ONE of the showiest plants in gardens now is the plant commonly known as flowering gum, or Western Australian flowering gum.
This has been flowering for weeks in many coastal and inland gardens and the combination of weather factors that induce blooming seems to have been spot on this past year, as they are prolific in their flowering.
Traditionally this species was grown from seed and flower colour could vary from cream to soft pink and many shades of orange and red.
However, they took many years to flower and because they are quite variable, you could never guarantee exactly what colour flower you were going to get.
Now, growing techniques have improved and known colour varieties are grafted on to rootstocks (often of Eucalyptus maculata, the spotted gum). This way you can select your colour and know that it will come true.
Also, grafting selected dwarf varieties has enabled these to be grown in large tubs.
Baby scarlet will only grow to about 3m high and wide and has brilliant scarlet flowers over summer and autumn.
Baby orange grows to the same height and width but with bright orange flowers.
They are great for attracting native birds to the backyard and can often be seen planted in nature strips.
Summer beauty is slightly larger at 5-7m high and 3-4m wide and has pale pink flowers, while summer red has vivid scarlet-red flowers on a 4-5m tree.
LAST year's cyclamen are starting to shoot away again so re-pot them in slightly larger pots with new potting mix and they'll take off.
Keep them in shaded areas away from the hot sun and keep moist.
Alternatively, plant pot specimens into a well-lit area of the garden out of direct sun and they will thrive.