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Greater Brisbane region
Mothers Day in 2018 is 13th May. Thinking of giving a plant as a gift? The potted flowers on chain store shelves might look good now, but if you want a gift that will give pleasure for years to come, a more considered selection from the garden centre might be more successful. That way, you can take Mum's garden space, expertise and interests into consideration.
Be sure to respect quarantine regulations if moving plants. If Mum isn't nearby, try a gift voucher from either a nearby garden centre or an online nursery. Alternatively, there are many hardware items like quality tools or books that are suitable for postage. More ideas here: Garden gift ideas for Mothers Day.
You might be thinking about giving a bare rooted rose bush, or be tempted yourself by the range appearing in chain stores before Mothers Day. Unfortunately, the premature lifting of these plants makes them a poor choice. If you're serious about roses, try to find a reputable supplier that waits until the bushes are fully dormant before digging and packing. While you're waiting for you're order to arrive later in the winter, take the opportunity to prepare beds where you intend to plant them.
Alternatively, look for potted roses, which can be planted any time of year like any other shrub. More: Roses.
Even though it has been quite dry, don't forget that the months traditionally associated with low rainfall and desiccating winds are still ahead. Keep valuable plants watered and top up mulch if it's been depleted over summer.
It's getting too late to start most Annual Flowers for a winter-spring display from seed. However, your local garden centre is sure to have a selection of seedlings for planting now. Seedlings are also more convenient because you avoid all the work and uncertainty of raising seedlings at home. Seedlings aren't all that expensive if you just need a few plants for a container or small area. (See also Seeds and seed raising.) Furthermore, some of the new and improved bedding plants may only be available in punnets or pots.
Divide perennials such as agapanthus, daylillies, daisies like gazania and shasta daisy, ornamental grasses, dietes, liriope.
Find more information about growing agapanthus in Australia at Best Agapanthus
Ease off on the water from rhizomatous and tuberous ornamentals like ornamental gingers and caladiums as the foliage dies off.
The end of the flowering season is the signal to prune and fertilise Tibouchinas such as 'Alstonville' if you want to keep the bushes dense, compact and primed for a spectacular display next year.
Sowing of a wide range of vegetables suited to cool and temperate climates can proceed: beetroot and silverbeet, cabbages, broccoli, onion family, peas, lettuce, carrots, turnips. Broad beans are better suited to colder climates than SEQ's, but if you want to have a go, now is the time as we enter our coldest months.
Provided you don't have frost, you can also get away with growing a lot of veggies that would normally be considered summer crops in the colder latitudes such as cucumbers, zucchini, beans (the regular "French" or green beans), tomatoes and capsicums. Growth may be slower, however, with the colder temperatures and fewer daylight hours for photosynthesis. Real heat-lovers like corn, rosella and okra must wait until early summer, however.
Sorry, monthly notes for fruit haven't been produced yet.
Garden shows, open gardens
Check the Events Diary and see if there's something on near you.
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NB: The info on this page applies primarily to the greater Brisbane region only. Naturally, it's a general guide and will vary depending on local conditions, weather, plant variety etc.
Ongoing water availability is also a big concern these days, so take this into consideration too, especially if planning new gardens.
Further development of the notes here has been suspended in favour of Get Results Gardening (see below). If you're in Brisbane, please do see for yourself how good it is by requesting a free trial.
Get Results Gardening is a weekly email mini-magazine with an SE Qld focus.
Reliable plants, fundamentals simply explained, achievable ideas, inspiration and motivation for a beautiful garden that compliments your house and makes your whole property more enjoyable to live in.