AUSSIE Winners is the apt name for the group of plant breeders who provide us with an enormous range of new or improved plants at very regular intervals.
These Aussie Winner plants - trees, climbers, shrubs, perennials, ground covers, flowering and/or perfumed can be relied upon to have improved performances and exceptional growth characteristics, and are easy to care for specimens.
This week, we bring you two which we're sure you will enjoy in your own gardens, and the first of these is one that has been around long enough to prove its claims - a marguerite daisy named Argyranthemum "polly".
Polly is certainly a hardy, healthy, lovely compact plant for borders, with green-blue foliage and pure white petalled daisies with a rich golden yellow eye.
Those in our garden flower right through the warm weather from spring through into early autumn, and one of their special attributes is they are self cleaning, requiring no dead heading to keep them look good and producing more flowers.
The second special plant is one of everyone's favourite native shrubs, the Callistemon.
This one is known as "hot pink" and what a beauty it is. Growing about 1.5m tall and 1m wide, hot pink has strong, straight branches ensuring the flowers will be easy to use in floral arrangements, and these mainly appear in spring, with a scattering during autumn.
Now is a good time to get them in and growing, ensuring a well grown bush covered in flowers in the coming spring.
They do best in a sunny situation with well-drained, fertile soil. They should be watered in well at planting time, and kept moist until they have established in their new home.
Hot Pink can be pruned to produce a good shape and size, and this should be done following the major flowering in spring. Add mulch about 5cm deep to conserve moisture, and keep the soil cooler for the surface roots.
They will also appreciate the addition of a well-balanced fertiliser coming into spring.
Consider growing a group of these as a centrepiece in an oval garden bed, with a border of Argyranthemum polly. What a delightful display that would make.
Then again, if you have a balcony or patio you'd like to decorate, these do well in pots, and could be multi-planted in a wide pot to contain both the Callistemon and two or three Argyranthemums, or singly to arrange as you wish.