Autumn’s here, but there’s work still

2008-03-01 00:00

In the gardener’s calendar this is the first day of the three autumn months. It’s always a good feeling to be through with the fierce heat and the absolute fullness of summer. But, although the calendar says we’re through, this is not really so, expect a lot more of summer, there is still a lot of cutting back, clearing out, weeding, trimming and mowing to be done. Some autumn plants have decided it’s time to arrive and they’re coming into flower.

The Dichorisandra is a beauty for its tall, clustered growth and the way it carries its very pretty cone-like heads of massed blue-mauve firm small flowers among large smooth leaves. This delightful shrub is happy to grow in dappled shade, an area often a little difficult to clothe with colour. The many different indigenous Plectranthus are giving off their pastel shaded spur-flowers; this is another group happy in the cooler parts. From white through to blues, pinks and mauves, the flowers are gentle and pretty. There are Plectranthus that grow low as ground covers, others are medium-sized shrubs and others much taller, all spreading and all with attractive foliage. These shrubs need to be cut back hard after flowering to keep in bounds.

In full flower currently are the climbing Stephanotis, these bear clusters of pure white, waxy, tubular, fragrant flowers. This climber starts slowly and then very steadily increases its growth and produce generously. It is a gentle climber with strong waxy green leaves and tendrils that carry the lovely flowers in late summer.

A herbaceous border plays a big part in the garden; with careful planning and well planted it will provide interest throughout the seasons. Its composition, depending on its size, comprises small trees, shrubs all sizes, perennials, ground covers and a few annuals. Heliotrope shrubs are in flower now and, in fact, this delightful, fragrant round bush gives forth almost throughout the year. British gardeners call this plant Cherry-Pie; difficult to see why as it has no cherry red colour at all. The pale-green leaves are small and the tiny flowers are presented in a little round ball, all very pretty. Flower colours are in the soft mauve, lavender and violet shades. Heliotrope gives of its best if the shrub is cut well back after winter. Seen recently were wide window or wall boxes planted with Heliotrope bushes and it looked beautiful.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.