Have you considered turning over a new leaf?
IN 2017, I will:
1. Compost all my food scraps with a mix of materials that guarantee I cut down on bin waste and produce rich hummus for the garden.
2. Mulch, mulch, mulch, to reduce watering, heat stress and weeds.
3. Rotate veggie plants between two beds to allow the soil to rejuvenate between crops with pea crops and other fertiliser.
4. Investigate homemade or eco solutions to combatting pests to avoid killing beneficial experts and bees and to reduce harm to the environment.
5. Swap cuttings with other gardeners and learn how to propagate.
6. Spoil myself by planting more of the fragrant bushes, like gardenia, that I love.
7. Explore native, drought-tolerant plants as an alternative to exotics.
8. Watch more gardening shows and visit more open gardens to get inspiration.
9. Keep a gardening diary so I know when to fertilise and when to watch for pests, as well as be able to track plant growth.
10. Share and swap the excess produce that I grow, such as lemons, with neighbours and friends.
What are your New Year gardening resolutions?
Leptospermums, commonly known as teatrees, are a group of plants native to Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia.
Clever plant breeders have been working with teatrees to enhance the range of flower colours and improve their performance in home gardens.
Mesmer Eyes is a striking variety of leptospermum that has large flowers which open white and change to pink as they age. The flowers have striking dark centres and stamens that resemble eye lashes - hence the name Mesmer Eyes - and will attract nectar-feeding birds and insects into the garden.
This variety grows to about 1.5m tall and 1m across and is both drought and frost hardy once established.
To help keep Mesmer Eyes tidy and compact, trim back well after the spring flowering flush and feed with a gentle organic plant food specifically tailored for Australian native plants.
Herb of the week: Lemongrass
It's easy to start to grow lemongrass from cuttings or fresh stalks. Snip off an inch or two from the end of the leaves, and put the base end in a glass of water. Leave somewhere sunny, and you should start to see roots sprouting from the bottom of the stalk in about a week or two. Once your stalk has roots at least an inch long, you can plant it. Its woody nature helps prevent too much damage from the heat.