Send us your Garden Design Photos and Win 3x$500 Gift vouchers!

Have you had a Garden Design done at our nursery within the past 3 years?

We are looking for great success stories of empty gardens transformed into beautiful ones, following a garden design done by Chris at our nursery. This could be a front yard or back yard, small or big garden that has been transformed. Here is a great example sent to us by Rob and Kath, along with a lovely message:

“Hi Chris, Tania, and Team,

A big thank you for designing and providing the best plants for our home. We
love it and so does everyone in the Neighbourhood. Chris, you did such a great design for us that people stop to comment on how the garden complements the house. We have no hesitation in advertising Hello Hello with what you have provided us.

Looking forward to visiting you again.

Thank you.
Rob and Kath” 😍

 

Send us your Garden Design photos and you could win one of three $500 Gift Vouchers to spend at our nursery!

There are 3 vouchers to be won over the next 3 weeks!
We will pick the best photos and stories from those submitted, drawing 3 lucky winners at random from those picked. These lucky winners will then be contacted to get their $500 gift vouchers! The vouchers can be used in-store or online on any products at our nursery. This competition starts on Thursday the 12th May and ends on the 2nd June 2022! See our full terms and conditions at the end of the page.

Fill out the form below, tell us your story and upload your before and after photos:



Terms and Conditions of participation:

  • The garden design should have been done by Chris at Hello Hello Plants nursery within the past 3 years.
  • The top 10 stories and photos will be chosen by Chris and a random draw will be carried out to determine the 3 lucky winners!
  • By submitting the photos, you grant us permission to use them on our advertising materials or social media without any restrictions.
  • Submissions start Thursday the 12th of May and end on the 2nd of June 2022.
  • The lucky draw will be announced on the 8th of June 2022 and winners will be contacted shortly after.
  • Freebies cannot be claimed in conjunction with this voucher.
  • Free delivery cannot be claimed in conjunction with this voucher.
  • Upload a maximum of 6 best images.
  • Images should be resized and not be more than 2mb each( Send yourself the image on social media for a quick resize. E.g Send yourself the photos on Facebook messenger. They will be automatically resized. Save them and send us those)
  • If you have trouble uploading the photos here, please send them directly to marketing@hellohelloplants.com.au

Top 10 Plants for Mother’s Day!

A big thanks to all the Mums this Mothers Day for putting in the hard yards, particularly these last few years. Mums of Australia deserve a sleep in, breakfast in bed and, of course, a beautiful gift to really show how much they are appreciated.
For Mums out there with a green thumb, we have a list of gorgeous green gifts that she is sure to love.
Or, if you know Mum has been wanting a particular plant for her garden, give us a call and we’ll help you get it for her!

 

Top 10 Mother’s Day Plant Pressies (+2 Extras)

Fuchsia

An easy plant to care for and bursting with vibrant colourful flowers in shades of red, white, pink and purple. Fuchsia are perfect for a doorstep or summer patio as they have a really long flowering season and will bloom right through the autumn in a sheltered spot. They are an all-time favourite for mum!

 

Daphne

Strong and sweetly scented in a compact little bun shape, the Daphne is a lovely little potted or cottage garden classic that Mum is sure to love. Some varieties flower for most of the year! They prefer rich, moist, well-drained soil in a sunny or part shade position.

 

Protea & Leucadendrons

Instead of buying Mum cut flowers, why not get her the everlasting kind! Proteas and Leucadendrons are a favourite in the floral industry, making superb, long-lasting cut flowers. If Mum likes to have flowers inside the house, why not get her a plant that produces them for her! These gorgeous plants are flowering right now too! They prefer well-drained soils in a sunny position and can be kept in large pots.

 

Camellia

A shrub that produces the most gorgeous winter blooms and can be shaped into a small bush, screen, espaliered or a tree. The Camellia comes in a variety of colours and flower styles, best suited for a mum with a love of pruning to keep this stunner looking fab!
Camellia prefers slightly acidic, moist, well-drained soils in part shade positions and can be kept in a pot or in the garden.

 

Weeping Cherry

A true garden feature for Mum to admire for many years to come, the Weeping Cherry is a real feast for the eyes in spring, summer and autumn! It gets covered in pink or white blooms in spring, a lush green umbrella canopy in summer and stunning autumnal colours in autumn! Best suited planted in the ground in a sunny position, well-drained, moist soil.

 

Peace Lily

Hard to kill, lush and leafy, and produces beautiful tall white flowers indoors! The Peace Lily is perfect for the Mum who is on the go and wants some indoor greenery but doesn’t have too much time to care for it. Peace Lilies are so good, they tell you when they need water, their leaves drooping down. Within an hour or two of watering, you’ll see those leaves spring right back up!
Best grown in well-lit areas of the house, watering roughly twice a month or when needed.

 

Mother-in-law Tongue

For an indoor Mum, a Mum with a black thumb and a Mum who loves a good joke, the Mother-in-law Tongue is hard to kill, an air-purifying indoor classic and sure to give (the right Mum!) a good giggle on Mothers Day!

Low light or well-lit areas, well-drained soil and don’t over-water.

 

Daisies

Daisies are a popular choice for gardens—and for good reason. Bright, cheerful, and easy to grow, the flowers are readily identifiable and are a mainstay of cottage gardens and classic perennial borders alike. They flower abundantly for long periods for most of the year!

 

Mother’s Love Rose and other favourite roses!

Aptly named for a Mothers Day gift, this delicate soft pale pink rose in either a standard or a bush form is a wonderful surprise for Mum. Suited for pots or planted in the ground, this easy to care for plant is suited to any loving Mum! Prefers well-drained, rich soil and to be pruned back hard in winter to produce better blooms. We have lots of other very popular and rare roses that will surely delight mum!

 

Lemon Tree

For the culinary Mum, a zesty little number that will grow on her balcony or patio in a pot, or in a sunny spot in the garden – the Lemon tree! In fact, a Lime or Cumquat would also do just as well should she already have enough Lemons. These trees will need lots of water and fertiliser when producing flowers and fruit, to make them extra juicy.

 

Weeping Japanese Maple

A truly stunning little tree and one that just gets better and better with age (just like Mum!)
Mother’s Day is in autumn, a wonderfully colourful time of year and the time at which Japanese Maples show off their autumnal colours. Weeping Maples can be kept in a big pot or in the garden, prefer a moist, well-drained soil and a part shade position.

Azalea

Azaleas are beautiful plants known as the “Royalty of the Garden” because of their notoriously vibrant and colourful blossoms. The various shades of azaleas include pinks, purples, reds, oranges, whites and more. The number of unique blossoms for each type of azalea varies, as well as the shape of the petals

Gift Voucher

Give the gift of choice this Mother’s day with our lovely gift vouchers! 🎁👩‍🦰  These can be mailed by post or emailed and can be redeemed in-store or even online.

That’s it for the list of Top 10 Gift Ideas for Mother’s day. We hope you have a great family time this Sunday!

Hello Hello plants May gardening melbourne Victoria Australia

May in the Garden 2022!

Let the cold weather begin! May brings the first frosts, cold nights and a blaze of Autumn colour and leaf fall from our deciduous trees and shrubs. There are lots of trees still bearing beautiful autumn foliage such as the Crimson Sentry Maples, London Plane trees and Golden Elms but by the end of the month, most deciduous trees will be completely bare and in their stark, sculptural winter form.

However, it’s not all grim for May as there are some beautiful flowers blooming and a lot of delicious fruit to harvest. Get some gardening gloves ready, as there are quite a lot of things to get done during this time, in preparation for the months to come.

Check out our articles about the Top 10 Autumn Trees, Top 10 Autumn shrubs and Top 10 places to visit in Victoria this Autumn.

Avenue of Honour, Macedon.

Mother’s Day! Sunday, 8th May!

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, come to the nursery and get some lovely plants to treat your mum and grandmother. We have a big range of indoor plants to brighten up the kitchen or living room, some fragrant flowers, flowering trees and so much more at very low prices! Or you can also get a gift voucher, which might be more convenient. These can be mailed by post or emailed and can be redeemed in-store or even online.

Top picks for mum!

Forget the boring common bunches of flowers that everybody buys, and get something that will undoubtedly make mum happy for years to come! Here is a selection of the best fragrant and beautiful flowering plants that keep on giving!

Make sure to check out our article about the Top 10 plants for Mothers coming soon!

What is flowering right now?

There are some beauties just about to flower, such as camellias, begonias, salvias, Dianthus and some delightfully scented daphnes.

Cottage Flowers. Add some popping colour to your garden and attract and feed the pollinators.

Camellias. Queens of the winter flowers, Camellias are attractive evergreen shrubs that are highly prized for the beauty of their exquisite blooms, their splendid evergreen foliage and their compact shapely habit.

We’re Real Keen for your Business!

⭐Get a Free 6″ Berry Pot (choice of Yellow Raspberry, Longanberry, Youngberry, thornless Blackberry or Boysenberry) worth $15.99 when you spend over $100.
⭐Get a Free Metro delivery and a Free Strawberry basket when you spend over $300!
⭐Get a Free Weeping Cherry Blossom worth $99.99 and free Metro delivery when you spend over $500!
⭐Get a free Red Weeping Maple worth $200 and Free Metro delivery when you spend over $1000!
⭐Get an Advanced Weeping Cherry worth $400 and Free Metro Delivery when you spend over $2000!

May in the Garden

Frosts & Frost Coverings

Hello Hello Plants Melbourne Victoria Australia frost on strawberry leaves close up by #arteliz

Frost on Strawberry Leaves

On still, cold nights, frost forms on our lawns, windscreens and makes our early morning starts even more difficult, particularly getting out of bed!

In May, frost really only forms in regional areas and the very outer suburbs of Melbourne, where it gets cold enough to form ice. Conditions have to be still with no clouds, and temperatures that drop below freezing.

Cold air is heavier than warm, so frost stays low to the ground and often rolls downhill, pooling in low points or gullies. Hedges and fences can catch rolling frost down a slope, which can cause a rather frosty spot.

How does frost form?

Frost forms from water vapour in the air, coming in contact with an object that is below freezing temperature.

Hello Hello Plants Melbourne Victoria Australia Close up of Frost forming on a fence in Trentham by #arteliz

Frost on a fence in Trentham

So basically, when the moisture in the air touches a freezing cold windscreen, the moisture sticks to the windscreen and turns to ice!

When it comes to our plants, they expel energy continuously throughout the day and the night. Energy is warmth! During the day, their expelled energy is replaced by radiant heat from the sun, but at night time they become cooler as their warmth is not continually replaced. When the plant cools enough to get to freezing temperatures, frost can then form on its leaves.

Hello Hello Plants Melbourne Victoria Australia Frosty autumn leaves in Trentham close up by #arteliz

Frosty autumn leaves in Trentham

You may notice under large trees there is little to no frost. Large trees shelter the plants and grass underneath. Their canopy radiates energy downward from the underside of their leaves, as these “breathe out”. This expulsion of energy keeps the area under the tree warmer for longer during the night. This is why planting your more frost-sensitive plants under trees and shelter can help protect them from frost.

Hello Hello Plants Melbourne Victoria Australia Frost on grass in the shade, the sun melting the other side by #arteliz

Sun melting the frost, and the shade sheltering it

Some plants can handle frost better than others. The moisture inside of the plant’s cells freezes and like all frozen water expands it can cause stress on the cells and therefore damage the plant. When the ice is quickly thawed by the morning sun, it causes the most damage to the plant.

If your plants have been damaged by frost, don’t cut off the damaged foliage until the frosts have finished as this dead foliage will actually act as protection for future frosts.

How to tackle frost

  • Cover your frost-sensitive plants with sheets, newspaper or straw, making sure to remove it the following day.
  • Lightly water your plants before sunrise by a sprinkler system (or by hand if you’re really keen!) This can prevent frost from forming. You can lightly water frost affected plants, which gently thaws the ice, reducing the damage from the frost.
  • Use plastic sleeves and stakes to protect plants in open areas

Weeding

Arctotheca calendula Capeweed in flower

Arctotheca calendula Capeweed in flower

Weeds run rampant this time of year. You may have seen more and more popping up in the garden such as Bindii, Capeweed and the culinary Mustard weed.

Due to the increase in moisture from the autumn rains, the soil is loose, making weeds easier to pull out. As some of these weeds are just starting to appear it is always good to get them out while they’re young and their roots haven’t taken hold. If your weeds don’t have seeds on them, chuck them into your compost for added nitrogen!

Free plant nutrition in your autumn leaves! 

Most of the leaves have fallen off the trees so we now have an abundance of free plant food!

Every year, hundreds of Victorians begrudgingly get out their rakes and green bins and begin to rake up those fallen leaves to toss out. But little do they know they are throwing away valuable material. Almost everything in the garden is recyclable and leaves are certainly no exception.

Hello Hello Plants Melbourne Victoria Australia Wet autumn leaves in the Dandenong Ranges close up by #arteliz

Wet autumn leaves in the Dandenong Ranges

Leaves naturally fall around trees, creating a soft, decomposing bed around the base of the tree, keeping the soil protected and warm as well as eventually breaking down and improving the soil. Trees are very clever and prepare their own soil!

In smaller gardens, fallen leaves should be removed to allow the lawn to grow (as leaf-littered lawns will die in patches) and prevent them from harbouring snails and slugs, as they love living in this moist environment.

Collect and store your autumn leaves for use throughout the year. It is best to try and compost or decompose your leaves from the beginning as dried leaves are a hot spot for earwigs to nest. These little pests usually help the decomposition process but they can also cause a lot of damage to your lush plants, much like snails and slugs! If you want to store them dry, store them in a sealed container so these pests can’t get in.

You can store your precious collected leaves in a large barrel, garden bin or even a garbage bag. Water them down to keep them moist and promote fungal growth, furthering the decomposition. If they’re stored in a large bin, layer them like you would your compost bin, with high nitrogen plants to replace the nitrogen the leaves have lost. (This would be a great use for all your pulled out weeds!)

Leaves can also be added to your compost if it is smelling bad from too much vegetable matter and this adds phosphate, potassium and other essential elements.

Leaves take 6-12 months to break down and become useful compost/mulch for your garden beds.

Bare Root is coming…

It’s almost time for BARE ROOTED FRUIT TREES and other wonderfully cheap deciduous trees! Winter marks the time for bare roots so it’s best to get your garden beds prepared.

Till your soil, create a loose, well-draining medium and make sure it is free from pests and diseases. Turn in any fallen autumn leaves and ready compost you may have so it can rest for the month before planting. Give the bed good watering to keep all your microorganisms happy and healthy!

More information about Bare Rooted plants & why we love them here.

Evergreen Fruits

Citrus Limon "Dwarf Lemonade" @ Hello Hello PlantsIf you haven’t done so already, get your citrus and evergreen fruit trees in the ground now. That’s all your lemons, limes and oranges as well as guavas like Feijoa, Chilean and Strawberry guava. Dig a hole twice the size of the pot and water the hole. Partly fill your new hole so that you can place the plant’s root ball into it so the top of the root ball is level with the top of the soil. Back-fill with a light, fluffy soil or well-composted soil, nothing too rich. Keep weeds and lawn away from the base of the tree as these plants have shallow roots and don’t want to compete for water and nutrients. Mulch around the base, keeping the mulch away from the trunk. This will keep the weeds away, and the soil warm and moist until the spring. Water once per week or as needed as even winter can be dry! Some fruits that you can harvest right now are persimmons, various citrus fruit, feijoas, raspberries and strawberries.

Citrus plants. We have some nice big mature plants with fruit already on them! These are fantastic varieties that were originally destined for Victorian fruit farms, so you know they were born to produce fruit, plus they are on Sale right now.

Berries. Put in some delicious berries for that homegrown freshness.

Various fruit. Here is a great selection of the most popular and rare dwarf varieties, ideal for small spaces. Some are in limited quantities, so better hurry up.

The Vegetable Patch

Green Manure Crops

Not everyone is keen to be gardening in the cold of winter! You can simply grow some green manure crops and let them do their thing. When you chop and drop them right before Spring, they will decay and improve your soil nutrition and texture!

Late autumn-winter is bean and pea planting season. These wonderful, plentiful veggies are best planted now. They add nitrogen into an otherwise depleted veggie bed and provide an abundance of peas and beans at the same time! Two for one! At the end of the season, your veggie bed will be ready for your spring crop.

For a good green manure crop plant beans such as broad or fava bean, peas, oats, fenugreek, lupins, subterranean clover and woolly pod vetch. You can find them as green manure seed packs, sold by several companies across Australia.

Green manure crops, Chop and Drop

Other things to note…

  • Before planting Autumn and Winter veg, enrich your soil by top dressing with some compost and manure and let it settle for a week. If the soil is too hard from being baked by the summer heat, you can gently turn it over to incorporate some organic matter into it, which will make new crops grow better. If you have hard or clay soil you can also add some soil wetter to make water penetrate more easily and retain moisture.
  • Give new seedlings a good boost with an application of liquid fertiliser after a week and they will reward you later on.

Winter veggies to plant now!

Autumn and winter veggies that should either already be in the ground or need to be planted now are as follows:

-Greens such as silverbeet, leeks, celery, watercress, lettuce, rocket, and spring onion.
-Herbs such as  parsley, thyme, oregano, coriander etc
-Asian greens such as Pak Choi, Kailan, Choi Sum
-Brassicas such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussel sprouts.
-Root veggies such as beetroot, turnip, radish, parsnip, onions, carrots and garlic.
-Legumes such as sugar snap/Snow peas and broad beans.

Check out our available range of vegetables and herbs.

Fertilizing

Due to the frequent rain in Autumn, nutrients leach away from the soil. Nitrogen or Nitrates are the most common essential nutrients that leach away, along with other highly soluble minerals such as calcium. You may tend to notice discolouration or yellowing leaves on your plants.

Use slow-release fertilizers or seaweed solutions instead of traditional instant “NPK” ones. These take time to break down and give a steady supply of nutrients for a few months. Choosing the right fertilizer for the right plant is important as these contain trace elements that the specific plants require which are often scarce in normal soil.
Gardenias, Camelias and Azaleas can use some fertiliser right now as they are about to bloom!

Click here for a full list of fertilizers.

Click here to view a chart of various possible deficiencies in plants. 

Pests and Disease

Humid and cool conditions can cause a proliferation of pests and diseases in the garden. Identify them early, treat them, and keep your plants healthy all through Autumn and Winter.

Cabbage Butterflies and Moths are the most common at the end of Autumn. White Cabbage butterflies lay their eggs on our Brassicas, such as broccoli and cauliflower. Little green caterpillars hatch from these eggs and then get to work chewing holes through the plants. There are several ways to control them:

-Netting- You can protect your young crop by covering them with netting that would prevent the butterflies from reaching them.

-Companion plants-
Plant some strong-smelling herbs such as lavender, sage, and rosemary that seem to discourage cabbage moths from settling and laying eggs. Try planting them around the edges of your patch to form an odour barrier. You can also plant decoy plants such as nasturtiums, dill, and mustard, which will draw egg layers away from your main crops.

Using decoy ‘Scarecrows‘- Cabbage moths are highly territorial and will avoid laying eggs where there’s already competition for food. Use little decoys around brassicas to send them somewhere else. Here is a great little printable template that you can use. Click Here to see the template. This template was created by the Australian Butterfly Conservation.

– Dipel – An organic biological insecticide based on Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki, which is an insecticide derived from beneficial bacteria found in soil, on plant surfaces and also in insects. It specifically targets caterpillars and is safe for beneficial insects such as ladybirds and bees.

Blackspot and Rust commonly affect Rose plants. If you notice any of those on your roses, you can cut them back lightly, remove the diseased leaves, spray the remaining leaves with some organic copper-based fungicide, and also fertilize them to encourage new growth and blooms.

Powdery mildew is one of the most commonly occurring plant problems at this time of the year. It is a fungal disease that affects plant leaves and stems, coating them in what looks like a white or grey powder-like substance. In severe cases, powdery mildew can even spread to the buds, flowers, and fruits of plants. A simple remedy is a good spray of the following mix: 1 tablespoon baking soda with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon dish soap in 1 gallon of water. Another option is a mix of 1 part milk with 10 parts of water. If this natural remedy fails to get rid of it, you can look into Sulphur based fungicides.

Root rot and Wet Feet are the most damaging ailments our houseplants can suffer from, and one of the most common. An infection can destroy a plant literally from the ground up. It spreads quickly, and without prompt action, it’s soon too late. Roots of plants affected by root rot may turn from firm and white to black/brown and soft. Affected roots may also fall off the plant when touched. The leaves of affected plants may also wilt, become small or discoloured. Affected plants may also look stunted due to poor growth, develop cankers or ooze sap. Once root rot is identified, you must determine if the plant can be saved. If the entire root system has already become mushy, it is too late to save the plant. However, if some healthy, white, firm roots exist, try to bring the plant back to good health by replanting in fresh soil with good drainage.Click here to read more about wetfeet.


Here are our best sellers that are heavily discounted!

 

That’s all for this month! Thanks for reading our Gardening in May Article. 🙂

See you in-store here at 1477 Sydney Road, Campbellfield!

Gardening in Autumn, May in the Garden. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Anzac Day Long Weekend 2022!

We hope that you all had a lovely Easter weekend! Over at the nursery, we were so pleased to see you all coming in over the long weekend, filling up your trolleys full of great bargains, and being so happy to get our freebies! With Anzac day being on Monday the 25th, we have another long weekend ahead of us and we will be open every day from 8 am to 6 pm!

If you want to do a complete garden makeover, now is the perfect time of the year with cool temperatures and generous rainfall. Plants get established very fast, growing big and healthy.
There are lots of fantastic specials in each and every category for your every garden needs! Take a look at our top specials for Easter!

We’re Real Keen for your Business!

⭐Get a Free 6″ Berry Pot (choice of Yellow Raspberry, Longanberry, Youngberry, thornless Blackberry or Boysenberry) worth $15.99 when you spend over $100.
⭐Get a Free Metro delivery and a Free Strawberry basket when you spend over $300!
⭐Get a Free Weeping Cherry Blossom worth $99.99 and free Metro delivery when you spend over $500!
⭐Get a free Red Weeping Maple worth $200 and Free Metro delivery when you spend over $1000!
⭐Get an Advanced Weeping Cherry worth $400 and Free Metro Delivery when you spend over $2000!
⭐Get a Free Garden Design and Free Metro delivery worth $100 you spend over $500!

Valid for Online, In-Store, and Phone orders! Please let us know in the comments during checkout your colour preference for the weeping cherry, otherwise, we will pick one for you. Offers are NOT available with any other offers or discounts. Free plant Only One per purchase/person, until stock last.

Here are our best sellers that are heavily discounted!

Enjoy your long weekend and see you in Campbellfield!


Top 10 Autumn Shrubs!

In autumn many deciduous plants transform from their lush green summer coats to hues of yellow, red, purple and gold. These warm colours gracefully transition us from the warmth of summer to the cold of winter.

Many of us have gardens that are on the smaller side, and if you don’t have that much space for big trees, there are always alternatives like shrubs, bushes or even dwarf trees that are nice and compact and will fit any sized garden.

England Gardens Walsall Garden Shrubs

Top 10 most beautiful Autumn Foliage Shrubs.

  1. Berberis
  2. Nandina
  3. Witch hazel
  4. Beautyberry
  5. Oak-leaf Hydrangea
  6. Dogwood
  7. Physocarpus
  8. Viburnum opulus ‘Nana’
  9. Currants (Ribes)
  10. Blueberry

A few more beautiful Autumn Shrubs and climbers:

  • Dwarf Maples
  • Euonymus ‘Burning Bush’
  • Spiraea ‘Double White May Bush’
  • Parthenocissus ‘Virginia Creeper’
  • Parthenocissus ‘Boston Ivy’

______________________________________________________________

 

Berberis

Nothing says autumn colour like Berberis! Small delicate green, purple or variegated leaves turn crimson, amber and gold as the temperature gets cooler. They make wonderful seasonal features and suit Cottage or Woodland garden styles. 

Berberis grow a maximum of 2m high but can be kept all the way down to 50-70cm. Small birds love to hide amongst the branches!

 

Nandina

A hardy, easy to grow evergreen garden favourite, the Nandina or Sacred Bamboo comes in a few varieties. The Dwarf and Moon Bay varieties are compact and colourful, only growing to 1m tall. Their foliage is lush lime green in the warmer months, turning a deep crimson as it gets colder.

 

Witch hazel

Bright blooms with wiggly petals pop up in late autumn in the nursery, causing customers to exclaim “what is THAT plant?” That is the often understated Witch Hazel! This medicinal plant produces phenomenal autumn colour and a really weird but staggeringly beautiful and fragrant flower. A must-have for the autumn garden.

 

Beautyberry

This fun plant isn’t on this list for its autumnal foliage (though it does produce a gorgeous yellow and amber glow!) The Beautyberry, or Callicarpa bodinieri, sprouts dazzling clusters of purple berries along the branches against the gold backdrop, creating an incredible contrast in colour! Beautyberry grows roughly 2 metres in height.

 

Oak-leaf Hydrangea

A small flowering shrub with leaves like that of an Oak tree. The Oak-leaf Hydrangea flowers during the spring and summer, its leaves turning crimson, carmine, amber, maroon and purple in the autumn. A truly versatile shrub.

 

Dogwood

There are Dogwood trees and Dogwood shrubs. The trees are renowned for their autumn colour and beautiful summer flowers, whereas some shrub varieties also have vibrant autumnal foliage, but the branches underneath are the real show stoppers. Seen in autumn and winter are gorgeous, almost fluorescent stems of red or yellow. These shrubs grow from 1-2m tall.

 

Physocarpus 

Varieties of Physocarpus or, commonly named, Ninebark come in beautiful purples, greens and golds, all of which convert to the rich colours of autumn when it begins to get cooler. The colours on the large leaves change from the edge inward making little artworks on each leaf. Suitable for pots and small gardens, growing anywhere between 1-3 metres tall.

Viburnum opulus ‘Nana’

A striking, small deciduous shrub that turns a rich purple and crimson red in autumn, the Viburnum opulus ‘Nana’ or European Cranberry Bush, grows only 30-60cm tall and compact. It is ideal for edging and borders, Cottage style gardens or pots! Unlike other viburnums, this one very rarely produces flowers or berries and hence requires far less maintenance.

 

Currants (Ribes)

The next two are not only colourful but produce delicious berries in the summertime. Ribes nigrum or the humble Black Currant turns gorgeous reds, oranges and yellows in the autumn time. Ribes grow approximately 1-2 metres tall and should be pruned during the winter when they’re bare.

 

Blueberry

Bearing delicious, juicy blueberries in the summer under lush green foliage, the Blueberry bush is often forgotten for its autumn colour. Small, soft leaves change to gorgeous autumn colours. Blueberries grow best in acidic soil, benefit from a good trim and grow anywhere between 1-3 metres depending on the variety. Since different varieties produce berries at slightly different times of the year, planting a few different ones will extent the harvest period.

 

A few more beautiful Autumn Shrubs and climbers:

Besides the gorgeous plants mentioned above, here are a few others that are worth including in this list.

Dwarf Maples

Dwarf Japanese maples are excellent choices for smaller gardens because of their small stature and ability to thrive in small spaces.  Dwarf Japanese maples can be used in miniature conifer beds and rock gardens to provide dynamic contrast throughout the season. Dwarf Japanese maples can also be used in patio containers and bonsai.

Euonymus ‘Burning Bush’

A compact spreading deciduous shrub with stunning burning red foliage and ornamental berries.
Great as a feature plant or hedge that will add vibrant colour to your garden in autumn.
Plant in well-drained soil in a full sun to part shaded position. Approx growth 3mx3m. Frost and drought tolerant.

Spiraea ‘Double White May Bush’

Spirea is a semi-deciduous shrub with arching stems, lanceolate small green leaves and gorgeous white pompom flowers from spring to late summer. The leaves will change to a yellowish red colour in autumn before falling off. It will grow in coastal gardens and once established will tolerate frost, neglect and drought. Mature growth 2x2m

Parthenocissus ‘Virginia Creeper’

Virginia Creeper is a large deciduous climber that is very vigorous. Its foliage turns a bright red and orange in autumn. Given the space, it will ultimately grow higher than 12 meters with a spread of 4-8 meters.

Virginia Creeper thrives in a position of moist, well-drained soil and can handle both full shade and full sunlight. This vine makes for a gorgeous sight. It is generally easy to care for and is disease-free.

Parthenocissus ‘Boston Ivy’

Boston Ivy is a beautiful, classy small-leaved climber that is great for covering exposed or ugly walls, unattractive sheds, pergolas, arbours, rotundas, and trellises. The shiny green three lobed leaves turn spectacular shades of red and purple in autumn.

Check out some other articles that you may like:

Top 10 Autumn Garden Colour Shrubs 2022. Melbourne, Victoria. Australia.

Hello Hello Plants. 1477 Sydney Road, Campbellfield.

The Big Easter Weekend 2022!

To celebrate Easter, some of us might go to church, organize an Easter egg hunt for the kids, have family over for lunch, or maybe just drive off for a long weekend getaway. Gardeners will undoubtedly make the most of the long weekend tidying up the garden, planting some Autumn/Winter flowers and veggies most certainly come down to the nursery to get some amazing deals!

If you want to do a complete garden makeover, now is the perfect time of the year with cool temperatures and generous rainfall. Plants get established very fast, growing big and healthy.
There are lots of fantastic specials in each and every category for your every garden needs! Take a look at our top specials for Easter!

We’re Real Keen for your Business!

⭐Get a Free Strawberry basket worth $15.99 when you spend over $100
⭐Get a Free Metro delivery and a Free Strawberry basket when you spend over $300!
⭐Get a Free Weeping Cherry Blossom worth $99.99 and free Metro delivery when you spend over $500!
⭐Get a free Red Weeping Maple worth $200 and Free Metro delivery when you spend over $1000!
⭐Get an Advanced Weeping Cherry worth $400 and Free Metro Delivery when you spend over $2000!
⭐Get a Free Garden Design and Free Metro delivery worth $100 you spend over $500!

Valid for Online, In-Store, and Phone orders! Please let us know in the comments during checkout your colour preference for the weeping cherry, otherwise, we will pick one for you. Offers are NOT available with any other offers or discounts. Free plant Only One per purchase/person, until stock last.

Here are our best sellers that are heavily discounted!

We will update this list with more specials every couple of days this week, so check back in for more specials! 🙂
Happy Easter!


Top 10 places to visit this Autumn in Victoria!

Don’t miss the spectacular show of autumnal colour this year by staying inside! Get out and visit some of Victoria’s most colourful gardens and botanical festivals this season.

We have narrowed down our Top 10 places to visit this autumn for a spectacular show of sepia, scarlet, amber and gold!

 

Bright, Alpine National Park

Bright Victoria. Photo by Mehul Naik

No town could possibly do it better than Bright. Just before the busy snow season, the township of Bright makes for a picturesque vista of autumn colour. Holiday-makers, hikers and photographers will all find great pleasure in visiting this little town.


Whilst there, check out the Bright Autumn Festival, April 22nd to May 1st

Click here for directions

KaBloom Festival of Flowers, Silvan

Kabloom Festival of Flowers

Dates: April 2nd – April 26th

For some colour in autumn of a different kind, the KaBloom Festival of Flowers is a vibrant show of autumn flowers. Blooms of all colours of the rainbow are specifically grown for this festival in dense rows spanning the Tesselaar property in Silvan. It is a festival not to be missed!

Visit the KaBloom festival page here 

Click here for directions

 

Valley of Liquidambers, Heathcote

Valley of Liquidambers. Photo by Kylie McKay

Bath in a sea of autumnal colour in the Valley of Liquidambers! A gorgeous picnic spot to relax and unwind, or the chance to try out your photography skills. Whatever the reason, this spot is a must-see on your autumn list!

Click here for directions

 

Walhalla, Gippsland

Walhalla Gippsland. Photo by Kathryn Potempski

The little historic township of Walhalla in Gippsland has streets lined with gorgeous, deciduous trees and shrubs, showing off striking autumnal colour. Whilst here, enjoy some of the gorgeous alpine parks, gold mining heritage and old architecture. 

Click here for directions

 

Beechworth & Stanley

Beechworth. Photo by P. K

A short trip North from Bright, you’ll find an autumn colour extravaganza! Beechworth is an old-world town, boasting heritage architecture and enormous old oaks and elms covering the town in colour. Down the road in Stanley are copious amounts of walnut, apple and hazelnut orchards putting on their own autumnal show.

Click here for directions

 

Macedon, Macedon Ranges

Gardens of Tieve Tara. Photo by Trish Khoo

A little town nestled against Mount Macedon in Victoria’s north boasts an incredible Avenue of Honour of large Pin Oaks. Just up the road, you will also find three gardens that are a must-visit. Duneira Gardens, Tieve Tara Gardens  and Forest Glade Gardens all put on a gorgeous autumnal show. 

Click here for directions

 

Daylesford & Hepburn Shire

Central Lake, Daylesford. Photo by Winston

The star of spa country, the bustling tourist town of Daylesford makes for a brilliant and fun autumn destination. The Wombat Hill Gardens above the town boasts some 80-160-year-old trees, Scarlet and English Oak, Elms, Beech and Hornbeam just to name a few. Down in Hepburn Springs, you will find gorgeous autumn colours along the roadside and down in the Mineral Springs Park. Lavandula Lavender Farm puts on a fun-filled festival with jam making, chestnut roasting and preserving. This year events are still postponed due to Covid but with hope, they’ll be back soon!

Click here for directions

 

Alfred Nicolas Memorial Gardens

Alfred Nicholas garden Photo by Coffee Kuo

Up in the Dandenong Ranges, nestled amongst the tall redwoods are brilliant eye-catching gardens, and the Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens is no exception. If you’re a Japanese Maple and Ginkgo biloba fan, these gardens are for you. Burnham Beeches Bakery is just next door with stunning gardens to match that of the Memorial gardens.

Click here for directions

 

Dandenong Ranges Botanic Gardens

Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden Ornamental Lake. Photo by Gavin Clark

This is a garden jam-packed full of colour and excitement (well, at least for the fellow plant lover!) Dandenong Ranges Botanic Gardens has an extensive amount of deciduous and evergreen tree varieties, shrubs and flowers. A must see in both spring and autumn, the gardens put on a spectacular colour display. Japanese and European Maples, Cherry trees, weeping Silver Birch against a gorgeous pond, giant Oaks, and a Ginkgo biloba as a golden beacon standing vigil at the entrance against the towering redwoods! You’ll easily spend all day here.

Click here for directions

 

Cloudehill Gardens, Olinda

Cloudehill Garden & Nursery. Photo by Mathew Fedley

A beautiful, dense, cottage-style garden, Cloudehill Garden was created and revived from the remains of an old cut flower nursery. These gardens show a real love of the horticultural industry, with many rare and interesting varieties grown and cultivated here including a beautiful specimen, Enkianthus perulatus. Autumn brings about a phenomenal colour and textural delight with flowering grasses, shrubs and of course deciduous foliar display!

Click here for directions

And finally our own nursery:
Hello Hello Plants Nursery in Campbellfield 

Hello Hello Nursery at 1477 Sydney Road, Campbellfield

Our nursery is filled with beautiful and colourful plants at this time of the year! It makes it so easy to choose what you would like to have in your garden.

Click here for directions

Some other articles you may like:

We also have a list of the Top 10 Autumn trees and Top 10 Autumn shrubs that you can buy today, to add some Autumn magic to your own garden. Click on the banner below to read it!

That’s it for this list of Top 10 places to visit this Autumn in Victoria, 2022.
We hope that you enjoy this beautiful Autumn display of colours.
Hello Hello Plants.

April in the Garden! Happy Easter 2022!

Hello Hello, dear gardening friends! April usually marks the unofficial beginning of Autumn and the beginning of the longest season of the Kulin nation; ‘Waring’ or Wombat season! Unlike autumn, which lasts from March-May, Waring lasts from April to July. It marks the beginning of misty mornings, low temperatures and higher rainfall. Days begin to get shorter and brilliant fungi start to appear. And how can we forget the stunning change of foliage colour amongst Melbourne’s gorgeous deciduous plants! All over the city, our giant trees are putting on a display of reds, oranges and yellows, their spent leaves colouring the footpaths and streets. Golden Elms and Ash are shining gold beacons, Scarlet Oaks and Maples produce vibrant lipstick reds and Japanese Maples start to really shine with varying colours, all on a single tree. This time of year is not only about colourful foliage. Camellia’s are beginning to flower, Native Violets are covered with upright purple flowers that the bees adore, Salvia’s and Gazania are continuing their summer flower display along with newly budding flowers of Pimeleas, Daisies and Alyssum.

We’re Real Keen for your Business!

⭐Get a Free Strawberry basket worth $15.99 when you spend over $100
⭐Get a Free Metro delivery and a Free Strawberry basket when you spend over $300!
⭐Get a Free Weeping Cherry Blossom worth $99.99 and free Metro delivery when you spend over $500!
⭐Get a free Red Weeping Maple worth $200 and Free Metro delivery when you spend over $1000!
⭐Get an Advanced Weeping Cherry worth $400 and Free Metro Delivery when you spend over $2000!
⭐Get a Free Garden Design and Free Metro delivery worth $100 you spend over $500!

Valid for Online, In-Store, and Phone orders! Please let us know in the comments during checkout your colour preference for the weeping cherry, otherwise, we will pick one for you. Offers are NOT available with any other offers or discounts. Free plant Only One per purchase/person, until stock last.

 


Garden Tips for April!

Preparing the Garden

Autumn is a very busy time of the year for gardeners. Soils still retain their summer warmth and become moist with more rainfall, making it a great time to plant and prepare garden beds. Free mulch literally falls from the sky with autumn leaves, which can be turned into the soil or compost, making your soil fluffy and rich, ready for planting. It is also a good time to turn in any aged compost and mulch, also to remove spent summer vegetables, to make space for your next crop. You may have already begun this process following our ‘March in the Garden’ article, but if you haven’t, you definitely need to get onto it now! It may not seem like it but this can take some time to do, but boy is it worth it.

What to Plant

Gardening is one of the best family activities!

Is your garden ready for some new planting? Let’s take a look at what can be planted this Autumn!

Deciduous trees are best planted in autumn. The soil needs to be soft, well-draining and have minimal nutrients in it. Make sure you haven’t added any extra fertilisers into the soil before you plant a deciduous tree or shrub as this can give it a rude awakening. Deciduous plants are going into dormancy for winter and won’t require any fertiliser until late winter-early spring. Birches, Elms and Ashes make for great planting now. Weeping Cherries and Japanese Maples are ideal feature trees for a small suburban garden and are beginning to put on quite a show!

The non-deciduous plants that are ready for autumn and winter flowering, will require some food to produce their beautiful blooms. Beautiful autumn and winter bloomers such as Camellia and Azalea will need a fertiliser such as Osmocote Controlled Release Fertiliser: Roses, Gardenia, Azaleas and Camellias. The right balance of nutrients and minerals coupled with the correct soil pH produce the perfect blooms. If your flowers aren’t forming correctly or the colours aren’t right, it could be a pH or fertiliser problem so this is something to keep in mind when they first start to form.

It is not commonly known but autumn marks the start of the best planting time for natives. It is ideal to plant natives from autumn through to spring when the temperatures aren’t so harsh. And there are some absolutely iridescent natives that put on a spectacular show during this time of the year. Victoria’s floral emblem, Epacris impressa or Common Heath is currently putting on quite a show throughout the Wombat State and other forests. Though usually flowering in late autumn, it has decided to start early this year. Other stunning flowering natives include Banksia’s, which are much loved by cockatoos, Crowea and Correa. Click here to see all our Native plants!

Get your spring-flowering bulbs in the ground by the end of April. Refrigeration or cooling of bulbs in the soil during winter help produce taller flowers with better blooms in the spring. Some of the best producing bulbs are Daffodils, Tulips and Iris.

Fungi and Mushrooms

As the days get cooler and the nights longer, autumn provides a fantastic opportunity to throw on some warm clothes, get outside into the fresh air, and go mushroom foraging. Mushrooms are rich in B vitamins: riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. The combination helps protect heart health. Riboflavin is good for red blood cells. Niacin is good for the digestive system and for maintaining healthy skin. The mushroom season in Victoria depends on many factors, however, April to June are fairly ideal for foraging, with many tours operating during these months.

Important note about wild mushroom safety: While Victoria has a good variety of edible, wild mushrooms, the region is also home to a number of mushroom species that can cause illness and/or death. These include the yellow stainer (Agaricus xanthodermus) and the death cap (Amanita phalloides). The Victorian Government’s Better Health website has further information on the risks of consuming wild mushrooms in Victoria. You can also visit Facebook groups such as Australia & New Zealand Fungus Identification But always be cautious with online advice.

Mushroom foraging guided tours Instead, looking into mushroom tours offer a great chance to learn how to correctly identify edible mushrooms (and avoid the poisonous ones). Here are some tours that you could join:
-Mushroom Foraging & Lunch at lil’ acres,Woodend, Vic 3442.
-Maxs May Mushroom Meander- Red Hill, Victoria.
-Mushroomtours, Moorooduc.

Growing your own mushrooms! There are several great workshop and mushroom growing suppliers in Melbourne that can assist you in this fun adventure.
-Milkwood (Online)
-The Mushroomery (In Person)

What to do if mushrooms pop up in the garden or pots? Mushrooms growing in your garden beds or pots are an indication of healthy soil. The mycorrhizal/fungal network connect individual plants together and transfer water, carbon, nitrogen, and other nutrients and minerals. The actual mushroom is only the fruiting body of that network and is responsible for spreading spores to colonise new places. They also assist to decompose organic matter and make it available to other plants. So if you see mushrooms or fungus growing in your patch or pots, you can safely leave them there. Inform your children that these are poisonous and not to eat them. Pets usually are not interested in mushrooms, but if you have a curious pet, it would be better to pull them out.

Mulch

Mulch that was laid down in spring or summer last year should still be thick enough to protect your plants this Autumn, so you do not need to top it up. As a matter of fact, if your mulch has not broken down much and is still quite thick, i.e over 4 inches, you might want to remove some of it to keep about 1-2 inches tops. A thick mulch layer will retain too much humidity in the cool and wet Autumn weather and create the perfect environment for a host of diseases, especially fungal ones, that will spread to and affect your plants. Excess mulch can be saved for later or be added to the compost heap.

The Vegetable Patch

Most summer crops that have provided a bounty of fresh veggies are now looking a bit scraggly, reaching the end of the lifecycle. They can be pulled out, chopped up and composted as long as they are disease-free. Some chillies, capsicum and eggplant can be left a little longer in the ground until they are done fruiting. You can try to keep your chillies and capsicum going over winter by having them in a pot, protected from the cold and frost over the coming months.

  • Harvest most of your summer crops because the cool weather prevents them from growing anymore or ripening. There are many great ways to preserve excess produce such as Fermenting, Canning, Snap Freezing, Pickling, and Drying. You can also donate the excess to charity associations such as Foodbank and Fareshare. You can also look into swapping produce at swap meetups, which you can find via Local Food Connect.
  • Before planting Autumn and Winter veg, enrich your soil by top dressing with some compost and manure and let it settle for a week. If the soil is too hard from being baked by the summer heat, you can gently turn it over to incorporate some organic matter into it, which will make new crops grow better. If you have hard or clay soil you can also add some soil wetter to make water penetrate more easily and retain moisture.
  • Give new seedlings a good boost with an application of liquid fertiliser after a week and they will reward you later on.
  • If you are not too keen on Autumn or Winter veggies you can plant some green manure crops to allow your soil to improve while waiting for Spring and Summer planting. But if you are, here is a little list of what can be grown right now:
    -Greens such as silverbeet, leeks, celery, watercress, lettuce, rocket, spring onion.
    -Herbs such as  parsley, thyme, oregano, coriander etc
    -Asian greens such as Pak Choi, Kailan, Choi Sum
    -Brassicas such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussel sprouts.
    -Root veggies such as beetroot, turnip, radish, parsnip, onions, carrots and garlic.
    -Legumes such as sugar snap peas and broad beans.

Check out our available range of vegetables and herbs.

How to ripen up your green tomatoes!

You can either ripen your tomatoes indoors or on the vine. You can coax the ripening process from green to red when tomatoes are taken indoors—a much better plan than leaving them to wither on their vines. The key to ripening tomatoes is a warm, enclosed and dry environment. Tomatoes need warmth to ripen.

  1. In the bag: To ripen a few green tomatoes, put them in a paper bag, close it up, and store them in a warm location in your home. Kept enclosed together, the ethylene they emit will stimulate ripening. You can add a ripe banana or apple as well to speed things up. Once a tomato is ripe, remove it from the bag and enjoy it right away. Check the bag daily for mould or rot and remove any spoiled pieces.
  2. Box method: If you have several green tomatoes you want to ripen, consider using a cardboard box. Place them in the box so they do not touch one another. You can add a ripe banana as well. Close the box and, as with the bag-ripening method, check daily for mould and rot, or full ripening, and remove those tomatoes.
  3. The windowsill approach: Try this if your tomatoes have already started to show some ripened colour. Simply put them on the sill of a window that gets sunlight. Inspect them daily for progress. You can also remove tomatoes you have ripening in a bag or box once they start showing signs of colour and continue their ripening on the window sill.

To ripen tomatoes on the vine you can try:

  1. Removing flower clusters. Pluck new flower clusters from tomato plants that have already set fruit. Removing flowers will direct the plant’s energy into ripening the fruit already maturing on the vine.
  2. Removing small or excess fruit. Pick small or excess fruit off of the tomato plant. Removing immature fruit or fruit you will not use will allow the plant to divert energy into ripening larger, already maturing fruit. Tomatoes that reach “mature green” size and have their first blush of colour can be ripened off the vine at room temperature.
  3. Removing some leaves. Pinch away suckers and lower leaves. Tomato plants almost continuously produce new shoots–called suckers–between the main stem and lateral branches. Pinch or prune away this new growth so that the plant can channel its energy into producing and ripening fruit rather than producing new leaves. Leaves just above fruit or fruit clusters should be left in place to protect the fruit from sunburn. Leaves low on the plant that turns yellow or brown or diseased leaves should be removed. These leaves are taking energy away from fruit ripening.
  4. Reducing water and food late in the season. Reduce water and fertilizer to encourage “mature green” fruits to ripen. Fertilizer–especially excess nitrogen–encourages new leaf growth at the expense of fruit growth and maturation. (Use fertilizer low in nitrogen 4-8-4 for tomatoes.) Reducing water as fruits reach mature size will enhance ripening (and concentrate flavour) and direct the plant’s energy away from new fruit set to ripening fruit already on the vine
  5. Some gardeners swear by feeding their tomato plants unsulfured blackstrap molasses, saying that the molasses not only provides tomato plants with energy but also makes ripening tomatoes sweeter and increases microbial activity in the soil. Use about a cup of molasses per two gallons of water, applying no more than once per week.

Pests and Disease

Humid and cool conditions can cause a proliferation of pests and diseases in the garden. Identify them early, treat them, and keep your plants healthy all through Autumn and Winter.

  • Leaf Miner and Citrus Leaf Miner. These are small nocturnal moths that lay their eggs on the underside of soft fresh leaves of citrus and other seedlings. The eggs hatch and the larvae rapidly burrow under the surface of the leaf, and it is these larvae that cause all the damage. The larvae feed on the epidermal cells of the leaf, creating silvery snake-like ‘mined’ damage to the leaf, which eventually curls up. The best way is to control them is using eco oils, sprayed fortnightly above and below the leaf of plants.  This will also deter many other pests. A chemical/biological control is Spinosad (marketed as Success by Yates) is also reputed to be effective against leaf miners.
  • Cabbage Butterflies and Moths. White Cabbage butterflies lay their eggs on our Brassicas, such as broccoli and cauliflower. Little green caterpillars hatch from these eggs and then get to work chewing holes through the plants. There are several ways to control them.
  • Netting- You can protect your young crop by covering them with netting that would prevent the butterflies from reaching them.
  • Companion plants- Plant some strong-smelling herbs such as lavender, sage, and rosemary that seem to discourage cabbage moths from settling and laying eggs. Try planting them around the edges of your patch to form an odour barrier. You can also plant decoy plants such as nasturtiums, dill, and mustard, which will draw egg layers away from your main crops.
  • Using decoy ‘Scarecrows‘- Cabbage moths are highly territorial and will avoid laying eggs where there’s already competition for food. Use little decoys around brassicas to send them somewhere else. Here is a great little printable template that you can use. Click Here to see the template. This template was created by the Australian Butterfly Conservation.
  •  Dipel – An organic biological insecticide that is based on Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki, which is an insecticide derived from beneficial bacteria found in soil, on plant surfaces and also in insects. It specifically targets caterpillars and is safe for beneficial insects such as ladybirds and bees.
  • Other Pests. Thrips, Mites, Scales, Aphids, and Whiteflies are other bugs that cause a lot of damage to our plants. Here is a very natural way of controlling them by using nature itself. Bugs for Bugs is a company that specialises in integrated pest management (IPM) and is one of Australia’s leading suppliers of biological control agents. Here is a great little chart for controlling bugs by using bugs.

Click here to see their website. Or visit their Facebook page!

  • Blackspot and Rust commonly affect Rose plants. If you notice any of those on your roses, you can cut them back lightly, remove the diseased leaves, spray the remaining leaves with some organic copper-based fungicide, and also fertilize them to encourage new growth and blooms.
  • Powdery mildew is one of the most commonly occurring plant problems at this time of the year. It is a fungal disease that affects plant leaves and stems, coating them in what looks like a white or grey powder-like substance. In severe cases, powdery mildew can even spread to the buds, flowers, and fruits of plants. A simple remedy is a good spray of the following mix: 1 tablespoon baking soda with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon dish soap in 1 gallon of water. Another option is a mix of 1 part milk with 10 parts of water. If this natural remedy fails to get rid of it, you can look into Sulphur based fungicides.
  • Root rot and Wet Feet are the most damaging ailments our houseplants can suffer from, and one of the most common. An infection can destroy a plant literally from the ground up. It spreads quickly, and without prompt action, it’s soon too late. Roots of plants affected by root rot may turn from firm and white to black/brown and soft. Affected roots may also fall off the plant when touched. The leaves of affected plants may also wilt, become small or discoloured. Affected plants may also look stunted due to poor growth, develop cankers or ooze sap. Once root rot is identified, you must determine if the plant can be saved. If the entire root system has already become mushy, it is too late to save the plant. However, if some healthy, white, firm roots exist, try to bring the plant back to good health by replanting in fresh soil with good drainage.Click here to read more about wetfeet.

That’s all for this month! Thanks for reading our Gardening in April 2022 Article. 🙂 See you in-store here at 1477 Sydney Road, Campbellfield!

Gardening in Autumn, April in the Garden 2022. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Hello Hello Autumn! March in the Garden 2022!

Hello Hello, dear gardening friends!

As we are reaching the end of Summer here in Melbourne, we can all certainly feel the cool change and the days getting shorter. This is the season that reminds us that our bodies, minds, and surroundings are always changing. It represents the preservation of life and its basic necessities. In a way, the autumn season offers us a chance to reconnect with ourselves.

We have warm days and cooler nights ahead so if you plant now and use soil wetter, plants are easy to keep moist and establish quickly. The really hot weather is now 9 Months away and your plants will be well established before it gets hot again. Now is also the best time to buy, as our Nursery is absolutely full of big cheap plants at bargain prices. In spring plants tend to be smaller and more expensive because of the traditional spring sales boom but if you want big bushy cheap plants the optimum time to buy and plant is now.

As we harvest the last rewards of Summer, we enjoy this generous bounty by cooking delicious meals and we also preserve extras for the cooler months. In the garden, there are beautiful blooms to enjoy. Crepe Myrtles are putting on a beautiful display, along with Hibiscus, Hydrangeas, Roses, Oleanders, and several others. Rhododendrons and Camellias have a few flowers and many buds that are slowly swelling up for a lovely Autumn bloom.

Before the leaves start changing colour, there are many things to do in the garden to prepare for a beautiful Autumn, so here are the main points.

Planting and Watering

With the lower temperatures, you can put any plant in the ground safely without much risk of shocking or stunting them. It is an ideal time for many summer heat-sensitive plants such as Maples, Weeping Cherries, and Birches to go into the ground. They will have over 8 months to get properly established for the next summer. Just make sure to water them adequately and keep the soil moist, but not too wet. This is the best time for a large property and commercial landscape planting. As of March, the rate of evaporation of water from the soil is less, so you can water your outdoor and indoor plants less frequently, or adjust your irrigation system accordingly. Watch out for root rot, which can happen to plants that have poor drainage or excessive watering. Read more about this lower in the Pests and Disease section. Click here for a little guide on planting your store-bought plants.

Lawns

The heat of summer and dry weather can be very bad for lawns if they are not watered properly. This is a great time to repair any dry patches or any damage caused during summer. •   The first step is to dethatch your grass with a rake to remove the accumulation of dead grass and long runners. Thatch is a build of dead grass leaves, stems and root which leaves your lawn looking unsightly after it is mown. • Aerate your lawn with a garden fork or aerator.  Almost all lawns will benefit from aeration, and a great lawn demands it. That said, most lawns do not need it. Lawns suffering from heavy foot traffic, excessive thatch buildup (more than 1 inch thick) or grown on heavy soils will benefit the most.

• Top dress with some fine compost and/or lawn fertilizer. Rake over to even it out and water your lawn to settle it in.

• Worn out, dry or dead patches can be over sown with some lawn seed or replaced with patches of instant turf.

Mulch

Mulch that was laid down in spring or summer last year should still be thick enough to protect your plants this Autumn, so you do not need to top it up. As a matter of fact, if your mulch has not broken down much and is still quite thick, i.e over 4 inches, you might want to remove some of it to keep about 1-2 inches tops. A thick mulch layer will retain too much humidity over in the cool and wet Autumn weather and create the perfect environment for a host of diseases, especially fungal ones, that will spread to and affect your plants. Excess mulch can be saved for later or be added to the compost heap. If you do not have any mulch, well, now is also a good time to add about 1-2 inches of it on your topsoil to protect your plants.

Fertilizing

Due to the frequent watering in summer, nutrients leach away from the soil, especially from pots and planters. Nitrogen or Nitrates are the most common essential nutrients that leach away, along with other highly soluble minerals such as calcium. You may tend to notice discolouration or yellowing leaves on your plants. The best way to prevent leaching is by top-dressing your soil with organic matter, compost, manure, plus a thin layer of mulch to encourage microbial and fungal activity in the soil. Mycorrhizal fungi create tiny root-like dense webs in the soil that holds on to moisture and nutrients. Most importantly, they create a complex network for nutrient and resource exchange between various plants. Tender new growth that comes from fertilization will now also be fairly safe from sun or heat damage, thanks to the cooler temperatures. You can fertilize potted plants, garden ornamentals and trees, flowers, lawn, citrus and other fruit trees too. Use slow-release fertilizers or seaweed solutions instead of traditional instant “NPK” ones. These take time to break down and give a steady supply of nutrients for a few months. Choosing the right fertilizer for the right plant is important as these contain trace elements that the specific plants require which are often scarce in normal soil.

Click here for a full list of fertilizers.

Click here to view a chart of various possible deficiencies in plants. 

Dead-heading and Pruning

After the beautiful first summer blooms, many of the flowering perennials are now covered with spent flowers, which are busy producing seeds inside. Some plants have a big flush of flowers at once, such as catmint, while others flower more consistently over the flowering period, such as daisies. The longer you leave spent blooms on the plant, the more resources or nutrients they utilize to produce seeds, and the plant will feel that it has completed its life cycle, i.e producing seeds to ensure the next generation. The best thing to do is to remove spent blooms as soon as the flower petals shrivel up. This will encourage more flowers to pop out.

Very often the late summer/autumn blooms do not look as spectacular as the earlier ones. However, you can give those plants a beautiful last late Summer-Autumn flush of flowers by doing some light pruning and removing all spent flowers, followed by an application of bloom-promoting fertilizer or seaweed solution, preferably by foliar application, and also around the root zone.  Make sure to deadhead your Agapanthus early, to prevent them from going to seed, as they can get quite invasive.

The Vegetable Patch

Most summer crops that have provided a bounty of fresh veggies are now reaching the end of the lifecycle. They can be pulled out, chopped up and composted as long as they are disease-free. Some chillies, capsicum and eggplant can be left a little longer in the ground until they are done fruiting. You can try to overwinter your chillies and capsicum by having them in a pot or covered in the ground, protected from the cold and frost over the winter. Once spring comes around, they will start to grow again and produce much earlier than newly planted ones.

 • Harvest most of your summer crops because the cool weather prevents them from growing any more or ripening. There are many great ways to preserve excess produce such as Fermenting, Canning, Snap Freezing, Pickling, and Drying. You can also donate the excess to charity associations such as Foodbank and Fareshare. You can also look into swapping produce at swap meetups, which you can find via Local Food Connect.

• Before planting Autumn and Winter veg, enrich your soil by top dressing with some compost and manure and let it settle for a week or two. If the soil is too hard from being baked by the summer heat, you can gently turn it over to incorporate some organic matter into it, which will make new crops grow better. If you have hard or clay soil you can also add some soil wetter to make water penetrate more easily and retain moisture.

• Give new seedlings a good boost with an application of liquid fertiliser after a week or two and they will reward you later on.

•  If you are not too keen on Autumn or Winter veggies you can plant some green manure crops to allow your soil to improve while waiting for Spring and Summer planting. But if you are, here is a little list of what can be grown right now:

• Greens such as silverbeet, leeks, celery, watercress, lettuce, rocket, spring onion.

• Herbs such as  parsley, thyme, oregano, coriander etc

• Asian greens such as Pak Choi, Kailan, Choi Sum

• Brassicas such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussel sprouts.

• Root veggies such as beetroot, turnip, radish, parsnip, onions, carrots and .

• Legumes such as sugar snap peas and broad beans. Check out our available range of vegetables and herbs.

How to ripen up your green tomatoes!

This year all my tomatoes have ripened up beautifully in the garden! But if you live in cold areas, they might take a bit longer to ripen up!

You can either ripen your tomatoes indoors or on the vine. You can coax the ripening process from green to red when tomatoes are taken indoors—a much better plan than leaving them to wither on their vines. The key to ripening tomatoes is a warm, enclosed and dry environment. Tomatoes need warmth to ripen.

  1. In the bag: To ripen a few green tomatoes, put them in a paper bag, close it up, and store them in a warm location in your home. Kept enclosed together, the ethylene they emit will stimulate ripening. You can add a ripe banana or apple as well to speed things up. Once a tomato is ripe, remove it from the bag and enjoy it right away. Check the bag daily for mould or rot and remove any spoiled pieces.
  2. Box method: If you have several green tomatoes you want to ripen, consider using a cardboard box. Place them in the box so they do not touch one another. You can add a ripe banana as well. Close the box and, as with the bag-ripening method, check daily for mould and rot, or full ripening, and remove those tomatoes.
  3. The windowsill approach: Try this if your tomatoes have already started to show some ripened colour. Simply put them on the sill of a window that gets sunlight. Inspect them daily for progress. You can also remove tomatoes you have ripening in a bag or box once they start showing signs of colour and continue their ripening on the window sill.

To ripen tomatoes on the vine you can try:

  1. Removing flower clusters. Pluck new flower clusters from tomato plants that have already set fruit. Removing flowers will direct the plant’s energy into ripening the fruit already maturing on the vine.
  2. Removing small or excess fruit. Pick small or excess fruit off of the tomato plant. Removing immature fruit or fruit you will not use will allow the plant to divert energy into ripening larger, already maturing fruit. Tomatoes that reach “mature green” size and have their first blush of colour can be ripened off the vine at room temperature.
  3. Removing some leaves. Pinch away suckers and lower leaves. Tomato plants almost continuously produce new shoots–called suckers–between the main stem and lateral branches. Pinch or prune away this new growth so that the plant can channel its energy into producing and ripening fruit rather than producing new leaves. Leaves just above fruit or fruit clusters should be left in place to protect the fruit from sunburn. Leaves low on the plant that turns yellow or brown or diseased leaves should be removed. These leaves are taking energy away from fruit ripening.
  4. Reducing water and food late in the season. Reduce water and fertilizer to encourage “mature green” fruits to ripen. Fertilizer–especially excess nitrogen–encourages new leaf growth at the expense of fruit growth and maturation. (Use fertilizer low in nitrogen 4-8-4 for tomatoes.) Reducing water as fruits reach mature size will enhance ripening (and concentrate flavour) and direct the plant’s energy away from new fruit set to ripening fruit already on the vine
  5. Some gardeners swear by feeding their tomato plants unsulfured blackstrap molasses, saying that the molasses not only provides tomato plants with energy but also makes ripening tomatoes sweeter and increases microbial activity in the soil. Use about a cup of molasses per two gallons of water, applying no more than once per week.

Pests and Disease

Humid and cool conditions can cause a proliferation of pests and diseases in the garden. Identify them early, treat them, and keep your plants healthy all through Autumn and Winter.

• Leaf Miner and Citrus Leaf Miner. These are small nocturnal moths that lay their eggs on the underside of soft fresh leaves of citrus and other seedlings. The eggs hatch and the larvae rapidly burrow under the surface of the leaf, and it is these larvae that cause all the damage. The larvae feed on the epidermal cells of the leaf, creating a silvery snake-like ‘mined’ damage to the leaf, which eventually curls up. The best way is to control them is using eco oils, sprayed fortnightly above and below the leaf of plants.  This will also deter many other pests. A chemical/biological control is Spinosad (marketed as Success by Yates) is also reputed to be effective against leaf-miners. •  Cabbage Butterflies and Moths. White Cabbage butterflies lay their eggs on our Brassicas, such as broccoli and cauliflower. Little green caterpillars hatch from these eggs and then get to work chewing holes through the plants. There are several ways to control them.

  • Netting- You can protect your young crop by covering them with netting that would prevent the butterflies from reaching them.
  • Companion plants- Plant some strong-smelling herbs such as lavender, sage, and rosemary seem to discourage cabbage moths from settling and laying eggs. Try planting them around the edges of your patch to form an odour barrier. You can also plant decoy plants such as nasturtiums, dill, and mustard, which will draw egg-layers away from your main crops.
  • Using decoy ‘Scarecrows‘- Cabbage moths are highly territorial and will avoid laying eggs where there’s already competition for food. Use little decoys around brassicas to send them somewhere else. Here is a great little printable template that you can use. Click Here to see the template. This template was created by the Australian Butterfly Conservation.
  •  Dipel – An organic biological insecticide which is based on Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki, which is an insecticide derived from beneficial bacteria found in soil, on plant surfaces and also in insects. It specifically targets caterpillars and is safe for beneficial insects such as ladybirds and bees.

• Other Pests. Thrips, Mites, Scales, Aphids, and Whiteflies are other bugs that cause a lot of damage to our plants. Here is a very natural way of controlling them by using nature itself. Bugs for Bugs is a company that specialises in integrated pest management (IPM) and is one of Australia’s leading suppliers of biological control agents. Here is a great little chart for controlling bugs by using bugs. Click here to see their website. Or visit their Facebook page! Blackspot and Rust commonly affect Rose plants. If you notice any of those on your roses, you can cut them back lightly, remove the diseased leaves, spray the remaining leaves with some organic copper-based fungicide, and also fertilize them to encourage new growth and blooms.

•  Powdery mildew is one of the most commonly occurring plant problems at this time of the year. It is a fungal disease that affects plant leaves and stems, coating them in what looks like a white or grey powder-like substance. In severe cases, powdery mildew can even spread to the buds, flowers, and fruits of plants. A simple remedy is a good spray of the following mix: 1 tablespoon baking soda with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon dish soap in 1 gallon of water. Another option is a mix of 1 part milk with 10 parts of water. If this natural remedy fails to get rid of it, you can look into Sulphur based fungicides.

•  Root rot and Wet Feet are the most damaging ailments our houseplants can suffer from, and one of the most common. An infection can destroy a plant literally from the ground up. It spreads quickly, and without prompt action it’s soon too late. Roots of plants affected by root rot may turn from firm and white to black/brown and soft. Affected roots may also fall off the plant when touched. The leaves of affected plants may also wilt, become small or discolored. Affected plants may also look stunted due to poor growth, develop cankers or ooze sap.

Once root rot is identified, you must determine if the plant can be saved. If the entire root system has already become mushy, it is too late to save the plant. However, if some healthy, white, firm roots are visible, try to bring the plant back to good health by replanting in fresh soil with good drainage.Click here to read more about it.

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Blog Post Garden ProjectGarden Project!

We currently have a Garden Project list with lots of great bargains on big bushy plants that are essential to any garden and not to forget a big list of Freebies for the month of March! Click here to see them.

But before you go, check out the some of the various new plants we have on offer at the nursery!

Tropical Touch!

You don’t need to travel to a tropical island to escape. When you have a tropical garden, every day is like a holiday! We all love little cosy tropical corners, and those are very easy to achieve with plants such as giant birds of paradise, palms, cordylines and gorgeous Frangipanis. In Melbourne, tropical plants grow best in an East-South facing garden. Keep in mind that they are not frost-tolerant and should be planted in a spot sheltered from the wind. Plant them in layers to have the tallest ones at the back and the smaller plants in the front. Mix and match leaf shapes and colours to create contrast! Here is a great selection of plants to get you started!

Fabulous Flowers!

Some flowers that you can grow from seed now that will flower soon enough and throughout Autumn/ early Winter are Alyssum, calendula, candytuft, carnation, cineraria, cornflower, cosmos, daisy, foxglove, lobelia, nasturtium, nemesia, pansy, poppy, primula, schizanthus, snapdragon, sweet pea and viola. We have quite a few of those already in store, and will be getting more in soon!

We have a fantastic selection of perennial flowering plants in store right now that are already flowering or just about to flowers, such as Gazania, Fuschia, Calibrachoa, Daisies, and salvias. You can easily plant these in your garden to make it pop with interesting colours all Autumn long.

Happy Hedges!

Block out those pesky or curious neighbours with a nice thick hedge. Also great to block out some noise and wind. Transform your garden into a little oasis of peace with these great hedging options that are all on sale right now!

Beautiful Foliage!

Rather than relying on annual flowers for summer-long colour, think of plants with colourful and interesting foliage. Coleus is one such plant that is easy to grow and easily adds a splash of colour to any area of your garden. Here are some interesting options:

Roses!

Roses are still blooming beautifully at this time of the year. It is also a good time to deadhead your roses and feed them with some balanced, bloom, or rose fertilizer for the last flush of roses of the season. Avoid overhead watering as this can cause fungal problems. Watering early in the morning is better than in the evening. Once established, roses are quite drought hardy so water deeply only every so often. They are available in several forms such as bush form, climbing form, carpet roses, weeping roses, and as standard (ball on a stick).

Click here to see them all!

Fresh Fruits!

Citrus plants. We have a great variety in 4L pots that are on sale right now! 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.

Various fruit. Here is a great selection of the most popular and rare varieties, ideal for small spaces. These are in limited quantities, so better hurry up.