Reward for all the work

Take this month to savour the garden


Life & Style
   Judy and Chris Bayliss’ garden:  Mount Tamar will open for Bathurst Spring Spectacular w/e October 29/30 (photo: Chris Bayliss).

Judy and Chris Bayliss’ garden: Mount Tamar will open for Bathurst Spring Spectacular w/e October 29/30 (photo: Chris Bayliss).

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With all the laborious winter errands ticked off, this month wake up and smell the fruits of your labour.

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October is when it all comes together in the garden. It’s the passionate gardener’s month’s reward for 11 months of hard work, the time to enjoy being outdoors, listening to birds, smelling lilac and viburnums and watching day-by-day changes as leaf buds burst open and petals unfold.

Also, if you’re up to date weeding and mulching – ha – take a snippet of time out.

I don’t normally recommend spring nursery visits as all too often plants put in now fail to develop the root system required to get them through January and February’s heat.

But after weeks of rain over much of NSW, the chances of new plantings making it through summer are greatly increased and it’s tempting to have a go.

If you only have time for mail order, Tesselaars’ end of season sale (www.tesselaar.net.au/highlights/sale/) has some terrific bargains.

Nurseries have new stock in now and there are some exciting new shrubs, perennials and annuals around.

Lilies are easy and glamorous, particularly colourful Asiatic hybrids and I was much taken by ‘Black Charm’, a rich plummy red, at three for $6 or six for $11.

Tesselaars’s shrubs are also good value. Gardeners who have summer rainfall could try Bodinier’s Beauty Berry (Callicarpa bodinieri giraldii, $10) an upright, deciduous shrub reaching about three metres when mature, with purple berries that glow among dark red autumn leaves.

Nurseries have new stock in now and there are some exciting new shrubs, perennials and annuals around. 

Lavender is a must for gardening in the sun. Colourwise are offering a dwarf ‘Javelin’ series, hybrids of tough and hardy Italian lavender (Lavandula stoechas) that should flower from now until Christmas (and are then easily propagated from tip cuttings if you chance on a colour you can’t live without).

 Indian Hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis) is another good dry-climate shrub, reliably frost and drought hardy. Colourwise’s R. indica Fergusonii is a dwarf hybrid (one metre) with shiny, dark green leaves and pink and white flowers.

I’m also keen to try a Colourwise perennial gaillardia, repeat flowering ‘Red Devil’, carrying big, bright red daisy flowers with darker centres.

Petunias never fail and there’s a new colour for every season, but for a change try Calibrachoa Superbells from Proven Winners (formerly Aussie Winners).

Calibrachoa resemble miniature, trailing petunias, perfect for hanging baskets, with similar flowers that repeat all summer.

They come in shades for every colour scheme with several dark colours that always look good in our bright sunlight. Look for ‘Double Plum’, speaks for itself, and ‘Holy Moly’ in garish looking but enticing pink and yellow stripes. 

October is also the month for garden visiting. If you enjoy music in the garden, the Australian Chamber Orchestra is performing at Palerang, 154 Hazeldell Road, Mulloon 2622 at 12.30pm on Sunday, October 23. And $90 includes a delicious lunch in a beautiful garden. Phone Clara 0418 288 934 or go to: www.trybooking.com/227535

For a feast of glorious Central Tablelands gardens, don’t miss Bathurst Gardeners’ Club Spring Spectacular (www.bathurstgardenclub.org.au/), at the weekend of October 29 and 30.

There are 10 gardens for $20 in a wide variety of styles, including historic gardens, country and town gardens and a beautiful permaculture garden.

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