Territory Stories

The Centralian advocate Tue 11 Dec 2018



The Centralian advocate Tue 11 Dec 2018


Centralian Advocate; NewspaperNT




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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Alice Springs; Tennant Creek (N.T.) -- Newspapers; Alice Springs (N.T.) -- Newspapers.; Australia, Central -- Newspapers

Publisher name

Nationwide News Pty. Limited

Place of publication

Alice Springs

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Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

Copyright owner

Nationwide News Pty. Limited



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24 LIFESTYLE TUESDAY DECEMBER 11 2018 CAVE01Z01MA - V1 GIVING plants over the festive season has a strong sense of intimacy and the personal touch is always appreciated. Constructing hanging baskets, herb collections, container gardens and low water use succulent gardens can provide hours of fun for the entire family and they can all be created at little cost and make for great Christmas gifts. Many plants either as individual specimens or as groups do well in hanging baskets. The range of species is almost limitless and any type of container can be used to house your plants. A range of ceramic, plastic and wire baskets can be purchased from your local nursery or you can make up your own. Wire baskets are easy and fun and can be made into a range of different shapes and sizes. These wire baskets can be lined with coconut fibre or paper bark. I like to if using these materials to then line the basket with plastic that is perforated with scores of small drainage holes. The plastic slows drainage and allows the potting soil to fully absorb the moisture on application, the holes then allowing for surplus water to then drain away freely. The plastic liner also limits the potential for the potting mix to spill from the hanger. A free draining quality potting soil should be used with a blend of slow release fertiliser and a wetting agent to improve the water holding capacity of the soil. Careful selection of species needs to be made choosing the right plant for particular locations. Consult with your local nursery person for suitable varieties. The asparagus fern (Asparagus springeri), the various forms of the ribbon or spider plant (Chlorophytum elatum variegatum), Ivy (Hedera helix) and the ivy leaved geranium (Pelargonium peltatum) are all popular plant varieties for the hanging basket that will tolerate a variety of locations. For an open or sunny location consider any of the asparagus varieties for a rich green foliage plant, the colourful Sturts desert pea, the rapid growing and spectacular flowering climber black-eyed Susan (Thunbergia alata) and a variety of small bougainvilleas. Most of the climbers and ground cover plants grow well in baskets along with a variety of small growing garden plants. Vincas (Billy goat stinkers), a range of succulents and even strawberries present well in baskets. For a patio or protected area try wandering Jew, the Sweet Potato Vine, the miniature Grape Ivy (Cissus striata), Devils Ivy or any number of the hardy ferns available. For inside consider the many differing syngoniums or philo dendrons, the devils ivy (Scindapsus aureus) or the more delicate fern varieties. Alternatively, put together a collection of plants in an attractive container. Ive had great fun using large enamel flat bowls. Simply drill or punch a few holes in the bottom of the bowl to facilitate good drainage and use only premium potting mix with a presence of slow release fertiliser. Moisten the potting mix and add your plant collection. Three to six succulents can make for an attractive collection. When the surface is dressed up with decorative pebbles, an attractive miniature log and anything else you wish to add you will have an attractive collection to give to someone as a gift. Alternatively, create a collection that has a particular theme. Fairy gardens are always a favourite for young children. In fact you can put together a package of various items and plants and with your young children be part of creating this miniature fairy garden or any garden that has a particular theme. You only have to note the fairy gardens that you can see annually at the Alice Springs Show. Collections of herbs are always appreciated, particularly people who live in units and have limited garden space. Parsley, basil, lemongrass and a little common mint hidden in the collection with a lovely chilli as the central plant feature complimented by some small colourful marigolds to add colour to the collection. Alternatively, you may not feel creative and may simply choose to purchase a single plant or collection of plants. Begonias in full bloom make for great gifts when presented in a hanging basket. Someone who has recently purchased a new house or has a garden that is undeveloped will appreciate a Lemon Tree for example or then they may want for a shade tree. Find out what they might want and take them to the nursery to purchase the plant of their choice. Again, I repeat a single plant or a collection of plants will bring joy to the recipient, so give thought to giving plants this festive season. Why not say it with a plant For an open or sunny location consider the colourful Sturts desert pea. Picture: SUPPLIED Strawberries present well in baskets. Picture: ANDY ROGERS For a patio why not try devils ivy. Picture: SUPPLIED

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain the names, voices and images of people who have died, as well as other culturally sensitive content. Please be aware that some collection items may use outdated phrases or words which reflect the attitude of the creator at the time, and are now considered offensive.

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