Growing up to 50cm high and spreading up to 60cm wide, the Winter Rose (Helleborus hybrid ‘Anna’s Red’) is a compact, vigorous, evergreen perennial displaying exquisite, regal, deep magenta blooms from winter to spring.
This beauty prefers a partly shaded spot in fertile, organic-enriched, well-draining soil. It thrives in shady nooks and creates a high impact when planted in groups of five or more under tree canopies.
The Winter Rose looks just as stylish growing in decorative containers on patios and balconies. For added enjoyment, when in bloom, these plants can be brought indoors and displayed in a well-lit room for up to three weeks.
This perennial is hardy and easy to maintain – simply remove finished blooms to encourage further displays and feed before and after flowering with a slow-release fertiliser.
Top gardening tips for June
• Treat the lawn with a broadleaf weedkiller to control infestations of bindii before they flower and form those irritating seed heads.
• Plant rhubarb crowns into soil that’s been enriched with compost and aged cow manure.
• Plant bare-rooted roses and deciduous trees as soon as possible after buying them. Condition the soil with organic matter and make sure the roots are kept moist before planting.
• Trim sasanqua camellias by up to one-third of the foliage when they’ve finished flowering. Feed them with an organic fertiliser and apply a generous layer of mulch over their roots. Encourage any flowers that are reluctant to open properly by watering the plant with a weak solution of Epsom salts.
• Build a wire bin to hold any excess autumn leaves. These can be composted separately by adding three to four handfuls of Dynamic Lifter or blood and bone to each wheelbarrow load. Keep the leaves moist and turn the contents of the bin regularly to allow air to penetrate.
• Prune native shrubs to maintain an attractive shape and get rid of any dead, diseased or damaged branches. Fertilise with a sprinkling of blood and bone. Always water well before and after applying fertiliser.
• Plant summer-flowering bulbs, such as gladioli, hippeastrum and liliums. Check the packet for the depth of planting as it varies from bulb to bulb.
Bonsai for beginners workshop: Remove the mystery – create and enjoy your own bonsai! Discover its history and how easy it is to grow. Learn which types of containers, soil, materials and equipment are preferable. Find out which plants are most suitable and how to maintain, prune, shape, style and display them. 10am to 4pm, June 9, Northern Beaches Community College. Phone 9970 1000.
Garden design for large and small spaces workshop: Whether you’re starting from scratch or revamping an existing area, you’ll enjoy learning how to transform an open space into a haven for relaxed living. Topics include: site analysis, plant selection, types of containers, soil, potting mix, mulch, watering, fertilising, maintenance and much more. Comprehensive notes are provided and bookings are essential. 10am to 4pm, June 23, Northern Beaches Community College. Phone 9970 1000.