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Topiary 101 – Choosing Plants for Hedge Sculpting

Do you dream of having a hedge sculpture in your backyard? Perhaps you dream of having a garden decorated by perfectly manicured balloon-like trees, or you wish for your garden to reflect your quirky personality with a hedge elephant, a dragon – or something else. Evergreen Growers specialise in hedging, trees, and other plants, and is here to help give tips and tricks on topiary, and help you choose the right trees or hedges for your sculpting project! Read on to learn more.

History of hedge sculpting

The tradition of hedge sculpting – or topiary – is the art of turning trees and hedges into beautiful sculptures through careful pruning. Said to be invented by a friend of the Roman emperor Augustus, it has been practiced since the 1st century CE and is still a strong tradition today. It has commonly been seen as the relatively quick and inexpensive counterpart to stonemasonry and was favoured in England up until the 17th hundreds because stones were expensive, and leafy trees were abundant.

Choose your hedge and trees carefully

The best approach to topiary is to choose what you want from your sculpture before you choose the tree or hedge. The best bet is to go with thick, perennial growths for a year-round beautiful result. If you’re looking to plant new plants specifically for pruning and sculpting in the future, consider yew, privet, myrtle, or boxwood species. For Brisbane’s hotter climate you may fare best with boxwoods as it is drought tolerant, is evergreen, and enjoys basking in full sunshine.

That said, if you already have hedges and other plants in your garden know that most plants can be trimmed into shapes with enough care and dedication!

DIY or trusting a professional

We can’t all be Edward Scissorhands in a day. If you are new to topiary, it’s smart to start with a more basic shape to practice perfecting in order to avoid unfixable mishaps. Pruning trees into artistic shapes is a tricky business, and a wrong move can leave your perfect symmetry a little lopsided.

If a perfectly groomed hedge sculpture is to be the pièce de résistance of your garden, perhaps consider hiring a professional who can help you out – if only to bring out the ideal shape. From there, you can carefully trim it with pruning shears, topiary shears, from atop a sturdy step stool.

Got questions before commencing your hedge sculpting? We’re here to help. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the friendly team at Evergreen Growers for advice!

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3 Backyard Plant Pests to Know and Prepare for This Spring

Ah, gardening. There are few things more calming in a busy day to day than a free afternoon spent gardening. It’s a chance to bring some vibrancy to our homes both indoors and outdoors with decorative plants, as well as bulking up our veggie, fruit, and herb supply with some home-grown goodies. But along with warmer weather and backyard plants inevitably comes pests. They love your gardening, too! Ranging from inconveniencing to debilitating, pests can sour the enjoyment we get out of our home gardening – which is why Evergreen Growers has some tips on how to deal with your particular pests this spring and summer. Read on to learn more.

The known culprits

Aphids are small triangular bugs with antlers, and once there’s one there’s hundreds more. With thousands of known aphid species, they come in many different colours including white, brown, black, yellow, green, and even pink. Aphids suck sap from plants, and secrete a sugary substance called honeydew.

To get rid of them, crush them by hand, or prune the aphid infected parts of the plant. To prevent them, spray your plants with garlic spray or tomato leaf. 

Azalea lace bug – you may love your azaleas and rhododendrons, but not as much as these bugs do. If you have a few around your azaleas, it doesn’t take long until your plants are completely overrun. While the damage is mostly cosmetic, we understand the time you’ve taken in caring for your plant, and how discouraging it can be to have a priced plant ruined by pests. They damage your plants by sucking sap from them, causing the leaves to turn brown or silvery from the loss of nutrients.

How they look: For all their nuisance, they are beautiful bugs up close. Their flat, patterned, colourful wings nearly resemble cathedral glass! In your garden keep a lookout for 4-6mm bugs of a tan and black colour residing on the underside of our azalea or rhododendron leaves. 

Mealybugs – upon first inspection they can easily be mistaken for a bit of mould on your plant, but don’t be fooled. They are tiny, soft insects covered in a white or grey furry-looking wax. If your plants are yellowing for no reason, you may have a mealybug infestation on your hands. They suck the juices out of your plants, leaving them weak and vulnerable to wilting. Because they populate rapidly, it’s important to deal with them as soon as possible!

How? Dab the mealybugs you see with a q-tip soaked in alcohol.

Give your plants some tough love by avoiding overwatering them for a while. This will help prevent your plants from attracting more mealybugs to their fresh leaves.

Wash your plants in 100% natural, non-toxic neem oil to discourage infestations in the future.

Want tips on handling the pests plaguing your plants? Don’t hesitate to stop by Evergreen Growers for some tips specific for your needs!

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DIY Plant Propagation for Beginners: The Which, the How, and the When

To a plant lover, propagation can often feel like alchemy. You can make more plants, form the same plant – whenever you want? Evergreen Growers are passionate about everything green and have a guide on how to successfully propagate offcuts from succulents and plants into whole new plants. Whether you’re versed in the art of plant propagation or are coming in fresh – we hope you’ll learn a thing or two!

Dry propagation

Dry propagation works well for drought-resistant plants such as succulents. Water your parent plant in the days before removing one or more leaves. Once it’s flushed with water and nutrients you can gently remove the leaves you want to propagate, put them somewhere dry, and then leave them alone to propagate. Yes, it’s a patience game. Rather than wilt at lack of water they prefer it and may just start rooting whilst laying on your kitchen counter, or atop the soil in your plant pots. Let them lay till they root, then gently plant them into a pot or spot of their own.

Wet propagation

Leafy indoor plants are great candidates for wet propagation. Because they are generally thirstier than their succulent counterparts, they require constant hydration in the propagation process in order to root. Simply pop the cutting in a glass of water (and change it frequently). Keep a lookout for aphids and other pesky pests as they grow. Once the cutting has developed healthy roots, carefully plant them in nutrient rich soil.

Air layering

It’s tempting to cut a large cutting off a rubber tree or another plant to secure a large new plant right away, but does it work? That’s where air layering comes in. Air layering is the process of encouraging roots to grow before removing the piece from the mother plant. This way you can ensure the cutting receives nutrients from the plant while it grows new roots – which is great for trees and larger plants with reduced foliage towards the stem. There are special tools available for air layering, so do your research and give it a crack.

Making the cut

Once you’ve found a large, many-leafed plant with a colouration you enjoy, make a clean cut at a 45-degree angle (this helps maximise the rooting area). While even tiny individual succulent leaves can regrow into a plant with the right care, giving yourself 8-15 cm to work with gives the plant a greater chance of survival – and you will have a bigger, new plant, too!

Propagation tools

If you want to ensure your offcuts have the best chance at survival, there’s a range of supplements available to encourage rooting, such as a rooting gel.

Remember that propagation is a long-term process. If you’d like a lush garden or indoor space before summer, consider the wide range of cheap, quality plants ready to be planted from Evergreen Growers – shipped Australia-wide.

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Understanding Plant Propagation from Offcuts

Plant propagation is a way of life. Have you recently awoken to the wonderful world of plant propagation, but you are unsure of where to start – or how to make the most of your offcuts? Whether you want more plants to turn your home into a lush jungle without spending a fortune, or you’d like a low-cost, easy way to make a few extra dollars, propagation may be the ideal pastime for you.

What is propagation from offcuts?

Propagation from offcuts is the asexual process of creating new plants from bits of already established plants. Plant cells have the ability to duplicate the whole plant they’re part of, meaning you literally clone the plant you take a leaf from. How crazy is that?

It’s important to remember that propagating from offcuts is a long game. It won’t give you a green house overnight, but it will give you plants for free over time. If you want a lush hedge, a new tree, or new house plants right away – consider the cheap, high-quality plants available through Evergreen Growers.

Can I make money from propagating plants?

Backyard plant sales have grown into a big business. With plants being an increasingly popular way to spend spare dollars amongst millennials, and the ability to regrow plants from offcuts, it can be easy to get eager. Money may not grow on trees – but perhaps it grows on succulents, monsteras and propagational plants?

Yes, many thrifty green thumbed people sell plants grown in their backyard as a side hustle – some even with ambitions to grow it into a fulltime venture.

The rarer the plant, the higher the yield if you successfully propagate, pot, and grow an offcut. With care, rare plants such as variegated aspidistras and albino monstera plants can be propagated and sold for high prices. But remember, rare plants tend to increase in numbers quickly (and thus sink in price) due to forward-thinking propagators responding to a growing demand.

Conscientious gathering

Collecting offcuts from other people’s yards, public parks, and other garden patches has become a popular form of low-cost plant propagation. Whilst pinching off a leaf or a bit of a succulent likely isn’t a concern (or will even be noticed) if the plant is big enough, it’s important to be considerate of people’s property and hard work. Ask for permission, forego the small succulents and plants, and always consider how you would feel if someone took offcuts from your beloved plants.

Got questions about garden, propagation or anything plant and garden related? Feel free to reach out to Evergreen Growers today!

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Why You Should Choose Hedging Over Fencing

Privacy is a key component to any home. Being able to relax in your backyard without feeling on display is a must in a busy day-to-day. Hedging or fences allows not only privacy, but also helps reduce noise and can provide some shade from the sun. Evergreen Growers has tips on the pros and cons of hedging and fences, and why you may want to consider investing in hedging for your next garden revamp!

Hedging ads to your backyard’s ambiance

While a fence’s main job is to shut-out the outside world, a hedge also adds to your property’s overall ambiance. The hedge is likely to attract bees and other insects, which in turn attract birds – which will allow for a pleasant soundscape of birdsong and insect wings. As a bonus, a hedge is superior in reducing dust and other pollution in your backyard!

Better property value over time

What looks best – a fence, or a lush green hedge? In the long run, hedging is likely to offer your property a higher value, due to its popularity and quality appeal. Whereas a fence will look its best on the day you installed it, a hedge only gets thicker, taller, and lusher as the years go by. If you’re impatient, you can easily source mature hedges for an immediate privacy screen, as well as opting for rapid growing types that will keep you covered in no time.

Choose low-maintenance

If you’re considering hedging for its reputation for low maintenance, trust that there are a range of low-maintenance hedging options. While you may need to trim your hedge back and water it every once in a while, at least you won’t need to oil, paint or stain it!

Opt for drought resilient plants

Brisbane, like most of Australia, is vulnerable to drought. It can feel like a frustrating waste of time to spend time, money, and effort into fitting hedging around your property, only to have it wither in the next drought spell. Many Australian native plants make ideal hedging solutions, and are incredibly drought resilient. That means you won’t have to worry about them perishing in Brisbane’s 40 degree days!

If you’d like more advice on what you ought to choose for your backyard, you can always reach out to the experts. Evergreen Growers is passionate about helping home- and property-owners across Australia source standout hedging for their needs, that are suitable for their local climate.

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Attract Birds to Your Garden with These Plants

Are you an avid birdwatcher who’d like to bring your passion to your own front- and backyard? Perhaps you secretly suspect you’re Snow White reborn. Whether you’re just starting out, or you’re already a longstanding bird spotter, you’ll be thrilled to know that there are a range of known plants available that are likely to attract some beautiful sounding, beautiful looking feathered creatures straight to your home. Peek out of your window – you won’t even need binoculars! Evergreen Growers have the tips on a range of bird-attracting flowers, well-suited for the Australian climate. Read on to learn more.

The home of the songbird

Did you know songbirds originated in Australia? No wonder our great island is so spoilt for colourful and lyrical birds! By planting flowers popular with birds, you’ll likely enjoy a cacophony of beautiful bird song!

Why birds are drawn to your plants

You may be curious to know why birds are drawn to specific plants to begin with. In many cases they actually get drawn to the bugs that like to eat your plants – as a natural bug repellent of sorts. So not only will your new plants stay healthy and beautiful, but they’ll attract some beautiful birds, too!

In the case of nectar producing trees, you’re likely to attract crowds of honey eating birds looking for a delicious meal. These include fairy-wrens, eastern rosellas, noise miners, red wattlebirds, scarlet honeyeater and many more!

Banksia trees

Did you know fairy-wrens love hanging near Banksia trees? Not only do they love the sweet nectar produced by the orange banksia flowers, but they also enjoy the shade and cover provided by the thick foliage. If you love the blue and orange coloured darting bird, you ought to incorporate some banksias into your backyard landscape.

Grevillea

Grevillea, or spider flower, is a popular plant amongst birds. The sweet nectar produced will attract honey eating birds such as eastern rosellas, fairy-wrens, and more!

Beyond these two, there’s a wide range of stunning, nectar producing , bird attracting plants you can choose from for your garden available country-wide!

Make your garden the local birds’ favourite spot!

To rig the deck, consider investing in a bird feeder and bird bath as well to provide local birds with everything they need to stay healthy and happy all year round!

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Creating a Toddler-Friendly Garden

The warmer weather is approaching, and that means a lot more family time in the great outdoors! Whether that means adventuring out to the botanical gardens or going on camping trips, or adventures in your own backyard, you’re sure to have endless fun helping your little ones get in touch with nature over the coming months.

But, if you have toddlers running around your backyard, it’s best to make sure that your set up is as toddler-friendly as can be – but how to know where to start?

For an easy starting point, we have the three simple steps that you can follow to begin your toddler-friendly set up.

Plant Experimentation Areas

Kids love being outdoors, and they also love doing stuff with their hands! At this inquisitive age, it’s important to teach them about the importance of growing healthy food, and teaching them where it comes from. Plus, it’s a lot of fun for them too, and they can get their hands dirty!

Start a little kid’s veggie patch in your garden if you have the space, and help them plant herbs and veggies like carrots, tomatoes and beans.

If you’re feeling extra whimsical while setting up your toddler’s area, incorporate a little fairy garden or safari park for their toys to play in.

Don’t Shy Away from Colour!

In a toddler-friendly garden, or any garden for that matter, there’s no such thing as too much colour. Plus, bright colours and a wide variety of shapes help stimulate their imaginations and encourage their learning and development.

Have fun planting a range of potted colours, beautiful natives, succulents and veggies – and don’t be afraid to get the paint brush out to make it extra colourful!

Make Sure It’s Safe

When it comes to safety, your garden is no different to every room in your home.

Lock up any sharp tools, chemicals and fertiliser, steer away from any sharp corners and consider less concrete and pavers when landscaping. Incorporate more grass for soft landings, or if that’s not possible consider investing in some artificial grass. Setting up a play area will also help them from exploring any unsafe areas – set up a cubby house or a tent that can act as their own little comfort area.

The most important part of creating a toddler-friendly garden is to have fun with it, and make sure it’s safe.

If you need an extra helping hand finding seedlings to plant or what colourful plants you could incorporate, get in touch with the experts at Evergreen Growers today.

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The Best Winter Crops for Your State

There’s nothing like planting a fresh crop in your backyard and watching those first sprouts poke their heads up and out of the soil. In Australia, we’re lucky enough to be able to grow and enjoy vegetables all year round. timberland soldes Winter can be the best time to plant vegetables perfect for those comfort food meals, but different vegetables thrive in different areas of the country due to our regional climates. timberland pas cher Before you start rolling up your sleeves, all you have to do is research your region to see what grows best, and the best times to get planting!   Cooler Climates: Victoria and Tasmania Even though the temperature can drop below zero in these areas, it doesn’t mean you still can’t grow a variety of winter vegetables and herbs. If you’d prefer to grow herbs outdoors rather than indoors, consider growing chives, coriander, parsley, mint and shallots. ugg australia Vegetables that thrive in in Tassie and Victoria include;  

  • Beetroot
  • Broad beans
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Spinach
  • Leeks
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Turnips

    Most of these vegetables also grow well in subtropical areas such as northern NSW and south-east Queensland.   Tropical Climates: Northern Territory, Northern Queensland and parts of North Western Australia If you’re lucky enough to live in the tropical regions of Australia, you’re almost spoilt for choice when it comes to the list of vegetables you can grow in your patch! You almost have your pick of the bunch, but the more popular ones you can grow easily are;  

  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Onions
  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet Potato
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • To name a few!

    Temperate Climates: Sydney, Coastal NSW and parts of Western Australia Like elsewhere in Australia, this part of the country is great at producing spinach, green beans, peas and broad beans. moncler Doudounes Most herbs will also grow well throughout the whole year in this climate.   Growing the right food in winter is easy when you choose the right produce for your area. ugg pas cher Make sure your garden bed is in an area that still gets plenty of winter sunshine, keep them hydrated and you’ll soon be reaping a wide range of healthy and nutritious vegetables and herbs grown in your own backyard. soldes puma chaussures What can be better than that!   The possibilities are endless when it comes to your winter garden.

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Essential Tips for Taking Care of Your Winter Garden

The days are becoming shorter and the mercury is slowly dropping. moncler As much as we hate to admit it, summer has ended and we’re soon approaching the cold months of winter. timberland chaussures During the wetter months, it can be easy to put garden care to the back of your mind, especially during those frosty mornings where it can be difficult to leave the warmth of your home. Even when it’s cold outside, your garden could use some care, so we’ve compiled 4 fun ways you can care for your garden when the temperature drops. ugg pas cher femme   Prune and Tidy Once the leaves have fallen, it’s easier to spot invasive climbers and crowded growth to remove them. puma sneakers Pruning is an easy way to tidy up your garden, but be careful not to prune any late winter or spring flowering shrubs or plants! Raking up any dead leaves and twigs is also a simple way to tidy up, and can ideally be used for mulch or as a great addition to any compost. bottes timberland pas cher   Pay Attention to Your Winter Flowering Plants Although you may not think your garden needs watering in winter, some plants need an extra shower. Although many plants tend to rest during the cooler months, any spring bulbs or winter-flowering natives are still growing. Remember to keep these fertilised and watered to ensure a happy growth and lots of blooms once spring returns.   Plant New Crops in Your Vegie Patch With changing seasons comes an ever-changing vegie patch! If you, like many other Australians, have begun to invest in your own vegie garden, you’re excited about the endless possibilities available to you when one season ends and another begins. There’s plenty of time left to grow some nutritious winter vegetables perfect for a hearty soup. Research your area and find out the best time to plant carrots, broad beans, spinach and lettuce as these vegetables often thrive during winter! Brighten Up Your Day with Some Colour If the grey skies are getting you down, there’s no better way to exercise some self, and garden, care than to plant some potted colour. Find some natives or bright and cheerful varietals that are already in bloom. Simply plant these in well-draining soils, keep them in bloom with deadheading, fertilising and watering, and enjoy the bursts of colour!   At Evergreen Growers, we’re passionate gardeners who love to garden all year round.

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4 Ways You Can Help Your Garden Survive a Dry Summer

If this spring is anything to go by, this coming summer is set to be a scorcher.

While you might think your garden will cope well with the extreme climates that the Aussie environment can throw it on, it’s important to remember that we had a considerably dry winter. Add on a dry summer, and your garden could be in dire straits.

So, we’ve put together five easy ways you can look after your garden this summer, so you can see it through to next winter.

Use Mulch

Mulching your garden beds will help reduce the amount of moisture that is lost from the soil and potting mx from evaporation on hot and windy days. An added benefit of mulch is that helps to stop weeds in their tracks. 

Water in the Morning

Watering your garden in the morning is widely regarded as the best time to do it when the mercury is high. It helps to hydrate and prepare your plants for the weather ahead, and evaporation is less likely to occur. 

Give it a Good Weeding

If your garden appears dryer than usual, especially in the height of summer, the first thing you should do is to remove every weed. Weeds sap moisture from your garden, and also compete with your plants for valuable resources.

Of course, if you are going to roll up your sleeves and tackle your weeds in the middle of summer, ensure you do it at the right time of day, drink plenty of water and wear sunscreen.

Invest in Drought Tolerant Plants

In any garden that experiences dry conditions, it’s always a great idea to plant drought tolerant natives over varietals that require extra care.

It’s getting increasingly easier to find drought tolerant plants. Some of our favourites include:

  • Herbs like rosemary, sage, thyme, mint and oregano
  • Beautiful natives like banksias, kangaroo paw, bottlebrush
  • Think snake plant, agave, aloe vera, aeonium and varietals of cacti
  • Flowering plants like lavender, proteas and bougainvillea. Plus plants that attract bees are an added bonus!

Fortunately, although we do experience some extreme condition in Australia, we’re lucky to have a wide range of drought-tolerant natives that can withstand the dry conditions we’re sure to experience this coming summer.

If you have any questions about what natives you can plant in your region, or if you’d like some garden care tips, just get in touch with the Evergreen Growers team.