This Diascia is a beauty.
This Diascia is a beauty. CONTRIBUTED

Large variety of plants are brightening surrounds

WHAT a wonderful weekend we enjoyed for the Queensland Garden Expo.

The weather was perfect and the garden lovers flowed throughout.

We trust you're all enjoying your gardening even more now, and everything is flourishing for you.

Looking good now

WHEREVER you drive at this time, you'll see quite a large variety of plants flowering well, with several varieties of tibouchinas, metrosideros, grevilleas, azaleas, camellias and many more brightening our surroundings.

The lovely Metrosideros tomentosa - more commonly known as NZ Christmas Bush - is a good example, and can be used in landscaping to create a tall, free-forming or formal hedge, feature plant, or large tub specimen in areas from the seaside to the inland here.

This is probably the best-known Metrosideros but there are many more varieties.

These include the delightful lower-growing form known as M. collina "Little Dugald" that grows 1-1.5m tall and about 1m wide.

It features lovely glossy foliage that the small birds love to shelter in, and like the rest of the family, is easy to grow.

It is usually known to be disease and pest-free. How good is that?

If you're considering an easy-to-grow hedge, this is the one for you as it is compact, provides a neat and informal effect, produces its bright red flowers that cover the bush in spring and summer as well as several other times a year, thrives in full sun or part shade, and grows well at the seaside.

These also would be attractive planted either side of the entrance gate or staircase, and would be ideally complemented with white vincas alternated with blue lobelias around the base of individual shrubs.

A couple of other plants you would enjoy include the delightful Diascia hybrida or D. delight, which is highly disease-tolerant, has a compact growing habit and only grows about 30-40cm tall and wide.

That makes it ideal for growing as a border plant, scattered through the garden bed, or featured in a hanging basket.

The plant featured looks delightful in our village, and certainly catches the eyes of everyone passing by.

It also does well in full sun to part shade, requires fibrous, humus-enriched porous soil.

Trim well after each flowering to encourage more flowers and dense growth. It produces flowers from autumn to spring.

Orchid show

A VERY popular event all orchid lovers will be happy to hear about is the Maroochydore Orchid Show that will be on in just two weeks: Friday and Saturday August 5 and 6.

This will be held in the Millwell Road Community Centre at 11 Millwell Road, Maroochydore, with entry for such a colourful event just $3 per person.

The show will open each day at 9am, closing 5pm on Saturday and 3pm on Sunday.

Visitors will find potting demonstrations and plant sales, light refreshments will be sold and some helpful growing tips will be available from the growers themselves.

Garden maintenance

THIS is an important time for gardeners to become proactive in preventing problems that will affect your plants if you don't attend to them early.

Yates Lime Sulfur is the product you need as it is a broad spectrum fungicide, insecticide and miticide that can be used to control a wide range of common insects and diseases on plants during the cool months of the year.

You can protect your plants from scale, two-spotted mite and powdery mildew on roses, as well as many problems on stone fruit, and it can even be used to control pests and diseases such as powdery mildew and mites on tomatoes and vegetables.

The container says there is no withholding period, so it's safe to use on edibles.

Don't delay. Do it now.

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