Real World Gardener Talking Flowers with Gerberas 2017

September 14th, 2017

TALKING FLOWERS

Gerberas as Cut Flowers

Did you know that Gerbera flowers were named after Trauggott Gerber, a botanist and physician from the 1700s?

Another fascinating fact is that supposedly, many people place gerberas by their bed to enjoy a better sleep!

Gerberas emit oxygen and absorb toxins and carbon monoxide at night instead of during the day like most flowers.

I’ve heard that they’re the longest lasting cut flowers in a vase.


The Gerbera is the birth month flower for April.

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If you look at gerbera flower, you would think that it’s just one big flower head with lots of small petals. In fact, the flower head is a huge cluster of hundreds of flowers.

Gerbera seeds are expensive because each flower only produces a few seeds that are only viable for 1 year.

Plus the large fluffy seeds don’t fit into automatic seeding machines so need to be hand sown, maybe still today?

They are native to South Africa, but a lot of breeding has gone into developing the large daisy-like flowers we see today.

Watch the video of Mercedes Sarmini talking with me (host) on Real World Gardener radio show with recorded with Facebook live. www.facebook.com/realworldgardener

We're talking about how best to look after Gerberas in the Vase.

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Real World Gardener Mass Planting for a Mediterranean Climate part2 2017

September 14th, 2017

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Mass Planting For a Mediterranean Climate

You may have heard that some parts of Australia experience what’s called a Mediterranean climate.

That’s where you can have moist mild to very cold winters and warm to hot and mostly dry summers. 

Sometimes the winters are a bit harsh and cold so how do you plant out a garden that has harsh freezing cold frosts but warm to blazing hot summers with little rain?

Do you stick to just having a desert style garden or one with succulents, but that has limited appeal really.

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Perhaps you would like a garden with lots of mass planting instead and plants of different heights and flowers?

So what can you really plant in this climate.

Let’s find out about. I'm talking with Peter Nixon, landscape designer and Director of Paradisus garden design.

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Peter mentioned plants like Chinese plumbago, Grevillea rhyolitica and Cistus species which do well in mass plantings and definitely work in a Mediterranean style climate.

If you have any questions about mass planting for Mediterranean climates, why not email us realworldgardener@gmail.com

 
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Real World Gardener High Reach Pruning part 1 2017

September 14th, 2017

TOOL TIME

High Reach Pruning Part 1

Now’s a good time of the year to do a bit of pruning, wherever you live in Australia.

Sometimes though our garden gets away from us because we all lead busy lives, and can’t fit enough things in the day.

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The problem is, there are some branches of either a shrub or a tree, that are quite high up.

So how do we prune this safely, and if possible, without getting up on a ladder.

Let’s find out…

I'm talking with Tony Mattson General Manager of www.cutabovetools.com.au

 

Just in case you’re thinking of getting up on a ladder, is a couple of information from Staysafe NSW, which I’m sure will apply to all states.

Only use ladders for simple access jobs, or for a short duration.

It’s best to work from ground level whenever possible.

If you must use a ladder:

Always maintain three point of contact with the ladder. This means two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand on the ladder at all times.

Never lean or reach away from the ladder while using it. 

Tony suggests that tie the ladder to the tree so that it won't move.

The staysafe link:

http://www.safework.nsw.gov.au/health-and-safety/safety-topics-a-z/ladders

Instead of ladders consider the different types of pole pruners.

Keep in mind that you'll be holding it up for a period of time so choose one that suits your strength capability.

If you have any questions about high reach pruning why not email us realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

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Real World Gardener Tulips for Everyone in Talking Flowers

September 7th, 2017

TALKING FLOWERS

TULIPS IN THE VASE

 

Today a new segment starts and it’s all about flowers.

Not growing flowers, but cut flowers.

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How good are you at floral arrangements?

Gardeners are often good at growing the flowers but not so good and floral arrangements.

Flower arranging is a skill that requires a good eye but most all it requires knowledge about how to treat the flowers in the first place.

It’s not easy for some but others just seem to know how to treat each flower. 

This series is all about how to cut the flower stem, how much water to put in the vase for different flower species, and how to look after those cut flowers in the vase.

So let’s kick off this new series by introducing the Managing Director of Flower by Mercedes with Mercedes Sarmini who has been in the floristry industry for 18 years.

To see the video go to www.facebook.com/realworldgardener
 
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Real World Gardener Mass Planting for Mediterranean Gardens part 2

September 7th, 2017

 

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Mass Planting for a Mediterranean Garden part 2.

This series is all about mass planting but so it’s not boring.

There’s different levels, different leaf shape and textures and different colours of green to make your garden all that more interesting.

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Warm temperate coast regions around Australia can look forward to these next plants.

There are so many plants for these regions that we’ve had done split it into two parts of this four part series. So this is part B

Let’s find out about what they are.

I'm talking with Peter Nixon, landscape designer and Director of Paradisus garden design.

PLAY: Mass Planting_Mediterranean_16th August 2017

 

Plants that are used to the sunny tropics may have a hard time in temperate winters s because often there’s rain, but weak sun, so plants can struggle.

Peter mentioned if you need weed suppression, something low but in semi-shade will suit Plectanthrus ciliatus, Carissa Desert Star with a dark green gloss leaf and starry perfumed flower or Acanthus mollis.

Jasminum_nitidum.jpg

Jasminum nitidum

For sub-shrubs try Jasmin nitidum, which is a sub-shrub to about 1.2 metres and not invasive.

For difficult banks with a slope of 1:5, then go for Helichrysum petiolare Limelight, sometimes called Licorice plant.

For the 3m tall shrubs, try Hibiscus rosa-sinensis varieties or Mackaya bella.

Small trees that suit would be Brachychiton bidwilli- a semi-deciduous tree with a reddy pink barrel shaped flower.

If you have any questions about mass planting for temperate climates, why not email us?

 
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Real World Gardener Orris Root Iris is Spice it Up

September 7th, 2017

 

SPICE IT UP

Orris Root: Iris germanica var Florentina

 

A little while ago on this show, in fact in the spice it up segment, featured the juniper berry as a major flavouring ingredient for Gin.

That is if you’re making your own Gin.

Today’s spice is something you would never think of being a spice let alone it being another one of the three major ingredients in Gin.

So what is it and what else can you use it for?

So let’s find out….I'm talking with Ian Hemphill owner of www.herbies.com.au

 

PLAY :Orris Root_30th August_2017

 

So, how about the fact Juniper, Orris root and Coriander are the major ingredients in gin? Then you add all the other flavours, but Orris root is the one thing that brings all those flavours together because it's a fixative.

 

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The rhizome is technically what's used in making Orris Root powder. 

The Iris rhizome is lifted, dried, sliced and then powdered.

 

If you were to inhale the smell of dried orris root you would be rewarded with a lovely scent of violets.

 

Unfortunately if you can't remember where you planted your orris root iris, than lifting and drying is the only way to identify it from all the other white irises you have in the garden.

Then there’s those pomander balls and real pot pourri.

 

Wouldn’t you like the real deal rather than coloured bits of bark?

 

Turns out though you might just have to make the pomander and real pot pourri yourself.

 

If you have any questions about Orris root powder why not email us realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675 

 
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Real World Gardener Colourful Crotons are Plant of the Week

August 31st, 2017

 

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Crotons: Colourful leaves

Codiaeum variegatum
Flowers are great, but not all plants flower for a long time so it’s good to have a plant that has plenty of colour in its leaves in your garden or even inside your house as an indoor plant.

Plant breeders are having fun with the colours and sizes too, so you can soon buy the same plant but in the miniature form as well as the standard sized shrub form of 1 metre.

Let’s find out about this plant.

 

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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

A well-grown croton keeps its leaves all the way to the soil level, but the trick to this is to provide steady warmth. 

Even outside, crotons drop leaves after a cold night. 

These plants do alright after a hard prunes so if a croton becomes leggy, prune it back hard at the beginning of the growing season and move it outside. 

The plant will regrow from the cut part.

A tough plant in the right environment; often seen in old and neglected gardens in Qld

 

Also a great plant to grow indoors even if you do have the right climate to grow it outside.

Just remember not to overwater it and give it some slow or controlled release fertiliser at the beginning of the warmer season.

If you have any questions about growing Crotons, why not write in to realworldgardener@gmail.com

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Real World Gardener Mass Planting for Mediterranean Gardens part 1

August 31st, 2017

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Mass Planting for a Mediterranean Climate part 1

Groundcovers and small shrubs.

This series is all about mass planting but so you're garden won't be boring.

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photo Louise McDaid Cloudhill Gardens

That means not just a sea of the same green and the same leaf shape and texture but a variety of colour interesting features.

Mass%2Bplanting-Paul%2BUrquhart.jpgThere’s different levels, different leaf shape and textures and different colours of green to make your garden all that more interesting.

 

Warm temperate coast regions around Australia can look forward to these next plants.

 

Let’s find out about what they are.

I'm talking with Peter Nixon, landscape designer and Director of Paradisus garden design

Plants that are used to the sunny tropics may have a hard time in temperate winters s because often there’s rain, but weak sun, so plants can struggle.

Peter mentioned if you need weed suppression, something low but in semi-shade will suit Plectanthrus ciliatus, Carissa Desert Star with a dark green gloss leaf and starry perfumed flower or Acanthus mollis.

For sub-shrubs try Jasmin nitidum, which is a sub-shrub to about 1.2 metres and not invasive.

For difficult banks with a slope of 1:5, then go for Helichrysum petiolare Limelight, sometimes called Licorice plant.

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Real World Gardener Bar Tailed Godwit is Wildlife in Focus

August 31st, 2017

 

WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

Bar Tailed Godwit.

 

How well do you know Australian Shore birds?

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Did you know that even though a bird is migratory, it’s considered an Australian bird because it spends quite a number of months on our shores? 

Even though it's a largish bird, weighing around 190g, flying thousands of kilometres from the breeding ground in Siberia and Norther Scandanavia to shores in Australia and New Zealand is no mean feat.

Did you know that when they’re in Australia they look quite different to what they do when they’re overseas.

So let’s find out more about the Bar Tailed Godwit .

I'm talking with Dr Holly Parsons from www.birdsinbackyards.org.au

PLAY :Bar Tailed Godwit_23rd August_2017

You'll find these birds in Australia now, feeding up so that they can make that long journey back to their breeding ground in March-April. 

These birds will then head north, stopping off in Korea, China or Japan, ending up in Alaska which is their breeding ground.

Holly mentioned one bird that was tagged called E7

E7 was tracked as taking the longest non-stop flight of any bird, flying 11,500 kms from Alaska to New Zealand.

 

Sadly, thousands of Bar Tailed Godwits' don’t make it back because of the lack of places to stop to re-fuel.

So if you do see these birds along the shore, please don’t release you dog to chase them away.

If you have any questions about Bar Tailed Godwits why not email us realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

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Real World Gardener Stately Claret Ash is Plant of the Week

August 24th, 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

Fraxinus Raywoodii

Claret Ash

 

Would you like a tree that shades your house or garden in summer, but drops all its leaves in winter so you get winter sun?

Not only does it serve this practical purpose but it has fabulous Autumn colour especially in colder districts.

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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

PLAY: Claret Ash_16th August_2017 

Did you know that the original seedling was discovered near a group of assorted ash trees in Sewell's nursery in the Mount Lofty Ranges in South Australia about 1910, and later grown at the nearby property Raywood  near Bridgewater in the Adelaide Hills.(former home of the Downer family). 

The tree was introduced to Britain in 1928 and to North America in 1956, although it did not become widely available there until 1979

Other Types of Ash Trees.There are a few different types of Ash trees such as Fraxinus ornus, the Flowering Ash Fraxinus oxycarpa the Desert Ash and Fraxinus excelsior ‘aurea’ the Golden Ash.

But none are quite as spectacular as Fraxinus Raywoodii, the Claret Ash.

The leaves are a deep dark green in the warmer months but turn this deep burgundy red in Autumn before they fall.

 
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