These will keep shining in shade
GARDEN lovers who have established gardens often find some of their trees have grown somewhat larger than they expected so they have areas receiving very little sun, necessitating re-planning and replanting.
Happily, there are many plants to suit these areas.
Think of all the indoor plants you have enjoyed for years as starters.
Naturally, not all of those are suitable, but you'll find a great many that will be.
A quick look at our veranda suggests some good ones.
Some Bromeliads will love that shelter and you'll find some fine specimens in most garden centres, while Bromagic Bromeliad Nursery at 421 Hunchy Road, Palmwoods, has a wonderful selection, and expert help as well.
Fuchsias are another gorgeous plant that many folk have difficulty with, and while we could grow them in the cooler climate of Mapleton, we now find they grow in Nambour as well, so long as they receive only some early morning sun and have a light but shady spot.
Then there are the popular Anthuriums, Spathyphillums, philodendrons, many of the azalea family, and most ferns including maidenhairs (Adiantum sp.) and the broad range of pteris ferns, while up above you can include such beauties as the epiphytic Platycerium family of staghorns and elkhorns to decorate the tree trunks.
The fascinating bat flower - Tacca integrifolia - a magnificent statement plant, thrives in understorey situations where there is moist, well-drained soil.
Their leaves are similar to peace lilies but very large, while the flowers that last over long periods are white, with surrounding purple bracts, and long whiskers. You'd be the pride of the neighbourhood with one or more of those in your garden.
This is the ideal time to check for some of the nasties that can ruin your favourite plants by hiding cosily behind or in the foliage and starting their dirty work.
Prime movers are scale and mealy bugs, and if you can find them early enough, they're very easy to remove by hand.
They have no respect of your feelings for plants so check indoors, and anywhere outdoors as you go about your usual jobs.
If you discover them on indoor plants, take them out to a shady spot to treat them as you should any other affected plants in the garden, with a good spray of Confidor. Leave the indoor plants to dry off, then replace them in your home.
Confidor tablets are an excellent product to keep on hand, and besides their many other uses, they are good for using on potted indoor and outdoor palms to keep them free of scale, for example.
Throughout the year, you'll find them handy for preventing problems such as azalea lace bug, those dreadful pimple psyllids on lilypillies, and of course scales, aphids and mealybugs.
The tablets also contain soluble plant nutrients to boost your plant growth and protect them.
Barbara Ford will be presenting How to Make a Solar Food Dryer at the Yandina Community Gardens on the corner of Farrell and North St, on Saturday from 9.30am.
Lasting about 90 minutes to two hours, these workshops are free, and there's no need to book.
Just go prepared to enjoy it.
The other big item is the forthcoming Queensland Home Garden Expo, which is the highlight of every gardener's year in this part of the world.
Last year, having broken all previous records, they're well set to do even more, with some 60 plant sites booked, ensuring that whatever type of plant appeals to you, you'll find it there.
Added to that, almost every plant guru in Queensland will be in attendance, so don't miss out.
Mark July 6-8 on your calendar now.