Real World Gardene Lawn Alternatives for Low Foot Traffic in Design Elements

October 31st, 2019


Lawn Alternatives for Low Foot Traffic Areas

Continuing the series on lawn alternatives but this time we’re throwing in those plants that will only take light foot traffic, rather than say constantly walking on the area or playing cricket or football.

So what sort of plant alternatives are there for low foot traffic areas in part shade or hot spots in your garden?

Let’s find out. I'm talking with Glenice Buck from



For hotspots: Sedum acre as a lawn alternative.


  • The three top picks for lawn alternatives in low traffic areas with some shade are Corsican mint, (Mentha requieni) Chamomile nobilis or lawn chamomile.
  • For hot spots choose creeping thyme, (Thymus serpyllum) or Stonecrop, (Sedum acre.) 

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Real World Gardener Growing Plant Fibres in The Good Earth

October 31st, 2019



Luffa or loofah grows on a vine

Growing Plant Fibres

  • Did you know that there are lots of plants that may be used to produce plant fibre and many fibre plants are grown as field crops to make paper, cloth, and rope? 
  • But how easy is it to grow plant fibres? 
  • In this segment, you will find out that it's not only easy to grow these plants, but the fibre they produces is a sustainable source of products that you can use around the home.

Let’s find out what this is all about all about. 

I'm talking with Margaret Mossakowska from

These fibre plants are useful and easy to grow.

If you want a more sustainable bathroom sponge that you use, it can be grown in your garden.

Use the luffa for washing your dishes too.

After the luffa is finished with, throw it in the compost bin where it will break down; after all it's a plant fibre.

Growing luffa is dead easy, easy as long as you don’t confuse if for a cucumber or zucchini vine.

Don’t be like me, make sure you label the spot where you put those seeds in the veggie bed.


Cotton plant

Then there’s the cotton bush which has pretty hibiscus type flowers.

Easy to grow and easy to harvest the cotton.

You just need to remove the large black seeds before you using it.

If you have any questions for me or for Margaret, why not write in to or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

Real World Gardener Lawn Alternatives for High Foot Traffic 2 in Design Elements

October 24th, 2019


Lawn Alternatives for High Foot Traffic Areas.

So you’ve decided that you no longer want a lawn, but what will you walk on?

Greenery is better than paving because it’s more cooling in summer but of course needs more care.

I must say though, paving, or large concreted areas do have their fair share of maintenance as well. You can get weeds coming up in cracks, then the pavers or concrete get the dirty aged look so needs to be cleaned off with a high pressure water cleaner.

Not good in times of water restrictions.


But can you grow a waterwise plant alternative for high foot traffic areas? 

Pratia peduculata as lawn alternative

I'm talking with Glenice Buck from

Let’s find out.


  • The three top picks for lawn alternatives in high traffic areas are 
  • mini mondo grass
  • trailing pratia (Pratia pedunculata)
  • Dichondra repens.
  • A close 4th is native violet(Viola banksia).

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Real World Gardener Avenues of Honour in Garden History

October 24th, 2019

Garden History

Avenues of Honour

How do Australians remember the fallen or returned from wars?

Is it just built structures such as memorials or is there another way such as an avenue of honour?

In this garden history segment you will discover that there a many other ways to remember those who served in wars, and that these commemorations shall we say, are not confined to capital cities.

Let’s find out what avenues of honor are all about.



I'm talking with Stuart Read, a member of the National Committee of the Australian Garden History Society.

Avenues of honour were usually trees, but sometimes shrubs. 

They were to remember service men and women also nurser who did not return from various wars.

In Australia, there are hundreds of these avenues, particularly in Victoria, but other states also.

Smaller populations in country towns felt that loss more than in bigger cities with figures indicating that 1 in 6 never returned from war.

Often they were on main arterial roads leading into town  or in the main town park or showground.

The "Avenue of Honour," in Ballarat is the longest, measuring 23 miles.

It was started by the girls of the town's textile factory, EL Lucas & Co. in remembrance of husbands and boyfriends that never returned from war.

The first 1000 trees were planted on June 3, 1917 and the last 4000 trees on August 16, 1919.

Trees were often exotic, beeches, oaks and elms at first but later native trees were used.

Roma, in Queensland has an avenue of bottle trees, (Brachychiton rupestris.)

You can search for avenues of honour through just type in what you’re looking for in the search box.

Or and click on the advocacy tab or just search avenues, the list will pop up.

If you have any questions for me or for Stuart, why not write in to or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

Real World Gardener Holly Leaved Fuchsia in Plant of the Week

October 18th, 2019


Holly Leaved Fuchsia:Graptophyllum ilicifolium

There are those gardeners who think that native plants look straggly or messy and won’t plant them in the garden. 

No mixing up of plants for them.

Perhaps the holly leaved fuchsia will have them changing their minds because it looks more like something from the northern hemisphere.

A medium shrub 3-5m high found in fairly dry rainforest areas or along creek bank.

Actually occurring only in a small pocket west of Mackay in Queensland.

Moderately fast grower in warm climates, but slower in cool temperate areas.

WatchLet’s find out more. I'm talking with Adrian O’Malley, horticulturist and native plant expert.


PLAY: Holly Leaved Fuchsia_9th October_2019

Graptophyllum ilicifolium, or holly leaved fuchsia is quite unusual, and may just suit your garden.

Leaves look like those of a holly bush so very useful for Christmas decorations perhaps?

The flowers are fuchsia like, but obviously this plant is tougher than your regular fuchsia because of the tougher leaves.

The flowers appear in spring and summer along the stems.



Graptophyllum ilicifolium: holly leaved fuchsia

If you have any questions for me or for Adrian, please write in to

Real World Gardener NEW Citrus Watch on Plant Doctor

October 18th, 2019


NEW Citrus Watch

Citrus trees have their fair share of pests of diseases and control is better if it’s done proactively.

Certain times of the year are crucial in beginning your control program, but don’t worry, it’s not too daunting.



Let’s find out what needs doing

I'm talking with Steve Falcioni of


There are several types of pests

Sap Sucking Pests: control with botanical oils such as eco Oil

  • mites, 


    Fruit flies sting the fruit leaving a telltale black spot on the outside.

  • aphids,
  • scale, 
  • bronze orange bug- need to control at green nymph stage when the bugs measure only a few millimetres. Once they start to colour up, oils will not control them. 
  • neem oil is registered for control of bronze-orange bugs on ornamental citrus.

Chewing Pests; caterpillars: control with Dipel

Queensland fruitfly: control with pheremone lures, spinosad based pesticides and/or exclusion netting.

Mediterranean fruitfly (found in W.A.) control with spinosad based pesticide and/or exclusion netting.

Timing is the key for pests and diseases because they have a lifecycle which tells us when the pest is most vulnerable or when the diseases is most likely to strike.

This is a good indicator of when control is most effective.

After all, you don’t want to waste your time, energy and money using a product that won’t work as well as it should because it’s the wrong timing.

If you have any questions for me or for Steve, why not write in to or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

Real World Gardener Ranunculus in Talking Flowers

October 12th, 2019



Family:Ranunculaceae also includes anemones, clematis, delphiniums, nigella and hellebores. 

Grow from claw-like tuber or corms but now referred to as thickened

Growing tips:

These plants are very hardy and will grow in a wide range of conditions.

If you missed planting them out in autumn for a spring show, treat yourself with a bunch of ranunculus from your favourite florist.

Mercedes Tips:

  • Cut the stems straight across before placing them in a vase.
  • Place them in water that has been filtered or standing for 4 hours so that all the chlorine has evaporated off.
  • Throw in a few ice cubes to perk up your ranunculus flowers
  • Flowers have a vase life of 8 - 10 days.


As they prefer to have their roots kept cool and moist, plant Ranunculus species in a sunny or partly shaded position with moist well-drained soil.

Don’t like clay soils.

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

Real World Gardener Lawn Alternative Considerations in Design Elements

October 12th, 2019


Lawn alternatives: considerations

Do you have places in the garden where your lawn just will not grow?

Perhaps it's in a shady part where moss seems to appear in winter instead of green lawn.

Or is it under or near trees where the tree root competition is too much and the lawn is patchy?

Then again, you may be just tired of the constant mowing during the warmer months of the year and want to swap mowing for low maintenance lawn alternatives.

So what are the considerations?

Let's find out.

I'm talking with Glenice Buck, landscaper and consulting arborist with 


Add caption

Lush lawns need lots of maintenance such as watering, fertilising and mowing.

If you live in a region that experiences periods of intense heat and drought, this type of lawn may not be possible to maintain. 

Looking at brown lawn is not that much fun so exploring other options that need less frequent irrigation is a good alternative.

Unless you make the right lawn alternative choice, you may be swapping the mowing for the weeding.

Over the coming weeks, Glenice will talk about what lawn alternatives suit high foot traffic and low foot traffic areas.

Real World Gardener Battery Operated Tools part 2 in Tool Time

October 12th, 2019


Battery Operated Garden Tools part 2

Last week, part 1 of the topic of battery operated garden tools was aired because there was so much to be said about them.

This week, it’s part 2 with a brief summary of what points that were touched on in part 1.

So, the new wave of garden tools are battery operated.

Let’s get into the topic

I'm talking with Tony Mattson, general manager of

Batteries for garden tools can be purchased as 3, 4, 5, and 6 Amp Hours.

How long the battery lasts depends on which garden equipment you are using and how much load you will be putting on that particular piece of equipment.

It's advisable to buy two batteries at the initial purchase so that one can be charging while you are using the other.

Typically, recharging batteries takes between 30 - 45 minutes.

TIP: batteries aren't interchangeable between brands.


Battery operated lawnmowers don't leave a tread.

Make your brand selection based on the range of equipment that meets your needs.

Battery powered tools are easier to start, lighter, have no petrol smell, and best of all are much quieter and cheaper to run.

If you're wondering whether or not a battery operated lawnmower will cut through buffalo or kikuyu lawns. Tony says, no problem at all, and no tread marks on the lawn because the lawnmower is so much lighter.

If you have any questions for me or for Tony, why not write in to or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

Real World Gardener Eucalyptus Silver Princess in Plant of the Week

October 3rd, 2019


Eucalyptus caesia Silver Princess Eucalyptus%2Bcaesia%2BSilver%2BPrincess.

This week we have a native plant that is a medium sized tree with outstanding features.

Eucalyptus caesia Silver Princess or gungurru has interesting bark, leaves and flowers.)

It’s in the Myrtacaea family and it is a gum tree.

Let’s find out what’s good about this one.

I'm talking with Adrian O’Malley, horticulturist and native plant expert.

Silver Princess trunk and fruits are covered in the grey to whitish bloom, except for the leaves and flowers themselves.

If you rub the bark you’ll see the mahogany colour under that bloom.

Silver Princess grows to about 8m in height, but as Adrian says, it's a leaner.

That means unless you are keeping on eye on it as it grows, the tree will develop a 45 degree lean.

Formative pruning helps, but for some reason it aspires to lean.

Adrian will almost coppice his leaning Silver Princess in the hope that it will resprout from it's ligno tuber as it does in the wild.

If you have any questions for me or for Adrian, please write in to

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