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Bring some colour to your garden as well as birdlife
If you are looking to spruce up your garden this spring, what better way than to head on up to Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens, a short 18 km drive south-east of the city of Adelaide set in the beautiful Adelaide Hills and attend one of the regular plant sales.
Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens - Source: Graeme Fanning
The diverse array of plants, both native and non-native are lovingly nurtured by the Friends of the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide, who are on hand to grant free advice on what will grow well in your garden, based on positioning, colour schemes, type of soil, type of plant, size of plant etc.
This event is held on the fourth Sunday of each month, with just two more sales remaining for the year, one on Sunday 25 October and the other, Sunday 22 November from 10.30 am until 2.30 pm. This of course will be subject to the weather and if there has been a designated catastrophic weather alert announced in the Mount Lofty Ranges, in which case the Botanic Gardens will be closed and the sale may then be transferred to the North Lodge, Adelaide Botanic Gardens.
The sale occurs adjacent to the lower car-park in Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens, Lampert Road (off Piccadilly Road).
Easy access is also available for you to not only stock up with the view of sprucing up your own garden, but to linger awhile longer and explore 100 hectares of native bush land transformed into a magnificent cool temperate garden with species of plants from around the world.
Examples of trails include the colourful Rhododendron Gully Trail, as well as the 850 metre long Nature Trail which you will need to allow between 1 hour and 1.5 hours one way.
A great place also to bring a packed picnic lunch to and enjoy the serene surroundings!
The Friends of the Botanic Gardens are made up of a dedicated band of volunteers who have a passion for keeping the gardens in top condition and one sector is known as the Growing Group.
This group was formed originally to foster an interest in plant propagation and nursery management and have the ability to raise funds to continue support for the gardens with their regular plant sales.
Whether it be a seed, soft or hardwood cuttings, the small group of approximately 8 volunteers are able to propagate and cultivate plants from all three Botanic Gardens - Mount Lofty, Adelaide and Wittunga.
Plant types, species and colours vary from sale to sale, however the detail provided by the Growing Group on the plant tag, together with their on-site advice really make you feel you are fully informed and satisfied with your purchases.
One such plant is the Tagetes Lemonii (or Garden Marigolds) which originates in both Mexico and Arizona, US and grows up to around 1 metre - 1.5 metres tall and 1 metre wide. It produces golden yellow flowers and the foliage smells of ripe passionfruit.
Another example is Kunzea Ciliata (Native to WA) which is a small shrub which grows between 0.5 metres to 1 metre in height and 1 metre wide, producing pink flowers which are known for attracting birds to your garden.
The cost of the plants normally works out around $7 per pot which is exceptional value in this day and age and approximately a week before the sale, the specific plants that will be available on the day are outlined on their websit www.friendsbgadelaide.com/#!growing-group/c10rs.
This list of plants can be printed out and taken with you on the day of the sale, and what is great about it is the detail you have at your fingertips, which will help you make an informed decision once you go to select your plants.
Included in the download are Botanical Name, Common Name, Country or region of origin, and details of each plant.
Therefore if you are striving for a particular look and feel for your garden, there is no doubt you should be able to pick up some bargains at the regular sale.
Green thumbs up for some happy and creative gardening this Spring.
It's a bonus to have people who can advise on what grows in the area. I live in Melbourne and we went to a similar sale at the local botanic gardens years ago where I bought plants earmaked as native to our suburb. They are all mature and growing beautifully now with a absolute miminum of maintenance.