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Green thumb guru

written by Rebecca Goulter

Spring has finally returned to Brisbane, which means it’s time to whip that garden back into shape!  We spoke with one of our plant experts, Warren from My Plants, about how to revamp your patch of Eden.

Warren has been a fixture at Brisbane MarketPlace for years, and is known for bestowing sage advice upon gardening novices.  We asked Warren what his top tips are for sprucing up the garden.
“Now that winter is over, it’s the time to mulch and fertilise,” Warren says.  All of your plants have a lot of growing to do, and like anything that grows quickly it has a big appetite.  Mulching with pure manure, or any good quality mulch loaded with nutrients, will be rewarding once it comes time to flower (coincidentally, Warren is giving away a free bag of sugar cane mulch any time you spend $100 or more in Spring).
Warren also recommends using this time to prune your native plants.  Australian natives like to flower in late winter to early spring.  Once they’re done flowering, give the tips a bit of a prune.  This will help prevent disease, and increase your plants growth by diverting more energy into side shoots.  The same logic applies to hedges, so if you’re after privacy from the neighbours now is the time to give them some love!

We asked Warren about his top picks for planting in Spring.  He’s a fan of shrubbery, so of course the classic Lilly pilly (above) was at the top of his list.  “Go either the Resilience or the Backyard Bliss variety” he recommends.  “It’s great for screening and hedging, no work and no fuss.”  These strains don’t get much taller than 2 or 3 meters, so they’re a great low maintenance option.
Second on his list is the Murraya, otherwise known as Mock Orange (pictured right).  “It’s the best formal hedging plant, as a box hedge it can’t be beaten”.  The Murraya grows up to 4m in height, so keep it trimmed.  But in Spring and Summer the beautifully scented flowers are unbeatable.
For the ambitious grower, have a crack at starting a rose garden.  Warren warns that they can be very finicky with regards to soil so you need to get that right from the get-go.  Ensure your soil has a neutral pH, is loose and loamy and receives a lot of water and you’ll be golden.  While roses might be a hassle to get started, if you get it right you’ll be the envy of all of your neighbours with your fabulously scented garden.  Roses come in a rainbow of colours, and you’ll never have to buy a bouquet again. So there you have it!  Warren’s top tips for Spring planting.  Make sure you stop by and visit My Plants at the Saturday Fresh Market and Sunday Discovery Market for more advice, and a personalised gardening plan.  Warren’s range is always changing and you never know what might attract your fancy.
Happy planting!