Belle of the Ball
The Australian native climber, Bower of Beauty (Pandorea jasminoides ‘Belle of the Ball’), has attractive, glossy, green foliage. For most of the year it displays large, bell-shaped, deep pink, maroon-centred flowers.
It grows well in a sunny spot in most soil types that are moist but well-draining. When planted next to a trellis, it creates a very dense screen. Without support, it trails beautifully over embankments or rockeries.
On a balcony or courtyard, planted in a decorative container with a frame for support, it is stunning!
This is a very low maintenance plant. Pruning is not necessary other than to tidy the plant’s appearance or reduce size. To encourage vigorous growth, simply apply a slow-release fertiliser during spring and mulch well to retain moisture during prolonged dry periods.
Top gardening tips for March
- Gather fallen leaves and grass clippings for composting. Fork over the compost heap regularly to hasten decomposition. Use compost on your garden to reduce the need for chemical fertilisers.
- Sow some cool season vegetables such as broad beans, lettuce, peas, onions and silver beet in a sunny spot. Condition the soil before planting with some organic matter.
- Feed citrus trees with a specially formulated fertiliser for good fruit production. Use a granular fertiliser for trees in the garden and a soluble formulation for those in containers.
- Prune hydrangeas after they’ve finished flowering. Cut out any weak growth and prune back to a pair of plump buds. If you prefer the changing shades of the ageing blooms throughout winter, wait until July/August to prune.
- Remove spring and summer annuals that have finished flowering, condition the soil with planting compost and plant marigolds, salvias and snapdragon seedlings for a colourful autumn display.
- Buy some spring-flowering bulbs such as freesias, jonquils, snowflakes and bluebells while there are plenty available in garden centres. Enrich well-drained soil with some bulb food before planting for best results.