melbourne, but the days are getting noticeably longer. This is the last month of cold Winter days, and soon we will be in jumping into the most exciting season: Spring! But before Spring gets here, there is a lot to do in the garden, to get it ready for this magical time of the year!

Right now native plants, Azaleas, and Camellias are reaching the end of their flowering season. Acacias and Hardenbergias are putting on dramatic displays and deciduous trees such as cherries and magnolias have swelling buds that are getting ready to burst open revealing their great unique beauty and delightful fragrance.

Despite the cold, we know how eager you are to get into the garden, but where to start? Here are some things to do in the garden:

Bare Rooted Plants

Now is the best time to get your bare-rooted plants while it is still cold, to give them the best start possible. They will have sufficient time to harden off, get their roots growing in their new spot, and be ready for a Spring explosion of growth and bloom. That includes beautiful weeping cherries, Standard Roses, Ornamental Pears, Mop Tops, and Silver Birches. (Click on the links to view the products)
If you have already purchased and planted your bare root plants, remember to keep it moist. Even though they have no leaves, they still need water to grow a nice root system. If you are still planning to get some bare-rooted plants, here is a practical guide about how to plant them properly. Click here.

• Bare Root fruit trees will be here very soon! In about a week we will have a fantastic selection of apples, pears, apricots, plums, etc. The next two months is the best time to plant them.

Flowers, Bulbs and Seeds

• There are several perennial flowering plants that are just about to flower, that you can easily pop in your garden to give you some beautiful colors.

• Now is a good time to plant spring-flowering bulbs such as Dahlias, Liliums, Lily of the Valley, etc. (We do not sell this in-store yet)

• You can now plant Spring/Summer flowering annuals such as Snapdragons, Hollyhocks, Verbena, and Lupins. You can start sowing Marigold and Petunias in the coming weeks but you will need to provide protection from late-season frosts. Marigolds are also a great companion plant for tomatoes and capsicums, as they deter many pests. (We do not sell seeds in-store yet)

• We have an incredible range of deciduous magnolias in store right now that are about to burst into bloom in the next couple of weeks! Click here to see them.

Fruits

Protect yourself and your family with some extra Vitamin C and natural anti-oxidants by growing and eating fresh fruits right in your garden. If you have limited space, ask us about our dwarf varieties, which are specially developed to stay small but still produce big crops of fruit. Here is what you can grow right now:

Citrus plants. Right now is just perfect for planting citrus. We have a great selection of dwarf and full size trees such as oranges, mandarins, limes and kumquats.

Berries are so yummy and easy to grow. We have lovely varieties of strawberry, blueberry, blackberry and dwarf mulberries.

Stone fruit are about to flower and put on a beautiful show for us before giving us some amazing summer fruit, starting with the lovely pink apricot blooms! We have some amazing varieties right now that are ready to fruit this season and they are on sale right now In-Store Only, from $̶5̶9̶.̶9̶9̶ to Only $29.99. This includes Plum (Angelina, Santarosa, Satsuma), Apricot (Moorpark, Travat), and Pears (Triumph and Beurré Bosc)!

Vegetables & Herbs

• As we still have about a month of cold weather left you can grow lettuce, leek, spinach, peas, rocket, Asian greens, silverbeet, onions, parsley, radish, beetroot, parsnip, broad beans, Jerusalem artichokes and Asparagus.

• You can also grow potatoes although make sure to grow from potato seed and not store-bought ones as they can spread disease in your garden.

• You can still grow winter crops such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower if you already have them in the ground but it is not worth starting them from seed right now or buying small seedlings. Actually, in the next couple of weeks, it would be ideal to harvest them all from your garden to prepare the soil for the Spring and Summer veggies.

Spring/ Summer veggies. If you have a glasshouse you can try your luck at getting an early start with sowing seeds of tomatoes, capsicum, zucchini and eggplants. The seeds can also be germinated on a sunny windowsill indoors and once spring is here you can pop them in the garden for some early crop. (more info about preparing soil below)

• It is always a good time to plant herbs. We have a fantastic variety in store, such as mint, oregano, marjoram, verbena, chamomile, etc

Pruning, Repotting & Weeding

• If you forgot to prune your roses at the end of the last flowering season, you can still do it now, to get them ready for the new spurt of growth in Spring. Make sure to use clean secateurs. Pruning is best done mid to late Winter or early Spring – remember to hold off until the most severe frosts have passed in frost-prone areas.

Apricots are best pruned in Autumn, but you can still do it lightly once they have started flowering, which is right about now, to keep them tidy and manageable. Avoid pruning if your area has late frosts. (Pruning in Winter allows entry of bacterial gummosis in many stone fruit. More about this lower in the article). Other Deciduous fruit trees could also use a fresh trim now!

Winter-flowering natives and non-natives can be pruned back and deadheaded to keep them nice and tidy. It is also a good time to prune back your evergreen trees to encourage new growth this Spring.

• If some of your potted plants have become overcrowded or looking sad, now is a great time to split them up and re-pot them. The sad-looking ones are usually root-bound and could use a light root trimming and potted into a bigger pot perhaps, or the same one with some fresh potting mix. Keep them partly shaded and protected for at least a week, then you can give them a liquid or foliar fertilizer feed. Also remember to remove the dead, damaged, and excessive growth to improve air circulation. Your succulents can be divided up and put into new pots. More plants!! YAY!

Scraggy plants. In their prime, they looked fantastic! But now some plants are not performing well despite being pruned, fertilized, and taken care of. They are prone to disease and put your other healthy plants at risk. They could be old and have dwindling strength. Consider pulling them out and replacing them with something that will perform for you. Remember to rework the soil and let it settle for a week or two before putting a new plant there. If you are unsure if your plant can bounce back, you can always send us a photo of the plant with some details and we will give you some advice.

• Stay on top of the weeds and pull them out as soon as possible, as with the longer days they will start to set seed! And you do not want that to happen, as you will be fighting weeds all Spring and Summer long if they start dropping in your garden.

Soil, Fertilising, and Mulching

• If you have poor soil in your vegetable beds, with a couple of small Winter crops still growing, you could start harvesting and emptying the beds to prepare them for Spring vegetables. Throw in generous amounts of rich compost, manure and blood and bone meal and turn it over to mix it thoroughly. Let it settle for a week or two and it will be perfect for your tomatoes, eggplants, and capsicums during Spring and Summer. It is also a good idea to test the PH of the soil and amend it as necessary. Remember that the PH will change with the new additions so test it at various intervals. The aim is to get a neutral Ph of 6-7, which vegetables thrive in. Sulphur (liquid or pellets) and pine mulch make your soil acidic whereas lime and mushroom compost increases alkalinity.

• Over the winter the microbial activity in your soil is very low because of the cold. In the next couple of weeks, you can prepare some nice compost tea to give it a microbial boost for spring.

• Put some rich compost or well-aged manure around your fruit trees, to give them the well-needed boost for the Summer fruiting season.

• It is best to give some liquid feed to Winter/Spring flowering annuals every two weeks with a complete liquid fertilizer.

• You can put some fresh mulch around your plants to keep weeds at bay. If you are putting mulch for the first time, make sure to choose the right ones as they change the PH of the soil when they break down.

Pests & Disease

There are always pests and diseases lurking around, but we do not see them a whole lot in Winter. Thankfully the cold gets rid of a lot of pests and gives us a nearly pest-free garden until the temperature starts to rise.

Citrus gall wasps emerge in Spring, often timing emergence with the onset of a flush of new growth. You should inspect your citrus trees and prune off of any galls you see. Some extra protection can be given with some wasp traps.

• There are a lot of fungal diseases that can attack your rose plants such as black spot, rust and mildew. If you have noticed any disease in the past, now is a good time to spray them with some organic copper based fungicides.

Leaf curl is mainly a disease of peaches and nectarines, though it may also affect almonds and apricots. It’s caused by the fungus Taphrina deformans and occurs wherever peaches and nectarines are grown. Some symptoms are leaves that are entirely or partially curled, distorted, and are initially pale green in colour before turning red or purple. This will result in fruit that has raised, irregular rough patches, usually red in colour. Such fruit often falls prematurely. You can treat this with commercially available copper or lime-based fungicide sprays just during bud swelling, but before they have opened. Once opened it is too late to spray as the leaves will get damaged.

That’s all Folks!

You probably thought that there was not much to do in the garden at this time of the year, but hopefully, this article has given you some insights and motivation to get a smashing start to Spring! See you next month and happy gardening lovely people 🙂

Gardening August Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Conifer Garden Style: Pines, Cedars and companion plants

Conifers are a versatile and attractive addition to any landscape. They can easily transform an ordinary garden into a modern looking one when planted in the right combination with other plants.

Here are some excellent uses of Conifers:

  1. Privacy – Being evergreen, they make great outdoor privacy screens year-round. You can choose tall-growing ones or dense ones.
  2. Give life to the curb – Conifers provide an easy fix to front yard curbs, where it is sometimes very tricky to give year-round appeal to your entrance or driveway.
  3. Visually excitement – With their dynamic contrast between colours and shapes, they can easily spruce up the garden.
  4. Year-Round garden – Being evergreen, conifers will keep your garden lively and colorful even in a drabby winter.
  5. Colour combinations – Conifers come in various shapes and colours that combine very well with a whole lot of other plants to give a striking contrast or to create emphasis on other plants or also to create harmony.
  6. Architectural interest – From modern homes to Japanese Zen garden styles, you can easily complement the surrounding architecture by choosing the right conifer varieties.

    Talk to Chris to get your Free garden Design over Zoom!

Stunning Garden with a mix of conifers, maples and flowers.

There are several reasons to plant a conifer garden:

  1. They are very low maintenance – Some conifers are usually slow growing and require very little care.
  2. They add structure and shape to the garden – Most conifers with a moderate growth rate are easy to trim and shape as desired.
  3. They tolerate frost – The most prolific plants in cold regions are pines and cedars, so if your area is prone to frost, Conifers are the best choice.
  4. They are drought tolerant – When established, conifers need very little water and will grow beautifully.
  5. They grow in a wide range of soil – For most conifers, slightly acid soil that is loamy and well-drained is ideal. Unless the soil is very compacted or so light and porous that it retains very little moisture, you will not need to add organic matter.
  6. They are sturdy and tolerate windy spots – Unlike trees, pines and cedars are not disturbed or damaged by strong winds.
  7. Part- Shade to Full Sun – They grow just as well in shaded areas and in full sun.

New Stock- Rare Dwarf Grafted varieties

We have just received stock of pines and cedars and they look absolutely gorgeous. These plants are perfect for pots or put right in the garden. They are rare grafted varieties that do not grow too big. They are an essential part of the Japanese/ Zen garden or even modern gardens. You can also plant them as a feature or specimen plant.

Taller Pines

Companion Plants

Here is some inspiration :

July COVID-19 Update

Victoria has gone back into lockdown for 6 weeks.

As previously during the original lock-down period, retail stores can remain open subject to social distancing, which we ask you to follow if you decide to visit us in store, to keep yourself and our staff safe. But we also encourage you to place your order online or over the phone for delivery or collection.

What we learned from the first lock-down is that Victorians love to garden, and they love cheap/free home delivery! Rather than using couriers, our strength has always been in maintaining our own in-house delivery fleet. We were able to continue to provide contact-less deliveries to everyone stuck at home, and we were a little unprepared for the demand the first time around! We thank all our customers who waited patiently to get their plants. We have been delivering 7 days a week since then, and at times our drivers delivered over 100 orders a day around Metro Melbourne, as well as servicing regional and remote Victoria!

The good news is that we learned a lot and have spent this period improving our order fulfillment process and adding more staff to cope with a higher demand. Along with our existing cheap delivery fees, we have decided to continue our offer of Free Delivery for orders over $300 to Metro Melbourne and Victorian regional centres.

We know that gardening is a great way to pass a lock-down, whether it be making your surrounds beautiful or finishing off that project, so we are committed to helping you get your plants. Winter is a great time to plant as there is plenty of rain to keep your plants moist during their first few weeks in the ground. Many plants are dormant or semi-dormant and are quite happy to be transplanted or sold and transported bare rooted. This usually equals a saving cost wise, and your plants are well settled and ready to burst into life come Spring.

Some things to know:

• We are open from 9am to 5pm every day at our store at 1477 Sydney Road Campbellfield until further notice.

• You can visit us in store, but please stay home if you have any symptoms of illness. Maintain social distancing at all times, use the hand sanitizer provided, and be courteous to our staff.

• You can call us to place an order over the phone on (03) 9359 3331, or place your order online via our website.

• You can still get a free Garden Design consultation via video chat (Zoom, Skype etc). Simply complete the preliminary questionnaire and request a Garden Design booking.

• For existing orders, we will contact you the day your order will be delivered, or as soon as it is ready to pick up. To inquire about the progress of an order, please email us at orders@hellohelloplants.com.au

Stay safe and garden on Victoria! And we’ll bring the plants!

Deciduous Magnolias

From the moment you first set eyes on the vivid colours of Magnolias in the collection of Ron Boekel, you won’t be able to rest until you’ve found a spot in your garden for one. The problem then is going to be stopping yourself at just one, because these are some of the most beautiful flowering plants you are ever likely to see.

While they are just as easy to grow at home as the common white varieties seen in nearly every suburban street, the flowers in Ron’s collection are giant, and extremely eye-catching. The best news is that Magnolias are well suited to small gardens, and are an easy to grow large shrub or small tree that can fit into most garden designs without any problems.

Click here to Read more about Magnolias and How to take care of yours!

COVID-19 Update, 4th October 2020: We are still operating 7 days and providing contact-less door-to-door delivery in Metro Melbourne and regional centres. Our Campbellfield store is closed to the general public and open to tradespeople only. You can still shop online or over the phone. Delivery time-frames are 2-14 days, with a current average turnaround time of 7 days. To inquire about an existing order, please email orders@hellohelloplants.com.au