Real World Gardener Interviews Catherine Wardrop Scientific Illustrator

July 25th, 2020

What is Scientific Illustration? 

Host of Real World Gardener radio show Marianne, speaks with Sydney Botanic Gardens Scientific Illustrator, Catherine Wardrop

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Catherine Wardrop
  1.  Scientific illustration is one of many aspects of botanical research to aid plant identification and conservation at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.  How does it help?
  2. Why do botanists still use drawings instead of photographs?”
  3. Simply put, scientific illustrators create images of plants by referencing recent and historic herbarium collections. Catherine says "In my role, I use my artistic skill to translate the taxonomy, interpret microscopic botanical details, omit the unnecessary, document the essential and (hopefully) describe a species so well that it never has to be drawn again."
  4. What do you need to know about a species before you start drawing it?
  •        Any knowledge of plants helps.Catherine had studied 5 years at arts school completing        an undergrad and post grad studies in visual art. Post grad was in plant and wildlife        illustration.
  1. Is there a method when approaching botanical drawing?
 
Prostanthera lasianthos
  •     For a full plate which includes the habit of the plant, Catherine likes to do the microscope drawings first. It also involves a bit re-constructing. Scientific illustrator will include all parts of the life cycle of the plant.
  1. Which plant species have proved challenging to draw?
  •     When you start drawing a new species that has no previous illustrations or specimens. 
  1. How long have you been doing scientific illustration?
  2. Since 1998 Catherine has illustrated native, exotic and invasive weed species at RBG Sydney and the most recent examples of her work are to be seen accompanying botanical descriptions in online publications of Telopea and PlantNET.

Real World Gardener Snake Vine or Hibbertia scandens in Plant of the Week

July 25th, 2020

PLANT OF THE WEEK X 3

Common Name:Golden Guinea Flower: Snake vine

Latin Name: Hibbertia scandens
Family: Dilleniaceae
Etymology: Hibbertia...after George Hibbert, a patron of botany; scandens.... "climbing", because of the climbing habit of the species.
Flowering:spring, summer but spot flowers throughout the year
Description: a scrambling climber or vine anywhere between 2 to 4 metres. Glossy mid green leaves with buttercup yellow flowers with prominent golden stamens.
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Hibbertia scandens
What else?
Let’s find out…

That was Adrian O’Malley, qualified horticulturist and native plant expert.
Hibbertias are sometimes called Guinea Flowers because the flower shape and colour looks like the ancient Golden Guinea coin.
When Adrian has seen it in the bush, it's mostly in open forest or gullies. 

The flowers shape and colour is a dead give-away for the hibbertia species.
The "snakes" are the tendrils that twine themselves together and climb up.
Perfect specimen for sloping sites where it can scramble freely.
If you have any questions of course, why not email realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

Real World GardenerHow to Create a Hot Compost on The Good Earth

July 25th, 2020

THE GOOD EARTH

Hot Compost

 

How many of you out there still do not have a composting system of some kind?

There’s no excuse, even if you only have a small balcony, everyone should be composting their kitchen scraps instead of it going to landfill.

  • You just need some space for your compost.
  • you could have compost bays, compost bins, or any structure that can hold up to 1 cubic metre of compost.
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Compost bins at Margaret's House: Photo by Margaret Mossakowska

 

There’s so many systems out there to accommodate all kinds of limitations that you might have.

You can even make a compost heap without building or buying anything.

I'm talking with Margaret Mossakowska from www.mosshouse.com.au

Let’s find what to do .

 

Vermin: put Rapid mesh under you bins if you have rodents invading your compost.

Alternatively, put food scraps into a worm farm, and use you compost bins just for green waste.

Worm farm that is smelly:

  • Too many food scraps will make the worm farm smelly and anaerobic. Mainly nitrogen rich.

The way to fix it is to add more carbon rich material such as shredded newspaper, coffee chaff or straw.

note: coffee chaff is free by-product of coffee roasting, that is husks of coffee beans. You just need to ask.

Compost Bins/Bays

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  • To make a hot compost you need to assemble at least 1 cubic metre of material in one go.
  • Wait for it to heat up to 55-60 C, usually after 2-3 days, then you can turn it.
  • Use a compost thermometer so the compost doesn't get over 60 C. This temperature is enough to kill weed seeds and insect eggs.
  • Commercial compost is biologically dead because it is heated to  more than 70 C.
  • Ratios are important: 4 buckets of carbon rich material to 1 bucket of green clippings/food scraps.
  • Molasses can be added to compost to innoculate it, or use comfrey, nettles, nasturtium soaked in a bucket of water.

Margaret now runs workshops that you can attend without leaving your home because they’re via Zoom, that’s on your computer.

If you have any questions, why not email realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

 

Real World Gardener Purple Hardenbergia in Plant of the Week

July 13th, 2020

PLANT OF THE WEEK X 2

Scientific Name: Hardenbergia violacea

Common Name: Native Sarsparilla, Happy Wanderer

Family: Fabaceae

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Grows:the species form grows to 6m. There are many other forms that grow only as a sub-shrub or smaller climber.

Etymology: Hardenbergia...after Franziska Countess von Hardenberg.

violacea...referring to the typical flower colour

Cultivars: 

Hardenbergia_violacea2.jpg"Happy Wanderer" (very vigorous, purple flowers)

"Pink Fizz" (pink flowers - climbing, not vigorous)

"Mini Haha" (compact, shrubby - purple flowers)

"Alba" (white flowers)

"Free 'n' Easy" (whitish flowers, vigorous climber)

"Blushing Princess" (shrubby - mauve-pink flowers)

"Purple Falls" (trailing - purple flowers, good for rockeries)

"Bushy Blue" (shrubby - blue-purple flowers).

If you love the colour purple in the garden you’ll love this next plant because it’s got it all. 
It’s tough, it flowers for ages, and you don’t even have to do too much to look after it. 
Let’s find out more...
I'm talking with Adrian O’Malley, qualified horticulturist and native plant expert. 
PLAY: Hardenbergia violacea_1st July 2020 

There’s so many Hardenbergias to choose from that come in not just creepers or climbers, but small little shrubby things that spread a bit. 

Some of the shrubby forms of Hardenbergia are very useful for mass plantings, rock gardens, retaining walls and banks for home gardens and larger landscapes. 

There are some good shrubby forms on the market such as ‘Bushy Blue’, ‘Purple Spray’ and ‘Regent’ which can grow from 60cm tall (‘Bushy Blue’) to 1.5m tall (‘Regent’). ‘Mini Haha’ is a compact dwarf form but it is not as robust as other types. 

There’s also ‘Meema’ will grow to approximately 450mm tall with a 2 metre spread which is ideal for outcompeting weeds and creating a ground cover with a shrubby appearance. 

If you have any questions of course, why not email realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

Real World Gardener Running Postman is Plant of the Week

July 13th, 2020

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Scientific Name:Kennedia rubicunda; 

Common name: Dusky Coral Pea, Running Postman

Family: Fabaceae

Etymology:Kennedia...after John Kennedy, an English nurseryman
rubicunda...referring to the colour of the flowers
Flowering
: Spring with pea like flowers, that is, a standard of 4 petals, a keel and two wings.

Grows: 3m high x 3m wide
Suitable as a trellis climber or covering embankments. Bird attracting.
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Kennedia rubicunda
This next plant is a climber as we have been taking about climbers for a couple of weeks. 
It’s got these attractive scarlet to pink flowers but what else? 
Let’s find out…
 

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

 

 

PLAY: Kennedia rubicunda_8th July 2020 

The running postman title is probably because of the red flowers that appear on this fairly vigorous vine or creeper. 
Did you also know though that it’s a very useful medicinal plant to grow? 
Apparently its leaves were bruised and drunk as a tincture when recovering from illness. Don’t know what sort of illness though. 

 

Use it as a groundcover, for arches, teepees and vine supports. 

some will say that it's happy growing in a pot.  I can't be sure about that.
Dusky Coral Pea does best in full sun but will tolerate part shade. 

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It needs to be protected from frosts.
There is another cultivar Kennedia nigricans that Adrian and Marianne mention. This has black and yellow coloured flowers. 
A cultivar known as Kennedia nigricans 'Minstrel' was registered with the Australian Cultivar Registration Authority by Goldup Nursery of Mount Evelyn, Victoria in September 1985. This cultivar was selected from a batch of seedlings in 1983 and has a pale colouration instead of the yellow, which appears almost white.

Real World Gardener Sweet Morinda in Plant of the Week

July 2nd, 2020

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Sweet Morinda

You most probably know Australian climbing plants and would immediately think of Bower or Wonga wonga vine, either Pandorea jasminoides or Pandorea pandorana, 

Very tropical looking climbers that suit all sorts of conditions around Australia.

But there’s some many more Australian native climbers that would suit our backyards and here’s one of them.

Common Name: Sweet Morinda

Scientific name: Gynochthodes jasminoides syn. Morinda jasminoides

Family: Rubiaceae

Habit: scrambling climber to 6m. Adrian uses it to screen some ugly buildings.

What's in a name?

Morinda    Latin morus = mulberry and indicus = indian (referring to it being like an Indian Mulberry)

jasminoides   From the plant being Jasmine-likeThis pant is a native creeper found in eucalypt and rainforests along the east coast, across to Western Australia.

You most probably know Australian climbing plants and would immediately think of Bower or Wonga wonga vine, either Pandorea jasminoides or Pandorea pandorana, Very tropical looking climbers that suit all sorts of conditions around Australia.Sweet_Morinda%2B1.jpg

But there’s some many more Australian native climbers that would suit our backyards and here’s one of them.

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

.Let’s find out…

Let’s just call it sweet Morinda or Morinda jasminoides.

Not overly floriferous but the flowers resemble those of jasmine with dense thick foliage that works well as a screen ugly buildings or scenery.

 

Flowers: Small clusters of 3-20 heads, but in Adrian's garden, it's not a prolific flowerer. There is some jasmine like scent but it's not overpowering. Mid spring to mid summer flowering.

 

Fruits: The main attraction some say because they're lumpy bright orange, 2cm in diameter.

 

 

Leaves: have an interesting bump in the centre called a "domatia."  

the bumps are a symbiotic relationship with an insect that lives in the pits.The mite-habitat pits are so large that they make conspicuous bumps on the upperside of the leaves, making the plant easy to identify when it's not flowering or fruiting.

Real World Gardener Gouldian Finch in Wildlife in Focus

July 2nd, 2020

WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

Common Name: Gouldian Finch

Scientific Name: Erytrura gouldiae

Named after renowned British ornothological artist John Gould.
This next bird is one of the prettiest Australian birds but it is endangered. 
It’s very small and would fit into your hand weighing only 14 grams. 
As with most birds of this type (finches, the Gouldian) it’s a quiet enough bird that peeps and sings a little. 

They make a pleasant sound that is doubtful to wake you up or create a problem with neighbours, though it is persistent. Gouldian%2Bfinch.jpg
I'm talking with Dr Holly Parsons of www.birdsinbackyards.net.au 
Let’s find out about it. 

Gouldian finch are also known as Goulds, Lady Gouldian and rainbow finch in other parts of the world are Holly’s opinion, one of the most beautiful birds in Australia.

Most one known as a pet for aviaries. 
erytrura-gouldiae2.jpgBeautifully coloured birds with a green back, purple chest and yellow side feathers, but
25% of the population has a red face, 74% have a black face and about 1% have a yellow face.
Young birds are surprisingly  dull brown coloured and become vibrantly coloured as they mature.
In the wild they are found along creek lines, and mangroves. 
Partially migratory, and usually quiet. 
Outside the breeding season, they move closer to the coast, but once breeding starts they move inland.
They nest in hollows in trees and termite mounds.
If you have any questions of course, why not email realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

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