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Home Living : July 26th 2011
2 HLW - HOME LIVING: WEST, Tuesday, July 26, 2011 HOMELIVING Don't leave your plants out on limb JANITA SINGH Camellias are perfect for shady positions. Late July and early August can be stressful months for the plants in your garden. First there are those ferocious winds that affect new shoots as soon as they appear. In colder areas, persistent frosts cut back tentative new growth. Late winter rains often saturate soil which can cause roots to die. But you can take steps to help. In cold areas, resist the temptation to trim off frost- blackened stems as they provide protection for undamaged leaves below. If plants have died recently, try to work out what's gone wrong. Has it been too cold? Have they suffered from wet feet? Remember to follow sensible practices such as building raised beds where drainage is poor. Plant out marginally cold- sensitive specimens in spring so they establish themselves as much as possible before the next winter. For seaside gardens: Shrubs such as coast banksia and coprosma have evolved in coastal conditions where they've learned to handle stresses such as salt and wind. For shady gardens: Foliage plants such as ferns are usually the best choice. Clivias bloom well in light shade, as do camellias, impatiens and many plectranthus species. Watch out for water-absorbing tree roots that make some shaded areas too dry for some plants to thrive. For wet/boggy soil: It's surprising how many trees and shrubs have evolved in streamside positions and will cope with wet roots. Paperbarks are a good example, as are many bottlebrushes. There's a shrubby swamp banksia, Banksia robur, that loves damp soil. Details: www.yates.com.au. 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July 19th 2011
August 2nd 2011