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Autumn Delights

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Iceland Poppy Iceland Poppy If it’s the “wow” from flowers you are looking for, then Iceland Poppies (Papaver naudicaule) are just the thing for you. Planted in autumn temperatures, they will help transform your garden into a winter wonderland. While some gardeners are loath to buy seedlings when they can’t see any blooms on the little plants, this shouldn’t be a concern. Poppies offer their best when planted early in the season, soon providing blooms that will keep on appearing right through to late spring.

Sweetly scented sweet peas are a must for the autumn garden, not only for their gorgeous smelling and looking blooms in the garden, but also to bring a little of the garden into your home when it’s a bit chilly to spend time outside because sweet peas make excellent cut flowers.

 

Sweet pea Sweet pea Sweet pea Poppies

Cheerful additions to any landscape, there is a wide variety of poppies on the market. Striking new hybrids are available in mixed colours as well as in single colours for those with specific colour schemes and for pastel lovers there are lovely pastel shades. Poppies work very well with spring bulbs, as well as inter planted with low growing annuals like pansies.

Poppies love gardeners that like to pick for the vase – the more you pick them the more they flower for you. If you don’t pick the blooms it’s essential that you deadhead the spent blooms to keep them flowering.

Sweet pea

Sweet peas, most often grown from seed, can also be found as ready to plant seedlings in many leading garden centres, which is wonderful if you’re impatient or don’t have time to nurture them from seed. Transplanting can be slightly tricky so take care to pick pots that can be planted straight into their new home, like peat pots, or individual earth friendly trays so seedling roots don’t need to be separated before planting.

CorianderCorianderCorianderSweet peas enjoy a bright and sunny spot with rich, moist soil. To make life easier, plan ahead and ensure you have easy access to them so you can pick flowers whenever the mood grabs you. Feel free to use supports to help them stand upright but make sure to put the stakes in the ground before planting your seedlings out to avoid damaging the roots.

Coriander

One of the most used and loved herbs around, coriander is a must for any edible garden or kitchen windowsill, or even just for anyone who enjoys food. It is incredibly fast growing, can be eaten fresh or used in cooking and both the leaves and roots are edible, offering different flavours for your dishes.

PenstemonPenstemonPenstemonPenstemon

Potting with penstemon is quite possibly the best way to bring some colour to your patio. With their long blooming bell-shaped flowers that are so brilliantly coloured, it’s impossible for them not to make a statement to remember. They prefer moist, well-draining soil and thrive in full sun, although semi-shade positions will be equally adequate for these stunners. If you want to be rewarded with more blooms for longer, remember to deadhead.

Information supplied by the Bedding Plant Growers Association. For more, go to www.lifeisagarden.co.za.

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