Real World Gardener Australian Waratah in Talking Flowers

November 17th, 2017

TALKING FLOWERS

Waratah

Telopea speciosissima


What does the botanical name mean?

Speciosissima is the superlative of the Latin adjective 'speciosus', meaning 'beautiful' or 'handsome'. Telopea means seen from afar.

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Waratah (Telopea) is an Australian-endemic genus of five species of large shrubs or small trees, native to the southeastern parts of Australia (New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania). 

The one we see walking in the bush is the red flowering version and is also the NSW state emblem.

Grows to 3m tall. 

Can be tricky to keep alive in the garden.

If you've tried to grow a Waratah, make sure it has great drainage.

 

Dreamings about the Waratah focus upon the tragic consequences of lost love. 

Two Wonga pigeons live together in a rich, lush forest. One day the female bird notices her mate is no longer by her side, so she searches for him, calling out for him. She cannot find him, so in a panic she flies above the canopy of the forest where a hungry and ever-vigilant hawk sees her and, swooping down, grabs her and clutches her in his sharp talons. She manages to wriggle free and plummets down, finally falling onto a white Waratah blossom, her blood staining its petals to red. From then on, Waratahs are generally red; it is very rare to find one that is white.

 

I'm talking with Mercedes Sarmini of www.flowersbymercedes.com.au

 
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Real World Gardener Great Garden Paths in Design Elements

November 17th, 2017

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Creating a Great Garden Path

 

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You probably do have a garden path, in but does that path work for you?

Is your path so dominant that you end up having a path with a garden rather than a garden with a path?

Perhaps your garden path doesn’t dominate but it just doesn’t work for one reason or another.

So what do you do?

Let’s find out. 

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

 

Peter mentioned a few variations on the garden path. 

Salt textured concrete is the favourite.

You can press large leaves into the concrete before it's completely dry and weigh the leaf down with a brick overnight.

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The next day, peel off the leaf and you'll be left with an impression; not one that jumps out at you, but a subtle impression that you need to be almost on top of before you realise how marvellous the path really looks.

  If you want to know more or if you have any questions about garden paths, why not write in to realworldgardener@gmail.com

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Real World Gardener High Reach Cleaning in Tool Time 2017

November 17th, 2017

TOOL TIME

High Reach Cleaning Made Easy

Do you Spring clean or have you put that task off for a little while?

You might think cleaning is a bit of a stretch for a gardening show, but the house is in the garden and it needs to be clean too.

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Not to mention garden furniture and ornaments that could probably do with a clean.

You might be temped to get up on a chair or a ladder, but why become another statistic of falls in the home or garden?

Let's face it our reflexes may not be as good as they used to be?

Getting up on ladders to prune is bad enough but for cleaning it’s even worse, because you tend to wave your arms about a bit more vigorously

Let’s find out how to do it safely.…. 

I'm talking withTony Mattson from www.cutabovetools.com.au

 

The safest way to clean up high is to use a lightweight extension pole with your feet planted firmly on the ground. 

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Look for lightweight aluminium extension poles that extend from 2-6m, costing around $100.

This should reach the eaves on a two-storey house if the house is on level ground.

Taller than that you need a carbon fibre pole which is around $AUS400

Something to remember

If you are using a ladder you should always have 3 points of contact at any one time. 

Shoulders should be near the top of an extension ladder, but no higher.

If you’re carrying something then you’re in trouble.

 

If you have any questions about high reach cleaning either for me or Tony, 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 Carnations for Love in Talking Flowers

November 9th, 2017

TALKING FLOWERS

Carnations

There are a lot of meanings for the carnation flower and each one varies with the different colours.

The scientific name of the carnation is Dianthus caryophyllus.

This translated means the "flower of love" or "flower of the gods" and one of the oldest cultivated flowers in the world.

The carnation dates back to the Roman era.pink-carnations.jpg

Carnations take up food dye very well so that the green carnations you see people wearing on St Patrick's Day is dyed that colour.

Carnations are easily grown in the home garden preferring limey  or alkaline soil.

Home grown carnations have a stronger scent than those grown in greenhouses.

 

All the more reason to grow your own.

I'm talking with floral therapist Mercedes Sarmini of Flowers by Mercedes

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Real World Gardener Create a Tactile and Sensory Garden in Design Elements

November 9th, 2017

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Creating Tactile and Sensory Gardens

 

For those gardens with just green leaves you need to zhoosh up the place with some touchy feely leaves.

So that when you walk along the garden path, you can brush your hand along the leaves of the plants for a nice intoxicating scent of just for the feel of the leaf;peculiar, sensational or otherwise.

But what else are gardens for?

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Chelsea Flower Show photo M Cannon

Let’s find out. I'm talking with Peter Nixon, principle of Paradisus Garden Design

 

PLAY: Tactile and Sensory gardens_25th October 2017

Kalanchoe_beharensis_%2528Crassulaceae%2

 

Peter mentioned these two mostly

Sinningia bullata is like a fibrous bowling ball.

Kalanchoe beharensis-(pictured right) Madagascar felt plant has contorted silver grey leaves that looks wicked.

 

The best place to get these succulents is at African Violet societies for the sinningia and Succulent societies for the Kalanchoe beharensis.

 

Let’s not forget the textured aromatic leaves of Pelargoniums.

 

 

 
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Real World Gardener Lavender to Cook With in Spice it Up

November 9th, 2017

SPICE IT UP

Lavender in Cooking

Lavendula angustifolia

Lavender was first used in Herbs du Provence which is dried herbs used in slow cooked dishes. 

But the correct lavender to use in any cooking is important if you want the flavour to be pleasant and not reminiscent of camphor.

Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula spica or the ones to use.

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English Lavender

Commonly called English Lavender.

But did you know that so much of this plant is grown in France that they called it French Lavender rather than English Lavender.

The true French lavender is Lavandula dentata, which has serrated leaf margins and much larger almost woollier flowers. French lavender seems to flower for most of the year.

This one has a high camphor content which is unpleasant to taste. 

Lavandula angustifolia or English lavender has smooth sided leaves and a very slender flower and a long stalk.

Confusing if you want to use the correct plant’s flowers in cooking.

Let’s find out  more about Lavender in cooking.

I'm talking with Ian Hemphill from www.herbies.com.au

PLAY : Lavender_1st November_2017

For the lemon and Lavender cakes recipe go to this link Lavender and Lemon Cakes

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Remember:The  Lavender we should use in cooking is English lavender or Lavandula angustifolia, has a smooth leaf and the flower head is on a skinny long stem.

Ian mentioned how Lavender bottles, a lost art. Just search the web on making instructions...there are plenty.

If you have any questions about which Lavender to use in cooking then 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 Bird of Paradise in Talking Flowers

November 2nd, 2017

TALKING FLOWERS

Bird of Paradise

Strelizia reginae

Native to South Africa but naturalised in other parts of the world such as Madagascar and Mexico.bird-of-paradise%2Bflower%2B2.jpg

The scientific name comes from Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

Fun Fact

They are pollinated by sunbirds, which use the spathe as a perch when visiting the flowers. 

The weight of the bird when standing on the spathe opens it to release the pollen onto the bird's feet, which is then deposited on the next flower it visits.

Strelitzia lack natural insect pollinators in areas without sunbirds.

You can try to hand pollinate in order to try and get the plant to set seed.

This has proved largely unsuccessful and better methods of propagation is to try and prize a section of the leaf and rhizome for transplanting.

The plant as a whole does not successfully transplant either.

I'm talking with flower therapist Mercedes Sarmini.

Recorded live during Real World Gardener show, in the studios of 2rrr Sydney

Fun Fact

They are pollinated by sunbirds, which use the spathe as a perch when visiting the flowers. 

The weight of the bird when standing on the spathe opens it to release the pollen onto the bird's feet, which is then deposited on the next flower it visits.

Strelitzia lack natural insect pollinators in areas without sunbirds.

You can try to hand pollinate in order to try and get the plant to set seed.

This has proved largely unsuccessful and better methods of propagation is to try and prize a section of the leaf and rhizome for transplanting.

The plant as a whole does not successfully transplant either.

I'm talking with flower therapist Mercedes Sarmini.

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Real World Gardener What Makes a Therapeutic Garden in Design Elements.

November 2nd, 2017

DESIGN ELEMENTS

What Makes An Therapeutic Garden?

 

Are you a relaxed gardener?

By that I mean, do you go out in the garden to take a break or are you always out there thinking of what needs to be done, what needs to be raked, mulched, weeded or pruned, even planted.

But what else are gardens for?

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Therapeutic Garden Chelsea Flower Show 2013

Some gardens like this one in the photograph are designed to specifically show what it's like to have decreasing vision as experienced with macular degeneration.

 

Let’s find out what we could be doing instead in our gardens.

 

 

 

PLAY: Therapeutic gardens_25th October 2017

 

That was Peter Nixon, principle of Paradisus Garden Design.

Most gardeners would prefer to be busy in the garden, rather than think about how doing the weeding and growing plants affects the mind.

Have you ever noticed though that when you’re doing these tasks, you often forget about any worries that you’ve had? 

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The background noise falls away and you can escape from other people's thoughts and judgments, so that within a garden there is, perhaps, more freedom to feel good about yourself.

It helps if you have a nice relaxing space in which you can sit, relax, contemplate or meditate.

Seating is so important in a therapeutic garden because it also lower you sight level and how you perceive your garden.

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Real World Gardener An Introduction to Backyard Niodynamics

November 2nd, 2017

BACKYARD BIODYNAMICS

Introduction to Biodynamic Gardening.

Most of us have seen products like cheeses, wines, bread, flour, and many grains like lentils that are labelled biodynamic.

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Jurlique Farm in Adelaide is a Biodynamic Farm

Biodynamic farms are all over Australia and have been here for nearly 100 years.

Like many people, you probably thought that it was just another way of saying organic, but even though it has organic principles it’s a different method of gardening or farming.

So, what does that mean exactly?

Let’s find out all about biodyamics for your garden.

I'm talking with Dianne Watkins, Principle of Biodynamics Sydney and she tells me, a keen gardener too.

PLAY : Biodynamics intro_27 th October_2017

 

According to Wikipedia the definition for Biodynamic agriculture is a that it’s a form of alternative agriculture very similar to organic farming, but it includes various esoteric concepts drawn from the ideas of Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925).

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Initially developed in 1924, it was the first of the organic agriculture movements.

It treats soil fertility, plant growth, and livestock care as ecologically interrelated tasks, emphasizing spiritual and mystical perspectives.

Dianne mention a couple of preparations; BD500 uses a meatball sized preparation which is mixed in 100 litres of water. Too much for the small garden but good for parks, community gardens and a neighbourhood gardens if you can get people to share.




For home gardeners the best solution is the Soil Activator, which is also mixed with water and flicked all over the garden.

 

If you have any questions about Biodynamic gardening then 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 Singapore Orchids in Talking Flowers

October 27th, 2017

TALKING FLOWERS

Dendrobium or Singapore Orchid

Don't be confused because we're not talking about Australia's Dendrobium, but the ones that florists prefer.

These florists' orchids are also called Dendrobiums.

These orchids grow from a pseudobulb and are largely epiphytic or lithophytic, preferring high humidity to grow outdoors.

Keep in mind, these orchids don't like temperatures below 15 C

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Native to Southeast Asia, the genus dendrobium is one of the largest of all orchid groups from the Orchidaceae family.

There are about 1,200 individual species, and they grow in a variety of climates, from hot, wet lowlands to high-altitude, colder mountains. 

Growers usually divide dendrobiums into groups based on their growing conditions.

I'm talking with flower therapist and florist Mercedes Sarmini of www.flowersbymercedes.com.au

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