Real World Gardener HEMIZYGIA IS Plant of the Week

August 30th, 2015

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

Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF).

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

with Karen Smith editor of www.hortjournal.com.au and Jeremy Critchley owner www.thegreengallery.com.au

Don’t you just love the way garden marketing gurus name new plants.

Take last week’s Pelargoniums. We had Big Red and Big pink.

Hemizygia1.pngThis week we have Hemizygia Candy Kisses or Mauve Magic.

Sounds more like a sweet, or a lollipop, perhaps even an energy drink, probably not that, but it’s a plant?

But it’s not just the marketers that are having a field day with this plant.

The botanical name is a doozy too.

In any case, you’ll want to have one of these that’s for sure.

Hemizygia Candy Kisses is an attractive, upright, perennial shrub that produces a delightful display of pink flowers that are highlighted by its stunning variegated foliage.

Short days initiate flowering that would mean it flowers in winter.

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The flowers are produced in sprays of flowers which are prominently held above the foliage.

Candy Kisses can be grown for its flowers or foliage.

For best results plant in a sunny to partly shaded position in moist well-drained soil.

Prefers a warm, frost free position.

Spent flowers should be removed after flowering.

An ideal garden specimen well suited to cottage gardens, containers and tubs or as a general feature plant.

Grows to 1m high x 80cm wide.

You would buy this plant just for the leaves, especially around Christmas, because the leaves are that dark green with cream edges and almost look like variegated holly.

 

Without the prickliness of course, and the stems are sort of succulent.

Beats hollies any time because it will flower with a spectacular show although flowering is initiated by short day length so that means it flowers in winter.

Still, the leaves give all year round interest.

Want one? Yes, what gardener wouldn’t want something new.

 

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Real World Gardener Designing A Garden in New York State in Design Elements

August 30th, 2015

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

Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF).

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.

DESIGN ELEMENTS

talking with landscape designer Glenice Buck about designing a garden in upstate New York.
If you were a landscape designer, would you fly all the way to America just to design someone’s garden?

Surely there’s plenty of American landscape designers who could do the job?
But, what if you were offered the job and thought well, it’s an exciting opportunity to discover new plants, and learn about a new landscape, even if it’s thousands of miles away.
So why would we be interested?


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photo Glenice Buck

Some listeners might live in just that type of climate and want to know what sort of plants will grow there that they can try and source.
The garden is a 2 acre block just out of the little hamlet called Germantown.
Germantown is approximately a 2 and 1/2 hour drive north of New York city in Columbia County which forms part of the Hudson Valley. 

Germantwon is located on the east bank of the Hudson river with the Catskill Mountains to the west and the Berkshire mountains to the east. 

The house is in fact a converted 115 year old barn.

The block of land the Glenice has to design for is  boomerang shape. The trees growing on it are two old Gleditsias, Magnolias, lilcas, pink oak, white oak and shaggy barked hickories. 

 

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photo Glenice Buck

We know where this garden is now, and over the next few weeks you’ll hear the story unfold, what trials and tribulations were encountered and how it ended up.
You’ll also hear about what plants worked, no gum trees of course, or Bottle Brushes or Banksias.
So what are the plants that grow in New York State?
You’ll hear about those too.
 

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Real World Gardener Compost the Right Way on Soil Savvy

August 30th, 2015

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

Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF).

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.

SOIL SAVVY

Q and Q with Horticultural Scientist Penny Smith

Probably most gardeners agree that compost is good for the garden.

Making your own compost is cheap and you get a bit of exercise doing it.

But, is there a right way or wrong way to compost?

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Can it get too hot or too cold?

Is there a right temperature that compost should get to?

Yes, there is, because the bacteria that breaks down compost and makes the nutrients available for your plants, dies off if the compost heap is too hot.

If your heap is too cold, the bacteria also dies off because the bacteria need a little bit of temperature.

If you’re not convinced about composting, then think on this.

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Healthy plants with healthy soil

Compost is free plant food it increases soil health and soil structure, improves drainage and helps the water holding capacity of your soil.

That means your soil won’t dry out so easily because it’s holding the moisture longer.

But you can't be in a hurry because improve your soil structure using compost will take a couple of years not a couple of weeks.

You do have to aerate your compost about once a week in the warmer months because you don't want your compost to spoil and become anaerobic. The compost is then not that good for your plants.

Finally, most things can go in compost, except fat or oil, and bones and meats because they attract vermin.

Also non bio degradable materials like plastics.

These take a few thousand years to decompose.

If you have any questions about composting, why not email realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

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Real World Gardener BIG Geraniums are Plant of the Week

August 21st, 2015

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

Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF).

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

 

with Karen Smith  editor of www.hortjournal.com.au and Jeremy Critchley, garden nursery owner www.thegreengallery.com.au

Geraniums

With so many amazing plants in garden centres today, it can be easy to forget some of the most obvious choices.

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And if you’ve been to England or Europe over the warmer months you would see the most amazing hanging baskets of Geraniums flowering beautifully. With the recent geranium revival, it’s time to give the humble geranium a look with a fresh pair of eyes, especially some newer varieties that make the flowers of old seem small.

Firstly let’s get out the way the confusion people in general have about Geraniums.

Geraniums most people see in hanging baskets, especially in Europe and the UK, are actually not Geraniums, they’re Pelargoniums.

Pelargonium is a genus of flowering plants which includes about 200 species of perennials, succulents, and shrubs, commonly known as geraniums

Confusingly, Geranium is the correct botanical name of a separate genus of related plants often called cranesbills

True geraniums are more fragile looking, and couldn’t cope with nearly as much sun in Australia, as these Pelargoniums.

Now for a bit of history.

Supposedly, the first species of Pelargonium known to be cultivated was P. triste, a native of South Africa.

Most species bred today originate from South Africa.

In 1631, the English gardener John Tradescant the elder bought seeds from Rene Morin in Paris and introduced the plant to England.

Did you know John Tradescant’s tomb is in Lambeth garden museum in London?

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I went there in 2013.

He’s important because together with his son, he went plant collecting and bought back lots of plants that are used in gardens still today.

I’m not sure if the weed Tradescantia is his discovery.

The name Pelargonium was introduced by Johannes Burman in 1738, from the Greek, pelargós (stork), because the seed head looks like a stork's beak.

Pelargonium leaves are usually alternate, and palmately lobed or pinnate, often on long stalks, and sometimes with light or dark patterns.

Difference between Geraniums and Pelargoniums.

From the Geranium and Pelargonium society of WA

True Geraniums are known as Cranesbills, which refers to the shape of the seedpod.



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Geranium Big Burgundy



GERANIUMS HAVE:

five petals that are the same size and shape as each other;

ten fertile stamens;

seed pods with 'curls' that act like a catapult to hurl the ripened seeds away from the parent plant;

many thin stems attached to fibrous roots;

need of cool climates so most are difficult to grow in Perth's heat.

A pelargonium flower   Pelargoniums were so named because the seedpods resemble the beak of a stork. (Pelar means stork).

PELARGONIUMS HAVE:

five petals, of which the upper two differ in shape and size from the lower three (more noticeable on the species or 'original') ;

ten stamens, but not all are fertile;

seed pods have a feathered end that enables them to float on the breeze to find a place to grow;

succulent, thick stems that hold moisture to enable them to withstand drought.

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Geranium Big Pink

 

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Geranium Big Red

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those big Geraniums of old are called Regal Geraniums and grew in many a country garden where they sometimes lined the long driveways alongside other old world shrubs.

 

They had a particular place and you either liked or hated them.

As with all Geraniums, old and new, they keep a lush appearance in some of the hottest, driest conditions, are elegant in pots and can be the mainstay of low-maintenance gardens.

These and are showy and hardy.

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Real World Gardener Sharpening Secateurs in Tool Time

August 21st, 2015

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

Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF).

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.

TOOL TIME

talking with Tony Mattson, General Manager of www.cutabovetools.com.au

 

Are you in the middle of winter pruning right now?

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What’s the state of your gardening secateurs?

Do they open easily, are the blades sharp? You know they’re sharp if they make a clean cut through a plant’s stem without leaving a little tear behind.

Almost as if you only cut through part of the stem and then pulled off the remaining part.

If they’re not sharp, those cuts that you make on your plants will end up with bruising and tearing on the stems leading to dieback and fungal disease problems.

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You don't have to sharpen your secateurs and other gardening tools every day or every time you use them.

Sharpening takes off a bit of metal and reduces the blade.

Only sharpen your much loved secateurs when they don't cut cleanly anymore.

That can be best described when a piece of stem cuts only part way and the rest is torn.

It's worth remembering that these kind of cuts on plants are entry points for disease such as fungal dieback.

Oilstones are things of the past.

The better method is to use either a diamond stone or a tungsten-carbide stick.

TONY'S TIP:

For bypass secateurs, sharpen the outside of the blade. 

Start on the inside of the blade and go outwards when sharpening.

For anvil secateurs, sharpen both sides.

To quote a long time gardening presenter on Gippsland FM, the jobs not done until the tools are put away.

 

 

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Real World Gardener Brown Treecreeper is Wildlife in Focus

August 21st, 2015

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
Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF).

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.

WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

 

Talking about the Brown Treecreeper with Consulting Ecologist, Kurtis Lindsay.

A little while ago, you may have heard about a bird on this show that creeps up and down trees.



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Image Chris Tzaros

The brown treecreeper, is the biggest treecreeper in Australia and is more arid adapted than its cousin.

About the size of a Pee Wee, the brown treecreeper has shades of brown with white flecks and paler eyebrows with a little black mask on its eyes almost like a zorro mask.

It also has hidden orange

Unlike the White throated treecreeper that always stays on the trees, the brown treecreeper can be found not only foraging in trees but also on the ground. They peck and probe for insects, mostly ants, amongst the litter, tussocks and fallen timber, and along trunks and lateral branches In fact up to 80% of the diet is comprised of ants.

Some birds are opportunistic so that when they lose their habitat they can adapt to living amongst humans in big cities and towns.

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Image-Chris Tzaros



Others are more shy and loss of habitat, fragmentation of woodland and forest remnants which isolates populations leads to local extinctions.

Also the ongoing degradation of habitat, particularly the loss of tree hollows and fallen timber from firewood collection and overgrazing is another major threat to these birds.

Fortunately, people are understanding the value of having trees on their property.

The critical factor thous is to leave fallen wood and trees as well.

Did you know that this treecreeper has an amazing diet?

Apart from ants making up 80% of the diet they also eat other invertebrates (including spiders, insects larvae, moths, beetles, flies, hemipteran bugs, cockroaches, termites and lacewings) making up the remaining percentage; Plus they like the nectar from Mugga Ironbark (Eucalyptus sideroxylon) and paperbarks, and sap from a eucalypt are also eaten, along with lizards and food scraps.

Young birds are fed ants, insect larvae, moths, craneflies, spiders and butterfly and moth larvae.

If you have any questions about Brown Tree Creepers, why not email realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

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Real World Gardener Why Some Plants Do Not Last in Design Elements

August 16th, 2015

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

Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF).

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Why Don't Plants Last with Louise McDaid, Landscape Designer.

Have you ever bought a plant thinking or knowing that it’s not suited to your climate?

You’ve said to yourself that you’ll create a micro-climate, or you’ll give it a go in a pot next to a north facing wall so it gets reflected heat.

Or you’ll protect it from freezing winters by remember to cover it with a blanket of some sort.

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Perhaps it’s a plant that you grew up with in a colder climate and now that you’ve moved to somewhere more temperate or tropical, you want to try and grow it.

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Perhaps this plant of yours evokes all sorts of memories, or the flowers have that special colour, so you give it a go anyway.

Did you know that lavender isn’t frost tolerant? I would never have thought because I’m sure my father grew Lavender in his Mt Gambier home.

But perhaps it had a microclimate?

 

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Real World Gardener NEW Coporospma is Plant of the Week

August 16th, 2015

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

Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF).

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

with Karen Smith, editor www.hortjournal.com.au and Jeremy Critchley www.thegreengallery.com.au

 

Coprosma repens " Pacific Series"

What plants grew by the seaside when you were quite young and went to the beach with your parents?

They are pretty tough plants with shiny leaves that withstand extremely dry conditions and salt spray.

Often called Mirror Bush or Looking Glass Plant because the leaves are that shiny.

The flowers are insignificant, but people living near the coast used to plant these shrubs because they could withstand the salt spray and grew where nothing much else would.

Especially in neglected gardens or gardens of holiday houses.

Perhaps it’s one of these plants that we’re about to talk about?

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Make sure you buy the newer types of Coprosma as in the Pacific series that are self sterile and not the weedy species Coprosma repens.

 

Coprosma 'Pacific Sunset' is a brilliantly coloured low growing evergreen shrub.

The leaves are coral red in the centre with broad dark red-brown leaf edges, very shiny and with an unusual wavy habit.

The growth is dense and compact, to around a metre and a half high and wide. It is great for low hedges and screens, and does beautifully in containers.

Grow in a sunny position to light shade in a moist soil. Feed with a handful of slow release fertiliser in spring.

 

Another new cultivar is Coprosma Pacific Sunrise.

coprosma%2Bpacific%2Bsunrise.jpg This is a striking evergreen plant growing to 1.5m high, with a glossy wave shaped leaf consisting of hot pink foliage and chocolate brown highlights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

That species Coprosma is a weed of coastal environs (i.e. sand dunes and headlands), heathlands, open woodlands, closed forests, temperate rainforests, wetlands, roadsides, disturbed sites, old gardens and waste areas in temperate regions.

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Real World Gardener Jaggery and Gula Malaka in Spice it Up

August 16th, 2015

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

Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF).

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.

SPICE IT UP

with Jaggery (Palm sugar) and Gula Malaka .

Talking with Ian Hemphill www.herbies.com.au

There’s more than one type of brown sugar and they don’t all come from the sugar cane plant.

 

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 Not only that there’s more than one variety of each different sugar.

 

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Just like we see sugar being sold as white, brown and dark brown sugar, you may find once you decide to use them in your cooking that there’s a few different types that have their different applications. There's light palm sugar and dark palm sugar. Dark palm sugar is closest in flavour to dark brown sugar.

Gula Malaka is all of these.

If you can't buy Gula Malaka, or Jaggery, you can substitute it with soft brown sugar.

Jaggery is made from boiled down sugar cane juice. It's very natural and not processed.

Used a lot in Indian cooking and has a very different aroma to palm sugar once blended with other spices.

An example of using the different palm sugars in cooking is -for Red Thai Curries use dark palm sugar, and for green Thai curries use light palm sugar.

Would you believe that palm sugar or palm jaggery is one of the healthy sugar substitutes that is available in the market today.

Unlike sugar, it is unrefined and unbleached retaining all its nutrients, but not only that, it has a smoky flavour and a rich aroma.

Palm sugar is produced by tapping the sap from the flowers of the tree and boiling it down to produce a syrup, which is then sold as is, or allowed to crystallize into various shapes and sizes.

Some of these sugars are mixed with cane sugar so that’s something to watch out for.

If you want the genuine article either buy a reputable brands or check the ingredients and hopefully, that will tell you if it’s 100% palm sugar.

If you have any questions about winter rose care or roses in general, why not email realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

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Real World Gardener Bower of Beauty is Plant of the Week

August 7th, 2015

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

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Talking with Karen Smith from www.hortjournal and Jeremy Critchley www.thegreengallery.com.au

Australia has a diverse range of plants that many wouldn’t recognise as being native other than the usual suspects of Eucalypts, Grevilleas, Bottlebrushes and Banksias.

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In steps a climbing vine that is so lush you’d think it came from the rainforests of Madagascar or Sumatra.

Pandorea jasminoides or Bower of Beauty or Bower Vine.

But it turns out to be truly a native plant with dark green glossy leaves and lightly scented flowers that measure around 5cm across.

 Even though Bower vine comes from tropical and sub-tropical rainforests, it’ll grow well in southern states if you give it plenty of moisture and protect it from frosts when it’s a young plant.

The newer varieties are Jazzy Bellz-white with deep maroon throats, Ritzy Bellz-pure white petals and throat, Sassy Bellz-medium pink with crimson throat and Flirty Bellz-soft pink with ruffled edges and a dark pink throat.

Same as the original but the distance between the internodes is shorter so appears even more lush, if that was possible.

Large white trumpet flowers with golden centres and is often seen growing all over Australia.

It can be easily trained over fences and trellises forming a dense screen.

I also have a white one with a yellow “throat.”

So, what’s the difference.

Well the original climb to 3 metres high and 5 metres wide. That’s big. I have it climbing over a large arch but it’s not that wide so a trim during the growing season with hedge clippers is need a couple of times.



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Jazzy Bellz



Why grow one at all? Bird attracting- Suitable for hedge- - Fast growing

So attractive, I had a birds nest in it for the last two years.

Flowers mainly in Spring and Summer, then you get the long seed pods filled with winged seeds that germinate easily given the right conditions.

I’ve given away quite a few plants that have been grown from seed.

Well there are more varieties out now under the hybrid name “Auzzie Bellz”…with an unusual spelling.

The varieties Jazzyy Bells masses of clean white flowers with ruffled edges and a deep crimson and Sassy Bellz-a darker pink with a crimson throat.

Both only grow to 40 cm

That makes them suitable for pots being more compact, growing to only 40 cm

Use on trellis and pots or on a frame.

There’s also two more varieties that grow as big as the original Pandorea jasminoides but with a deep red flower called Ruby Bellz and a yellow flower with a white throat.

 

 

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