Blogs Boots off

BOOTS OFF – Giant Sunflower

G’day everyone,

I feel horrible that no blogs were posted last week. Unfortunately a few things happened that required my full attention, but I am back and hoping to get things back on track over the next week! I felt a little sad on Sunday when I came to the realisation that summer has come to an end. We had a lot of cooler days and humid weather compared to previous years. Usually summer is hot and dry in Victoria so it was very unusual weather. But I can not really complain because it has been fantastic gardening weather! Now, with autumn here the year feels like it is already flying by!

I haven’t had much time out in the garden recently but I have managed to find a few treasures over the past few days!

1. About two months ago I first noticed a sunflower plant which had germinated in the middle of my capsicum’s and chilies’ (raised) gardenbed. Due to my curiosity I decided to let it grow to see how big it would grow and what type of flower formation would end up blooming. It has turned out to be the same species as the sunflowers I grew from seed back in October last year. Unfortunately those didn’t grow all that well, but this sunflower is standing at 1.3 meters tall and, just like the cherry on top of a cake, it was this brilliant flower! The flower was the size of a dinner plate, so you can only imagine how excited I was to see this flower. I will be collecting the seeds from this plant once the flower has finished!


2. Over the past 3 weeks the flower stems on my Belladonna’s, Amaryllis belladonna, have started to emerge in all the gardenbeds. In the last few days all the flower buds have popped open to showcase these beautiful hot pink blooms. I also have some cream flowering varieties which haven’t bloomed yet, but in about another week those buds should open up.


3. Plectranthus argentatus is a beautiful plant, and it is unfortunate that it isn’t more commonly used in gardens and landscape designs. I have this planted at the front of the house where it is exposed to hot afternoon sun and it’s flourishing. In extreme heat they will wilt, but as soon as it has been watered it will spring right back. What most people don’t realise about this plant is that it is an Australian native. It is a rainforest plant that originates from New South Wales and Queensland and which produces pretty delicate flowers in late summer through autumn.


 4. Autumn is a fantastic time of year for Salvia plants. In my garden, my collection of Salvia increases every season, and I find they are at their best in the garden usually around April. This particular variety is called Hot Lips, and the vibrant flowers continuously bloom from spring right though autumn. They are also a compact grower, but I find they benefit from a good prune once the flowers have finished.


5. Lucky last are the flowers of this Lilium that I brought from my work about two weeks ago. At the time I purchased the flower the buds were still forming. The label showed a photo of what the flower would look like, but when the buds opened and I saw these blooms I was very impressed by the vibrancy and size of the blooms. These are the flowers of the oriental lily called Lilium ‘Entertainer’.


By Bonnie-Marie Hibbs


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