The Garden Diaries: New South Wales in January

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It’s summer time and hot in New South Wales and the ACT but it’s still a fabulous time to be out in the garden. Here are some ideas to keep your backyard looking beautiful.

Hero plant this month: Australian natives

In store this month, there is a great range of trees and shrubs that are perfect for your garden.  

Some favourites to check out include callistemons and grevilleas. Both species put on a fantastic display with their foliage and flowers. Plant them to attract birds and other beneficial insects.

Callistemons grow in most areas of Australia and are at their floriferous best in spring. Prune after flowering to keep the shrub in good, compact shape and encourage more blooms.

With more than 360 species including ground covers, shrubs, and trees there’s sure to be a grevillea that suits your landscape.

A variety of potted Australian natives

What else to plant

An excellent small tree to plant in summer is a crepe myrtle, Lagerstroemia sp. Featuring pretty flowers in a range of colours from white through to red, and interesting bark, they make a great feature in the garden.

Other options include climbers, such as mandevillas, which are hardy and put on a great show in summer. The trick with these plants is not to overwater and plant in well-drained soil, or a pot.

If you’re looking for an explosion of summer colour, then begonias, geraniums, impatiens, marigolds and petunias are good, hardy, sun-loving choices.

Put in some edibles too. Plant beans, lettuce, corn and herbs such as coriander, and basil. 

If the weather is hot, keep a weather-eye on young plants, be sure they are well watered, or leave them in pots in a sheltered spot until the scorching days have passed.

Bush tucker plants


There’s plenty to do to keep your garden in shape. If you’ve got a Christmas bush, prune it after flowering. Remove spent agapanthus flowers to stop the seeds spreading and tidy up the bush.

Deadheading promotes new growth, so remove any dead flowers from plants such as azaleas, gardenias and other perennials. To keep them in good shape, don’t be frightened to prune plants that are looking overgrown.

Depending on their needs, different plants require specific fertilisers. Azaleas, camellias and blueberries are acid lovers, so pick a suitable fertiliser to keep them looking good. If you’re unsure about what to get, ask in store for some advice.  But remember don’t fertilise on a really hot day as it may burn the plants.

Keep the water up to your plants. An early morning watering regime is ideal as it allows the plants to gain maximum benefit. Adding a wetting agent can also help the soil retain moisture.

A person pruning the garden


It’s the perfect time to harvest summer crops. There’s nothing like home-grown tomatoes, which taste delicious, zucchini should be plentiful, so be vigilant and don’t let them grow too large on the bush, also enjoy cucumbers, and radishes. Keep an eye out for ripe strawberries and pick these before the birds do.

After all the hard work, things should be looking great, so get out in the backyard and enjoy your garden. Just remember to keep well hydrated, wear a hat and apply sun cream.

A variety of fresh fruits and herbs

Start planting today

Check out the wide range of plants online or visit your local Bunnings Warehouse to find out how you can bring your garden to life.

Our Perfect Plant Promise

Remember the Perfect Plant Promise. All our plants (except seedlings) are guaranteed for 12 months. If you're not 100 percent happy, return your plant (with receipt or tax invoice) and we'll refund it.

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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