This narrow leafed Croton would look well with red or orange flowered plants nearby.
This narrow leafed Croton would look well with red or orange flowered plants nearby. Contributed

Crotons an easy addition to garden

THERE'S no two ways about it if you, like us, are fortunate enough to have chosen to live on the Sunshine Coast, you'll always be happy to come home at the end of your holiday or business trip.

With a backdrop like the Blackall Range, green fields and trees filling the non-housing areas, and the wonderful coastline providing so much beauty especially at sunrise, we couldn't ask for more could we.

 

The richly coloured Croton Mammy would make a lovely feature.
The richly coloured Croton Mammy would make a lovely feature. Contributed

Garden lovers are particularly spoiled with the choices of plants they can grow and some of the loveliest of these are foliage varieties like the broad range of Crotons (Codiaeum sp) that really thrive in our climate.

Commonly known as Crotons, these showy plants are actually part of the Euphorbia family, being natives to tropical Asia and the western Pacific, that require a frost free area in well-drained soil, so they're easy to grow here.

They grow well as indoor plants in well lit areas, planted in good quality soil, and thrive in warm spots outdoors in both containers or the garden, perhaps giving them some shelter from the very hot sun in summer. For best results they should be watered when the finger test says they're dry, and fertilised with controlled release fertiliser in the spring.

 

The large leafed Croton adds colour to the surrounding area.
The large leafed Croton adds colour to the surrounding area. Contributed

The colourful, multi-coloured foliage features shades of red, orange, yellow, gold and green, spotted and striped, and the leaves of the various forms can be long and narrow, large and broad, deeply cut to the centre, egg-shaped and more. Various forms available in garden centres provide a broad selection to meet your taste, and while they produce yellowish small flowers in spring, their attraction is the colourful foliage, which will keep your garden being eye-catching all year round.

We've seen Crotons grown as short informal hedges, alternating with dense, green foliaged shrubs, dividing different parts of the garden, and providing lovely backdrops for low growing plants such as dwarf Gardenias, and some of the large leafed varieties make good specimens on either side of the entrance gateway.

Without a doubt they make a beautiful show wherever you grow them, and as they're not rapid growing, they do not require constant pruning. Enjoy your choice(s).

GARDEN EXPO

Well we're really on the count-down to the Queensland Garden Expo now, which will be held in the Nambour Showgrounds on the weekend of July 8-10.

This very popular event provides plenty for everyone to enjoy, with more plants than you can imagine displayed by over 55 nurseries, and some 300 more exhibitors providing related products to keep everyone interested and supplied.

There'll be a full program of free lectures and demonstrations spread over eight stages daily, where the speakers will be happy to answer your questions on a broad variety of gardening topics.

Whatever you do, don't miss the 'Giant Kitchen Garden' containing a totally organic food court which features a fully planted sustainable garden built on site!

The 'Gardeners and Gourmets' stage has plenty of information on how to grow your own produce as well as some great tips on producing your own delicious gourmet meals.

Then there's the free help from the 'Plant Clinic', the extraordinary 'Floral Design Competition' where you'll learn some great tricks on using items from your own garden, some unique 'Landscape Gardens' to encourage you to create something different, and all here from 8am daily at the Nambour Showgrounds.

YANDINA COMMUNITY GARDENS

Yandina Community Gardens invite you to become a member, join the volunteers, follow them on Facebook, subscribe to their email updates, or drop in for a visit.

Their next event is on July 2, with a Guided Garden Tour which starts at 9.30am in their gardens on the corner of North & Farrell Streets. There you'll learn what and how to grow in the sub-tropics, and their tours provide permaculture practices and design ideas that will inspire you. The tours last about 90 minutes, and you're advised to wear a hat and take your water bottle.


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