Real World Gardener NEW Hibiscus Little Zin is Plant of the Week

June 24th, 2016

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.comREALWORLD 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.

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Hibiscus acetosella "Little Zin."

Seems like plants with burgundy or purple foliage are the in thing with new releases of Crepe Myrtle ”Diamonds in the Dark” and Loropetalum Plum Gorgeous.Plants with coloured leaves other than green are a must in any garden to break up all that greenness and act as a standout plant or a focal point in your garden.

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Hibiscus acetosella "Little Zin." photo M Cannon

 

 

Not only that, according to Monty Don, purple leaves, as well as being attractive in their own right, make red and yellow flowers seem more intense, and add more depth to a border than green leaves ever can. 

What is new purple leaved plant? Let’s find out.. 

I'm talking with the plant panel :Karen Smith, editor of Hort Journal www.hortjournal.com.au  and Jeremy Critchley, The Green Gallery wholesale nursery owner. www.thegreengallery.com.au

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Hibiscus Little Zin has dark burgundy or maroon foliage, that look similar to maple leaves but about 10 cm in length. Growing to 45 – 60 cm  x 45 – 60 cm. with an upright habit.

Little Zin has a typical hibiscus flower with flower buds starting off as deep maroon then opening to a pale to mid pink with a maroon centre.

Flowers appear in late Autumn to early Winter around midday, that’s late in the season when days are getting shorter. 

 

 Hibiscus Little Zin prefers slight acidic soils to around pH 6.0 - 6.5 and soil that's kept moist but not boggy.

 

Originally growing in forest areas, marshes and open areas in Africa.

This plant branches reasonably well because it's a compact form, however you can tip prune to make it even more bush, but the leaves will be slightly smaller if you do this.

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Hibiscus acetosella "Little Zin." photo M Cannon

By the way, don’t try to get Crepe Myrtle Diamonds in the Dark because the demand was so high the grower is no longer able to supply demand until January of next year.

But you should be able to buy Hibiscus Little Zin from your garden centre or contact Jeremy's nursery for distributors.

If you have any questions about growing Hibiscus Little Zin why not write in to realworldgardener@gmail.com

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Real World Gardener Rosemary in cooking in Spice It Up

June 24th, 2016

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

SPICE IT UP

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Rosmarinus officinalis

Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis

The culinary Rosemary plant is often used for remembrance but did you know that the tradition of laying sprigs of this herb(rosemary) across the coffin or upon a tombstone dates back to ancient Egypt?

Rosemary is a lovely evergreen perennial herb with culinary, aromatic, and medicinal uses, and one of the favorites in herb gardening around the world.

So let’s not linger any longer and find out all about it. I'm talking with Ian Hemphill owner of Herbies Spices. www.herbies.com.au

You might be surprised to learn that Rosemary is in the mint family, but unlike mint, likes much drier conditions.

Rosemary balances very will with carbohydrates and is good with pork and duck dishes.

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Rosemary bush

Ian gave us a great tip about how to strip the leaves off the rosemary stem without getting that heel of bark by tearing in an upward motion.

when using dried rosemary either chop it very finely or grind the leaves to a powder.

Normally grinding herbs is not recommended, but unless you're doing a long slow cook, the hard leaves are best treated this way. 

After all, Rosemary has a very strong flavour and can withstand being used this way.

 

Ian's mother's scone recipe.

  • 2 cups of self raising flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter (cold)
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh Rosemary. 
  • Rub the butter into the flower then gradually add the milk to get a stiff dough. Don't overmix. 
  • Rest for 10 minutes.
  • Pat down or roll out the mixture  so it's 2 cm high then using a scone cutter,(one with a deep edge. a small baked bean tin is a good alternative.)
  • Place them onto a tray close together.
  • Brush with milk and place in the oven at one level above the centre.
  • Bake for 15 - 20 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius.

Growing and propagating Rosemary plants is pretty easy and every garden should have at least one plant, even if it’s in a pot.

The leaves and flowers can also be used to make a tea, said to be good for headaches, colic, colds as well as depression.

If you have any questions about growing and using rosemary in your cooking or have some information to share, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

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Real World Gardener Luscious Persimmons are Plant of the Week

June 17th, 2016

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.comREALWORLD 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.

PLANT OF THE WEEK

PERSIMMONS

They’re orange and can be put into your kid’s lunchbox unpeeled, and can be eaten sliced or whole like a pear.

You can dice and freeze them, adding them to a smoothie as a thickener.

They can also be dried, changing them from a crisp consistency to a soft, date-like, chewy texture. Eaten this way, they are deliciously sweet and taste more like candy than dried fruit.

What is this tree? Let’s find out..I'm talking with horticulturalist Sabina Fielding-Smith

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Persimmon Trees

Did you know that unripe Japanese persimmons are full of tannin, which is used to brew sake and preserve wood in Japan?

The small, non-edible fruit from wild persimmon trees in Japan are crushed and mixed with water. This solution is painted on paper to repel insects.

This solution is also thought to give cloth moisture-repellent properties.

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Real World Gardener Introducing Climbing Plants in Design Elements

June 17th, 2016

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.comREALWORLD 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.

 DESIGN ELEMENTS

Climbing Plants An Introduction-Why Use Climbers?

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Pandorea jasminoides photo M Cannon
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Pandorea pandorana

With so many gardens decreasing in size don’t forget to make the most out of your vertical planes.  The walls of the house, ugly boundary fences, posts on your pergolas, decking balustrades or even the letterbox can act as a support for climbers or surfaces for the climbers to grab on to. 

Allowing some greenery to cover these surfaces will give your garden another dimension.

 

 

Do you realise that you can stuff heaps of these types of plants into the smallest of gardens and have something in flower for most of the year.

We’re talking climbing plants in this new series.

So how do plants climb?

Let’s find out. I'm talking with Glenice Buck, Consulting Arborist and Landscape Designer.

Ever thought about why plants climb and where they came from?

Climbing plants originate in rainforests and started life on the forest floor.

As rainforests developed a thicker canopy there was less and less light that reached the forest floor so that plants gradually evolved ways to climb up towards the sunlight. Here’s an amazing fact, 90% of the world’s vines (climbing plants) grow in tropical rainforests



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Pandorea jasminoides needs a strong supporting structure. photo M Cannon

What You Need To Consider When Using Climbing Plants

What type of climber will be able to climb on the structure you want to use? Do I need a twiner, a scrambler, one with aerial roots or one with far reaching tendrils?  The answers to these questions will be determined by the materials the structure is made out of

 

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Real World Gardener Treat Those Camellia Pests in Plant Doctor

June 17th, 2016

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.comREALWORLD 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.

PLANT DOCTOR

1-camelia%2Bpink.jpgCamellias have a reputation for being hardy and thriving in neglected gardens.

For the most part this reputation is unsullied, but sometimes climatic factors or an insect event can lead to a pest or disease problem with your camellia plants.

What then?

Let’s find out what can go wrong in this 2 part series on pests and diseases of Camellias.

 

I'm talking with Steve Falcioni, General Manager of www.ecoorganicgarden.com.au

Scale insects that most commonly attack Camellia plants are brown scale, cotton cushiony scale and white wax scale.

Control is with eco Oil or Neem and depends on the temperature and the species.

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Camellia japonica photo M. Cannon

In warmer climates the home gardener could have several generations of scale pests so control could be at any time.

However, for those in warm temperate and colder climates, control of scale is best done in the warmer months, from Spring onwards.

Other common pests are Camellia T-mite which is best known for the symptoms that look like a grey dusting or bronzing of the leaf. In other words loss of greenness.

Control is with the organic oil, eco Oil or Neem oil.

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Mite damage on Camellias

Before your reach for a toxic chemical to fix the problem, be sure that you know what the problem really is.

Most non-organic insecticides cause a blanket kill effect (non selective) on all the insects, spiders and mites wiping out both good and target bugs.

After which there’s a bit of a hiatus when there’s no bugs and then the bad bugs come back first.

Using organic sprays is the best way to control large infestations and live with minor ones, because it’ll save you money in the long run.

If you have any questions about growing fruit trees or have some information to share, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

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Real World Gardener NEW Dianthusare Plant of the Week

June 12th, 2016

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.comREALWORLD 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.

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Dianthus x plumaris "Regency."

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Dianthus Regency.

A plant with low mounding grey leaves doesn’t sound too crash hot or enticing but what about perfumed flowers?

The flowerways come in singles, doubles, frilly, semi-doubles and flecked with colours mainly in the pink to red colourways and you can eat them as well.

Let’s find out what this group of plants is.

I'm talking with the plant panel :Karen Smith, editor of Hort Journal www.hortjournal.com.au  and Jeremy Critchley, The Green Gallery wholesale nursery owner. www.thegreengallery.com.au

Dianthus or Clove Pinks have been around since the 14th Century.

Flowers may be single, double, or semi-double and may be all one colour, flecked, picoteed, or laced. 

The leaves of all Dianthus members are linear to lance-shaped and are often blue-gray or gray-green with a waxy bloom. 

All Dianthus like full sun and average, well-drained, unmulched soil, because their crowns tend to rot beneath it.



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Dianthus Mojo



Propagate most perennials by cuttings, division, or layering.

Dianthus don't mind a bit of humus in the top soil layer, but don't like wet feet.

Clove pinks prefer a neutral to alkaline soil.

Dianthus or Pinks have fine root hairs that prefer to be in terracotta pots if not in the garden and because they’re quite small you can stuff in quite a few different colours and flower shapes in the many nooks and crannies in your garden.

If you have any questions about growing Dianthus regency, why not write in to realworldgardener@gmail.com

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Real World Gardener Plants for Acid Soils in Design Elements

June 12th, 2016

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.comREALWORLD 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.

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Acid Soil pH and Acid Loving Plants

By now you know what your soil pH is and want to know what to grow in it without having to change it.

There’s quite a lot of plants that prefer either alkaline or acid soil, so today’s episode is concentrating on the acid loving plants.

 

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Wisterias are acid loving plants. photo M Cannon

These plants are poor at obtaining iron – Iron is more widely available in an acid soil. The reason why these plants love acid soils is because they can obtain this iron under these conditions In an alkaline soil there will be an iron deficiency this can be identified by a yellowing of the leaves on the plant.  

Quite a few gardeners would know about quite a few plants that are acid loving plants, like Azaleas, Camellias and Rhododendrons.

What about any others? Let’s find out. I'm talking with Glenice Buck, Consulting Arborist and Landscape Designer.

What if you want to grow some of these acid loving plants in more alkaline soil ?

A short term fix is by giving them more iron

Iron can be supplemented in the form of cheated iron, bought as a yellow powder.

Place a large spoonful into a watering can and water over the leaves and into the soil.

This type of iron as it soluble will be absorbed readily by the plant, however it is only a temporary solution and long-term remediation of the soil may be necessary.

Some acid loving plants are:

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Rhododendrons are acid loving plants. Photo M Cannon

Coniferous shrubs and trees, Abelia ,citrus, azaleas and rhododendrons Ph4.5 -5.5

Magnolia, hydrangea,gardenias ,camellias, crepe myrtle, holly shrubs, calla lilies, wisteria, strawberries, ajuga and willows.

If you have any questions about measuring soil pH drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com

 

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Real World Gardener Small Fruit Trees for Small Gardens

June 12th, 2016

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.comREALWORLD 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 GOOD EARTH

Small or Dwarf Fruit Trees

Normally fruit trees grow to 8 - 10 metres in height, such as Avocado or Mango.

What do you do if you want to plant fruit trees in your garden but want ones that aren’t that big.

There’s usually dwarf varieties of the particular type that you want but how dwarf is dwarf really?

Is there another way to grow fruit trees without going dwarf?

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Fruit trees can be espaliered photo M Cannon

Have you ever heard of fruit tree hedges?

Let’s find out what it is now. I'm talking with sustainability consultant and permaculture guru, Margaret Mossakowska of Moss House www.mosshouse.com.au

You can plant your fruit trees closer together and prune them from a young age to have an open canopy so that they don't get diseases.

Trees that are too dense inside the canopy are prone to scale and fungal problems.



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Meyer Lemon tree comes in a dwarf form.



The concept of a dwarf fruit tree is really fruit trees that are naturally occurring as a small tree but they still grow to 4 metres.

Unless of course they're grafted onto dwarfing stock.

Multi-grafted trees are a great way to get multiple fruit trees in one planting hole but you have to be on top of the pruning of each variety very early on or the strongest one will take over and the others will die.

The other alternative is to plant two of something into the one planting hole or if you have the time and inclination, espalier your fruit trees.

If you have any questions about growing fruit trees or have some information to share, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

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Real World Gardener Quirky Dwarf Conifers in Plant of the Week

June 2nd, 2016

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney,streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community RadioNetwork. www.realworldgardener.comREALWORLD GARDENER NOW ON FACEBOOKThe 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

DWARF CONIFERS :QUIRKY OR NOT?

What makes a conifer?

A tree which bears cones and needle-like or scale-like leaves the majority of which are evergreen.

Long before flowering plants ruled the plant there were these guys, standing tall and covering most parts of the land mass.

Some of those ancient trees that have survived today grow really, really tall, but we’re not talking tall at all today.

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Mt Tomah Botanic Garden photo M Cannon



Let’s find out what this group of plants is.

I'm talking with  the plant panel : Karen Smith, editor of Hort Journal www.hortjournal.com.au  and Jeremy Critchley, The Green Gallery wholesale nursery owner. www.thegreengallery.com.au

Conifers come in all shapes, colours and sizes.

Did you know that conifers from hotter areas with high sunlight levels (e.g. Turkish Pine Pinus brutia) often have yellower-green leaves, while others (e.g. Blue Spruce Picea pungens) have a very strong glaucous wax bloom to reflect ultraviolet light.

Some of the varieties mentioned were:

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Thuja orientalis "Aurea nana"

Thuja orientalis 'Aurea Nana'  "Golden Biota or Bookleaf

" A very popular conifer, forming a neat globular shape with a smooth outline. In summer the plant is bright gold, greener in winter. Very hardy, excellent in pots. Supposed to grow to only 1 metre but when in the ground, has expanded to be over 2 metres by 3 metres wide.

depressed%2Bstar%2Bconifer.jpgJuniperus communis 'Depressed Star'

A low spreading shrub growing to approx 1metre wide by 30cm high. The foliage is a fresh green colour in summer, coppery green in winter.

 

 

Cedrus deodara 'Feelin Blue' 

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A low spreading Cedar with beautiful blue foliage. In 10 years a spread of more than 1metre should be achieved.

Often grafted as a standard.

 

Picea glauca 'Elf' 

1-picea_glauca_elf.jpgA very slow grower, forming a beautiful round ball. Covered in soft, light green, fluffy foliage in spring; darker green for the rest of the year. In 10 years, it may reach 30cm x 30cm.

Don’t be put off by the few specimens that you’ve seen in gardens or are available in garden centres because they’re only a small percentage of what’s available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Real World Gardener Which Plants Like Alkaline Soil? in Design Elements

June 2nd, 2016

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.comREALWORLD 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.

DESIGN ELEMENTS
Growing plants on Alkaline Soil; which plants love this type of soil?
By now you know what your soil pH is and want to know what to grow in it without having to change it.
There’s quite a lot of plants that prefer either alkaline or acid soil, so today’s episode is concentrating on the alkaline pH.

I'm talking with Glenice Buck, Consulting Arborist and Landscape Designer.

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Beared Iris are alkaline soil loving photo M Cannon

Listen to the podcast to find out which plants prefer alkaline soils in this segment about soil pH.

Soils in arid climates and also on coral tropical islands tend to be alkaline, with a pH factor of 7.0 or higher.
Also those parts of Australia that are based on Limestone parent material such as the Limestone Coast, will have alkaline soils.
This is caused by the high percentage of lime (calcium carbonate) in soil of these regions. 

That Hydrangea Question:

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Pink Hydranges photo M Cannon

 

Pink Hydrangeas means you have alkaline soils.

Some of the plants that were mentioned as preferring alkaline soil:

Evergreen shrubs (e.g.Buxus , Ceanothus - California lilacs, Aucuba, Bottle brush (Callistemon Harkness), Coastal Tea Tree (Leptospermum laevigatum), myoprum, plumbago, acacia, agonis and banksia)

Deciduous shrubs (e.g., lilacs, mock oranges, Forsythia species, tamarix)

Perennials (e.g.Acanthus, dianthus, Heuchera hellebores,Helichrysum, Plectranthus, Bearded Iris,

Trees – eg Hibisicus syriacus, Quercus robur, Crabapple, Poinciana trees, Arbutus unedo -  Irish Strawberry tree

Many succulents.

Just a reminder that soil pH is important because it influences how easily plants can take up nutrients from the soil.  
If you’re soil’s too acidic or too alkaline, it will take quite a few months to change the pH, but that doesn’t mean you should give up now.

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