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Through the Garden Gate


‘Tis the Season to be Jolly!
‘Christmas is around the corner. Oh no, just look at the garden!’


Lots of us have that reaction when we think of the festive and holiday season just ahead. Try my tips for a quick garden tidy and fix up, using some of my favourite, beautiful, hardy plants. 

The quick clean up and fix up
1.  Mow lawns and tidy up garden edges. Do that first – big impact and it will be easier to pick up prunings.

2.  Cut back dead and straggly branches, dead head roses and other plants. Water in some compost or manure before you mulch thickly with pea straw or some other organic mulch. Yes – do this on top of weeds, just squash them down and smother them. Weed only in areas you can’t mulch heavily.

3.  Select hardy summer flowering plants to fill in gaps. Shrubs and low perennials need less care than annuals and will be more dry weather tough. Plant the same colour flower or foliage in several spots around the garden to create a sense of harmony. 

4.  Find a distinctive large pot and plant it to highlight both pot and flower colours, mulching the top. Sit it in a spot where it will grab attention, in a place where it will receive morning sun and afternoon shade or semi-shade (to help prevent drying out).  This pot is saying ‘Look at me - I am special.’ 

5.  Consider your main path and door – plant (or plant in pots) two matching plants, one on each side, that say ‘Welcome, enter, we care.’ 

10 Great High Impact Hardy Perennials for Summer Gardens & Pots 
Perennial snapdragon – a beautiful deep pink flowered perennial snapdragon with golden centre, which forms a dense mound, 30cm H, 40cm wide – flowers for months.

Convolvulous mauritanicus – eye-catching ground cover with blue-violet flowers, H 15cm, W 1 metre. 

Golden Origano – lovely edible plant with golden leaves - creates a beautiful contrast. 

Ageratum houstonianum, floss flower – long flowering plant covered in bunches of mauve flowers, H 30cm, W 50cm. 

Salvia – gorgeous vivid crimson/cerise, H 60cm W 50cm.

White dianthus – delicious clove perfume, strappy foliage and pure white flowers, mounds 20cm H, 40cm W.

Nepeta mussini - cat mint - lovely low growing plant with a haze of delicate mauve flowers, W 40cm.

Dwarf crimson daisy – compact plant, H 30cm, W 40cm, tough and covered in small, double crimson daisy flowers. 

Polygala grandiflora nana – pea shaped purple flowers against bright green foliage – flowers 9 months, 1m x 1m, fast growing, a highlight in any garden.

Gaura – dwarf dark pink – a stunner – H 40cm, W 40cm, upright foliage tinted with maroon, lots of intense dark pink flowers. 

Veronica perfoliata – digger’s speedwell – this native plant will grow under gum trees! 1m x 1m, it has spires of delicate blue/mauve flowers in spring and summer. It looks a like a ground cover, then sends out upright growth.

Good luck with all your Christmas and holiday preparations. Pop in to our nursery if you would like to include some of the plants on my list, or for help with other plants for your garden.

Happy gardening and best wishes for the festive season,

Christine and Keith Windle, 
Garden Gate of Inverleigh Nursery, 0403 267 286   info@gardengatenursery.com.au