Sprinkle White Confetti on your garden!
The Cape Snapdragon (Nemesia ‘White Confetti’) is a hardy perennial reaching about 45 centimetres in height and spreading up to 60 centimetres wide.
Bred in Australia, it forms a low-growing mat of fresh, bright green foliage that creates a neat base for a prolific floral display from autumn through to spring.
White Confetti prefers a sunny spot in well-draining soil that stays moist with a mulch covering. It is a welcome addition to a mixed garden border and, mass planted, in groups of three or five, creates a striking drift of pure white, lightly scented blooms that almost conceal the foliage.
It looks stunning planted in containers and lasts well when picked as a cut flower, making a delightful posy.
White Confetti is easy to maintain. Simply trim finished flowers regularly after each flush to extend the display and apply a slow-release fertiliser in late winter to encourage new growth.
Top gardening tips for March
• Gather fallen leaves and grass clippings for composting. Fork over the compost heap regularly to hasten decomposition, and then use on your garden.
• Sow some cool season vegetables such as broad beans, lettuce and peas in a sunny spot. Condition the soil before planting with some organic matter and dig summer beans that have finished production into the garden to supply extra nitrogen to the soil.
• Inspect citrus leaves for damage by the citrus leaf miner. This is a small pest that creates squiggly lines on the leaves causing them to twist and distort. Remove the affected foliage and spray with an organic pesticide regularly.
• Feed citrus trees with a specially formulated fertiliser for good fruit production. Use a granular fertiliser for trees in the garden and a soluble formulation for those in containers. Pick up any edible fruit that might attract fruit fly and dispose of it in the garbage bin.
• Remove spring and summer annuals that have finished flowering, condition the soil with planting compost and plant marigolds, salvias and snapdragon seedlings for a colourful autumn display.
• Plant new trees and shrubs in autumn. During the cooler months their roots settle into the soil and when the warmth of spring arrives, they’re established and ready to produce lush, new growth.
What’s on in March?
Bonsai for Beginners Workshop: Create and enjoy your own bonsai! Discover its history and the secrets to maintaining, pruning, shaping, styling and displaying them. Comprehensive notes are provided and places are limited. $129. 10am to 4pm, Saturday, 13 March, Northern Beaches Community College (9970-1000).
Plant Propagation Workshop: Grow your own perennials, shrubs and trees, including fuchsias, frangipanis, hydrangeas, lavenders, roses, camellias, orchids, maples and more. Comprehensive notes are provided and bookings are essential $129. 10am to 4pm, Sunday, 14 March, 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.