Enjoy the sea breeze
The Seaside Daisy (Erigeron glauca ‘Sea Breeze’) is a hardy, low-growing perennial reaching 40 centimetres in height and spreading up to 80 centimetres wide to create an attractive, dense mat of blue-green foliage that helps to suppress weeds.
During the warmer months of the year, it displays large, pink, daisy-like flowers that attract butterflies and other pollinators.
Sea Breeze prefers a sunny position in most soils that are free draining. Mass planted, it is an ideal plant for low maintenance gardens and will cascade beautifully over walls and down embankments.
Planted in decorative containers on balconies and courtyards, Sea Breeze’s dainty, pink flowers add a delightful charm to outdoor living areas.
No pruning is necessary but removing old flowers will prolong the floral display. Apply a slow-release fertiliser during early autumn and mulch well to retain soil moisture during dry periods.
Top gardening tips for February
- Prune back fuchsias that have finished their first main flush of flowers and trim straggly native plants to maintain an attractive shape.
- Watch out for black spot on rose bushes. This fungal disease causes mottling on the leaves and is more prevalent in high humidity. Gather up any affected foliage and place it in your garbage bin, then spray your roses with an organic fungicide.
- Order your spring flowering bulbs from mail order catalogues or your local garden centre when there are plenty available. Store tulips and hyacinths in the crisper section of the refrigerator for a pre-planting chill until April or May when the soil is cooler and the time is right for planting.
- Stake and tie dahlias to avoid stems snapping in strong winds. Check all trees and shrubs during their active growing period to prevent injury.
- Red roses are the traditional gift for Valentine’s Day but instead of short-lived, cut flowers, a long-stemmed, potted rose, such as the beautifully fragrant ‘Mr Lincoln’, ‘Crimson Glory’ or ‘Fragrant Cloud’ will bring your special someone pleasure year after year.
- Get rid of snails and slugs. Place a shallow container of stale beer so the rim is the same as the soil level in your garden. The brew attracts and drowns these garden pests.
Backyard Beekeeping Workshop: Learn everything you need to know about bees, the equipment needed and how much honey you can expect. Honey tasting and comprehensive notes are provided. $129. 10am-4pm, Saturday, 27 February, Northern Beaches Community College – 9970 1000.
Garden Design in Large and Small Spaces Workshop: Learn how to transform an open space into a haven for relaxed living. Topics include: site analysis, soil, plant selection, types of containers, maintenance and much more. Comprehensive notes are provided and bookings are essential. $129. 10am-4pm, Sunday, 28 February, Northern Beaches Community College – 9970 1000.
Judith Sleijpen is an experienced horticulturist, columnist and garden designer, advising clients on all aspects of their gardens. For more information, phone 9907 6460.