Flowers & Plants

Keep the garden in leaf and bloom all year with our seasonal guides on what to grow and when to sow. With just a little planning you can enjoy the sight and smell of flowers during every month of the year. Get planting for blooms you can enjoy in the ground, in pots and out, or as cut flowers.

A Quick Guide To Sweet Peas

For a spectacular sweet pea show next spring, sow the seeds now

The sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus) first arrived in England from Sicily in 1699 and has been bred continuously since then.  In the language of flowers, the sweet pea symbolises blissful or delicate pleasure, which arises from the tradition of givi...
A Quick Guide to Growing Frangipanis

These easy to grow trees are also undemanding to care for 

Plant a frangipani and bring a wonderful heady perfume to the garden, especially in the evening. And the long flowering period ensures you can enjoy the scent for many months.  The beautiful flowers, set against exotic, large green leaves will al...
 Grow A Summer Garden

A stepped flower garden in full bloom looks striking

The best gardeners have a knack for achieving colour in the garden throughout the year, combining both flowers and foliage. In summer, flowers are at their peak, so choose the correct plant, position and arrangement to have a bright display of bl...
6 Australian Christmas Plants

Decorate with native plants this festive season 

Although pines are the traditional Christmas tree, they can cause an allergic reaction for many people. Instead, grow your state’s native Christmas tree or bush to get bright and cheerful blooms in summer.   Queensland Calanthe triplicata is...
Evening Flowers

Enjoy moonlit evenings in the garden, filled with the sweet fragrance of flowers

Summer is a sensual season in the garden, with flowers in full bloom, and the longer days and warm evenings enabling us to spend more time outdoors, enjoying our gardens, not just working in them. After all, it’s pleasant to sit in a courtyard or...
All About Poinsettias

Make it a traditional Christmas with red poinsettias .Image: iStock 

A Christmas classic, poinsettias make great living centrepieces, and the traditional red and green variety is a popular choice. But this plant also comes in a range of other colours, including white, pink, purple, orange and yellow, which can als...
How To Grow Lavender
A fragrant shrub from the Mediterranean, lavender has a long history as a healing herb and has been utilised as a tonic, antiseptic and sleep aid for centuries. The ancient Egyptians used it for embalming and in cosmetics, while the ancient Greek...
5 Facts About Sunflowers

5 facts about sunflowers you may not have known. Image: Thinkstock 

The subject of famous poetry and artwork, sunflowers are a beautiful and much adored plant. Their striking looks and vibrant colouring have made them a popular choice in gardens across the globe. In this article we pay tribute to the sunflower by...
How To Take A Rose Cutting
Most roses can be successfully propagated from cuttings. The best time to take them is April to July so the roots are produced over winter. Choose healthy stems of the current season’s growth with three leaf sets on each side of the stem.
How To Grow Roses

Beautiful but hardy, roses can be used so many ways in the garden

With no equal in the eyes of many, the rose is one of the oldest cultivated flowers. Its universal appeal has inspired eloquent offerings from poets and writers over the centuries and its horticultural versatility continues to ensure its wide pop...
Growing Frangipanis
Best known as a small tree featuring fragrant white blooms with distinctive yellow centres, frangipanis actually come in more than 300 different varieties. Native to Central America and Mexico, frangipanis belong to the Plumeriagenus and are a sm...
Classic Clivias
These landscape lovelies colour up a shady corner and can be divided after spring flowering for lots more plants.  Whether you grow them in beds or pots, clivias are among the most versatile, hardy and beautiful plants you can include in your lan...
Plant Spring-Flowering Bulbs

To use a bulb planter push it into the ground to make holes of the right depth, squeezing the handle to release the soil. Image: Getty Images.

A bulb should be heavy and firm. If it feels light then it could be dead inside or if it’s soft it may have fungal disease.  Tulip bulbs in particular need to have an intact outer skin to prevent dehydration and damage.  FOR PLANTING choose a s...
How To Prepare A Rose Bed
A rose that has been growing in the same spot for more than eight years can build up fungus around the roots and in the soil. The effects may not show on the old rose but if another one is planted in the same soil it can get sick and die. Plan ahe...
Late Autumn Gardening

Keep the garden in top shape this autumn by completely these gardening jobs. Image: iStock

Late autumn is a great time to make use of fallen leaves, treat pests and problems and plant winter vegies as well as perennial flowers and herbs.  Leaf compost  Turn autumn leaves into leaf mould instead of putting them in the green bin and us...

Sweet peas have long stems making them ideal for vase displays

Sweet pea seeds are large, easy to handle and can be sown directly into garden beds or containers, with most flowering from 12 weeks.  If they get too wet after planting, the seeds may fail to germinate so water the soil the day before sowing. ...
Plant Spring Bulbs

Extend the blooming spring showcase by planting bulbs with successional flowering periods

Autumn is the time of year to get busy planting spring flowering bulbs such as crocuses, daffodils and tulips. Sow them in large groups in beds and borders, grow them in containers or naturalise them in the lawn. If you like to put them in vases,...
Saving Seeds Made Simple

Learn how to save seeds the easy way. Image: Getty Images 

Saving seeds used to be the way to pass plants down from generation to generation. These days seeds are widely available, so you don’t save them out of necessity.  It’s more a way to share plants with other gardeners, maintain your favourites or...
Growing Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas create a colourful garden border and make a striking cut flower. Image: Getty Images 

They may make you think of your gran but she was onto a good thing with hydrangeas. Not only can they be grown just about anywhere in Australia they also flower prolifically in blue, pink, red or white.  Hydrangea macrophyllais the most widely re...
Growing Sweet Peas

Mass-plant sweet peas for a riot of colour and scent in the garden, cutting the long-stemmed blooms for a supply of fresh flowers indoors

Sweet peas are one of the most popular spring-flowering annuals. With their long stems and brightly coloured blooms they put on a fantastic display in the garden and make excellent cut flowers.  They come in a range of gorgeous colours including...
Make A Living Centrepiece

Make it a traditional Christmas with a living poinsettia table centrepiece

A Christmas classic, poinsettias make great living centrepieces, and the traditional red and green variety is a popular choice. But this plant also comes in a range of other colours, including white, pink, purple, orange and yellow, which can als...
How To Grow Daphne, Handyman Magazine,
Famed for its intense rose-citrus perfume, Daphne odora flowers in winter and spring, filling the air with its delightful fragrance. The waxy star shaped flowers bloom in tight clusters amid leathery dark green leaves. This evergreen woodland shr...
There’s something prehistoric and fascinating about carnivorous plants. They have an amazing ability to fend for themselves, which proves just how well plants can adapt to surviving in harsh environments.  Flesh eating is a prevalent practice in...
Petunia's in a garden, Handyman Magazine, DIY, garden
Petunias are popular for adding a splash of winter colour but if you sow them in the garden, frost can kill seedlings as they emerge.  You can nurture the seedlings by growing them indoors until they’re ready to be planted out. To provide the requ...
Handyman Magazine, DIY, Garde, Plant Bare-bulb Roses
The best time to plant roses is winter, when they are in a period of dormancy. It’s also when roses are readily available as budget-friendly bare-root plants.   In this form they look just like a bunch of thorny sticks, so read the plant tag carefull...
Whether you grow them in beds or pots, clivias are among the most versatile, hardy and beautiful plants you can include in your landscape. Given the right position they’ll reward you with luxuriant foliage and blooms with a minimum of care. The s...
Cut flowers on display in a range of bright jars
Creating an eye-catching floral arrangement isn't as easy as bunching a few blooms together. A well-considered yet relaxed large display of flowers takes time and planning but will be a visual treat that makes a statement in the room with it's burs...
Purple hyacinths grown from bulbs

Hyacinths tend to suit cooler climates

Easy to grow in pots and gardens, spring-flowering bulbs are a mix of true bulbs, corms, rhizomes and tubers. Bulbs are sold singularly or in packs at nurseries, from 25 cents to $3 for rarer types. Mail-order companies tend to have a wide rang...
Cymbidium orchid flowering during autumn and winter

A Cymbidium orchid flowering during autumn and winter

Orchid flowers look delicate and magical but the plants naturally occur in some pretty tough environments, which makes many of them surprisingly hardy. Different orchids have different growing needs. In the tropics, moth, slipper, cattleya and vand...
Magnolia in full winter bloom with pink petals

Magnolias produce a beautiful, eye-catching bloom in the winter

Each year in late winter, deciduous magnolia opens up impressive blooms on foliage-free stems before the bright green leaves arrive in spring. The large, fragrant flowers come in white, pink, purple or yellow, and can be on display for weeks at a...
An open pink rose blossom

The best time to plant roses is during the winter

They may seem like fragrant, fragile flowers but despite the delicate petals and romantic reputation roses are hardy survivors. One of the most versatile plants in the garden, they can be planted as standards, trained up a wall, used as hedging o...