Hi, I would appreciate any suggestions of Winter Growing

North Ipswich, Qld, Australia

Hi All,

I want to put in two 6' long, 1.5 mts wide gardens by 2 in the front yard.

What I need are suggestions of perrenials flowers that grow well in winter.

Thanks Guys,

Debi ox

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

You might look at other people's gardens, and pick out what you think is pretty, and looks healthy.

Praise how good they look, ask the name if the flowers, and how much work they are.

Then ask if you can have a few next time they divide the clumps! Offer to help, or to donate bags of potting soil, compost or mulch. Or bring beer with you when you ask!

It is best to look at LAZY peoples' gardens, because then you know those plants can be healthy wothout pampering. I'm quite serious: the worst person to ask for gardening advice is the experienced expert who can grow the fussiest known plant on a concrete slab, because they know ALL the tricks for babying them along.

If they tell you "these are easy to grow, you just have to bring them inside each winter..." ... then you KNOW they aren't lazy enough.

If you ask a beginner gardener who has very little free time for hobbies, and THEY say a plant is easy ... PLANT LOTS OF THEM!

You might even ask a professional landscaper or a clerk at a very good nursery "what's low-maintenance around here?" Then look at what they have in stock, and remember that what they display is the BEST that plant will ever look.

Decide whether you will be content with something that only flowers for a few weeks, or two months per year, or do you want continuous color from just a few plants. That may not be possible with perennials, but our climates are very different.

It's a very different question if you might be happy with fancy and multi-colored FOLIAGE rather than just flowers. For example, a little shelter and occasional spraying with water might make a cool shady leafy refuge from sun and wind, with few flowers. Over the years, the added humidity in that area may make it possible to grow plants that would scorch and burn in full sun and wind.

Annuals may not be a lot of work, and they are MUCH cheaper from seed than perennials, if you buy big potted perennials. Remember, you will have to dig up and divide perennials every 2-5 years, which might be as much work as just starting a few rows or trays of seeds each year, especially if you can start them outside in a seedling bed.

>> suggestions of perrenials flowers that grow well in winter.

I would be the last one to know, but others may be able to help if you add some info:

What is your hardiness zone?
How cold at night does it EVER get?
How cold at night does it get most years?
I guess you have no snow, but does it go below freezing?

Rainy or dry winter? Rainy or dry summer?
If dry, can you water? Or is this for "xeriscaping"?

sunny or cloudy?
shade or full sun?

sandy soil, heavy clay, or rich and organic?

Do you know of any notorious pests?

Can you compare your climate to something we might be more familiar with? I am guessing "Texas but cooler summers, and even drier".

Is that one and a half meters wide? Five feet wide? Maybe it doesn't matter as much with perennials, but I like 3-4 feet wide so I can get at the whole bed from one side without walking all the way around.


Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

I thought about it, and probably not many people focused on Winter Sowing will also specialize in Australian crops.

Classic "WS" is done in plastic jugs under a thick layer of snow.

You might want to browse or ask in these forums. Someone there may be able to point out threads or discussions that would be more interesting to you:

Australian Gardening Discussion Forum

Xeriscape Gardening Discussion Forum

The Oz forum has a "sticky thread" at the top that talks about trades ... if they trade plants as well as seeds, that might be a grreat way to jump-start a perennial garden without spending hundreds of dollars or working at it for years.



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