Plant of the Month – July 2019

‘Ello Aloe!

It’s Christmas in July time! That means we’re stoking the fire, roasting Sunday dinners, sipping mulled wine, all while wearing multiple layers of socks and pants. Because of Sydney’s mild climate the architecture generally didn’t account for winter. This means that although the winter is brief, we feel like we’re living inside snow domes for the duration.

Thankfully, outside in the garden we get the real benefits of a temperate climate. The lack of frost in the majority of Sydney means tropical and arid plants live on quite happily through the cold season without turning to mush.

Aloe, of which there are over 500 species, are a tough sculptural addition to the garden. They are perfect for Australian climate, storing water in their fleshy leaves and roots that can carry them through our dry spells. Give them a spot with good drainage and plenty of sun and they will gift you with being relatively free of pests and flower throughout the year.

Aloe flowers are a particular joy in winter. Their hot orange and yellow flower stalks appear like flaming torches in the garden and are tempting enough to cut and bring inside to warm the house! Plant Aloe vera for a summer salve that works magic on sunburn – more on that when summer comes!