✦ Nature's anti-depressant - COLOUR
Most people read gardening articles for a sense of enjoyment and as a means of escapism. They allow us to plan and dream about creating our own gardens of wonderment and at the same time provide us with an enjoyable education.
Up till now I have avoided mentioning our current situation (we're in lockdown). While we are all spending a lot more time at home there is a way to bring instant joy and happiness into our lives by planting nature's anti-depressant … COLOUR. Now just as we need it, the perfect season for garden colour presents itself, Spring, thank goodness for Spring!
Scientists are rarely wrong
Did you know that the European cut flower industry is one of the highest grossing areas in the horticultural industry. Millions of colourful flowers are sold each and every week to go into environments where people crave and yearn for a splash of natural colour. European studies have been conducted on numerous occasions to recognise the significance of human beings and their reaction to lovely bright colours. These studies have found numerous positive outcomes when people surround themselves with natural colour.
Apart from just general happiness, scientists have found that the vibrant colours which can also be accompanied with scent is responsible for triggering an endorphin release within the body. Studies suggested that people were naturally calmer when in the presence of various colour groups and ultimately had a longer and more restful sleep at night. The studies even found that people had positive emotive responses even when they planned on attending a flower market or nursery.
(yes, how we miss those markets! We hope the lockdown restrictions will lift very very soon)
The colour will bring thousands
We couldn’t talk about flower colour without mentioning the garden's hardest workers - the bees and birds. With recent issues such as fire and flood not to mention the on-going drought areas, our bees and birds are in need of flowers to forage through like never before. Spring is the jumpstart period that provides our small friends with various sources of pollen and nectar. They will reward all your generous offerings by aiding in the pollination of all your fruit and vegetable plants.
What to plant?
Spring is now here, please, take a deep breath and take it all in. We all need this season like never before. We have warming temperatures that will provide the perfect situation for a multitude of flowering plants. Whether you are restricted to pots or have access to garden beds there are many wonderful choices.
The quick fix…
Annual plants are a great method to add colour impact to your garden areas in a short space of time. You will be able to purchase annuals in a number of forms such as multi planted punnets and single small pots. They are an economic and efficient way to bring that wonderful colour cheer into your environment.
Great varieties to try
✦ Petunias ✦
They do best in a nice, warm, full sun position, with a generous amount of regular watering. Petunias will provide you with an absolute abundance of colourful trumpet shaped flowers. Gone are the days of simple pinks and reds, Petunias come in nearly every colour imaginable. Some have stripes and some have speckles, it is certainly worth checking out your local nursery to see the amazing new range of Petunias that are now available.
✦ Marigolds ✦
Marigolds are a cheerful, easy-to-grow annual plant with daisy or carnation-like flower heads that are produced singly or in clusters. Don’t forget to deadhead your marigolds to keep the blooms coming. These flowers are the spendthrifts among annuals, bringing a wealth of gold, copper, and brass into our gardens. Also, the underground workings of the marigold are known to repel harmful nematodes (microscopic worms) that attack the roots of garden vegetables.
✦ Perennial power ✦
Plants that give you colour year after year and by definition live for more than two years. They're easy to grow, and once you plant them, they'll keep on coming back every spring to fill your landscape with their beautiful flowers and foliage. Plants range in size from ground-covering and clump-forming varieties just a few centimetres high, right up to statuesque giants a couple of metres tall. Many perennials make good cut flowers and the more compact varieties that have long-lasting appeal are excellent for growing in pots.
✦ Lavender ✦
They grow in a well-drained, sunny position. Do best protected from frost and are quite drought friendly. They are available in an amazing variety of new and different forms that include both single and double flowering varieties. The scent is universally familiar and the delightful blooms are an absolute magnet for the bees. Keep them regularly pruned and you will be rewarded year after year.
✦ Daisies ✦
Plant them in full sun for the best and most rewarding blooms all season long. Bright, cheerful, and easy to grow, the flowers are readily identifiable and are mainstay for gardens. Gone are the days of the old, overgrown daisy plant sitting in the back corner of Grandma’s backyard. The new and improved varieties on offer at nurseries now are well and truly worth planting in your garden today.
✦ Azaleas ✦
Azaleas do well in full sun or part shade. Planted in full sun, azaleas will be more compact and produce more flowers. When planted in part shade, they will stretch toward the sunlight and form a more graceful habit. Most varieties look best in a shaded or woodland border, or in pots. This is another species that has come a long way in recent years. Specific varieties that are more compact and that flower more consistently over the season. They are now certainly worth a look at your local nursery, if you haven’t been a fan, they will be certain to win you over.
So please embrace the new season of Spring. Allow it to help you both reset and re-energise your soul. Use the conditions to add colour to your life. Use the change to add vitality to your garden. Use the new season to bring calmness into your life … and finally use the colour of Spring to remember what is truly important - HaPpInNess.
Greenbourne Nursery, Wauchope Plants & Landscape Supplies
a/ 239 High St, Wauchope NSW 2446
p/ +612 6585 2117
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