Real World Gardener COLLECTABLE Desert Rose is Plant of the Week

June 23rd, 2017

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

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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.

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Desert Rose

Adenium obesum

 

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been featuring old fashioned shrubs that have outstanding features, namely the flowers and the fragrance.

Today’s feature plant is no less outstanding, and is in fact desired by collector’s worldwide because of its unique characteristics.

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A rose is a rose, except if it's a desert rose.

That doesn’t even include the flower, which is pretty special too.

Let’s find out more…

 

The plant panel were Karen Smith, editor of Hort Journal www.hortjournal.com.au and Jeremy Critchley, The Green Gallery wholesale nursery owner. www.thegreengallery.com.au

The NT (Darwin) News blog writes

“Keen gardeners who are serious about Adeniums have impressive collections of different colours, leaf form and variegation, and search online for the more rare and unusual types.

Most people find them a fascinating plant, mainly for their unusual shape, bulbous caudex (fat base) and stunning flowers.

Similar to frangipanis, they are a succulent that is drought tolerant and can survive long periods without water.”

Too much water will cause them to rot, as it would for any succulent, and growing them in well-drained soil is essential.”

If you have any questions about the Desert Rose, why not write in to realworldgardener@gmail.com

 
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Real World Gardener Make Your Own Beeswax Wraps on the Good Earth

June 23rd, 2017

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

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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 GOOD EARTH

Make Your Own Beeswax Wraps

 

Plastic is back in the media as being bad for the environment, so much so, that some countries have banned the use of plastic bags.

Why? Because it never breaks down, instead it turns into smaller and smaller particles which our wildlife consume. 

 



Some sea creatures mistake soft plastic bags floating in the ocean for jelly fish with dire consequences.

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Soft plastics such as what you use for wrapping your sandwiches are just as much of a problem as the bags because, it doesn’t break down ever.

So what else can you wrap your sandwiches in other than putting it in a plastic container?

 

 

I talk with Margaret Mossakowska, Director of www.mosshouse.com.au and course coordinator for Permaculture North in Sydney.

 

You can spend the dollars and buy the ready-made beeswax wraps, or you can do it yourself quite cheaply.

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Margaret's tip for lunchwraps.

You can buy beeswax from markets and bee-keepers associations.

What you'll need:

Densely woven cotton cloth-about the thickness of a man's business shirt or cotton bedsheet.

Cut them into squares 40cm x 40 cm.

Place the cotton squares between several lavers of greaseproof paper and sprinkle grated beeswax over the cloth.

Spray a couple of times with Jojoba oil for ease of spreading.

Place some butchers paper over the greaseproof paper and iron to heat up the wax so it's absorbed into the cloth.  Then it's ready to use, just mould it into shape for wrapping sandwiches or other food except meat and cheese.

 

So go on, kick the plastic habit and make some beeswax wraps yourself If you have any questions about beeswax wraps, or have some information to share, drop us a line to or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675 

 
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Real World Gardener Gorgeous Luculia is Plant of the Week

June 16th, 2017

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Luculia

 

Luculia gratissima

Without realizing, the shrubs featured this week and last week are old fashioned shrubs but with outstanding features. 

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Luculia gratissima

And just like undersized potatoes or oversized apples, they who make decision in the big stores that sell plants, have decided that they won’t be available to the home gardener.

So if you’re looking for a winter flower shrub or small tree with masses of pink fragrant flowers, this one’s for you?

Let’s find out more… 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

 

If you get a whiff of gardenias one morning in late autumn, it probably means that someone nearby is growing Luculia (Luculia spp.). 

Although Luculia and gardenia are in the same family of plants and share the same delicate fragrance, the timing of their magnificent scented flowers is different.

Luculia is evergreen and grows to around 3 metres eventually.

While the flowers make an impressive display, the leaves not so much.

The foliage shall we say get’s a little untidy, but gardeners grow it for the flowers not the leaves.Pruning: Luculia flowers on new wood, so pruning is best done after flowering. 

You can prune mature Luculias quite hard to tidy them up, should you be lucky enough to have one growing in your garden.

 
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Real World Gardener Little Egret is Wildlife in Focus

June 16th, 2017

WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

Little Egret

Egretta garzetta

Australia has plenty of water birds but do you think of our waterbirds as hanging around the seashore?

That’s probably true of a lot of water birds but others prefer inland areas where there’s plenty of water as in creeks, rivers and lakes.

 

 

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Egretta garzetta

In fact some water birds like open areas with shallow fresh water while others go for coastal swamps, shallow seasonal meadows and marshes, stony rise lowlands and large saline lakes.

There's more than one Egret that lives in Australia, so how to tell which it is that you're looking at.

they look similar so it is quite confusing.

Which one is white with black legs?

 

Let’s find out more.. I'm talking with Dr Holly Parsons, Manager of Birds in Backyards.

 

 

All Egrets tend to be white with long legs and a long beak.

The distinguishing features is that the Little Egret has a black bill with dark grey-black legs.

Both the Cattle Egret and the Little Egret get flumes on the back of their head when they're breeding.

The colour of the Cattle Egret's plumes are orangey-yellow, but the Little Egret's plumes are white.

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Breeding plume of Little Egret

It's so important to retain Australia's wetlands.

Wetlands support a rich diversity of plants and animals including a large number of waterbirds that depend on them for food, shelter and breeding.

The Little Egret hunts for fish and other small water creatures in shallow water and may be found in the company of other wading birds, but rarely with others of its own species.

If you have any questions about the little egret, or have some information to share, drop us a line to or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

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Real World Gardener SPECTACULAR Dombeya in Plant of the Week

June 8th, 2017

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

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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

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Dombeya spectabilis 

 

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Dombeya "Pink Ball."

 

Dombeya "Pink Ball."

If you like the idea of a flowering shrub with hydrangea sized flowers, but much taller than a hydrangea, then consider this next plant.

 

Let’s find out more…

 

The plant panel were Karen Smith, editor of Hort Journal www.hortjournal.com.au and Jeremy Critchley, The Green Gallery wholesale nursery owner. www.thegreengallery.com.au

Did you know that the main specialty of this tree is that it has a long flowering time which starts from April to August in some districts.

During this time even a 3 year old single plant will have around 5000 -12,000 flowers every day and each of them consists of around 40 – 70 petals filled with honey and pollen.

Perfect if you’re into keeping bees. If you have any questions about the Dombeyas, why not write in to 

 

Flower Fact:

The interesting thing is that as the flower opens, the edges of the petals are dusted with pollen functioning perhaps as a pollen presenter, which is somewhat unusual especially for the perianth.

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Real World Gardener BETTER Garden Walkways in Design Elements

June 8th, 2017

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

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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

DESIGN ELEMENTS

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Up the Garden Path, Softly

 

Today’s garden challenge is for those gardeners that don’t want hard surface garden paths.

 

Concrete, brick or 

other types of paving for paths 

can be a bit harsh in areas 

where the garden is quite natural.

What do you opt for then?

 

Perhaps mulch?

 

Mulch decomposes rather quickly and you end up raking some up when you're trying to get rid of those leaves from branches that hang over the path.

 

Leaves that don't look attractive are usually from trees in the Proteaceae family, such as Madacdamia or Ivory Curl tree, 

because they're quite hard and take a long time to break down.

 

But there are other alternatives, although not necessarily ones that you can do yourself unless you're really handy with the compactor.

 

 

 

In this segment, garden designer Peter Nixon explores some softer alternatives.

Let’s find out…I'm talking with Peter Nixon, garden designer and Peter’s not a fan of pebbles on paths.

 

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Scampston Garden in England. photo M Cannon

 

Instead why not try a combo of bark chips and shell grit, or decomposed granite, perhaps lillydale topping and bark or woody mulch.

You would need to run the plate compactor over these surfaces to compact the path.

If you have any questions about what to do for your garden paths in your garden, or have some information to share, write in realworldgardener@gmail.com

 
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Real World Gardener Why Seaweed Solutions are Great for the Garden

June 8th, 2017

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

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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

FEATURE INTERVIEW: 

All About Seaweed Products

Is Seaweed Solution Good for Your Plants

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Gardeners want healthy plants

Market research shows us that even though we think we would buy Australian products, we tend to purchase on price.

Does that apply to gardening?

Hopefully you would choose an wholly owned Australian company with only 65 employees, whose name is synonymous with the word seaweed.

Just like we say hoovering instead of vacuuming.

Let’s find out more.. I'm talking with Lisa Boyd, one of the Directors of Seasol and Robyn Stewart the new PR Manager of Seasol.

Lisa said that Seasol is 100% organic. 

SEAWEED SOLUTIONS ARE NOT FERTILISERS. 

Why is that?

Traditional fertilisers have Nitrogen (N) Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K). Seaweed solution has only a very small amount of Potassium.However, seaweed solution can provide benefits that traditional fertilisers can't.

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Brown Kelp washed up on the seashore

So what can seaweed solutions do:

  • They can be used all year round. 
  • They can be used to help plants recover from transplant shock.
  • Help plants get cope disease better.
  • Is taken up by the leaves and the roots of the plants.

Seasol is made from brown kelp that's washed up on the shores of King Island. The collection of kelp is strictly controlled because it provides habitat for the plovers.

Whether or not you use it just a few times or religiously every couple of weeks, the benefits of seaweed solution have been proven to benefit the plant and the soil it grows in If you have any questions about seaweed solutions, or have some information to share, drop us a line to or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

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Real World Gardener Make Your Own Green Wall in Design Elements

June 1st, 2017

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.

DESIGN ELEMENTS

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Floriade Venlo photo M Cannon

Green Walls

You may not have thought of the idea of having a green wall in your garden.

You might’ve thought that they were really expensive.

 

Some facts first about green walls.

Green walls can provide:

• aesthetic improvements

• protect the building they are attached to because they shield the the building or fence from the sun.

• reduce building heating and cooling costs due to increased insulation

• increased property value

• a place to grow food

• rain water run-off management and water filtering/pollution reduction

• habitat creation and increased biodiversity

• cooling effect

• cleaner air, with less pollutants

 

But did you also know that green walls suit any size garden, even if you have a large garden?

Why?

How do you achieve this?

 

Let’s find out? I'm talking with Peter Nixon from Paradisus garden design. www.peternixon.com.au

 You can make your own green wall using recycled material or you can buy ready made ones from the big box stores that have garden supplies.

They’re fine too.

If you have any questions about green walls, why not contact Peter or email us here at realworldgardener@gmail.com

 
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Real World Gardener Black Spot on Apples in Plant Doctor

June 1st, 2017

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.

PLANT DOCTOR

Black Spot on Apples; Apple Scab

We all love to eat perfect apples but if you grow apple trees, then watch out for this.

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If you’ve ever grown roses you would’ve heard about the fungal disease called black spot that starts of as black blotches on the leaves.

The spots become bigger, in some cases joining up, the leaves turn yellow, and then drop off.

Sound familiar?

Well you’ll be surprised to learn that there is another type of black spot, don’t worry, it’s not on roses, but it appears on apple trees.

In fact this disease is a serious problem for apple orchardists.

Let’s find out more.. 

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

 

PLAY: PLAY :Apple Scab_24th May 2017

Black spot on apples looks different than black spot on roses because there isn’t the typical yellowing of the leaves.

The spots are also more irregular than blackspot on roses.

The problem with this fungal disease is that it also spreads to the apples, especially in humid weather.

Spotting on fruit develops a corky layer which resembles a scab. If this happens on young fruit it can also cause cracking. On mature fruit it's still a problem with the appearance of corky scabs on the surface, affecting the re-sale value.

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Apple Scab

One thing to note, if your tree has had it in the past, be a good neighbour and spray your plants to prevent further spread because it’s a major problem for orchadists.

 

If you have any questions apple scab or apple black spot. or have some information to share, drop us a line to or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675 and I’ll send you a packet of seeds.

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Real World Gardener Fabulous Nerines are Plant of the Week

June 1st, 2017

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.

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Nerines; Guernsey Lily (Nerine bowdenii)

Some garden writers describe this next plant as one of the most exotic of bulbs for the Autumn garden.

Although it’s a bulb, it looks nothing like the flowers of regular common bulbs such as daffodils or tulips.

Instead in belongs in the Amaryllis family, which includes agapanthus and alstroemeria. Nerines.jpg

Let’s find out more… 

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 

 

Did you know that exposure to cold temperatures can cause the flower heads to turn slightly blue?
If you like planting bulbs that you can set and forget, then Nerines are your thing.
Plant them with Cyclamens and Colchicums which are lower, as the stems of Nerine flowers are very tall, between 30 – 50 cms.

 

What Nerines Like

Nerines like a position in sun or part-shade.

Plant them in light, gritty, well-drained soil, with the neck of the bulb exposed.

Hardy to moderate frosts, even down to -15 C.

In cold areas, growing in pots is another option.

Water well during the growth period but keep dry when dormant.

 

Nerine varieties & flowering time:

Bowdenii: A softer, clear pink. Excellent colour for the Autumn garden. (Flowers April) Most frost tolerant. Can withstand -150 C

Gold `Nerine` (Which is actually a very closely related Lycoris): Flowers of golden, sunshine yellow. This variety is excellent for growing in warmer climates. 

In cool/cold climates, this variety likes a nice warm & sunny spot. Flowers Feb-March.

Fothergill Major: Brilliant tangerine with a golden sheen to each petal as if dusted with gold. Flowers Autumn (Feb-March)

Fothergill Minor: Brilliant florescent orange-red blooms that appear in March-April.

Note: In very cold climates (eg: Tasmania) plant the bulbs in a warm spot.. This is a new dwarf variety to only approximately 20cm- 25cm tall.

Salmonia: Salmon pink blooms. The many frilly petals (up to 30) make beautifully shaped umbels. Flowers April.

White: (Alba) Their Winter blooms appear whiter-than-white against the dull colours of Autumn. Flowers Autumn. (May)

Winter Cheer: The strong pink of these flowers which appear in in Winter do indeed add `Winter cheer` to the garden. Flowers June

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