At Shadowlands we grow our plants with good growing media and great nutrition, aiming to send you plants that are well fed, strong and energetic, just waiting to get into your pots and garden. We include controlled release fertiliser in the compost to tide our pots over the few days it takes them to move from our nursery, through a Garden Centre and into your garden.

Our plants are all grown in coir, the pith and fibre that surround the fruit of coconuts. It has some very interesting properties; it drains very well which very importantly means that after watering, air returns to the soil quite quickly. Plants do a significant amount of breathing” through the root system. The structure does not change quickly over time and we can manage the pH easily allowing that all nutrients remain available to our plants. A downside of good drainage is that the soil may dry out quickly, so although coir reabsorbs water easily, do water your plants well, allow a bit of absorption time and then water again before planting them out.

You can get similar compost under the name “Coco Compact Potting Soil” at most Garden Centres. Find it under roof, often near the seed packet section, in the form of a compressed briquette. Follow the preparation instructions on the packet; it needs to have water added and a little time allowed to absorb water, swell and fluff out into an excellent potting soil - children will have such fun watching this process. A little base fertiliser is already included - a big plus. Use it as a compost mixed into your garden soil or as a straight compost in your pots. Keep your pots moist and use liquid feed regularly.

Among our favourite plants at present are our Inticancha Series of Inca Lilies. Available in reds, pinks, purples and whites. These stem from an excellent breeding program and are developed as container varieties and are suited to the garden. To flower well, the soil needs to be cool, so although they don't mind a fairly sunny spot, avoid hot north and west aspects. Mulch well and keep plants moist. As each stems finishes flowering, pull the stem out to stimulate more flowers. Our own original plants are now repeat flowering for the third season. Indian Summer is a single “border” variety and is much taller than Inticanchas. A stunning flame orange colour on slightly purple leaves that are tall enough to harvest for the vase - and they produce many many stems. These have produced flowers for us almost year round. Plants of Indian Summer are still in very short supply, so keep your eyes open for an opportunity to get some.

Don't be shy to madly add Supertunias such as Vista Bubblegum and Silverberry to a mix with Inticancha.- these to cascade out of your pots in a riot of flower.

Daisy Mae's are a compact white “Michaelmas Daisy” out of stunning Proven Winners breeding that will show up so well over plantings of purple “Brasco Violet” and the NEW pink “Radiant Magenta” Brachyscome. These Brachyscome - small daisy like delights - also make super hanging basket plants. Many months of happiness.

Ipomoea varieties also out of Proven Winners are a fascinating crop. These are in truth Sweet Potatoes and do produce tubers (although not well enough for eating). These do stem from vegetable breeding, but are bred for their strong yellow through purple foliage for cascading from pots and as groundcover. These will return year after year. These are vigorous plants so combine with equally energetic Supertunias. You might combine them with new Home Grown South African Agapanthus breeding such as White and Purple Flash, Blue Bayou and more; these will flower through midsummer for up to 6weeks and provide stunning contrast to your Ipomoea.

For shadier pot planting, “Mona Lavender” remains an excellent Plectranthus shrub, while the NEW “Jazz it Up” breeding from Proven Winners, bring new colour options and maybe extended flowering.

A good airy soil or compost will allow good air properties for plants to breath and sufficient drainage for you to water and liquid feed often. A mad mix of colour and textures can never go wrong - plants find their own way to complement and bring the best from a planting - No Worries!

DECEMBER NEWS