Grow

Colour for spring

Pink Paper Diasy

Flowers are coming back into fashion. At last gardens are moving away from the spiky, clumping plants that have been so much in favour in recent years. While there will always be a place for structured plants, there’s nothing quite as inspiring as a garden filled with colourful flowers.

As well as changing fashions, many speculate that the recent good rains in much of the country have inspired gardeners to start growing flowers again.

In spring Yates launched its Uplift Flower Growing Challenge and truth to tell, we were a bit unsure – given the current interest in vegetable gardening – of how it would be received. Well, with more than 4000 entries, we needn’t have worried. Each entrant had to grow their flowers from seed and nurture them through to blooming stage. The journey was diarised and illustrated on the Yates website and visitors to the site were asked to vote on their favourite garden. The overall winner was awarded a $1000 gift card.

This success proved that there is still plenty of interest in growing flowers, and autumn is the best time of year to get started.

Where to grow

Beds devoted solely to flowers can look stunning but they require a fair amount of space. Better to mix flowers amongst the shrubs or, if space is at a premium, plant them in pots that can be moved into prominent spots when the plants are in top form. Most flowers need a reasonable amount of sun but some – such as aquilegias, lobelias, primulas and cinerarias – will grow in light shade.

Prepare and care

Mix some organic compost or manure into the soil to fluff it up. Or, for pots, buy a top quality potting mix such as Yates Professional. Add some Dynamic Lifter pellets which will give gentle encouragement to the growing roots. At planting time, water in with Yates Uplift organic Root Booster. Feed with Uplift Plant Food or Thrive Soluble. Once the plants approach maturity, Thrive Flower & Fruit will encourage continual blooming. Have a Yates Rose Gun Advanced on hand to nip pest and disease problems in the bud as soon as they appear.

What to grow

Here are some top favourites:


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