Real World Gardener Conifer Gardens part 2 in Design Elements

June 30th, 2014

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<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />

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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. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website www.songsofthegarden.com

DESIGN ELEMENTS

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Conifers in the landscape

with landscape designer Louise McDaid
Are you looking for something out of the ordinary to kickstart your garden?

Have all those gardening and lifestyle magazines left you a little bit bored with the same old same old?

Unique ideas are as rare as hen’s teeth but I think we've got some great ideas in part 2 of garden design with unusual themes-ground cover conifers.
Conifers are really tough and can take dry conditions – and there are some fantastic ground covers. Many of them spread to create carpet like covering over the soil which is an excellent weed suppressant.
For a large area or slope they are a very useful plant used en masse.
In a smaller garden situation, they perform well too and look best if used just like you would other ground covers, teamed with plants in a range of sizes and forms for a cohesive arrangement. Or use them as spillover over a retaining wall.

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One of the most spectacular of all feature plants, conifer or not, is the weeping Atlantic cedar Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca Pendula’. It’s long cascading branches drip with blue-green leaves – it can be grafted onto a standard form and the branches look fantastic flowing over an arch.

Hope you’ve found a bit of inspiration to grow some conifers in your garden!

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Real World Gardener Ravens are Wildlife in Focus

June 30th, 2014

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<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />

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. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website www.songsofthegarden.com

WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

with ecologist Sue Stevens
Raven1.jpgYou mightn’t know this fact but Ravens are in fact native.

Ravens are all closely related and descended from one common ancestor.

When it comes to intelligence, these birds are as clever as chimpanzees and dolphins.

Many ravens got the food on the first try, some within 30 seconds.


In the wild, these birds have pushed rocks onto predataros to keep them from climbing to their nests, and played dead beside a carcass to scare other ravens away from a delicious feast.
If a raven knows another raven is watching it hide its food, it will pretend to put the food in one place while really hiding it in another.
Since the other ravens are smart too, this only works sometimes..


As Sue mentioned, Ravens recognise people carrying guns, they avoid traps, and they follow and harass large predators for food, or follow trappers and steal bait from traps.
The best fact of all is Ravens have learnt to turn road-killed cane toads over and eat them from the belly, thus avoiding the dorsal poison glands.
Raven.jpgYou might this hard to believe but did you know that in captivity, ravens can learn to talk better than some parrots.
They also mimic other noises, like car engines, toilets flushing, and animal and birdcalls.They’re also as good a flyer as falcons and eagles.
Turns out that Ravens' family tree evolved in Australia.
They then radiated out into the rest of the world where they proceeded to become the world's most diverse and successful group of birds.
If you have any questions about Ravens or have a photo to send it, drop us a line by visiting www.realworldgardener.com

 or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

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Real World Gardener Plant of the Week is Eucalyptus Silver Princess

June 22nd, 2014

 

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<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />

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. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website www.songsofthegarden.com

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Eucalyptus Caesia

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This week’s plant of the week has got be one of the standout plants for the colour of the leaves, bark and flowers.

This week, plant of the week is highly decorative and one of the most sought after gum trees for home gardens.

It’s a native tree, and is a brilliant ornamental tree growing to about 8 m before the foliage starts to weep.

The young branches are red and glossy with older growth being covered in a whitish bloom and the bark peels in curled strips. The flowers are stunning large showy pink to red with yellow at the tips of the stamens arriving in Spring .

Not only is the tree not too big, but Yes it’s a gum tree from the central Wheat belt region of Western Australia, where it is found on a small number of granite outcrops, but it’s too good not to have one in your own garden no matter how small.

I’ve seen it do well in pots for a great many years.


 

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Eucalyptus caesia and E. caesia 'Silver Princess" are both small but spectacular feature trees in residential gardens and sometimes as a street tree.
Both eucalypts have dark brown bark which peels in curling strips to show a pale undersurface and has deep green leaves that looked like they’re coated with a whitish bloom.

The beautiful pinky-red flowers in winter and spring are big for a eucalypt.
Flowers are followed by large "gumnuts" about 3cm in diameter.

Eucalyptus caesia grows to about 6-9 m high.
Eucalyptus caesia 'Silver Princess"  grows to 5 metres in height.
Apart from the eye candy this tree has, it’s also very useful as a food source and nesting site for birds.

If you have any questions about growing Eucalyptus caesia Silver Princess, why not write in to realworldgardener@gmail.com

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Real World Gardener Unusual Themes Part 1 in Garden Design

June 22nd, 2014

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<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />

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. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website www.songsofthegarden.com

DESIGN ELEMENTS

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with landscape designer Louise McDaid
Are you looking for something different for your garden,

You’ve been looking through garden design books, or books about famous gardens from other places and just can’t seem to find something that’s a bit different but is doable in your own garden.

Some of the English, Italian or American gardens are on too much of a grand scale for you to get any real idea of how to incorporate it into your own garden.

So why not start you’re your own theme for the first of 5 weeks of ideas.

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We start the series with a look at conifer gardens in part one.
Louise says

"Conifers can be a bit divisive amongst gardeners – many love them for their particular shapes and variety, but a lot of gardeners loathe them and just cant’ get that picture of a 70’s style garden out of their mind, a time when the yellow leafed ones were popular like the Swanes Golden Cypress (cupressus sempervirens). "

There are so many that you’re sure to find something that suits your garden, even if you might not want a whole area turned over to conifers. While they look great planted in groupings, you can use them effectively amongst shrub borders, as screening or as features.
Let’s find out what this is all about.

Conifers need not be dull and boring if you look for something a bit different to add to your own garden.

A patch of lawn surrounded by a flower border with a tree in the middle: Does this sound like your garden?

If so, jazz it up with some unusual garden ideas and there’ll be more keeping over the next four weeks.
some of the conifer varieties mentioned are

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Blue Arrow
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C. sempervirens 'Glauca'

black+pine.pngJuniperus scopulorum ‘Blue Arrow’.

Cupressus sempervirens 'Glauca’

Japanese black pine (pinus thunbergii)


If you like the idea of conifers, but aren’t sure how it would work in your garden, choose one of the ones Louise mentioned either from this week or next week’s episode, and it it’s not available, don’t give up, either order it online, or from a mail order catalogue or from your garden centre.

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Real World Gardener No Dig Gardening is Design Elements

June 15th, 2014

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. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website www.songsofthegarden.com

 DESIGN ELEMENTS

with landscape designer Louise McDaid

No dig gardening you might’ve even heard of and wondered what it was all about.
The fact is the idea has been around for almost 80 years!

No dig gardening is exactly that - gardening without digging the soil – perfect for when you have rocky soil, or soil with too many rocks to remove, or if you have an area that’s just rock with no soil at all – the idea is you create your own soil, mostly used for veggie growing

Instead of buying in truckloads of soil to plant in, you can create your own with a mix of different materials that will compost – start by collecting things like leaves, grass clippings, scraps from the kitchen like vegies and fruit, weeds, prunings that have been chopped up and even shredded paper – most of these are free things you can gather or get from around the neighbourhood – you can also use your own compost that you’ve made


No-dig gardening is a method used by some organic gardeners.
Nobody is really sure where the idea first started –possibly in when a Mr Masanobu Fukuoka started working on this idea in 1938, and began publishing it in the 1970s calling it "Do Nothing Farming."
Two pioneers of the method in the twentieth century included F. C. King, Head Gardener at Levens Hall, South Westmorland, in the Lake District of England, who wrote the book "Is Digging Necessary?" in 1946 and a gardener from Middlecliffe in the UK, A. Guest, who in 1948 published the book "Gardening Without Digging".

No-dig gardening was also promoted by Australian Esther Deans in the 1970s, and American gardener Ruth Stout advocated a "permanent" garden mulching technique in Gardening Without Work and no-dig methods in the 1950s and 1960s.

Real World Gardener and Wildlife in Focus is Spangled Drongo

June 15th, 2014

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<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />

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. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website www.songsofthegarden.com

WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

with ecologist Sue Stevens
The onset of winter brings the star of the season, one of our winter migrants, the Spangled Drongo, into our neighbourhood.
Whilst most migrating birds have spent the summer in Australia avoiding the cold in the Northern Hemisphere, this bird has been to northern Australia and Papua New Guinea for breeding.
Going against the general flow of traffic it comes to spend the winter with us arriving in March-April and stays until September-October.

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Not only is the Spangled Drongo a bit of a comic, it’s also a great mimic of other bird calls as well.
Said to be the only one of it’s kind in Australia, although I’m sure you might think you saw a couple of these at your local watering hole.
If you have any questions about Spangled Drongo or have a photo to send it, 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 Raised Garden Beds in Garden Design

June 8th, 2014

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<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />

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. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website www.songsofthegarden.com

DESIGN ELEMENTS
with landscape designer Louise McDaid

Raised Beds

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In this episode of design elements it really doesn’t matter if you don’t have shallow or rocky soils, because raised garden beds can apply to those gardens with other problem conditions.

Not all raised garden beds are alike and Louise has some great ideas.

using soil that’s more ideally suited to the plants you really love.

And since you the gardener doesn’t walk on the raised beds, the soil doesn’t get  compacted and the roots have an easier time growing.

Plus one more advantage of raised beds is that close plant spacing and the use of compost can result in higher yields with raised beds in comparison to conventional row gardening.

The best thing about raised beds is being able to grow vegetables without having to bend over to tend.

 

 

 

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Real World Gardenr Spice It Up with Bush Tomatoes

June 8th, 2014

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<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />

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. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website www.songsofthegarden.com

SPICE IT UP

with Ian Hemphill from Herbies Spices

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Bush tomato-photo Ian Hemphill

Have you ever heard of a bush tomato?
Bush+Tomato+Flower.jpgIf you haven’t, you wouldn’t be considered silly if you thought it was a version of those tomatoes that seem to spring up in your compost heap or throughout the garden wherever you deposited your compost.
But in fact, you couldn’t be further from the truth..well almost, because the bush tomato is still in the Solanaceae family like the regular tomato.

So what’s so different about it?



Should you consider growing your own bush tomato, Solanum centrale is the botanical cultivar of the only type of bush tomato that you should use-the others are toxic.
The bush tomato looks like a very small slightly stunted grey-green chilli plant with a purple flower, very much like the flower of an eggplant.

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photo Ian Hemphill

Bush tomatoes grow to about 30cm high and fruit for 4-5 years.
The tomatoes dry in the bush in their natural environment but I'm not sure that could be said of those plants grown in other areas.
Bush raisin, Akudjera, all those different names, and from the sounds of it, it’s a very versatile addition to sweet and savoury dishes-anzac biscuits, chicken dishes, and risottos to name just a few.
Like all Australian spices, the flavours are strong and should only be used in small amoungs.
By the way, I’ll post the risotto recipe on my website

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Real World Gardener Plants for Gardens with Rocky Soil in Design Elements

June 1st, 2014

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<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />

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. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website www.songsofthegarden.com



DESIGN ELEMENTS

with Louise McDaid Landscape Designer

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Gardening with Shallow and Rocky Soil part2,- What Plants?
Have you got shallow rocky soil somewhere in your garden?
Maybe it’s in all of the garden.

You’ve tried this or that plant and it’s either just sat and sulked, or grown but it’s quite stunted.

Maybe a rethink of what plants work in these conditions is what’s needed.
Look at some of the local plants that do well in your area, generally smaller plants will have smaller root systems – alpine plants are good for rockeries, coming from regions with shallow soil, this applies to Mediterranean areas as well that have shabby soil – use lists from these regions to research plants that might suit your place.

Some herbs like purple sages, tricolour sages, Creeping Thyme - Thymus serpyllum - nectar rich and thrives in thin soil forming a dense cover, stachys, small hebes, small buxus..etc !

There are loads of plants you can grow in soil that’s shallow.

Just take a look at the depth of the pots in the garden centres and you can gauge what might grow in shallow soil-excluding the 3m plus shrubs of course.
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Plant a mix to get something interesting happening all year round for you to enjoy as well as the animals, birds and insects that visit and live in your garden






Real World Gardener Plant Doctor Treats Rust on Plants

June 1st, 2014

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<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />

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. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website www.songsofthegarden.com



PLANT DOCTOR

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Rust on all parts of the bean plants

with Steve Falcioni from www.ecoorganicgarden.com.au
Did you know that rusts are amongst the most common fungal diseases of garden plants?

Trees, shrubs, herbaceous and bedding plants, grasses, bulbs, fruit and vegetables can all be affected. Notice the rust pustules on the bean pod itself as well as the leaves.

Rust diseases are unsightly and often (but not always) reduce plant vigour.

In extreme cases, rust infection can even kill the plant.

Rust can effect many different garden plants, and for the most part, each plant has a specific type of rust that won't transfer to a different type or genus of plant.

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rust on Pelargonium leaves

The main symptoms to look out for are pustules, or raised bumps on leaves and occasionally on other aerial parts.
Pustules may be orange, yellow, brown, black or white in colour.
Rust is caused by fungus, and rust can happen at any time if you’ve the right conditions and climate but is seen mainly in mid- to late summer and autumn.
If you have any questions about rust on your plants or have a photo to send it, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.






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