Real World Gardener Plant of the Week Grevillea rhyolitica

September 28th, 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

PLANT OF THE WEEK

proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.com with Karen Smith editor of Hort Journal

Grevilleas with large showy flowers are full of nectar and attract larger nectar feeding birds like lorikeets and honeyeaters and miner birds.

If you want to attract smaller birds into your garden, you’ll want grevillea flowers the size of this next plant, that cover the bush.

The smaller birds then can come into your garden without being bullied or frightened away by the larger more aggressive nectar feeders.

 

Grevillea rhyolitica is found in moist areas in forest and woodland in a the Deua National Park and surrounding areas in south-eastern New South Wales between 100 and 600 metres elevation.

No surprises then that the two cultivars are named Grevillea Deua Gold and Grevillea Deua Flame.

 

The leaves on some Grevilleas can be a bit prickly or rough to feel, but unless you’re brushing past them as you walk in the garden, it suits smaller birds as a means of shelter.

The other great thing about this Grevillea is that it might appeal to gardeners that aren’t normally attracted to Grevilleas.

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On this plant, the leaves look like a general leaf shape-light green, elliptic and on the smaller side. 

It doesn’t have serrated leaves and its flower are a bit more ornamental, so it’s a little bit different an could even be used in cottage type gardens.

Being a member of the Proteaceae family, grevilleas are phosphorous sensitive.

That means don't use chook poo, or any other manures to fertilise these plants.

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Real World Gardener Design Elements and Pleaching

September 28th, 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

with landscape designer Jason Cornish

A good looking and beautifully trimmed hedge is a sight to behold, giving structure to the garden and setting off all the other plants.

A bad looking hedge is an eyesore, and draws your attention away from all the good looking plants you have in the garden.

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But what can you do about those bad hedges, especially if they have no leaves down the bottom part of the hedge?

 

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Unlike Europe where you see them growing in a lot of the elegant gardens like Hidcote in the Cotswolds, where they  use Hornbeams and Linden trees, here in Australia, the climate is against us to those kind of hedges on stilts.

Plus we’re probably not that keen to do all that work to get them trained that way, and think of the tall ladders you might need to prune them?

Still, doing it the cheats way might give you a satisfactory look if you are wanting to grow something at the base of the hedge for a different look.

Real World Gardener Plant Doctor and Fruit Fly

September 28th, 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

PLANT DOCTOR

with Steve Falcioni, General Manager of  www.ecoorganicgarden.com.au

proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.comThis next topic in Plant Doctor has some of us squirming when we remember cutting open a fruit or vegetable to find wrigglers inside and the flesh actually quite smelly and rotten.

Sometimes you have a tell tale spot the size of a pin head on the outside of the fruit-usually on oranges, and sometimes when you touch the fruit, some of it’s firm but one half is quite soft and squishy.

At this point you’re dreading to cut it open and it gets to that point when you start dreading even cutting open alright looking fruit.

Fruit fly looks like a wasp with a pointy tail.

The female mates and lays eggs into any fruits-Lilly Pilly fruits, chillies, citrus anything at all.

The maggots wriggle out then drop to the ground to pupate.

Being a native insect the fruit fly can live in the bush then come into your garden when the season is right.

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However, the female only has to mate once or twice to then lay thousands of eggs, so to you need either exclusion netting or splash baits for the female fruit fly.

Exclusion netting is great if you have small trees that are manageable.Lures are a good way of detecting whether or not you have the problem and of course spraying pheromones is the safest way to go to catch the male.

If you have any questions or photos of fruit fly, 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 Design Elements Converting Pools to rainwater Tanks

September 21st, 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

with landscape designer Jason Cornish

A few weeks ago, the topic of pool conversions covered a couple of different ways of going about it.

There’s the aesthetic and environmentally appealing pond conversion.

Sounds great, and then there was the more expensive filling in with landfill conversion.

This conversion though is a bit different and focuses on reusing the space in another way.

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Where there once was a pool is now a rainwater tank below ground.

 

As Australia seems to be getting drier, this conversion seems to have the most merit.

One thing that should be mentioned with the pond conversion, yes you have all the beneficial insects and pond life that come to your pond, but the evaporation will be even higher than with a normal pool, because of the plants.

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Real World Gardener Dipladenias are Plant of the week

September 21st, 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

PLANT OF THE WEEK

 with Hort Journal magazine editor, Karen Smith

Dipladenia

 

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Many gardeners have  thought that these next plans- dipladenias and mandevillas and are the same plant.

Sure they’re pretty much alike  but dipladenia foliage is bit smaller and the plant is more shrub-like.

However, both plants are very similar gorgeous tropical looking plants that have sky rocketed in popularity because they have so many uses.

If you still don’t know the difference between a mandevilla and a dipladenia try this.

proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.comThe leaves, of each plant will let you know which plant you are growing. Mandevilla leaves are longer and narrower than dipladenia leaves, which are wider and heart-shaped. Dipladenia leaves have a thicker, leathery, smooth feel, while mandevilla leaves feel rough and textured.

Dipladenias can be used pots, hanging baskets, or on their own in the garden.

Mandevillas will need some sort of trellis to support their growth.

They are easy to grow and should flower their heads off all season long.

At the end of winter give Mandevillas a hard prune to give them some shape and encourage more flowers.

Tip prune Dipladenias

 

 

 

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Real World Gardener Spice It Up with Vanilla

September 21st, 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

SPICE IT UP

with Ian Hemphill from www.herbies.com.au

proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.comThe Vanilla bean orchid that this next spice comes from originates in the highland forests of Mexico, so that gives you some idea of where it grows best.

Somewhere warm and humid and where the temperature doesn't fall below 200C

 

But hey, don’t let that stop you from trying to grow it, after all it’s an orchid.

The plant you need to grow is Vanilla planifolia "Andrews" if you can get it.

 

 

 

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The green vanilla bean itself has no odour or flavour.

It's not until heated that the enzyme within the bean comes to life.

Then the process begins of being put out in the sun during the day and wrapped in blankets at night fir 28 days.

Let’s find out what’s great about this spice.

 

To get the vanilla bean the flower must be pollinated by the Melipone bee which is almost extinct in Mexico.

For that reason, even in Mexico, each vanilla bean flower on every vanilla bean farm, needs to be hand pollinated to get the bean.

Outside of Mexico of course there's no alternative anyway.

If you buy imitation vanilla essence then you’re buying a mixture made from synthetic substances which imitate the vanilla smell and flavour.

proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.comThis often contains propylene glycol which is also found in automotive antifreeze!

It’s mass produced and relatively cheap but, of course, not in the same class as true vanilla extract.

The plant usually doesn’t flower until it’s at least 3 metres tall and it can reach a size of 20 metres and more.

If you want to try to grow this orchid, you must be sure to get Vanilla planifolia-used to be called Vanilla fragrans.

The flowers are like a skinny Cattleya (that’s an orchid) flower and they’re yellow.

A friend of mine has the variegated one growing in his laundry that faces north.

Seems to be doing pretty well.

If you have any questions about growing Vanilla orchids, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com

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Real World Gardener Sping Pruning on Design Elements

September 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

Spring Pruning with landscape designer Jason Cornish

 



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Buxus hedge



It seems like every time the weather warms up, gardeners and non-gardeners start jumping around the garden and pruning everything in sight willy nilly.<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />

What’s going on with that?

Sure some of the garden needs to be pruned but are you sure you’re pruning the right shrub the right way at the right time of year?

Not all plants do well with a top and tail or short back and sides.

Pruning a buxus hedge is pretty straightforward and yes, this one's definitely one for the short back and sides, or clipping to any shape you like.

 

On the other hand, have you even got a tree, or shrub that you said’ never seen that ever flower?

 

Well there may be a good reason for that and it’s got nothing to do with soil, fertilising or watering.

Knowing what plant you've got can be tricky if you've moved into a home with an established garden.

The best thing is to find out what through your local garden centre or nursery.

Second to that, find out when it's flowering season is and commence pruning after that.

Sounds logical but sometimes gets overlooked in the rush to tidy up the garden for Spring.

 

 

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Unlike Europe where you see Spiraea or May bushes growing everywhere by the roadside, maybe here in Australia we’re not growing too many May bushes anymore.

 

I could be wrong, and it would be a pity if it were true, because they have lovely flowers.

 

But short back and sides for this type of plant isn’t the right way to prune it.

 

Spiraeas, are a vase shaped plant that needs old canes pruned back to the ground to allow new canes to push through. these can ne headed by a 10% after flowering finishes in Spring.

If you missed the details email or write in and I send you a fact sheet

 

Real World Gardener Plant Doctor Treats Petal Blight

September 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

 

PLANT DOCTOR

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Petal Blight on Azalea "Jennifer Susan"

with general manager of www.ecoorganicgarden.com.au Steve Falcioni

Petal Blight.

Do you ever find it’s sometimes difficult to tell the difference between a fungal disease and insect damage?

Like what causes some leaves to distort and curl  either on roses, citrus and edible crops like capsicums.

But there’s no mistaking what’s behind this next problem because of the tell-tale signs on the flowers.<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />

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Petals turn mushy before becoming papery and clinging to the bush

Don't let the flowers that have dropped from your camellia just lay there or the ones the cling to your azalea bushes in a brown mushy clum stay stuck to the bush. Pick them up or pick them off. Azaleas and Camellias especially are prone to the fungal disease petal blight.

By cleaning up around the plant you can prevent the spread of the disease.

If you have any questions or photos petal blight, drop us a line to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

 

 

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Real World Gardener Australian King Parrots are Wildlife in Focus

September 7th, 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

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Some people say that  the Australian King Parrot birds  aren’t appreciated in Australia as much as they are overseas; in fact, there’s still so much to learn about them. (our .)The Australian King Parrot is  probably overlooked, partly because they are so easily obtained in this country, either legally or heaven forbid through trapping.

They are one of the most beautiful and striking looking birds that we have.

As one colleague said, "every time she sees the King Parrot, he takes her breath away.

 

Let’s find out what’s great about this bird.

PLAY: King Parrot_3rd September_2014

Did you know that it takes nearly three years for the male king parrot to develop his full coloured feathers.

Before that he resembles the predominantly green female.King Parrots seem to be mainly territorial and tend to remain within aquite small area.

They congregate at communal roosts at dusk but scatter inpairs or small groups to forage in the early morning.

They seldom form large flocks.

King parrots are a wary bird, always fly quickly to cover and fly  generally, where the densest trees are.

Having said that, shortly after this went to segment went to air, I discovered a pair of King Parrots in my Macadamia tree.

Probably after the immature Macadamia nuts.

The female parrot was definitely more wary and stayed high up in the tree,

Definitely a mostly green colouring for her.

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King Parrot in Macadamia tree.

The male King Parrot was curious and started to make his way closer to see what this black thing was pointing at him (my camera.)

I probably overstayed my welcome and they eventually flew off in a straight line towards the west.

On the other hand when a bird in the bush lets out an alarm call while the Kings are flying, they’ll suddenly fly erratically with twists and sudden changes in directions.

If you have any questions or photos about King Parrots, drop us a line to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

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