With all the very high rainfall of late you may find that some plant species will have difficulty coping with the waterlogged soil conditions and you may have some losses.
This loss or damage could take some time to show, but it’s all a part of gardening. At least it will indicate where you need to improve the drainage. If this is not possible (due to soil types or other factors) you may need to select more tolerant plant varieties.
This water logging condition may not be good for those gardeners who grow roses. So be aware if you have a rose bush that has succumbed to wet feet leading to root rot, you may well discover the surrounding soil has been infected by detrimental fungal pathogens which develop in sodden roots and soil surrounding the dead rose.
Replanting with a new rose in the existing soil may well lead to the bush becoming stunted or even the loss of the new rose. So along with improving the drainage it would be wise to at least treat the soil overall with a soil fungicide and I suggest even removing this (possibly) infected soil and replacing with a quality rose planting soil mix.
Do not use potting soil mediums this is not suitable for ground planting.
The hardy non native plant Photinia fraseri cultivar ‘Red Robin’ is used to create tough hedging and screening in a wide range of soil types. You would have seen this form employed all over our zone, wherever a fast easy to grow frost tolerant plant is needed. Now from the same genus is what the growers are referring to as a ‘new generation’ hybrid photinia called ‘Black Jack’. This large evergreen shrub is a cross between Photinia robusta and Photinia serruluta.
Capable of growing to 5 meters plus, this is a very robust form with the potential for use not only as a large hedge or screen but also as a maintainable windbreak or large specimen shrub.
The new leaf flush is somewhat darker, more maroon as opposed to the red flush of Photinia ‘Red Robin’.
Black Jack can be pruned hard if necessary. It produces creamy white flowers that are followed by small red apple shaped berries. I suggest you don’t employ Photinia ‘Black Jack’ amongst a hedge of ‘Red Robin’ due to its potential to grow with a different habit, unless this is the effect you want.
From the taller more robust forms of hedging that the Photinia’s can achieve, to the lower softer looking forms that the dwarf lillypillys can provide.
There are many varieties of lillypilly that are cultivated from syzigium australe . The dwarf form ‘Baby Boomer’ is widely used where a low hedge is desired. Growing to around 1 to 1 ½ meters unclipped. Baby Boomer is a very adaptable, dense evergreen shrub suitable for courtyards, poolside, hedging, tub culture, topiary and is regarded as playground friendly.
Grows well in most soils types and can handle part shade. Its root system is not known to be invasive when it comes to drainage pipes. If left unclipped it will produce white fluffy flowers amongst its evergreen shiny leaves. New leaf flush is bronze. One of the easiest low formal or informal hedges to grow. Just remember to feed it regularly with a good quality fertiliser suitable for Australian Native Plants.
Jon (Plantman) Lovett