Rosemary is widely recognised as the main plant associated with ANZAC Day. It is used as a hedge around many cenotaphs as it can be trimmed to a low height. Plants have fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves.
Rosemary is generally grown as a dense shrub with masses of fragrant, thin, dark green leaves. Its flowers are usually small and blue in colour, although pink and white-flowered varieties are available.
Plants can grow between 60cm and 1.5metres in height, according to the variety selected, making them suitable for varied uses in garden plans. Prostrate-growing varieties are also available.
Rosemary is particularly suitable for growing as a hedge as plants respond well to pruning, provided that older wood is not cut into. The pieces removed from the plant can be used as cuttings to establish new plants. Late summer is the preferred time for this to happen.
Because rosemary has smaller leaves, it is generally more drought-tolerant. Growing conditions similar to its native habitat, the Mediterranean, will assist in ensuring good, long growth. Well-drained positions in full sun are ideal.
Some of the different varieties of rosemary include:
- "Gallipoli", which forms a large, grey-green shrub to 1.2m in height and has mauve flowers borne in profusion between late July and October.
- "Tuscan blue" has stiff, upright stems, making it an ideal hedging plant.
- "Gorizia" forms a substantial bush to 1 metre. Its leaves are highly prized in Italy for cooking.
- "Corsican Blue" is an upright bush variety. Its fine leaves have an intense fragrance. Rich blue flowers are also a feature.
- 'Huntingdon Carpet' is a prostrate grower, reaching about 25 centimetres in height. Plants are covered in beautiful blue flowers. It looks most effective when looks planted so it tumbles over rocks, a wall or from a basket.
- 'Salem' is a rosemary that came to Australia from Auckland, New Zealand. It's an upright grower, attains a height of just under a couple of metres, with a width of about a metre, and makes a great hedging plant with spikes of deep blue flowers through summer.
- 'Pink Remembrance' and "Majorca Pink" produce pink flowers instead of blue, while "Sissinghurst White" is a white-flowered variety.
Banksias are an iconic part of the Australian bush, but they also produce beautiful flowers, often called cones, in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours.
These Australian native plants are available in a wide range of sizes that will be reached by mature plants.
The "Birthday Candles" variety is one of several dwarf, compact forms, growing to only about 35cm tall and 50-60cm wide. In late summer through to winter this banksia will be covered in masses of nectar-rich, golden-orange flowers in the form of small candles. It is a variety of Banksia spinulosa.
Birthday Candles grows well in the garden and thrives in temperate to sub tropical as well as drier climates. It grows best in full sun or light shade in moist well drained soils. Banksia Birthday candles is tolerant of light frosts.
Banksia "Giant Candles" is a naturally-occurring hybrid between Banksia ericifolia and Banksia spinulosa. It produces large flower spikes which may be up to 40cm in length. The deep bronze-orange flowers appear from late autumn through to winter. Giant Candles usually grows as a large shrub, although individual specimens may reach the height of a small tree, 5 metres high.
Banksia ericifolia, with orange flowers, is perhaps the variety that is most commonly grown in gardens, although other varieties with flowers ranging in colour from creams and yellows through to strong oranges and reds are also available. Some varieties exhibit multiple colourings due to the coloured tips produced on the ends of the styles.
The styles on flowers of banksias display intricate patterns, particularly when viewed from above.
Rhubarb can be grown in a wide range of soil types, providing they are well drained, but it prefers deep loams well supplied with organic matter. Rhubarb is usually propagated by planting pieces or divisions of 'crowns' formed during preceding seasons.
Under ideal conditions, a strong, healthy division will produce a sturdy plant in one season's growth and some stems may be harvested in this first season. Crown divisions are usually planted about 90cm apart and covered with 5 to 7.5 cm of soil.
Large amounts of organic matter (animal manures) should be used. Choose a sunny or lightly shaded spot and dig plenty of organic matter into the planting area. Some pellets of Dynamic Lifter can also be mixed into the soil before planting.
As soon as the leaves appear, begin applying organic mulch around the plant (without directly touching the stems) and water regularly.
Sydney Crimson is a reliable rhubarb variety that performs well in a wide range of climates.
When harvesting rhubarb, pick the largest stalks from the outside of the clump. Pull the stalk cleanly downwards and sideways. Always leave at least four stems.
Rhubarb leaves are poisonous and should never be eaten.