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 Create a Tactile and Sensory Garden in Design Elements

November 9th, 2017

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Creating Tactile and Sensory Gardens

 

For those gardens with just green leaves you need to zhoosh up the place with some touchy feely leaves.

So that when you walk along the garden path, you can brush your hand along the leaves of the plants for a nice intoxicating scent of just for the feel of the leaf;peculiar, sensational or otherwise.

But what else are gardens for?

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Chelsea Flower Show photo M Cannon

Let’s find out. I'm talking with Peter Nixon, principle of Paradisus Garden Design

 

PLAY: Tactile and Sensory gardens_25th October 2017

Kalanchoe_beharensis_%2528Crassulaceae%2

 

Peter mentioned these two mostly

Sinningia bullata is like a fibrous bowling ball.

Kalanchoe beharensis-(pictured right) Madagascar felt plant has contorted silver grey leaves that looks wicked.

 

The best place to get these succulents is at African Violet societies for the sinningia and Succulent societies for the Kalanchoe beharensis.

 

Let’s not forget the textured aromatic leaves of Pelargoniums.

 

 

 
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Real World Gardener Bird of Paradise in Talking Flowers

November 2nd, 2017

TALKING FLOWERS

Bird of Paradise

Strelizia reginae

Native to South Africa but naturalised in other parts of the world such as Madagascar and Mexico.bird-of-paradise%2Bflower%2B2.jpg

The scientific name comes from Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

Fun Fact

They are pollinated by sunbirds, which use the spathe as a perch when visiting the flowers. 

The weight of the bird when standing on the spathe opens it to release the pollen onto the bird's feet, which is then deposited on the next flower it visits.

Strelitzia lack natural insect pollinators in areas without sunbirds.

You can try to hand pollinate in order to try and get the plant to set seed.

This has proved largely unsuccessful and better methods of propagation is to try and prize a section of the leaf and rhizome for transplanting.

The plant as a whole does not successfully transplant either.

I'm talking with flower therapist Mercedes Sarmini.

Recorded live during Real World Gardener show, in the studios of 2rrr Sydney

Fun Fact

They are pollinated by sunbirds, which use the spathe as a perch when visiting the flowers. 

The weight of the bird when standing on the spathe opens it to release the pollen onto the bird's feet, which is then deposited on the next flower it visits.

Strelitzia lack natural insect pollinators in areas without sunbirds.

You can try to hand pollinate in order to try and get the plant to set seed.

This has proved largely unsuccessful and better methods of propagation is to try and prize a section of the leaf and rhizome for transplanting.

The plant as a whole does not successfully transplant either.

I'm talking with flower therapist Mercedes Sarmini.

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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 Spectacular Chinese Redbud is Plant of the Week

October 19th, 2017

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Cercis chinensis " Avondale" 

Chinese Redbud.

Why this tree is so spectacular is that it has flowers not just at the end of the branches but all along the stems and trunk right down to the ground.

Masses of deep purple or deep rose-pink pea like flowers appear along the bare stems in late winter to early spring. 

The flowers are held close up and down the stem and right down to the bottom of the trunk.

A spectacular show of flowers that appear in large clusters.Cercis_chinensis_Avondale.jpg

Fruits are attractive bean like pot that's purple make a decorative feature in late Summer.

Flowers on the straight species are pink or milky white, and the leaves are a bit more rounded but still heart shaped.

Flowers last about 3 weeks.

I'm talking with 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

  • Cercis chinensis Avondale is very small for a tree being 3 x 2 metres, with spectacular flower and heart shaped leaves.
  • Does love a good water during dry spells but otherwise reasonably hardy.
  • All Cercis have a tap root so that's a no for transplanting and possibly for growing in pots too
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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?

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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