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?

tropical%2Bgarden.jpg

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?

tropical%2Bgarden%2Bpath.jpg

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 High Reach Pruning part 1 2017

September 14th, 2017

TOOL TIME

High Reach Pruning Part 1

Now’s a good time of the year to do a bit of pruning, wherever you live in Australia.

Sometimes though our garden gets away from us because we all lead busy lives, and can’t fit enough things in the day.

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The problem is, there are some branches of either a shrub or a tree, that are quite high up.

So how do we prune this safely, and if possible, without getting up on a ladder.

Let’s find out…

I'm talking with Tony Mattson General Manager of www.cutabovetools.com.au

 

Just in case you’re thinking of getting up on a ladder, is a couple of information from Staysafe NSW, which I’m sure will apply to all states.

Only use ladders for simple access jobs, or for a short duration.

It’s best to work from ground level whenever possible.

If you must use a ladder:

Always maintain three point of contact with the ladder. This means two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand on the ladder at all times.

Never lean or reach away from the ladder while using it. 

Tony suggests that tie the ladder to the tree so that it won't move.

The staysafe link:

http://www.safework.nsw.gov.au/health-and-safety/safety-topics-a-z/ladders

Instead of ladders consider the different types of pole pruners.

Keep in mind that you'll be holding it up for a period of time so choose one that suits your strength capability.

If you have any questions about high reach pruning 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 Colourful Crotons are Plant of the Week

August 31st, 2017

 

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Crotons: Colourful leaves

Codiaeum variegatum
Flowers are great, but not all plants flower for a long time so it’s good to have a plant that has plenty of colour in its leaves in your garden or even inside your house as an indoor plant.

Plant breeders are having fun with the colours and sizes too, so you can soon buy the same plant but in the miniature form as well as the standard sized shrub form of 1 metre.

Let’s find out about this plant.

 

Crocroton-type-plants.jpgtons

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

A well-grown croton keeps its leaves all the way to the soil level, but the trick to this is to provide steady warmth. 

Even outside, crotons drop leaves after a cold night. 

These plants do alright after a hard prunes so if a croton becomes leggy, prune it back hard at the beginning of the growing season and move it outside. 

The plant will regrow from the cut part.

A tough plant in the right environment; often seen in old and neglected gardens in Qld

 

Also a great plant to grow indoors even if you do have the right climate to grow it outside.

Just remember not to overwater it and give it some slow or controlled release fertiliser at the beginning of the warmer season.

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

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Real World Gardener Mass Planting for Mediterranean Gardens part 1

August 31st, 2017

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Mass Planting for a Mediterranean Climate part 1

Groundcovers and small shrubs.

This series is all about mass planting but so you're garden won't be boring.

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photo Louise McDaid Cloudhill Gardens

That means not just a sea of the same green and the same leaf shape and texture but a variety of colour interesting features.

Mass%2Bplanting-Paul%2BUrquhart.jpgThere’s different levels, different leaf shape and textures and different colours of green to make your garden all that more interesting.

 

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

 

Let’s find out about what they are.

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

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.

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.

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Real World Gardener Indoor Plants for Cool Climates in Design Elements

August 3rd, 2017

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Indoor Plants for Cool Climates

It’s been said that indoor plants remove pollutants from inside your home but did you know that plants can help fight colds?

Yes, that’s right, indoor plants have been shown to reduce cold related illnesses by more than 30%.

This is due to their effect of increasing humidity levels and decreasing dust.

 

Chamaedorea-seifrizii-2.jpg

Chamaedora seffirzii can also be grown indoors in cool climates

 

This series on indoor plants is to suit everyone around Australia so this week we’re focusing on what plants that you can grow indoors if you live in a cool climate.

Let’s hear some more.

I'm talking withJulia Levitt Director of www.sticksandstonesld.com.au

 

PLAY: Indoor plants-cool climate_26th July 2017

Did you know also that plants can stop your headaches?

That’s right, because they’re removing those VOC;s(volatile organic compounds.) that your appliances, carpet, and furniture are giving off every day.

Plants in the home have also been shown to lower blood pressure.

PLANTS mentioned

  •  Palms-Bamboo palm (Chamodorea seifrizii), Bangalow palm (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana) Dwarf Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii), Fishtail Palm(Wodetia bifurcata), Parlour Palm, ( Chamaedorea elegans), Walking Stick Palm (Linospadic monostachyia)
  • ·    Snake plants (Sansevieria trifasciata) for clean air
  • ·    ZZ plant(Zamioculcas zamifolia)-minimal watering
  • ·     Sago palm ( Cycas revoluta) withstands cool winter temps.

There’s more, but I’ll fill you in next week.

If you have any questions about indoor plants for cool climates why not email us realworldgardener@gmail.com

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Real World Gardener Albany Woolly Bush is Plant of the Week

July 13th, 2017

 

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Albany Woolly Bush

Adenanthos sericeus

Are you a fan of Western Australian plants?

They grow so many wildflowers, banksias, and Eucalypts with huge inflorescences or inflo’s as those in the now like to call them.

But how do they do in other parts of Australia, particular if they’re grey and fluffy and have been used mostly as a Christmas tree?

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Albany woolly bush flowers

 

Let’s find out …I'm talking with Karen Smith, editor of Hort Journal www.hortjournal.com.au a

PLAY: Adenanthos Silver Lining_5th July_2017

The greyness and upright growth of the Albany woolly bush makes it look sort of snow covered making it the perfect choice if you want a real Australian Christmas tree.

NEW VARIETY OF WOOLLY BUSH

Adenanthos Silver lining (40 cm x 1.5 m) is a very attractive native ground cover with fine, silvery grey foliage that is both soft in appearance and to touch,

'Silver Lining' is a low water user, thriving in dry conditions.

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Adenanthos Silver Lining image supplied by Plants Management Australia www.pma.com.au

All Adenanthos are particularly well suited to coastal zones as long as you proived them with well drained or sandy soils.

Susceptible to borers and dieback (Phytophthora)

Woolly bush is best suited to dry summers rather than humid climates.

Some growers suggest that plants need rocks for anchorage in windy sites.

Fertilise with low P 1.6%

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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. 

Luculia.jpg

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 BETTER Garden Walkways in Design Elements

June 8th, 2017

 

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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