the good the bad and the lovely
POTTER ABOUT INDOORS
• Give your collection of indoor plants an annual pick me up – a ‘rise and shine’, so to speak.
• Every year you should replace the potting mix, because your plants will have taken up all the mix’s nutrients and it can become compacted, meaning air can’t move around and the mix may resist absorbing water.
• Ideally, when you do this, it’s best to take your plants outside to repot, as it can be a bit messy. You may also consider replacing any old plastic pots with something a bit more decorative.
• When you’re finished, give the leaves a good clean and polish by wiping them with a moist cloth or sponge, using lukewarm water. Support the leaves with one hand to avoid bruising or cracking them.
• Also give them a glossy finishing touch with commercial leaf shine from your gardening centre.
CATCH THE EYE DOUBLE UP THE SENSORY OVERLOAD OF ROSES WITH UNDERPLANTINGS
GARDEN PARTY TIME
• Your roses are looking splendid now and have that wow factor at eye level.
• Closer to the ground you can surround your bushes with adoring little annuals or perennials that make a more complete garden picture – a profusion of flowers that add gaiety and spontaneity while your roses serenely maintain their status of garden royalty.
• Try foxgloves, wallflowers and calibrachoas to create a colourful mosaic.
• Like roses, they need moist, humus-rich and well-drained soil and prefer a spot where they get full sun or part shade. Keep them well-watered in spring.
• Deadhead flowers when they’ve finished to encourage the growth of new blooms.
WAR ON WEEDS
• Weeds are at their most opportunistic at this time of year and will sprout from any crevice, be it through your gravel or paved paths, or via a crack in a wall.
• Tackle them now, as they’re fast-growing and fast-moving – their modus operandi being to grow, flower, seed and start all over again as soon as possible.
• The thing about many weeds is they don’t need soil, so even if you have brown thumbs they will thrive.
• One of the quickest ways to eradicate this bad impression in a welcoming path is to selectively spray the intruders with an organic weed killer.
• But, most weed killers are non-selective, so be sure to aim the spray gun only at the weeds, and only when there is no wind or breeze. If the spray drifts onto your grass or flower beds, the spray will kill them too!