Real World Gardener Gladiolis for the Vase in Talking Flowers

September 29th, 2017

TALKING FLOWERS

GLADIOLI

  1. Gladiolus bulbs are not true bulbs. Gladiolus bulbs, in botanical terminology, are referred to as corms.

 

  1. A corm is a shortened and thickened section of the stem that appears at the base of the plant. On the corm are buds for each layer of leaves. Except for production of new varieties, Gladioli are not cultivated from seed.
  2. Gladiolus plants are outstanding perennial herbs being semi hardy in temperate climates. 

     They grow from rounded, symmetrical corms that are enveloped in several layers of brownish, fibrous tunics.

 

Best time is to plant Gladioli bulbs or corms now for Summer flowering.

 

Rain is usually not enough especially after the plant has grown around 5 sets of leaves.

That’s the time you need to start giving it lots of water.

The new corm and the new roots are formed on top of the old one during the growing season.

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FOR THE VASE.

Mercedes recommends cut the stalks straight across the stem for vases.

Remember: Burped water which is Merecedes' way of saying, NO TAP WATER, but filtered water or water from the kettle for your vase.

Gladioli only like to sit in a small amount of vase water.

I'm talking with Floristry expert, Mercedes Sarmini about how to get the most vase life from your Gladioli.

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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 NEW Tomato Pest in Plant Doctor

September 29th, 2017

PLANT DOCTOR

New Pest: Tomato-potato psyllid

A new pest that could be coming to your garden soon is not something we gardeners would be glad to hear about.

But it has been detected in Australia and New Zealand so it’s something we need to be on the lookout for because it seems to combine the damage of a couple of pests.

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Worse than that, it attacks plants from the Solanaceae family, like tomatoes, eggplants and potatoes, and even some plants in the Lamiaceae like Catmint.

 

Let’s find out all about it….

I'm talking with Steve Falcioni, general manager of www.ecoorganicgarden.com.au

 

PLAY : Tomato_potato psyllid_20th September_2017

This new pest is something to watch out for and possibly a good time to take a hand lens with you out into the garden to have a closer look at the pests. 

The distinctive dame is when you see leaves that have curled up from the edge.

There is other damage as well that is similar to aphid and mite damage combined.

What does it look like?

The adults are 2-3mm in length or aphid size.

The main body is grey with some white markings. Click on the link below to see a photo.

Tomato-potato psyllid

The important distinction is the clear wings which sit at 45 degrees, almost like a mini cicadas wings or the peak of a house.

If you have any questions about this new pest; the tomato-potato psyllid, then 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 Dutch Iris in Talking Flowers

September 21st, 2017

TALKING FLOWERS

Dutch Iris

Dutch Iris-not an iris at all.

One of the world’s most popular florist flowers.

Dramatic flowers with long straight stems that are easy to arrange and last a long time in bouquets.

In the garden it flowers for 2-3 weeks.

Not specifically for Dutch Iris but Iris is the February birth flower, and the 25th wedding anniversary flower.

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Dutch iris, also known as Iris hollandica, which has orchid-like flowers with silky petals. 

Flower colors range from pale blue and lemon through deep purple, bronze, rose and gold.

Did you know that the Dutch Iris never grew wild in the Netherlands?

Instead, it’s been refined over many years through hybridisation by Dutch growers.

 

Dutch iris are popular cut flowers because they are dramatic, easy to arrange and long-lasting. Unlike other types of iris that grow from thickened roots called rhizomes, Dutch iris grow from teardrop-shaped bulbs that are planted in the Autumn.

 

The iris's mythology dates back to Ancient Greece, when the goddess Iris, who personified the rainbow (the Greek word for iris), acted as the link between heaven and earth.

 

It's said that purple irises were planted over the graves of women to summon the goddess Iris to guide them in their journey to heaven.

Irises became linked to the French monarchy during the Middle Ages, eventually being recognized as their national symbol, the fleur-de-lis.

 

Dutch Iris like rich, well-drained soil is important and, while it is quite acceptable to leave the bulbs in the ground, there is a risk of disease.

Mine have never come up the following year.

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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 High Reach Pruning part 2 in Tool Time 2017

September 21st, 2017

TOOL TIME

High Reach Pruning part 2

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

Last week we talked to Tony Mattson, general Manager of Cut Above Tools on how to prune up high.

There was so much to say that we created a part two of high reach pruning.

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Kifsgate, England photo M Cannon

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 

 

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Heavy Duty Gear Action Pruner can be attached to a 5m or 6m pole

 

 

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Tony says using a straight ladder isn't too bad in that you can wedge the top two rungs into tree branches.

A better solution is to use platform ladders because it gives you space to walk along the platform and trim say a hedge before needing it to be moved.
Pol pruners are good for stems up to 35-40 mm in diameter.

For bigger stems thant 40 mm in diameter, you should be using a pruner with mechnical assistance.

Ratchet pruners and pole pruners with gears are the way to go.

 

Here are some things that you don't want when you’re selecting high reach pruning tools or pole pruners.

 

•Blades on pruners that separate when you try to cut a tough branch.

•Poles that bend too much.

•Telescopic poles that start to twist around each other as the friction lock wears out.

•Also, ropes on the outside of the pole are more likely to get tangled in small branches than chains.

Chains inside the pole are better; they will never get tangled up.I

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

 

 

VEGETABLE HEROES

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Real World Gardener Talking Flowers with Gerberas 2017

September 14th, 2017

TALKING FLOWERS

Gerberas as Cut Flowers

Did you know that Gerbera flowers were named after Trauggott Gerber, a botanist and physician from the 1700s?

Another fascinating fact is that supposedly, many people place gerberas by their bed to enjoy a better sleep!

Gerberas emit oxygen and absorb toxins and carbon monoxide at night instead of during the day like most flowers.

I’ve heard that they’re the longest lasting cut flowers in a vase.


The Gerbera is the birth month flower for April.

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If you look at gerbera flower, you would think that it’s just one big flower head with lots of small petals. In fact, the flower head is a huge cluster of hundreds of flowers.

Gerbera seeds are expensive because each flower only produces a few seeds that are only viable for 1 year.

Plus the large fluffy seeds don’t fit into automatic seeding machines so need to be hand sown, maybe still today?

They are native to South Africa, but a lot of breeding has gone into developing the large daisy-like flowers we see today.

Watch the video of Mercedes Sarmini talking with me (host) on Real World Gardener radio show with recorded with Facebook live. www.facebook.com/realworldgardener

We're talking about how best to look after Gerberas in the Vase.

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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 Tulips for Everyone in Talking Flowers

September 7th, 2017

TALKING FLOWERS

TULIPS IN THE VASE

 

Today a new segment starts and it’s all about flowers.

Not growing flowers, but cut flowers.

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How good are you at floral arrangements?

Gardeners are often good at growing the flowers but not so good and floral arrangements.

Flower arranging is a skill that requires a good eye but most all it requires knowledge about how to treat the flowers in the first place.

It’s not easy for some but others just seem to know how to treat each flower. 

This series is all about how to cut the flower stem, how much water to put in the vase for different flower species, and how to look after those cut flowers in the vase.

So let’s kick off this new series by introducing the Managing Director of Flower by Mercedes with Mercedes Sarmini who has been in the floristry industry for 18 years.

To see the video go to www.facebook.com/realworldgardener
 
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