How to Get Longer Lasting Flowers on Real World Gardener

June 20th, 2022

 TALKING FLOWERS

Tips For Longer Lasting Flowers in the Vase

Flowers are so uplifting and whilst they’re lovely in the garden, in the home, you’ve got them to enjoy for longer.
After all, you’re not watching your flowers that are in the garden for very long.

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    There are plenty of 'old wives tales', and just plain outright myths about  what to do to your flowers to make them last past 3 days in the vase. 

  • Ever heard of putting a copper penny in the vase water? Well it's sounds like it could work but in reality, it doesn't do anything for the flowers.
  • What about dissolving an aspirin in the water? That's sheer nonsense.
  • So how can you make the most of your cut flowers?

I'm talking with Nadine Brown, florist, floral designer and educator of www.wildflorastudio.com.au

who shares her tried and true tips from over thirty years of experience in the flower business.
  • Some of those tips you may have heard before on my Real World Gardener program and one of them is that flowers are ethylene sensitive.
  • That means flower sellers on the roadside are not just selling your flowers, but a whole bunch of ethylene laden flowers that have been covered by exhaust fumes. 
  • That also means that your fruit bowl of bananas, apples and pears are also emitting ethylene which hasten the demise of your precious flowers if they're nearby.
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Nadine recommends that 

  • The best place to buy your flowers is from the grower or from a florist.
  • The next best tip is clean fresh water every couple of days is the next best thing for your flowers.  
    • If you recut the stems on an angle as you do that, then you're increasing the vase life of your flowers. Doing this under water prevents air bubbles from blocking any uptake or food or water too.
    • Filtered water isn't totally necessary.
  • Coming second those first tips is a spoonful of vodka!!
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Is scalding the stems a myth or fact?

You probably have heard of scalding hydrangea stems by placing those woody stems in boiling hot water for 30 seconds to a minute, then straight into cold water.?
Perhaps you thought that was a bit of fuss over nothing?

The truth is this works for woody stems such as hydrangeas and roses, plus a few others like lavender and poppies. Not all flowers though.

Using boiling water or scalding, expels air bubbles or trapped air from the stems, which as before, blocks uptake of water and nutrients.

For more tips listen to the podcast and watch the tutorial that Nadine has generously provided on 'Care and Condition for your flowers.

The link for the Care and Conditioning tutorial is just one of over 50 tutorials in Nadine’s membership library,

https://vimeo.com/485281174/2ac20b9565

So let’s listen to the podcast.
If you have any questions you can email us Realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

What’s The Difference: Garden Snips vs Hand Pruners or Secateurs

August 19th, 2021

Garden Snips vs Secateurs

You would think that gardening tools would have all the same name pretty much all around the world.
What else would you call a spade ?
Perhaps a trowel may have a few different names, but what about secateurs and garden snips?
Are they the same thing?

  • Secateurs are sometimes called  pruning shears or hand pruners .

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    My Toolkit: Felco No8 secateurs 
  • Secateurs can be bypass style, where the cutting blade passes a curved non-cutting 'anvil.'
  • Secateurs can also be anvil style where the cutting blade cuts into a 'anvil.'
  • Good quality secateurs will cut easily, feel comfortable to hold and spare parts are able to be purchased.
  • Secateurs are used for the  'green' wood on plants cutting easily up to the diameter of a person's fingers.
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Garden snips ( bottom of picture) are closer in appearance to scissors, with two cutting blades. Unlike scissors, they have a spring to make repeated cutting of plant material easier.

  • Garden snips are best used for trimming off spent flowers on plants such as calibroachoa, petunias, and other annuals and perennials. Light trimming of soft 'green' plant material is OK as long as the stems or branches are not too thick. Garden snips don't have the cutting power of secateurs.

Let’s find out more

I'm talking with Tony Mattson, general manager of www.cutabovetools.com.au

PLAY: snips vs secateurs_18th August 2021

Like me, a lot of gardeners would have both types of secateurs-anvil and bypass as well as a pair of snips.
After all, not everything can be pruned with the one tool.

If you have any feedback email realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

Real World Gardener Australian Paper Daisies in Plant of the Week

March 19th, 2021

Rhodanthe chlorocephala
Paper daisies
Some people call them paper daisies, some call them everlastings but as we say on Real World Gardener, don’t be fooled with common names because they are most often applied to an array of plants.
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Scientific name: Rhodanthe chlorocephala
Common name: pink & white everlasting
Family: Asteraceae
Flowers: from winter to spring, daisy like flowers 1-6cm in diameter, composed of white or pink papery bracts. Heads normally appear singly, but tip pruning will encourage branching to produce multiple flower heads.
Position: full sun in well drained, even sandy soils. easily propagated from seed. Best sown in late autumn or early winter.  If conditions are right, they will self-seed, otherwise collect the seed when the flowers turns into a fluffy head.Store the seed head in a paper bag until next season.

Whatever you call them, it’s something even beginner gardeners can grow to pretty up their patch.

Australia's version of meadow planting can be easily achieved with these paper daisies or
everlastings. All you need to do is scatter 1 gm of seeds per square metre and rake gently into the soil. The seeds will germinate in 7-10 days if kept moist. Expect a carpet of flowers as you would see in Western Australia.
Rhodanthe chlorocephala subspecies rosea is the most widely grown subspecies and is commonly known as “Pink and White Everlasting”, “Rosy Sunray”, “Pink Paper-daisy” and “Rosy Everlasting.”
The flowers can be dried like other native daisies and used in floral arrangements for months.

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

Real World Gardener Billy Buttons are in Plant of the Week

March 19th, 2021

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Some plants you just love their flowers, some just have fabulous leaves, but here’s a plant, even though on the small side, packs a punch with bright golden flowers and grey leaves that would fit into any style garden.

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Scientific name:Craspedia globosus syn. Pycnosorus

Common name:Billy buttons, drumsticks.
Flowers:  golden-yellow tennis ball like spheres made up of tiny flowers on long stalks 80cm-100cm
Leaves: a rosette of grey green leaves above an underground rhizome.  
Interesting fact: Billy Buttons were part of the flower arrangement that were presented to medal winners of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Hardiness: tolerates light frost and extended periods of dry weather. Don't like wet weet.
Billy Buttons are very famous for being very long lasting cut flowers, their bright yellow spherical flowers can be dried like other native daisies and used in floral arrangements for months.
 
In areas with high humidity, treat them as an annual as they will succumb to fungal problems. Easily grown from seed but use wildflower seed starter to break the dormancy of the seed. 
Let’s find out more
I'm talking with was Adrian O’Malley, horticulturist and native plant expert.

Real World Gardener Rock Thryptomene in Plant of the Week

September 27th, 2020

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Thryptomene sp and Thryptomene saxicola F.C.Payne

There are some plants that can be forgiven for not doing much for most of the year, then, when they come into flower, they become the star of the garden.
In a way, they behave like a spring or summer bulbs, because they’re practically invisible until they pop out and flower their heads off.

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So what is this Thryptomene which I have been alluding to? 
Let’s find out more… 
I'm talking with Adrian O’Mally, qualified horticulturist and native plant expert.
PLAY:Thryptomene NEW_26th August 2020 

Rock thryptomene is as close to a common name as you'll get for this plant.
Growth is as for a sub-shrub 0.75 – 1.5m tall by 1 – 1.5 wide.

  • Adrian came across seven thryptomene planted along a bank with a south-east aspect.
  • They had grown leggy so to keep your shrub bushy, keep up the formative pruning in the early stages.
  • Doing this you will able to keep the shrub to 60cm in height.
Thryptomene is evergreen with a slightly weeping habit and  aromatic small leaves are small.
You may find it as a filler in bouquets because the tiny 5-petalled flowers blend well with larger flowers of any kind.
Thryptomene saxicola (pictured below)
 
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Thryptomene paynei, then newly introduced to New Zealand was "raised by FC Payne of Adelaide".
F.C. Payne was the owner of "The Sanctuary" plant nursery in Ashton, in the Adelaide hills of South Australia who promoted the use of Australian native plants in local gardens.
By 1967 the cultivar had become a "garden favourite" in Australia and was featured in a gardening guide for native plants in The Australian Women's Weekly.

Bird and insect attracting plants always make a lovely addition to your garden. 
Look out for the different cultivars of thryptomene in your nursery or big box store this spring, because there won’t be many, and they’ll be snapped up quick smart. If you have any questions about anything gardening, why not email us realworldgardener@gmail.com
 

Real World Gardener Common Mistakes in Starting a Vegetable Garden part 1

June 19th, 2020

VEGETABLE GARDENING: Growing Your Own

COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID & TIPS TO MAKE IT BETTER

I would imagine, most listeners to this show would have a vegetable garden, but perhaps there’s also some new listeners new to gardening? 
This next interview will take you through some of the most common mistakes that gardeners make when starting out and what to do to avoid them.

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  • Amount of sun: plants need the sun to photosynthesise in order to grow into healthy plants
Veggies will take 6 hours of sun to grow really well. Whether it's morning or afternoon sun doesn't matter so much.
In cities and built up areas, sun may be insufficient to grow all of the range of vegetables.
  • Less than 6 hours?
Stick with leafy crops such as celery, cabbage family-broccoli, kale, lettuce.
  • Inconsistent watering
Vegetables need to consume plenty of water because they're consuming a lot of nutrients as they are expanding lots of energy in growing.
Increase the amount of water holding capacity in your soil by adding compost, heaps and heaps of it.
Adding compost and worm castings will improve the structure of the soil which will also help with drainage.
I am talking with Toni Salter Toni Salter who is The Veggie Lady

Real World Gardener Orchid Care in Talking Flowers

June 16th, 2020

Orchid Cut Flowers

Potted plants:

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Like other orchid species, humidity is important for the best growth.

  •  a small tray of rocks or pebbles should be used for potted plants

Water should be added to keep the pebbles covered at all times.

 Damp soil is important during peak growing and blooming seasons.

A good orchid potting bark that retains some moisture should be used. 

  • Daily misting should be used to increase humidity.
  • Several hours of indirect light is best for live plants. Direct light can cause leaves and flowers to scorch on the edges. A warm windowsill with lots of indirect light can be the best spot.
  •  Fertilizers may be used to produce better blooms for many species.Care should be taken to avoid overusing fertilizers for potted plants.Overuse can lead to stunted plant growth or scorching of the leaves.

Cut Flowers

  • Dunk in a bucket of water for 15 minutes.
  • Cut the stem straight across
  • Mist the flowers daily with filtered or "burped water."

I'm talking with Mercedes Sarmini of www.floralgossip.com.au

 

 

Real World Gardener Perfumed Flowers in Talking Flowers

June 11th, 2020

TALKING FLOWERS

Perfumed and Non-Perfumed Flowers

Why do some flowers have scent and others not?

It's all about pollination because scent is a signal that directs pollinators to a particular flower whose nectar and/or pollen is the reward.

Volatile oils are emitted from flowers can have either slight scent or strong scent depending on how far away the plant needs to attract its visitors.

  • Those plants that  are pollinated by bees and flies have sweet scents, whereas those pollinated by beetles have strong musty, spicy, or fruity odours.

Perfumers have never been able to exactly match perfumed their scents to the complex scents that flowers exude.

But floral volatile oils are essential in allowing insects to discriminate among plant species and even among individual flowers of a single species. 

For example, closely related plant species that rely on different types of insects for pollination produce different odours.

I'm talking with Mercedes Sarmini from www.floralgossip.com.au

Mercede's list of favourite perfumed flowers are:bouquet-white-rose-flowers-roses-lush-pi

Ms Carnation:Ms Rose

Mr Hyacinth:Ms Lavender

Mr Freesia: Ms Lilac

Mr Tuber Rose: Mr Lily of the Valley

Ms Stock: Ms Jasmine: Mr Belladonna Lily

Ms Bouvardia

 

Real World Gardener How to Make Cut Flowers Last Longer in Talking Flowers

May 21st, 2020

TALKING FLOWERS

How to Make Your Flowers Last Longer.

I'm talking with Mercedes Sarmini www.floralgossip.com.au

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Basics: Mercedes' definition of cut flowers to help you with how to treat them. 

Mercedes, classifies them not by their sexual reproduction organs by into two categories, seed grown or grown from a bulb, corm, rhizome or tuber.

  • Male Cut flowers: grow from a bulb, corm, rhizome or tuber.
  • Female cut flowers: grow from seed.
  • Male cut flowers: stems are cut straight across.
  • Female cut flowers: stems are cut on an angle.

How Much Water Do I Put into the Vase?

Mr Tulip: Mr Hyacinth: Orchids: shallow water only.

Miss Sunflower: Miss Gerbera: shallow water only.

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  • Change the water daily-use only filtered water or water that has been standing for 4 hours.

Flower food:change the water on the third day. 

Not all cut flowers like flower food-anything native, woody stem cut flowers.

  • Mist your flowers daily for orchids with only filtered water.
  • Cut your flowers when early morning or evening when starch is at it's highest within the stem.

 

Real World Gardener Say it With Red Flowers in Talking Flowers

March 5th, 2020

TALKING FLOWERS

All Flowers that are red

In the studio, we held the flowers of Tiger Bay dahlia, Red Pierre rose, red geraniums, red gladioli, buds of flowering gum and a leucodendron.

For all flowers that arise from tubers, cut the stems flush across the bottom. Mercedes calls these :male' flowers. Not to be confused with the male parts of flowers or male flowers on cucurbits.

This is simply a term to distinguish how to treat the stems of cut flowers.

Tip: Gladioli needs the top few cms removed so that the blooms sit up straight.

  • List of red flowers available as cut flowers in February.

China aster, bouvardia, dahlia, gerbera, nerine, roses, water lily.

The colour red increases your heart rate and appetite, but is also a symbol of passion.

  • Trees that have red flowers in February: Stenocarpus sinuatus: Firewheel tree. (pictured.)

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