Real World Gardener Delicious Dragon Fruit is Plant of the Week

April 24th, 2017

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Dragon Fruit 

Hylocereus undadatus

 

Not every plant that gets featured in this segment is your typical perennial, whether it’s a shrub, bush or ground-cover.

 

From time to time, we like to delve into the unusual but ornamental and sometimes just downright functional and even edible.

 

Some fruits come from trees, think peaches, apples pears: 

 

Some from climbers, -passionfruit, raspberries, 

 

A a few others grow on cacti.

 

You might think of a prickly pear for cactus fruit, but today’s plant fits into the last category. 

 

Highly ornamental, edible, yet growing on a cactus.

Let’s find out about this plant.

 

I'm talking with he plant panel: Karen Smith, editor of Hort Journal www.hortjournal.com.au and Jeremy Critchley, The Green Gallery wholesale nursery owner. www.thegreengallery.com.au

 

Dragon fruit are considered super fruit, and their flowers are spectacular,so that’s reason enough to get planting one.

Sometimes the flower of this cactus if referred to as "Queen of the Night."

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Dragon fruit flower

This title makes it seems that you have to out there with a torch to observe the brilliance and inhale the perfume. 

But as Karen points out, the flower often last well into daylight hours, so we can all breathe a sigh of relief.

Certainly it last long enough for moths or bats to come by and pollinate it so every gardener can enjoy the unusual fruit.

 
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Real World Gardener Colour For Autumn Around Australia in Design Elements

April 24th, 2017

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Plectranthus_ecklonii.jpg

Plectranthus ecklonii

Plants for Colour in Autumn in All Climate Zones Around Australia.

 

Are you thinking about annuals when it comes to choosing colour for Autumn?

Perhaps you have a tree with spectacular Autumn colour?

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Camellia "Star Above Star"

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Lavatera maritima

Whatever you decide, there’s always one more thing that you can add to bring in extra zing to your garden.

 

Let’s find out what’s the best colour for Autumn in your district.

I'm talking with Peter Nixon, Director of Paradisus Garden Design. 

www.peternixon.com.au 

 

 

Don’t just think of showy flowers like annuals, but perennials whether sub-shrubs, small trees.

Don’t you just want to rush out and get Camellia Start Above Star which is not the normal variety of Camellia?

Peter of course mentioned quite a few choices for various climates around Australia.

  • Warm coastal zones-Plectranthus ecklonii, a sub-shrub.
  • Cooler Gardens-Camellia vernalis "Star Above Star.
  • Tropical gardens-Syzygium wilsonii, the Powder Puff Lilly Pilly
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Real World Gardener amazing Olive Backed Oriole is Wildlife in Focus

April 24th, 2017

WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

Olive Backed Oriole Oriolus sagittatus

 

What would you pick for the top songbird in Australia or perhaps just in your district?

Perhaps the Magpie, or Butcher bird, or for those who are a bit more savvy with bird identification and bird calls, would you pick the Figbird? Australia does make the top 40 songbirds in the world, but would you have picked this next one?

 

Oriolus_sagittatus_-Canberra%252C_Austra

Olive Backed Oriole (Oriolus saggitatus) Picture of the Olive-backed Oriole has been licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution.

 

Olive Backed Oriole (Oriolus saggitatus) Picture of the Olive-backed Oriole has been licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution.

 

Did you know that not only does the Oriole like to live in woodlands and rainforests, but leafy urban areas that plenty of trees.

You may have heard the call and not realised what bird it the call belonged to.

 

Let’s find out.  I'm talking with Dr Holly Parsons, Manager of Birds in Backyards.

As Holly mention, the Oriole is found along coastal and near inland strips in northern and eastern Australia from Broome WA, to the south-east of South Australia; plus around Adelaide.

 

These birds are really good at hiding themselves especially the fact that they can throw their calls and mimic other birds such as magpies.

 

All in all, making it a challenge to find them, but surprisingly they can be found in urban areas that are leafy and green.

 

Listen out for the "orry-orry-oriole" call, which is their genuine call.

 

If you have any questions about the Olive Backed Oriole or have some photos to share, why not drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

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Real World Gardener Pecan Trees in Plant of the Week

April 17th, 2017

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Pecan Tree 

Carya illinoinensis

Ever thought of having a productive tree in your garden besides that lemon tree that a lot of people seem to have?

You can have nice shade trees that also provide you with some food, whether it’s a cherry tree, peach or apple tree.

But do people ever think of planting this next tree?

The plant panel were Karen Smith, editor of Hort Journal www.hortjournal.com.au and Jeremy Critchley, The Green Gallery wholesale nursery owner. www.thegreengallery.com.au

The pecan tree is a deciduous tree of the Hickory genus  and at full maturity, it will grow to around 30 metres with a spread of 12 m.

The gray trunk is shallowly furrowed and flat-ridged with upward branches forming an irregular, rounded crown. 

The tree has a narrow silhouette.

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Pecan tree with nuts photo M Cannon

 

Pecan  varieties available are -Shoshonii, Desirable;Kiowa, Mohawk,Cape Fear, Pawnee.

Be warned: Pecans start fruiting after about 8 years so be prepared to wait although Pecans can live for up to 300 years.

On the plus side, unlike other nut varieties, Pecans only require 200 hours of chilling, that means hours less than 7 °C

Pecan trees can be purchased as bare rooted plants, that means plants without any soil, during the winter months when the tree is without leaf.

 

Possibly your local nursery may have one or you can mail order them from quite a few places on the internet.

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Real World Gardener Colour Trends in Design Elements

April 17th, 2017

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com

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The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition. DESIGN ELEMENTS

Fashion Colour Trends for Your Garden!

But did you know that there is a colour trend for plants as well.
Green of course is part of that colour trend, but if you’re yet to pick a colour scheme, or don’t have one, or just want to change from year to year, you may well just want to follow the fashion trend in your garden.

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Let’s find out this years trends.
I'm talking with Matt Leacey, Landscape Designer and Principal Director of Landscapes Landart.

PLAY: Colour Trends in the landscape_12 April 2017

Matt has an established career in the landscape design industry, and is the current President of the LNA Master Landscapers Association.

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He also co-hosted Nine’s Garden Gurus and three seasons of Domestic Blitz.
Matt likes dark deep colours for outdoor structures, like walls, fencing, the house.
For plants he likes a lot of lush green foliage punctuated with silver foliage.

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Real World Gardener Lemon Verbena in Spice it Up

April 17th, 2017

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com

REALWORLD GARDENER NOW ON FACEBOOK

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s

SPICE IT UP

Lemon Verbena Alloysia citriodora (syn. Lippia citriodora)

This is a herb with a multitude of uses;

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Lemon Verbena photo M Cannon

 

There are a few plants whose leaves are great in cooking, making herbal teas and when the leaves are dried, they’re good for a number of things including pot pourri.

So many uses for just one plant, let's find out more?

 

Ian's mum and dad had a grove of 12 Lemon Verbena trees that grew to 2 metres in height.

The leaves were harvested to make sleep pillows and pot pourri.

Lemon verbena pillows sound devine.

They ‘re made of dried leaves of Lavender (Lavandula vera is the best) to help you sleep, Rose petals for sweet dreams and Lemon Verbena, to help you wake refreshed.

Chopped finely, it makes a neat substitute for lemon zest.

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Lemon Verbena Tea photo M Cannon

Try Lemon Verbena tea; it's very refreshing or make Panna Cotta infused with Lemon Verbena.

To prune your Lemon Verbena tree, just take of the top one-third of the tree.

When it re-shoots in Spring tip prune the branches regularly to keep it bushy.

If you have any questions about growing or using Lemon Verbena, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

 
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Real World Gardener NEW Dwarf Crepe Myrtle is Plant of the Week

April 14th, 2017

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com

REALWORLD GARDENER NOW ON FACEBOOK

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Crepe Myrtle and Dwarf Crepe Myrtle
Lagerstroemia indica.

This tree might lose its leaves in Autumn, but for all those gardeners who don’t like deciduous trees, the bark is a feature in itself .

The flowers are spectacular and some councils or even neighbours have decided to plant these as street trees.

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Crepe Myrtle

Let’s find out about this plant.

I'm talking with the plant panel - Karen Smith, editor of Hort Journal www.hortjournal.com.au and Jeremy Critchley, The Green Gallery wholesale nursery owner. www.thegreengallery.com.au

 

Jeremy’s dwarf cultivar that took 10 years in the making is still to be released.

But there are other dwarf cultivars around such as Crepe Myrtle Little Chief.

Colours of the flowers tend to be in the blue end of the spectrum from pale pink to deep crimson to purples and of course there’s the white colour.

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Crepe myrtles flower in summer and autumn in panicles of crinkled flowers with a crepe-like texture

 

Karen mentioned that the crepe myrtle trees can be coppiced down to a stump about 1 and 1/2 metres of the ground each year, after they lose their leaves.

They will reshoot quite quickly in Spring to give you a fabulous display.

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Real World Gardener Getting Your Garden Ready For Autumn part 4 in Design Elements

April 14th, 2017

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Garden Jobs in Autumn-Don't Forget The Lawn.

This is the final in the final of the 4 part series on what jobs you should be doing in y

our garden during Autumn.

So don’t procrastinate, spend a bit of time each day to get through what seems to be rather a big workload that seems to be the gardener’s lot during this pleasant gardening season.

Let’s find out what preparation you need to do for your lawn .

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Lawns need maintenance in Autumn photo M Cannon

I'm talking with Glenice Buck consulting arborist and landscape designer from www.glenicebuckdesigns.com.au

The big tip from Glenice was don’t cut your lawn back too hard so that it can replenish itself, because as the weather cools, growth on most plants has slowed down.

While you're at it, yo might as well do the lawn edges.

Then the next thing is to aerate the lawn with a garden fork or those weirdo sandaly things you can strap to your shoes that have spikes. A bit like golf shoes?

Finally, give the lawn some fertiliser, whatever you like really.

 

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Lawns in W.A. photo M Cannon

There's even lawn fertiliser that claim don't need to be watered in.

If you have any questions about where to get Autumn gardening, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

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Real World Gardener NEW Salvias are Plant of the Week

April 7th, 2017

PLANT OF THE WEEK

New Salvias-Salvia "Black and Bloom."

 

Plant breeders are always looking for new varieties of existing plants for qualities such as larger flowers, longer flowering, disease resistance, more compact and in some cases self-cleaning.

But if you’re looking for plants that flower all year round with the minimum of care, then listen in carefully to find out what are some new varieties of an long flowering compact perennial.

Let’s find out about this plant.

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Salvia Black and Bloom and Salvia Black Knight photo M Cannon

 

 

I'm talking with the plant panel:Karen Smith, editor of Hort Journal www.hortjournal.com.au and Jeremy Critchley, The Green Gallery wholesale nursery owner. www.thegreengallery.com.au

Play: NEW Salvias_29th March 2017

Jeremy mentions two salvias:

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Salvia Black and Bloom photo M Cannon

  • Victoria Blue-is an old school Salvia.
  • Salvia "Black and Bloom." supports The Foundation for Mental Health.

Black and Bloom is very vigorous and the flowers are a true blue and black.

This one self layers.

Many small growers grab anything they can call ‘new’ without knowing much about the plant. 

Some people love to put new names on salvias which causes terrible confusion for the gardener.

But whatever you call them, they are rugged plants which grow in just about anything from rubbly clay. friable perfect loam, providing they are well drained or even sandy soil.

So get to it and grab some of those new salvias.

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Real World Gardener 11th February 2017

April 7th, 2017

DESIGN ELEMENTS

What To Do In The Autumn Garden? Mulching

Do you mulch your garden? I hope you all answered, yes?

If you do what sort do you use?

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Homemade mulch using an Hansa chipper. photo M Cannon

 Do you use black plastic, pebbles, gravel, scoria?

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Paths needing mulching photo M Cannon

Or do you use pine bark fines, leaf mulch, or your own shredded green waste?

There’s quite a few to choose from and quite a few to steer away from.

Let’s find out why.

PLAY: Getting Your Garden Ready for Autumn Part 2_22nd March 2017

That was Glenice Buck consulting arborist and landscape designer from www.glenicebuckdesigns.com.au

The reasons for mulching is to keep the soil moist when it’s hot, and to keep the soil warm when it’s dry, in other words, it’s keeping the soil temperature constant. 

Mulch keeps weeds at bay

Mulch is a good all round gardening task, but mulches free of viable weed seeds, such as leaves, good compost, and wood chips are best.

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