Crisp, clear air and the warming sun – when it’s not raining, winter in Sydney is absolutely beautiful outside (just don’t get us started on how cold our houses are!)

  • July is a good time to prune your wisteria, as the structure of the plant will be clearly visible. Clear out any dead branches to start with. A shapely wisteria will have one or more main trunk stems that carry it from the ground up to whatever supporting structure it is growing on. Select a few of the primary stems that branch outwards from your trunk to act as your scaffold – these are like the branches of your wisteria tree. Aim for a balanced scaffold with enough space to get sufficient light and ventilation. The coming flowers will occur on stems formed from last year’s growth (this is called second-year wood). The goal is to shorten these second-year side stems emerging from your scaffold branches to approximately four leaves in length, to create ‘spurs’ that focus the plant’s energy on flower formation.
  • Most lawn grass in Sydney is buffalo, also known as St Augustine grass – this coarse, dense species is a warm-season grass, as any lawn owner could attest. In winter it will grow hardly at all, so it’s important not to mow too low during the cooler months. With the sun lower in the sky, some parts of your lawn may not receive enough sun and will stop growing altogether, and you may notice thinner patches appearing, especially anywhere people tend to walk, or places where the soil stays damp for long periods. These can be mitigated to some extent through aeration and other techniques, but sometimes the better solution is to consider the layout and location of the lawn and whether these problem areas can be eliminated through design.
  • Winter annuals are a lovely way to lift the winter garden. Fast-growing, compact plants like violets and pansies, primroses and Polyanthus (our favourite!) are available in an array of colours and many are tolerant of the part-shade conditions common to Sydney gardens in winter. Try a pot of colour by the front door or in a hanging basket on the back verandah.

OUTHOUSE offers in-person consultations with qualified horticulturalists to help you get the most value out of your landscape. We can provide verbal advice, planting plans or a full landscape design. Get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

View past tips for July here!