A sea of colourful flowers and lush green lawn greets visitors to Fairymead House with its gardens lovingly tended by Council’s Botanic Gardens parks team.
Currently hitting its stride in the warm spring conditions, area supervisor Botanic Gardens and horticulture Cody Johnson said the garden was designed to accentuate the house’s heritage charm.
“This is achieved by using some floral aspects with block plantings and hedges, which are complimented by large shade trees,” Cody said.
“There is quite a diverse species palette within the Fairymead House garden.
“Some of the more notable would include several mature Magnolias a large Silk Floss Tree and the iconic Cuban Royal Palms.
“The Agapanthus in the front garden will also be flowering through November and always grabs some attention.”
Cody said the manicured garden was quite labour intensive.
“Due to the shady aspect and exotic species used as understorey plantings, pest treatment is required throughout, however a healthy plant is more pest resistant and that is our mantra here in the Botanic Gardens.
“There are a lot of hedges of various species throughout, and people tend to overdo their hedging regime causing hedges to be in constant shock and therefore looking more sparse.
“Being in tune with your hedge species and knowing when to forgo a hedge to allow it to flower can have a striking affect when timed right.”
Cody said spring was a great time to establish new plants as the weather continues to warm.
For anyone looking to achieve a similar floral array to the Fairymead House garden, here are Cody’s top tips:
- Research species.
- Plan your intended design and flowering times.
- Soil health is very most important. We turn organic materials back into the soil prior to each new planting (Worm activity is a great sign).
- Evenly spaced plantings.
- Stay on top of weeds until your chosen plants have covered any bare soil.
- In the first month pinch off any flower buds and use a nitrogen heavy fertiliser application to encourage energy toward plant growth.
- Consistent watering
- Enjoy the results
To achieve the pristine Fairymead House garden lawn, the team undertakes two main fertilising regimes in April and September in addition to its regular maintenance.