Planting

YOUR COMPLETE WINTER GARDENING GUIDE

“Winter is a season of recovery and preparation.” They’re the words of travel writer Paul Theroux, but any gardener will be able to relate to them. Now is the ideal time to take stock of your garden, prepare for spring and enjoy working outdoors while there’s still a refreshing chill in the air.

  Image via  Style Estate .

Image via Style Estate.

Even if your plants have become dormant this winter, there’s plenty you can be doing to make your outdoor area a more pleasant space to spend time in both the cooler and warmer months. When it comes to winter gardening, there are three ways to ensure you aren’t neglecting your outdoor space:

  1. Cosy up outdoor areas
  2. Give your space some TLC
  3. Prepare for spring and summer

Be inspired to get outside, even when it’s cold, with this guide.

Cosy up outdoor areas

  Use cushions, lighting and blankets to make an outdoor space more comfortable in winter. Image via  Blackbird .

Use cushions, lighting and blankets to make an outdoor space more comfortable in winter. Image via Blackbird.

If you haven’t spent a lot of time outdoors this winter, the top priority on your winter gardening list should be making your outdoor area cosier. There are a number of simple ways to warm up your outdoor space:

  • Add outdoor cushions and blankets to your furnishings
  • Move your seating to an area with more sunlight
  • Create warmth with the addition of a fire-pit, free-standing electric heater or built-in fireplace
  • Use extra lighting to create ambience and a feeling of warmth – consider string lights, lanterns and candles
  • Install shelter structures that will protect your space from wind (vergolas are a great solution, as they allow sun in during winter and provide shade in summer)

When creating an outdoor space, many people do most of the planning with just summer in mind. However, we recommend thinking about ways to season-proof your garden so you can enjoy it year-round.

Ways to do this include using retractable structures and deciduous shade covers that will keep you cool in summer and let sunlight through in winter, and putting heavy planters on wheels so you can easily move them as the seasons change.

Give your space some TLC

  When planning a built-in fireplace, think about where you will store your firewood too. Image via  Gardenista .

When planning a built-in fireplace, think about where you will store your firewood too. Image via Gardenista.

Nothing is more satisfying than spending a day getting outdoor jobs done – and winter is the perfect season for this, as it’s far more pleasant to get on top of those physically taxing jobs when the weather is cooler.

Things to get done in winter include:

  • Repot container plants
  • Transplant established plants and shrubs while they are dormant
  • Mulch your plants (this helps them retain warmth in winter)
  • Prune roses, frangipani, summer-flowering shrubs and tropical plants
  • Tackle larger landscaping jobs like paving, painting, general repairs, decking maintenance, installing outdoor art, fireplaces and water features, etc.

When it comes to planting, the warm climate in South-east Queensland means there is still a lot you can grow during the cool months. Edibles including silverbeet, cabbage, kale, carrots, lettuce, radish, peas and most herbs will continue to grow.

You can also get ready for the warmer months by planting spring vegetable seeds in pots and placing them in a warm protected area. Tomato, eggplant and capsicums are good plants to get started now.

If you want colour in your outdoor area, try camellias and azaleas for flowering at the start of winter. Gardenia, bottlebrush, may bush and jasmine will begin to flower in late winter and throughout spring.

Prepare for spring and summer

  Dreaming of summer already? Get ready for the warm months by designing your summer oasis in winter. Image via  HGTV .

Dreaming of summer already? Get ready for the warm months by designing your summer oasis in winter. Image via HGTV.

Spring/summer is prime time for relaxing outside, so it makes sense to do larger landscaping projects before the weather starts to warm up.

When planning design and landscaping for your space, we recommend starting with Pinterest as a source of inspiration. You should also consult with your local nursery on plants that will grow well in your area. If you require professional assistance with your landscaping, now is also the time to book this in before the spring/summer rush begins.

For design ideas, see these seven gardens that showcase why landscaping shouldn’t be an afterthought.

Winter reading: Small Spaces, Big Ideas – our complete guide to garden design. Download your free ebook now!

THE TOP 10 INDOOR PLANTS

Plants instantly rejuvenate an indoor space. And provided you find the right spot for your indoor plants and resist the temptation to over water them, they are relatively easy to grow.

TSG-toptenindoor-insty-5.jpg

When it comes to growing indoor plants, there are two main tricks for success:

  1. Choose plants that are suitable for indoor environments

  2. Find the right position for each plant 

There are a variety of indoor plants, with some being easier to care for than others. In the guide below, we have included a number of low-maintenance plants that will be happy enough with minimal water and light. For the best chance of growing success, take note of the different spaces in your home, their aspect and the amount of light they receive each day. Then when you visit your local nursery, look for plants that suit the lighting conditions.

As you read this guide, you will notice that many of the plants have large, glossy leaves. That’s because plants suited to indoor conditions are typically found in shaded tropical environments. Flowering plants need plenty of sun, so it’s uncommon to find houseplants that produce flowers – and those that do are likely to flower less frequently or not at all.

From hanging plants with delicate leaves to those with large foliage and eye-catching geometric shapes, these ten indoor plants will suit any number of decorating schemes. 


OUR GIFT TO YOU >

Download your FREE A3 printable guide here!

TSG-top-ten-indoor-plants.jpg

Want more planting inspiration? Download our complete guide to small space gardening!

HOW TO HOLIDAY-PROOF YOUR GARDEN THIS SUMMER

Your bags are packed, the playlist is ready and your out of office reply is happily switched on – it’s time for a summer holiday. The last thing you need on holiday is to worry about your garden at home, so here are our top tips for keeping your garden in top shape while you are away.

As gardeners, we become very attached to our plants, and that’s why the thought of leaving them untended over summer may give you a sense of dread. Thankfully, there are a number of things you can do to ensure you come home to a happy and healthy garden after a holiday.

By tending to these simple caretaking jobs before you leave, you’ll enjoy a blissful escape free from any anxiety about the welfare of your beloved plants.

1. Install a watering system 

In spaces such as small gardens or courtyards where there’s a garden bed and grass, a watering system is the easiest way to ensure your plants don’t go thirsty while you’re off sipping cocktails. Set the timer on the system before you leave and it will take care of the rest. When using an automatic watering system, remember to check that the back-up battery is on and that you’ve installed a new battery.

2. Give indoor plants a bath

To keep your indoor plants watered, sit them in a bath or large sink. Give them a thorough watering and then fill the bath or sink with a few inches of water. This will allow your plants to look after themselves, though be mindful this only works for indoor plants that don’t require a lot of sunlight.

   
  
 
  
    
  
 Normal 
 0 
 
 
 
 
 false 
 false 
 false 
 
 EN-AU 
 JA 
 X-NONE 
 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
 
 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
    
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
   
 
 /* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
	{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
	mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
	mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
	mso-style-noshow:yes;
	mso-style-priority:99;
	mso-style-parent:"";
	mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;
	mso-para-margin:0cm;
	mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
	mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
	font-size:10.0pt;
	font-family:Cambria;
	mso-ansi-language:EN-AU;
	mso-fareast-language:EN-US;}
 
   To keep indoor plants happy while you are away, leave them in a bath with a few inches of water. This also creates a humid environment for the plants.  Image via Michel Le Belhomme

To keep indoor plants happy while you are away, leave them in a bath with a few inches of water. This also creates a humid environment for the plants. Image via Michel Le Belhomme

Related Reading: Bring nature inside with indoor plants

3. Put away loose items

Summer is storm season, so make sure you put away any loose objects such as cushions. Pull in any awnings and umbrellas so they don’t get damaged, and cover outdoor furnishings with drop sheets to protect them from the elements. It’s also a good idea to disconnect the gas bottle from your barbecue and leave it in a shaded spot until you return.

   
  
 
  
    
  
 Normal 
 0 
 
 
 
 
 false 
 false 
 false 
 
 EN-AU 
 JA 
 X-NONE 
 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
 
 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
    
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
   
 
 /* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
	{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
	mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
	mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
	mso-style-noshow:yes;
	mso-style-priority:99;
	mso-style-parent:"";
	mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;
	mso-para-margin:0cm;
	mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
	mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
	font-size:10.0pt;
	font-family:Cambria;
	mso-ansi-language:EN-AU;
	mso-fareast-language:EN-US;}
 
     Before your holiday, pack away any umbrellas, awnings and soft furnishings. This is particularly important for exposed spaces such as balconies and rooftops. Image via  williamdangar  

Before your holiday, pack away any umbrellas, awnings and soft furnishings. This is particularly important for exposed spaces such as balconies and rooftops. Image via williamdangar 

4. Mulch the garden

In summer, mulch is a garden’s best friend. It not only helps your plants to retain moisture, it also keeps the roots of your plants cool and adds nutrients to the soil as it breaks down. Give your garden a good long soaking before you leave and then spread a thick layer of mulch over the surface.

5. Place container plants out of direct sunlight

If you have planters, container plants or potted succulents, put them in a shaded outdoor area and give them a good watering before you leave. Your succulents should look after themselves and to keep all other container plants watered, make your own DIY drip watering system. To do this, fill an empty soft drink bottle with water and punch a couple of pin holes at the top of the bottle. Turn the bottle upside down, sit it in your pot and it’ll slowly water the roots – this may not look stylish, but it works! If you go away regularly, it’s a good idea to put heavy pots and planters on wheels so they can be moved easily.

Related Reading: A guide to container gardening

6. Take down your hanging plants

Hanging plants can suffer without regular attention. Before you go away, take down your hanging plants and give them a good watering with a wetting agent such as Wettasoil. This will wick the water to the roots, helping your plants to retain moisture. Then sit them in a saucer of water and they’ll stay happy and healthy.

7. Weed gardens and cut back your plants

To allow your plants to conserve energy, cut back any dead or overgrown foliage before you leave and remove any weeds from your garden bed to ensure water goes where it’s needed. This will allow your plants to grow new, stronger foliage while you’re away.

   
  
 
  
    
  
 Normal 
 0 
 
 
 
 
 false 
 false 
 false 
 
 EN-AU 
 JA 
 X-NONE 
 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
 
 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
    
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
   
 
 /* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
	{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
	mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
	mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
	mso-style-noshow:yes;
	mso-style-priority:99;
	mso-style-parent:"";
	mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;
	mso-para-margin:0cm;
	mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
	mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
	font-size:10.0pt;
	font-family:Cambria;
	mso-ansi-language:EN-AU;
	mso-fareast-language:EN-US;}
 
   Planted with succulents and varieties of agave, this drought tolerant garden is ideal for anyone who is regularly away from home. Image via  HomeBNC

Planted with succulents and varieties of agave, this drought tolerant garden is ideal for anyone who is regularly away from home. Image via HomeBNC

8. Ask a neighbour

If you have a neighbour, friend or family member who is willing to look after your plants, try to make their life as easy as possible. Make a list of detailed watering instructions (remembering not everyone is a natural green thumb), group any potted plants together so they are in one convenient place and leave your watering can in a spot that’s easy to find. To say thanks to your helper, bring them back a present from your holiday or gift them a plant of their own.

9. Consider installing astroturf

In summer, grass requires a lot of upkeep and if you’ve only got a small space, it can be a lot of effort for little reward. There are a lot of quality astroturf products now available that require no maintenance and look great year round. Astroturf is becoming increasingly popular among people who travel regularly and need low-maintenance gardens and also with those who have shaded outdoor areas where grass simply won’t grow.

   
  
 
  
    
  
 Normal 
 0 
 
 
 
 
 false 
 false 
 false 
 
 EN-AU 
 JA 
 X-NONE 
 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
 
 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
    
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
   
 
 /* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
	{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
	mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
	mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
	mso-style-noshow:yes;
	mso-style-priority:99;
	mso-style-parent:"";
	mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;
	mso-para-margin:0cm;
	mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
	mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
	font-size:10.0pt;
	font-family:Cambria;
	mso-ansi-language:EN-AU;
	mso-fareast-language:EN-US;}
 
   In this courtyard, astroturf has been used to create the ultimate low-maintenance space. Image via  Desire to Inspire . 

In this courtyard, astroturf has been used to create the ultimate low-maintenance space. Image via Desire to Inspire

What’s your favourite way to prepare your garden before going on holidays? Share your tips below.

Find more small space gardening ideas by downloading your free ebook, Small Spaces, Big Ideas. It’s ideal summer reading.

THE TOP 10 BALCONY PLANTS

With the right plants, you can transform your balcony into an inviting space that thrives year round.

Balconies are one of the most challenging spaces to grow plants, and that’s why the secret to a successful balcony garden is to choose the right plants for the conditions. Whether your balcony is shaded or drenched in sun all day, you’ll find the right plants for your space below.

Most of these plants only require minimal watering and little or no fertilising. If you have failed at balcony gardening in the past, chances are it’s because you chose the wrong plants. So if you are ready to bring some nature into your life and your balcony, try these hardy, low-maintenance plants.

Honourable mentions also go to succulents to cactus, which are hardy, gorgeous and easy to keep in pots. 


OUR GIFT TO YOU >

Download your FREE A3 printable guide here!

Related reading: A guide to container gardening

Want more planting inspiration? Download our complete guide to small space gardening!