Real World Gardener Building Raingardens in Design Elements

December 8th, 2017

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Creating Rain Gardens

Getting a lot of rain lately or not?

Maybe you need a rain garden but it’s not what you think.

We’re not creating rain, but using the rain to help us grow plants without that bit of the garden turning into a quagmire or just being washed away.

So how do we do that?

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Let’s find out how

I'm talking with Peter Nixon of Paradisus Design www.peternixon.com.au

 

PLAY Raingardens_29th November 2017

So you know now that raingardens are designed to temporarily hold and soak in rain water runoff that flows from roofs, driveways, patios or lawns.

If you have a water pooling problem you have got to create a course for the water to go.

Of course you cannot divert the water onto neighbouring properties so the best solution is to create that rain garden.

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When the garden fills up with water, gravity the pulls the water into a dispersion pit at the terminal end of the garden.

What you need to do, ( Peter explains in the podcast) but briefly, is to excavate a trench to 850cm - 1.2 metres at the low point.

The trench needs to have sloping sides.

Put in your slotted PVC ag pipe then cover with two layers of GEO fabric.

On top of that add riverstones.

What ever you do, DON'T cut the geo fabric.

You can plant up with plants that can cope with dryness and temporary inundation such as Eleiga, Restios, Alocasias and Dwarf Papyrus.

Did you know though that rain gardens are efficient in removing up to 90% of nutrients and chemicals and up to 80% of sediments from the rainwater runoff.?

 

If you have any questions about raingardens either for me or Peter, why not email us realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

 
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Real World Gardener Hawthorn Tree is Plant of the Week

December 1st, 2017

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Hawthorn tree

 

From a story on ABC’s landline "Growing hedges actually was the latest agricultural innovation in England and it naturally came to Australia, they tried looking at local things like the prickly mimosa which grows on some of the hills around Victoria.

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Hawthorn Tree in Young. photo Glenice Buck

"They found they weren't suitable and instead chose(the hawthorn tree)what was the ideal thorn shrub to grow, they found it did particularly well in Australia and particularly well in Tasmania."

This large shrub also has pretty flowers.

Let’s find out 

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I'm talking with Jeremy Critchley www.thegreengallery.com.au and Karen Smith of www.hortjournal.com.au

 

There were tens of thousands of kilometres of hedges around Tasmania in the early days of white settlement, records indicate there are 3,000 kilometres of historic hawthorn hedges left.

When wire fencing developed, new highways were built and small five acre lots were developed, many were pulled out, others died or went into ruin

 

If you want to know more or if you have any questions about the Hawthorn tree, why not write in to realworldgardener@gmail.com

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Real World Gardener Great Garden Seating in Design Elements

November 24th, 2017

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Great Garden Seating.

What’s the last word in garden seating for you?

Perhaps you can’t be bothered with garden benches, tables and chairs and an old milk crate or just perching on a step will do.

However big or small your outside space and whatever your taste and budget, there is an alfresco seating option perfect for you. 

But with so much choice, and we've certainly moved on from the good ole’ cast iron table and  two chair setting which is terribly cold on the bottom, not to mention hard. 

Perhaps you’re looking for a spot for an evening drink, a place to lounge or an area that will accommodate the whole family for lunch?

Things have moved on considerably in the last thirty of forty years though with new fabrics and materials that look like "rattan."

Let’s find out what’s Peter’s last word in garden seating.

I'm talking with Peter Nixon, principle of Paradisus Garden Design www.peternixon.com.au

 

PLAY: Best garden seating-15th November 2017

 

 

 

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Anne Johnsons' Garden photo M Cannon

Anne Johnsons' Garden photo M Cannon

You can make a complete living room if you have the space with a couch, easy chairs, ottomans and attending side tables. 

Make sure all the materials are long lasting and weather proof. 

Peter's favourite on a hot summer day is loll about on a lazy hammock strung between two shady trees. 

A garden with lots of places to sit is a user friendly garden. "Sitting places" don't have to just be just seats.

You can sit on top of a wall, a grassy slope, the edge of a pond, on garden steps, or even a large rock

 

Seating and lighting go together so rather than the awful floodlight stuck on the side of the garage, why not think about 12V lighting to compliment night time seating with your friends and family?

If you want to know more or if you have any questions about garden seating, why not write in to realworldgardener@gmail.com 

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Real World Gardener Great Garden Paths in Design Elements

November 17th, 2017

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Creating a Great Garden Path

 

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You probably do have a garden path, in but does that path work for you?

Is your path so dominant that you end up having a path with a garden rather than a garden with a path?

Perhaps your garden path doesn’t dominate but it just doesn’t work for one reason or another.

So what do you do?

Let’s find out. 

I'm talking with Peter Nixon, principle of Paradisus Garden Design

 

Peter mentioned a few variations on the garden path. 

Salt textured concrete is the favourite.

You can press large leaves into the concrete before it's completely dry and weigh the leaf down with a brick overnight.

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The next day, peel off the leaf and you'll be left with an impression; not one that jumps out at you, but a subtle impression that you need to be almost on top of before you realise how marvellous the path really looks.

  If you want to know more or if you have any questions about garden paths, why not write in to realworldgardener@gmail.com

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Real World Gardener What Makes a Therapeutic Garden in Design Elements.

November 2nd, 2017

DESIGN ELEMENTS

What Makes An Therapeutic Garden?

 

Are you a relaxed gardener?

By that I mean, do you go out in the garden to take a break or are you always out there thinking of what needs to be done, what needs to be raked, mulched, weeded or pruned, even planted.

But what else are gardens for?

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Therapeutic Garden Chelsea Flower Show 2013

Some gardens like this one in the photograph are designed to specifically show what it's like to have decreasing vision as experienced with macular degeneration.

 

Let’s find out what we could be doing instead in our gardens.

 

 

 

PLAY: Therapeutic gardens_25th October 2017

 

That was Peter Nixon, principle of Paradisus Garden Design.

Most gardeners would prefer to be busy in the garden, rather than think about how doing the weeding and growing plants affects the mind.

Have you ever noticed though that when you’re doing these tasks, you often forget about any worries that you’ve had? 

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The background noise falls away and you can escape from other people's thoughts and judgments, so that within a garden there is, perhaps, more freedom to feel good about yourself.

It helps if you have a nice relaxing space in which you can sit, relax, contemplate or meditate.

Seating is so important in a therapeutic garden because it also lower you sight level and how you perceive your garden.

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Real World Gardener Introduction to Acquaponics

October 19th, 2017

THE GOOD EARTH

Introduction to Acquaponics.

What is it?

Put simply, Aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (the soil-less growing of plants) that grows fish and plants together in one integrated system. 

The fish waste provides an organic food source for the plants, and the plants naturally filter the water for the fish.

Start off with a fish tank, and buy your fingerlings ( baby fish) either Silver Perch or Barraminudi are a couple of excellent suggestions.

Attach plumbing to growing beds which contain a soilless medium such as Scoria, expanded clay balls ( Hydroton) even Perlite.

Each one has pros and cons for using it, for example, although Perlite is very light, it tends to wash away easily.

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Water is reticulated ( circulated ) around the system so that the beds fill up with water constantly, then the water level drops as it's fed back into the fish tank.


The fish provide fish waste that feeds the plants.

The plants use this fish waste and filter out the water which is recycled back into the fish tank.

Robyn, says in here system of 5-6 growing beds, she never needs to flush out or replace the water other than to top it up due to evaporation.

There's more to it than that of course.

 Find out by listening to the podcast.

I'm talking with Robyn Rosenfeldt, editor of Pip Magazine.

http://www.pipmagazine.com.au/

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Real World Gardener Tropical gardens and mass planting part 2

September 29th, 2017

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Mass Planting for Tropical Gardens part 2

 

Tropical gardens have a different regime of wet and dry compared to other climate zones in Australia. 

The advantage is plants grow outside as if they’re in some huge greenhouse with perfect temperatures and irrigation or rainfall to make them grow like blazes.

But is the planting really all that different in tropical climates, and can we gardeners further south still grow these plants?

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Let’s find out about in part 2 of mass planting in the tropics.

I'm talking with Peter Nixon, landscape designer and Director of Paradisus garden design.

PLAY: Mass Planting_Tropical_20th September 2017

Peter mentioned the following plants.

Flowering shrubs to 3m 

Heliconia pendula - Waxy Red

Crinum augustum

Hakea bucculenta - large blood red flowers

Small trees to 5m

Malus ioensis plena - Double Crabapple

Plumaria obtusa  - Frangi pani

Xanthostemon chrysanthus - Golden Penda 

 

If you have any questions about mass planting for tropical climates, why not email us realworldgardener@gmail.com

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Real World Gardener Mass Planting for the Tropics in Design Elements

September 21st, 2017

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Mass Planting for a Tropical Garden part 1

Tropical gardens have a different regime of wet and dry compared to other climate zones in Australia. 

The advantage is plants grow outside as if they’re in some huge greenhouse with perfect temperatures and irrigation or rainfall to make them grow like blazes.

But is the planting really all that different in tropical climates, and can we gardeners further south still grow these plants?

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Let’s find out about in part 1 of mass planting in the tropics-listen to the podcast

 

I'm talking with was Peter Nixon, landscape designer and Director of Paradisus garden design.

PLAY: Mass Planting_Tropical_13th September 2017

Peter mentioned plants for FNQ - wet tropics monsoon affected, Cairns  

Ground cover -  Canavalia rosea 

Tall Groundcovers 

Peperomia argyreia - Watermelon Peperomia 

Stroemanthe sanguinea tricolor

Sub-shrubs

Hedichium arundelliana - Wavy Leaf Native Ginger

Costus woodsonii ‘French Kiss’

Next week, we continue with part 2 of planting in the tropics.

If you have any questions about mass planting for tropical climates, why not email us realworldgardener@gmail.com

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Real World Gardener Mass Planting for a Mediterranean Climate part2 2017

September 14th, 2017

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Mass Planting For a Mediterranean Climate

You may have heard that some parts of Australia experience what’s called a Mediterranean climate.

That’s where you can have moist mild to very cold winters and warm to hot and mostly dry summers. 

Sometimes the winters are a bit harsh and cold so how do you plant out a garden that has harsh freezing cold frosts but warm to blazing hot summers with little rain?

Do you stick to just having a desert style garden or one with succulents, but that has limited appeal really.

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Perhaps you would like a garden with lots of mass planting instead and plants of different heights and flowers?

So what can you really plant in this climate.

Let’s find out about. I'm talking with Peter Nixon, landscape designer and Director of Paradisus garden design.

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Peter mentioned plants like Chinese plumbago, Grevillea rhyolitica and Cistus species which do well in mass plantings and definitely work in a Mediterranean style climate.

If you have any questions about mass planting for Mediterranean climates, why not email us realworldgardener@gmail.com

 
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Real World Gardener Mass Planting for Mediterranean Gardens part 2

September 7th, 2017

 

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Mass Planting for a Mediterranean Garden part 2.

This series is all about mass planting but so it’s not boring.

There’s different levels, different leaf shape and textures and different colours of green to make your garden all that more interesting.

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Warm temperate coast regions around Australia can look forward to these next plants.

There are so many plants for these regions that we’ve had done split it into two parts of this four part series. So this is part B

Let’s find out about what they are.

I'm talking with Peter Nixon, landscape designer and Director of Paradisus garden design.

PLAY: Mass Planting_Mediterranean_16th August 2017

 

Plants that are used to the sunny tropics may have a hard time in temperate winters s because often there’s rain, but weak sun, so plants can struggle.

Peter mentioned if you need weed suppression, something low but in semi-shade will suit Plectanthrus ciliatus, Carissa Desert Star with a dark green gloss leaf and starry perfumed flower or Acanthus mollis.

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Jasminum nitidum

For sub-shrubs try Jasmin nitidum, which is a sub-shrub to about 1.2 metres and not invasive.

For difficult banks with a slope of 1:5, then go for Helichrysum petiolare Limelight, sometimes called Licorice plant.

For the 3m tall shrubs, try Hibiscus rosa-sinensis varieties or Mackaya bella.

Small trees that suit would be Brachychiton bidwilli- a semi-deciduous tree with a reddy pink barrel shaped flower.

If you have any questions about mass planting for temperate climates, why not email us?

 
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