Melbourne Cup week roses

Flowers Gardening

We take a look at one of the most iconic flower formations in Australia, the roses at Flemington on Melbourne Cup week.

Melbourne Cup week Roses:

Melbourne Cup week is hosted at the end of October or the beginning of November providing the gardeners at Flemington the perfect weather to get their flora blossoming come Melbourne Cup day (first Tuesday in November).

You can read more about the Melbourne Cup at

Chinese Photinia

Flowers Gardening Planting

Among the broad-leaved evergreens which hold places of high esteem as garden subjects, several species of the Asiatic genus photinia command particular attention. Chinese photinia (P. serrulata) is the best of these generally available for areas of moderate climate. At least three others introduced by E. H. Wilson were highly regarded in their native land and it is unfortunate that after so many years they are not better known here.

Photinias are limited in their natural distribution to the Japanese islands and eastern Asia. These plants have much in common with shadbushes and chokeberries, and their brilliant fruits carried in rounded panicles show close relationship to mountain-ashes. Another close relative is the popular toyon or Christmas-berry of California. The best known deciduous species, P. villosa, has been widely planted in Europe and North America, and it is not at all uncommon to find volunteer seedlings establishing themselves in many districts. Although a vigorous and attractive subject, this shrub has no marked advantages over the deciduous cousins noted above nor over the many fine stranvaesia or ornamental crabapples.

This is far from the case with Photinia serrulata, however. When one thinks of adding lustrous evergreen leaves with rich coppery red and pink tones in spring to the well-known beauties of shadbushes and crabapples, the prospect is exciting indeed. A British East India Company captain brought the first plants of Chinese photinia back with him from Canton in 1804. Within a few years Captain Kirkpatricks prize had become very popular and was fairly well distributed among gardening enthusiasts.

Shoots and young leaves of this plant command immediate attention because of their striking reddish coloration: buds, petioles and midribs usually retain this effect. The leaves are more or less oblong, from 4 to 8 inches long and with finely toothed margins, as the scientific name indicates. Oddly enough, although the leaves are evergreen and usually remain on the branchlets through the winter and even for several months longer in mild areas, they often show fine autumn coloration in tones of pink, something after the fashion of Carolina rhododendrons.

In earliest spring, even in March in Florida, Texas and Georgia, terminal buds expand into graceful rounded panicles, with many branches eventually measuring up to 6 inches across. Jewel-like flower buds open to show five petals and 20 delicate stamens at the center. Though less than half an inch across individually, these delicate flowers are showy because of their numbers as well as their setting lustrous evergreen foliage.


A Beautiful Flowering Specimen Plant

Flowers Gardening Planting

Berry-like fruits about 1/4 inch across mature during the summer and standout with increasing effectiveness as they turn bright red in the autumn. Their beauty and excellent lasting qualities in early winter have led to the name Christmas-berry being applied occasionally to this species, although this should be reserved for the relative found in California.

Chinese photinias have the reputation of growing best near large bodies of water, and this may be one reason for their popularity along the Pacific Coast. In the eastern states, it is doubtful they can be depended on farther north than Cape Cod, even near the coast, and plantings north of Maryland should be made with special care. It is interesting to note that a fine 8- to 10- foot specimen has been famous on Long Island, and several of about half this stature can be found in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

After you buy, a warm loamy soil and a situation offering protection from winds are the first things to look for in selecting a location for these photinias. Temperatures much below 5 degrees Fahrenheit for any length of time will cause damage unless the setting has been selected to bring about thorough ripening of growth towards middle or late summer. Dryness of the soil will accomplish this effectively, and yet, if foliage is to remain rich and lustrous, moisture must be fairly constant through autumn and winter. Plants should be set out only in early spring, with every encouragement to promote extensive root and shoot growth in May and June but a gradual tapering off by midsummer.

In most situations these shrubs are best grown as rounded specimens with many stems from the ground. In mild sections where winter injury is rarely a factor they can be developed as small trees with a single trunk. Striking foliage effects, in addition to attractive flowers and fruits, make these photinias feature subjects. Specimens can be used for accent and variety in border plantings framing a lawn or formal garden picture. They are also appropriate near large buildings where the transitions from one stage to another can be watched from windows and porches throughout the year.

Appropriate companion subjects include flowering cherries, camellias, magnolias and other first-rank garden favorites. It is also difficult to surpass the effect of a photinia or two in a grouping with fine specimens of pines and other tree conifers.

  • Pruning Red Tip Photinias

More On Photinias

  • Photinia Pink Marble

In recent years weve all got used to those photinias with their bright red young growth. Theyre evergreen, vigorous, easy to grow, and colourful.

  • Japanese Photinia in Autumn

I took this photo today. These small trees are Japanese Photinia. It is popular as hedge. Those red ( not green ) leaves are fresh leaves. ( Colour of the leaf turns to green from red ).

  • Photinia Red Robin Leaf Spot How To Keep It Under Control

Photinia Red Robin Leaf Spot can be unsightly but there is no need to use chemicals follow our tips and keep the spots at bay.

  • Photinia

I love this shrub it has lovely green leaves that change to russety brown and little clusters of white flowers in spring. I would like another one to put somewhere else in the garden too but we are running out of room!

  • Red-tipped Photinia X Fraseri And Photinia Serrulata

Also, siting photinia where air circulation is best helps (though that doesnt help your already-huge shrubs, does it?) This means not planting them too close to each other, as is often done to create hedges.

As we continue to provide information on flower gardening for beginners and flower gardening tips on a variety of flowering plants like the Photinia please let us know of any other topics you may be interested in.


Fall Gardening Tips Flower Gardening Tips

Flowers Gardening Planting

Why FALL Planting? Experienced gardeners prefer fall planting. Not for all plants, but for a great many that the beginner seldom thinks of setting out except in spring.

Unless you are in a very cold section of the country, roses planted in fall take hold better than do spring-set bushes. So do most fruit trees and bushes, other deciduous trees and shrubs and many evergreens. The majority of hardy perennials, too, respond best when moved in autumn rather than in spring. Fall planting is advantageous to the gardener too. Over most of North America spring is short, its days all too crowded. Despite carefully made plans and the best intentions, it is usually physically impossible to accomplish all the planting and other work that needs doing. This is true if you do the work yourself; it is so if you hire professional help.

In the mad rush of spring, skilled Gardeners and nurserymen seem to be almost as scarce as the proverbial hen’s tooth, and if you succeed in corralling one (or more), chances are he will be so rushed that your planting may be done less carefully than had you employed him at a more leisurely season. But plantwise, why is fall the best time to set out most material? The first point to recognize is that the operation we call planting is actually transplanting. It consists of moving a living plant from one place to another in such a fashion that it will become reestablished.

Roots of fall transplants are able to continue growth long after top growth has ceased, because the ground beneath remains warm and moist even after the upper inch or two is frozen. Therefore, new roots, generate readily from the cut and broken ends of transplants, enabling them to rapidly re-establish their root systems. Contrast this with conditions that prevail in spring. Then all factors that favor vigorous top growth (with its resulting heavier demands upon the roots) are at work. Days are lengthening, the sun strengthening. Winds are stealing water from every stem and leaf. And as the leaves increase in size and number, the demand for water and nutrients increases correspondingly. Are there any disadvantages to fall planting? Yes, in some cases there’s danger of winterkilling. Winter is the crucial period for plants on the border-line of hardiness in any given locality, plants which are so close to being tender and winterkilled anyway that the root disturbance tips the balance against them.

For such plants spring transplanting is safer, because in order to survive the winter, these borderline plants need a fully established root system. Planted in spring, they have a whole growing season in which to re-root before being called upon to face the rigors of winter. Transplanting done too late for the particular plant type may also result in winterkilling. In such cases there simply is not sufficient time for adequate rooting before the under soil becomes too cold. Then, too, heaving (soil movement due to alternate freezing and thawing) can tear and break roots, and with smallish items, such as rock garden plants and perennials, this may cause so much damage that serious harm or death results. However, precautions can be taken to minimize this danger. On the negative side, one other factor must be taken into account. Experience has proved that a few plants transplant better in spring (preferably late spring) than in fall. These include some subjects with more or less fleshy roots, such as magnolias and beeches. If you have any doubts about a particular plant, check with an experienced gardener.


In fall, use only slowly available fertilizers such as coarse bonemeal, pulverized sheep manure or prepared mixtures that have much of their nitrogen content in organic form.  The details of preparing the soil depend upon the particular plants to be set out. In any case, see that the preparation is thorough and, if possible, have it completed well in advance of planting. This gives the earth time to settle somewhat and makes firm planting at the right depth easier. Roses require a little different kind of winter protection. After the top inch of earth has frozen, bill the soil high around the bases of the stems to protect the lower buds, and fill the hollows between the hills with loose manure or some other mulch material.

Let’s take a look now at the best fall planting times for the different plant types. Evergreens should go in first. These have to support a crop of leaves all winter and so need plenty of time to develop ample roots. Deciduous trees and shrubs, excepting those few kinds that move better in spring, may be safely planted considerably later than evergreens. Put them in any time between the start of natural leaf fall and the first hard ground freeze.

Roses should be planted as soon as obtainable, and planting may continue until frost makes it impracticable. Perennials and biennials should be planted as soon as possible after the first killing frost to enable them to root well before the soil freezes.