Real World Gardener Relaxing Lavender on Talking Flowers

April 26th, 2018


Lavender, Lavender, Lavender.

Need to relax? Or get a good night's sleep? 

You need cleansing, calming lavender in your life. 



Lavandula angustifolia: English Lavender for cooking


Lavenders are a fabulous, long-lasting cut flower and you can dry them to use in sachets and pot pourri. And by the way, lavender is a great insect repellent.

Lavender is a favourite, whose flowers range from white to deep blue purple and include pink.

You can cook with Lavender flowers but you must use Lavandula angustifolia or English lavender flowers.

The other varieties have too much camphor and will make food taste a little bitter.

Use your Lavender spice flowers in cakes, biscuits, pasta and salads.

I'm talking with Mercedes Sarmini of Flowers By Mercedes 

Real World Gardener Carnations New and Old on Plant of the Week

April 26th, 2018


Carnations New and Old

Scinetific Name: Dianthus caryophyllus

Did your dad or grandad, grow certain flowers in your garden which you think are too hard to grow?

Well the plant world and it’s bevy of hybridisers have been working garden to make this old fashioned flower new again.

They probably grew the "old school"carnations which grew long and lanky and needed some type of staking to prevent them flopping over.

Let’s find out how to grow the newer varieties.

I'm talking with Karen Smith, editor of and Jeremy Critchley owner of



Dianthus caryophyllus Oscar series.


Carnations love alkaline soil , therefore adding lime to the garden bed will help with any acidic soil problems.

Tip: Not to be grown where Azaleas and Camellias like to grow.

Keeping your Carnations tip pruned will encourage more flowering.


Carnation Oscar is a dwarf growing to 10cm in only 5 colours but designed for the balcony gardener.

Super Trooper and Sunfloor-also a dwarf around 20-25cm in height, with a high amount of fragrance.

In fact it’s hard to choose between what makes carnations special;the fragrance or the flower.

If you have some information to share, why not drop us a line to or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

Real World Gardener Recognising Historic Gardens

April 26th, 2018


There are a lot of heritage items in Australia that get commemorated by a plaque but how many gardens get the same recognition?



Probably only a handful and these are not even well known. 

So the Garden History Society started to take note of some historic gardens and with a local council in Sydney, are recognizing that it’s not just built spaces that make up the fabric of history.

Let’s find out about some of these.

I'm talking with Stuart Read, Garden Historian and committee member of the Australian Garden History Society. 




These 'garden plaques' celebrate famous gardeners and notable gardens. 

 Does your local council have a garden plaques program?

If so let us know so we can give them a shout out. 

The Australian Garden History Society has branches in all states and the A.C.T. which arrange local activities and act as advocates for issues which are of interest to the society. 

For further information contact


If you have any questions either for me or for Stuart, you can email us or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

Real World Gardener Hyacinth in Talking Flowers

April 19th, 2018


Meet Hyacinth Bucket! A bucket full of sweetly scented Hyacinth is this week's star in Talking Flowers with Mercedes Sarmini of Flowers By Mercedes. Mr Hyacinth will grace your home with scent and colour for at least a couple of weeks, especially if you grow it from a bulb yourself. Hyacinths can be grown in a special water vase. Colours include red, white, blue, pink, orange, violet and yellow. 

Asparagaceae family.hyacinth.jpg

Hyacinthus orientalis; Dutch or garden hyacinth.

Not to be confused with Muscari which are also called “grape hyacinths.”

You can buy bulbs right now and plant before autumn is over for divine spring fragrance.

TIP: Don't forget to pre-chill them in a brown paper bag in the fridge crisper for 6 weeks. but away from fruits and veg.

This will allow the stems to grow nice and long

I'm talking with florist, floral therapist, and floraholic, Mercedes Sarmini of

Real World Gardener New plant for Dry Shade in Plant of the Week

April 19th, 2018



Lamium Mega

Are you after a groundcover for dry shade?

Would you like something with more colour where nothing colourful grows?

Something different perhaps than native violets, dichondra or ferns.

Dry shade tends to be dark, and the main way of enhancing a dark spot is planting something with either pale or white flowers or pale or silver foliage.



Cheer up the gloomiest of corners in your garden with this suggestion.

Let’s find out how to grow it.

I'm talking with Karen Smith, editor of and Jeremy Critchley owner of


PLAY: Lamium_mega_11th April 2018

Its common name, deadnettle, is unglamorous, but this lamium makes the best ground cover for tricky, shady spots.



Its silver, heart-shaped leaves with a green rim lighten up dreary corners, and the mauve (OK, "Mega Purple", if you must) flowers appear reliably throughout Summer.

This is a ground hugger, though, reaching a height and spread of just 30cm x 45cm

If you have any questions about Lamium mega , either for me or for the plant panel or have some information to share, why not drop us a line to or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675


Real World Gardener things You Can Do With Beeswax in the Home

April 19th, 2018

What’s On The Show Today?

Join permaculture guru Margaret Mossakowska talking about beeswax in the Good Earth segment; how best to look after those saved seeds in Vegetable Heroes; brighten up dark corners in the garden with this new groundcover in Plant of the Week.

Lastly, a flower that’s strongly linked with perfume in Talking Flowers.


Beeswax And How To Use It At Home

Honey isn’t just the only thing that beekeepers produce.

Beeswax is a by product of honey making.


So how can we use around the home other than for making beeswax candles?


Let’s find out I'm talking with Margaret Mossakowska from


PLAY:Household use of beeswax_11th April_2018


Margaret mentioned that you can make Florentine Wax tablets with pieces of melted wax in a muffin tray.

Making Florentine Wax Tablets:

Mix in a little coconut oil so you can spread the beeswax better, then add a few drops of essential oils for perfume.

You can even press dried flowers into the top to make them decorative.

Leave them around the house to let off their fragrance into the rooms.


rose-wax-tablets_copy_1024x1024.jpgTIP: Did you know that you can also coat things with beeswax, like hand tools, cast iron pieces and shovels to prevent them from rusting out.

You can even rub beeswax on the wooden handle of your shovel to help protect against wear and tear.

NSW amateur beekeepers associations

The ABA currently has 20 clubs/branches around NSW.

There are also a number of areas where new clubs are being started.

If you need any help finding a club near you, please contact the ABA Secretary.

For listeners outside NSW there’s also a national body,

If you have any questions either for me or for Margaret you can email us or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

Real World Gardener Calla Lily in Talking Flowers

April 13th, 2018


CALLA LILY Zantedeschia aethiopica  

Family: Araceaea

Known as arum lily but not a lily at all, instead an aroid.

Aroid because it’s a member of the 3,300 strong arum family and most have flowers that consist of a spathe (floral bract) surrounding the central pale yellow spadix (floral spike) bearing tiny flowers.

Image result for calla lily

Think Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum,  Anthurium and Philodendron.

Zantedeschia aethiopica is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant, evergreen where there's plenty of  rainfall and moderate temperatures but deciduous where there is a dry season. Its preferred habitat is in streams and ponds or on the banks.

The plant actually contains calcium oxalate making it poisonous to animals or people that may attempt to eat the plant raw.

This is basically a protection mechanism for the plant so that it can survive in the wild.

Apart from that, these flowers look fabulous in the vase ,just don't let kitty nibble on the leaves.

I'm talking with  florist, floral therapist, and floraholic, Mercedes Sarmini of

Real World Gardener Red Paw Paw is Plant of the Week

April 13th, 2018


Red Paw Paw Bisexual

Paw Paw and Papaya, are they the same fruit?

Papaya (Carica papaya), also called pawpaw in Australia, is an exotic, tropical fruit with a juicy, sweet flavour.



Papaya and pawpaw are the same species, however they look and taste different.

In Australia, the red-fleshed sweeter fruit is called papaya, while the yellow-fleshed fruit is called pawpaw.

Just to confuse everyone, from an Australian industry perspective however, the term papaya covers both fruit.

Let’s find out how to grow it.

I'm talking with Karen Smith, editor of and Jeremy Critchley owner of

PLAY: Paw Paw Red_7th April 2018

The papaya is a small, sparsely branched tree, usually with a single stem growing from 5 to 10 m tall, with spirally arranged leaves confined to the top of the trunk.

Something to note:


  • Papaya plants grow in three sexes: male, female, bisexual (hermaphrodite meaning they produce flowers which have both male and female functioning parts).
  • The male produces only pollen, never fruit.
  • The female will produce small, inedible fruits unless pollinated.
  • The hermaphrodite can self-pollinate since its flowers contain both male stamens and female ovaries 


If you have any questions about red paw paw , either for me or for the plant panel or have some information to share, why not drop us a line to or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

Real World Gardener Blubonnet Parrot in Wildlife in Focus

April 13th, 2018


Blubonnet: Northiella haematogaster


If I say this next segment is about parrots, do you go through a very short checklist?

This checklist might include, the Sulphur Crested, several Galahs, King Parrot, and Gang Gang Cockatoos.


Northiella haematogaster

You may even realise that Rosellasand Lorikeets are in the parrot category.

But what about this next parrot with a very different name?

Let’s find out about it

I'm talking wiht Dr Holly Parsons, Manager of


The parrots species have short, powerful bills that they use for cracking seeds, but some of them also feed on fruit, nectar, underground plant stems, and wood-boring insect larvae.

Blue bonnets have not only similar calls to other parrots but fly in a similar way as well.

From Graeme Chapman’s website comes this information “They have a particular liking for areas where sheoaks such as belah or bulloak (genus Allocasuarina) grow, mainly because these trees provide them with their preferred nesting sites.

Where available, they prefer a narrow split in the main trunk of a tree which opens out into a hollow that often continues down to (or even below!) ground level.

It is amazing just how narrow a split they can fit into and such sites are not uncommon in quite small trees such as Myall (an Acacia) out in desert regions.

These narrow nest entrances would provide good protection from the larger of the predatory goannas.”

If you have any questions either for me or for Holly, you can email us or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

Real World Gardener Blueberry Ash is Plant of the Week

April 6th, 2018


Blueberry Ash: Elaeocarpus retiuculatus

Here’s a small tree with lily of the valley type flowers and olive like fruit.

The flowers are either pale pink or white, often referred to as “fairy pettioats.”

A very tough small tree that’s native to the east coast of Australia that is also bird attracting especially to all types of parrots.


Blueberry Ash: Pink form

Let’s find out more about it. 

I'm talking with Karen Smith, editor of


PLAY: :Blueberry Ash_28th March 2018

Karen’s neighbour keeps her blueberry ash trimmed down to 4 metres or you could leave it a bit bigger and “limb up” as Peter Nixon would say so you have a lovely shade tree to sit under.

The only place it doesn’t suit is those areas with heavy frost. If you have any questions about blueberry ash , either for me or for Karen or have some information to share, why not drop us a line to


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