April 2nd is ‘light it up blue’ for Autism Awareness. If you’re not sure what Autism actually is, PHD student Nicole Grant and our guest Occupational Therapist here at About the Garden, defines Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or autism as “the term given to the group of neurodevelopmental disorders that are characterised by:
- Difficulty with social interaction
- Poor communication skills, and
- Observed restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behaviour, interests, and activities.
There is no known cause and no known cure. However there are many interventions that focus on improving quality of life and helping children acquire new communication, interaction and daily living skills.”
Support those with Autism by planting Blue!
Let’s show support for those with Autism by planting something blue in the garden this April. Here are a few flower garden choices:
(A) Scaevola aemula ‘Aussie Spirit
The Scaevola aemula ‘Aussie Spirit’, grows into a miniature shrub up to 60cm high, unlike most Scaevola which are strictly a groundcover. Scaevola is a fast- growing, Australian native ground cover which bears pretty, fan- shaped flowers from spring to autumn. Their traditional mid-blue or white flowers now come in all shades of blue, pink, and mauve. Give them full sun and don’t overwater once established.
(B) Convolvulus ‘Moroccan Beauty’
Very dense and compact plant which is ideal as a ornamental and dry tolerant ground cover. It has larger than normal, mid blue, funnel-like flowers which bloom throughout the warmer months. Best of all it is low maintenance and easy to grow. Will cascade over rocks and walls.
(C) Agapanthus ‘Goldstrike’
Compact habit with broad golden foliage, Agapanthus ‘Goldstrike’ has a masses of deep blue striped blooms in the warmer months. Is a stunning border and star performer on the deck or patio. Best of all this plant is low maintenance and performs well in dry areas. For plant health, remove old flower heads once flowers are finished if desired.
(D) Viola ‘Blue Moon’
This adorable little viola is compact and free flowering with a delightful light fragrance. Lovely in pots, rockeries, hanging baskets or as a border plant. Will grow well in most soil types that are moist but well drained. Keep moist during summer and avoid hot afternoon sun. Make sure the plant has afternoon shade in hot summer. For increased performance in Autumn, cut the plant back after Summer flowering.
Other Blue Autumn Flower Plants
- Plumbago – Royal Cape
- Evolvulous Pilosis – Blue Sapphire
Other Blue Autumn Plant: Dianella ‘Little Devil’
A wonderful plant for commercial spaces, pots and borders, Dianella ‘Little Devil’ has distinctive red new foliage growth, with a display of brilliant cobalt blue berries after flowering. Extremely hardy and dry tolerant this plant requires little water and once established, very dry tolerant requiring only occasional deep watering during extended periods of heat. Feed in spring with a slow release fertiliser formulated for natives. Pruning generally not required other than removing spent flower stems to tidy if preferred. No known pests or diseases.VISIT: Early Intervention Autism Decision Aid Autism Occupational Services