Real World Gardener Smaller Bottlebrushes are Plant of the Week

November 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" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

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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 Editor Karen Smith www.hortjournal.com.au

Bottlebrushes make excellent garden plants.

They vary in size from 0.5 m to 4 m tall. The flowers can be spectacular and are irresistible to nectar-feeding birds and insects and most species are frost tolerant.

Did you know that the popularity of bottlebrushes as garden plants stared soon after European settlement and that the Crimson Bottlebrush (Callistemon citrinus ) was introduced to Britain by Joseph Banks in 1789?

Some of these are very good garden plants. -

The ones mention are Callistemon 'Little John',

Callistemon "Better John "and Callistemon "Pink Champagne."

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C Pink Champagne
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Callistemon Better John

 

Many types of bottlebrush or Callistemon species can cope with (or thrive in) damp conditions, yet most are very hardy and will tolerate drought and limited maintenance.

They grow well in a wide variety of soils, except those which are very alkaline. Plants grown in full sun produce the best flowers.

Plants can be lightly pruned after flowering to keep them in shape or you can give them a hard prune and they’ll come back bushy and as good as new.

 A low-phosphorous fertiliser should be applied in spring and autumn. Mulching will help retain soil moisture and reduce weed growth.

Many cultivars have been selected from natural variants and hybrids between species.

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Real World Gardener Large Trees in Design Elements

November 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

DESIGN ELEMENTS

with landscape designer Louise McDaid

Trees part 4-Large Trees

Large trees are very long lived-quite often up to hundreds and even thousands of years.

Did you know that in china, tourists flock to see a 2,000 year old Osmanthus?

And in England, the old trees in some gardens like Stourhead, are called Champion trees because of their age, being around 600 years old.

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photo M Cannon

Large trees really need a lot of space to give them room for their root spread as well as canopy – a park like area, rural or country, or very large town block – these are the sorts of trees you usually see in estate gardens, botanic gardens, town parks and gardens

If you have a spacious garden, then trees of this size are needed to fill it, to make it look ‘not empty’ – and you might need quite a few – but like I said, not too close to the home. Their spreading canopies are great for shade, and their size balances built forms.

There are ways to use large trees in large gardens but if you’ve got a small garden don’t tune  to this segment on large trees because it’s good to know what trees to avoid when you’re planting out in your garden.

Haven’t we all driven around looking for that shady spot to park on a hot summer day!

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photo M Cannon

Trees and other plantings can reduce asphalt temperatures of carparks by as much as 13°C, and cabin temperatures by 17°C.

But apart from all the health, social, environmental and economic benefit of trees,  it’s sad to note that tree canopy on private land is declining at a rate of 5% per year.

We need to plant more trees not cut them down.

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Real World Gardener Australian Barn Owl is Wildlife in Focus

November 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

proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.comwith ecologist Sue Stevens

Other names for  Australia's Barn Owl are Monkey-faced Owl, Ghost Owl, Church Owl, Death Owl, Hissing Owl, Silver Owl, White Owl, Night Owl, Rat Owl, Screech Owl, Straw Owl, Barnyard Owl and Delicate Owl.

The last one is the sub-species occurring in Australia-Tyto alba deliculata.

The heart-shaped structure of the facial disc is unique to these types of owls (Tyto species).

 

If you think all owls sound out hoo hoo, hoo hoo, then you would be amongst the general concensus but incorrect.

Barn Owls are generally quiet, the common call being a  rough, hissing screech.

I think they should add another name-Farmer’s friend because these owls breed up quickly when there’s a mouse plague.

Barn owls specialise in hunting small ground mammals, and the vast majority of their food consists of small rodents.

In wooded areas, the Barn Owl's is a stealthy hunter, lying in wait for an unwary animal to pass underneath, then diving down to strike.  

Barn Owls also quarter over open grassy paddocks at low altitude, flying without making a sound, to snatch mice from the grass. 

Since European settlement, the Barn Owl's favourite prey has been the common house mouse and introduced rat species. 

Sadly, many barn owls die in Australia every year due to secondary poisoning as a direct result of human pest control methods.

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Real World Gardener Jacaranda is Plant of the Week.

November 24th, 2014

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Jacaranda mimosifolia or JACARANDA

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photo M Cannon

 

 

 

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The blue jacaranda, or Jacaranda mimosifolia, is a type of deciduous tree that is grown in gardens all over the world for its beautiful and long-lasting purple flowers that often hang in long bunches.

Jacarandas are flowering simultaneously around Australia.

From Adelaide to Sydney, the purple flowers are filling our views, and carpeting our streets, and lawns.

Let’s find out about this plant.

PLAY: Jacaranda_19th November_2014

Some people think Jacarandas are native because they’re grown so much in in Australia, but they’re native to South America.

The jacaranda can be found in virtually any part of the world where there isn’t the risk of prolonged frost, so they can withstand brief bouts with cold temperatures reaching around -60 Celsius. It's also a tough, drought-tolerant tree that can handle a variety of soils and growing conditions.

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photo M Cannon
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Real World Gardener Design Elements with Medium Trees

November 24th, 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.

Trees in Landscape Design-Medium Trees part 3

Did you know that in one year a hectare of mature trees can provide enough oxygen for 18 people?

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Batsford Arboretum photo M Cannon

Trees cool the city by up to 6°C, by shading our homes and streets, breaking up urban “heat islands” and releasing water vapour into the air through their leaves.

This design series is all about trees and last week it was about small trees –that means those trees under 10 metres.

So what’s a medium tree and do we have enough trees?

What can you do?

In a garden larger than a courtyard, or small urban space, there is a bit more leeway in how you use trees – you can of course still use small trees in places, but a medium sized tree will be more in keeping with the proportions of the site – a medium sized tree 10-12m is the most preferable for a regular size country town garden, the old quarter acre block

 

It’s likely you might have more than one tree – if in a group they could be the same species for the effect of a copse or glade planting, but they could be positioned in different spots to serve different purposes – so think about why you want the trees, what is their main purpose

 





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Stowe, England photo M Cannon





Would you have thought that by just planting three trees strategically around a single-family home, you can cut summer air conditioning needs by up to 50 percent?

Not only that, by reducing the energy demand for cooling our houses, we reduce carbon dioxide and other pollution emissions from power plants.

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Real World Gardener Spice it Up with Fenugreek

November 24th, 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 www.herbies.com.au

FENUGREEK Trigonella foenum-graecum)

An annual plant in the pea or Fabaceae family .

Did you know that there are five main flavour attributes that you get in food?

proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.comCan you guess what they are other that sweet sour and bitter?

Well I’m not giving it away that quickly other than to say that this next spice is used to trick unsuspecting lovers of Maple syrup with a fake version, but the spice isn’t at all sweet.

But that’s not all about this quirky little seed that actually comes from the bean family.

 

If you want to grow your own fenugreek, the better bet is to get seed from a seed company rather than from the spice shop.

proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.comCulinary spices aren’t meant to germinate into the plant so they’re not test for germination, plus some of them are heat treated to remove surface bacteria.

Fenugreek is a very useful herb and spice. The leaves can be used used dried or fresh, the seeds of the spice can be used not only in cooking but as sprouts and microgreens.

Fenugreek as a plant is an annual bush about 60cm tall.

It's quick to germinate only taking 2-7 days.

You can plant in spring/ summer, to early autumn, in full sun, in well limed soil.

The soft leaves are three-lobed, and triangular in appearance, which is probably why you might come across it being called ‘trigonella’, which in Greek means three-angled

.If you have any questions about fenugreek, 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 Walking Iris is Plant of the Week

November 14th, 2014

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney 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.Steaming live on the net at www.2rrr.org.au/player/

 

 

PLANT OF THE WEEK

with Karen Smith from www.hortjournal.com.au

Neomarica sp. Walking Iris.

Fantastic strap leaf plant to use in the garden as a filler, with beautiful, iris-like flower

Plants are what’s called Heterophs because they make their own food.

They need to of course because they can’t walk to the next meal.

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Except for this unusual plant that seems to walk.

 

 

 

 

Technically you could say that the walking iris doesn’t actually walk.

Walking iris really only seems to move because the small plantlets that form at the ends of the flower stalk, grow and weigh down the stalk, bringing it to the ground where it will root.

It also grows and spreads from underground stems or rhizomes.

 

 

The Blue Walking Iris is a vigorous growing tropical but surprisingly cold hardy.

Walking iris is clump-forming and its leaves are broad, sword-shaped and pointed at the ends. They grow in flat, fan-like arrangements, as do most members of the Iris family.

The brilliant purple-blue iris flowers are marked with white and burgundy-brown spots and appear in clusters on leafy stems held above the leaves. This species tends to bloom in succession from summer to spring

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It does best in filtered light to part shade. The flowers are short lived but replaced with new flowers throughout late Spring. Be careful not to over water.

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Real World Gardener Small Trees are Design Elements

November 14th, 2014

GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney 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.Steaming live on the net at www.2rrr.org.au/player/

DESIGN ELEMENTS

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photo M Cannon

with Louise McDaid, landscape designer.

Nearly every primary school girl or boy will tell you that trees give us oxygen. But exactly how much?

Well science to the rescue and a 30 metre tree can pump out 2,721 kilograms of oxygen in a year, which is enough to support at least two people.

That same tree can absorb as much as 22.7 kilograms of carbon dioxide in a year, which over it’s lifetime is approximately the same amount as would be produced by an average car being driven 41,500 kilometres.

But don’t panic, this week’s episode is about smaller trees and they have their role too.

According to the University of Melbourne, because trees grow faster the older they get, their capacity for photosynthesis and carbon sequestration increases as they age.

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photo M Cannon

 

Don't just plant any tree in a small garden but a tree that's under 10 metres maximum, or which is the classification of a small tree.

In a small garden, trees are much closer so features like the bark can be considered to enhance your garden.

For cool temperate districts a silver birch would look lovely. Otherwise for a similar silvery bark, try Eucalyptus caesia " Silver Princess."

Of course cooler districts are spoilt for choice in the Japanese Maple range.

Another great tree for a bark feature is Crepe Myrtle, especially the Indian Summer Range which is more resistant to powdery mildew.

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Real Workd Gardener Keeping Chickens Happy in The Good Earth

November 14th, 2014

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney 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.Steaming live on the net at www.2rrr.org.au/player/

THE GOOD EARTH

with Margaret Mossakowska from www.permaculturenorth.org.au

Ever though about keeping chickens-there’s small ones you know-those feisty bantams.

If you do have chickens are you keeping them happy?

O.K. although they have been domesticated for about a gazillion years, and do OK inside small areas, they were once wild critters that roamed the forests or jungles looking for food,  keeping their young safe, protecting their flock, etcetera. 

 

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Three chickens in a row photo M Cannon

Watching them over their life-cycles is fascinating and informative, and we come to realize that even the little-bitty chick you raised by hand has those innate wild survival skills. They just want to break out all the time and you can’t keep building the fence higher and higher.

Make sure they have access to some dry soil for their dust baths. If they only stay in a chicken run, you can make a sand pit for them to bathe in. They do this to suffocate any mites they may have.

Chickens also love greens-whether pecking at some grass or maybe of box of weeds especially grown for them. They love chickweed, dandelions etc.

If you do have a chicken run and find that a couple of ring leaders are flying the coop once too often you’ll have to trim their flight feathers on one of the wings.Clipping these feathers is no different or hurts no more than you cutting your fingernails.You do need to cut the right ones. Check out the internet or a good book about keeping chickens if you’re not sure which ones and how much to cut.If you have any questions about chickens, or have an anecdote about their behaviour, even some.photos, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

 

 

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At the Royal Easter Show

photo M Cannon

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Real World Gardener Fairy Fan Flower is Plant of the week

November 14th, 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

with Karen Smith editor of www.hortjournal.com.au
Scaevola-purple%2Bfanfare.jpg
Scaevola is a well-known Australian native that really does well in gardens in all states and not just the east coast of Australia flowering from Spring to Autumn, even during the worst heat of summer.
Drought tolerant, salt tolerant, pretty flowers and no real maintenance.

Wouldn’t that be good if most of our plants were like that?

Never mind, even if we put some plants of these amongst the ones that aren’t so hardy, we’ll still have a show of colour and foliage when those others fade away.

That burnt hand story I’ve discovered was slightly off with the facts.

The latin word scaevola has a link to a Mucius Scaevola which was a lineage of patricians during the Roman Republic.

It was an offshoot of the Mucian family started by Gaius Mucius Scaevola.

This Gaius Scaevola was a legendary assassin who burnt away his right hand as a show of bravery during the early years of the Republic. Not saint at all then.

Latin: scaevola, "left-handed.

It grows naturally along the coastline around Nambucca Heads to Coffs Harbour where I’ve seen it on bushwalks.
S. albidus grows as far south in coastal areas of Victoria and Tasmania doing well in any type of soil, including clay soils.

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The flowers have a beautiful fan shape in colours of purple, blue or mauve.
This petal colour is combined with a white or more commonly a yellow centre to give a bright eye catching flower.
The flowers grow along the stems and become smallerfrom the top to the bottom of the plant.

Flowering time is from spring through to the end of summer these although this flowering time alters according to the length of summer and the temperatures of the season.

Visited by butterflies and Honey Bees

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