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PLANT DOCTOR Germinating Native Seed Australian plants have evolved over thousands of years to respond to a variety of climatic extremes, from fires, to droughts to floods as well as being grazed by native animals. Wattle seeds need boiling water treatmentSuch a long, long time for plants to evolve as well as being isolated from the rest of the wor…
 
PLANT DOCTORPruning Native Plants For some reason, many gardeners have been reluctant to prune their native plants, thinking that if they did, those plants might never recover or worse, just drop dead. Then there’s the gardener that’s reluctant to prune something that they’ve just planted because after all, they paid good money for that plant, so w…
 
TALKING FLOWERSTips 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. There are plenty of 'old wives tales', and just plain outright myths about what to do to your…
 
Climber Shrubs This design series that covers everything from mixed shrub borders, sub-shrubs, climbers, hero trees to best garden bromeliads but use plants that are non-general lines.I have to say, Peter Nixon, RWG’s contributor for this series, focuses largely on what he calls cool sub-tropical garden or ‘cool sub-trops’ which he refers to often.…
 
DESIGN ELEMENTSClimber Heroes This design series is about plants that are categorised as non-general lines. Every week I’ve been saying that were talking about plants that you won’t necessarily find in your big box store or possibly even in your nursery so you may have to search for them. These plants are so worthwhile that because they provide yea…
 
DESIGN ELEMENTSBright Shade Planting This design series is about plants that are categorised as non-general lines, in other words, plants that are not production grown that then become available in several different sized pots. This series is also about year round interest in the garden even when plants are not in flower. Imagine opening the back d…
 
DESIGN ELEMENTSThis is a series about foliage colour and contrast and textural contrast for year round interest. The focus is also on non-general lines instead of production grown planting. In other words, plants that may not necessarily be easy to find but so worth the effort. We kick off the series with mixed shrub borders. MIXED SHRUB BORDER Are…
 
KITCHEN GARDEN LEMON VERBENA Did you think that herbs were just for making tea? Maybe not, but some herbs have endless uses, and this week I’m featuring the herb lemon verbena (Aloysia citriodora) that’s larger than you would expect to find in a herb garden so probably could fit into the back of a border but in a sunny location. Lemon verbena photo…
 
SPICE IT UPMIXED SPICE The name 'mixed spice,' sounds 'oldie worldie' to me because it's not something that comes up in too many recipes these days. Perhaps if your flicking through an old Woman's Weekly recipe book, or the cookbook you used at school in home economics class, you might find it in the cakes and buns section. What is mixed spice?Mixe…
 
Plant Nutrition Deficiencies:Phosporus and PotassiumWe have talked bout the role nitrogen played in played health and what to look for if a plant was deficient in one of the major nutrients, being Nitrogen. In fact there are three major nutrients which are classified as NPK ratio on the back of all fertilisers. So in this part of the blog, we carry…
 
PLANT HEALTHPlant Nutrition Deficiencies: Macro Nutrient Nitrogen The 'Plant health' segment was created for my radio show "Real World Gardener,' as a division of the 'Plant doctor' segment, because I felt that it’s important to focus on what can go wrong with plants that isn’t a pest or a disease. In the following audio podcasts, you will hear abo…
 
KITCHEN GARDENLACTO-FERMENTATION There are several ways to preserve food, these include freezing, drying, pickling and fermenting. You may think that fermented foods are a recent trend, but in fact, fermenting food has been carried out for thousands of years.Fermenting food is one way of preserving your ample supply of produce that's growing in you…
 
PLANT DOCTORBrown Rot of Stone fruit There’s plenty of cultivars of stone fruit trees that can fit into any size garden. Trixie and Pixie dwarf nectarine and peach trees have been around for years. “There’s even a nectarine tree classed as Super Dwarf called ‘ Peach Sunset” that is grafted onto super dwarfing rootstock to produce a more compact tre…
 
KITCHEN GARDENRose Geranium Scientific name: Pelargonium graveolensFamily: GeraniaceaeRose geranium leaves (photo Corinne Mossati) Personally I’m a fan of scented plants whether it’s the flowers or the leaves. I just love to inhale their perfume either by sniffing the flowers or touching the leaves. This next plant, the rose geranium, is not just y…
 
SPICE IT UPIndian Cooking Class Forget those jar sauces and ready- made pastes that you can buy in supermarkets. If you want a real curry, you’ll need to make it yourself but aren’t they complicated? Well they can be but that’s why you need an Indian cooking class. Ian's spice kit is named after Christine Manfield's new cookbook called 'Indian Cook…
 
KITCHEN GARDENFestive Drinks with Pineapple SageI talk with Corinne Mossati about this wonderful culinary sage that is so useful in festive drinks. You may be growing some lovely salvias in your garden but not realise that one of them in particular, can make a luscious and revitalising drink, just right for the festive season. Pineapple sage (Salvi…
 
SPICE IT UPDill versus Fennel How well do you know your herbs? Have you ever used fresh dill in any recipes? Perhaps a dill sauce, with smoked salmon or in a potato salad, but what about fennel.? Those feathery fronds of dill, have a similar smell to fennel, so can they be used interchangeably? Dill is pictured here but it looks similar to the feat…
 
Slime Moulds part 2 The podcast continues with the topic of slime mould but particularly, about the slime mould called phytophthora. Did you prick up your ears? Yep, that’s the root rot known as phytophthora which gardeners dread. Gardeners are often told that phytophthera, in particular Phytophthera cinnamomi, is a fungi but it's actually a water …
 
PLANT DOCTORSlime Mould: What Is It? Part 1 What do the words slime mould conjure up in your imagination? Is it that black stuff growing in the grout and on the tiles in your bathroom? Or is it that green stuff on your paths on the south side of the house? You may be surprised to find that it’s neither one of those so where is it lurking? There are…
 
GRAFTING TECHNIQUES Part 2Approach grafting is an alternative method for citrus. In part 1 of grafting techniques Margaret Mossakowska and I talked about how growing from a tree such as an orange or lemon from seed isn’t all that successful unless you graft it onto hardy rootstock. In this segment, we refresh some of those points and take you onto …
 
THE GOOD EARTHGrafting Techniques part 1 & 2If you’ve ever grown a tree from it’s seed, such as an orange lemon or avocado, you probably were disappointed by the result. I daresay, that firstly, it took a long time for it to fruit, and when it did, it was nothing like the fruit that the seed came from. After all apart from the novelty factor of bei…
 
SMALL SPACE GARDENING-COURTYARD STYLE Modern day gardens are much smaller than they used to be. Many gardeners and would be gardeners, hanker for a produce filled garden with as many different edibles as befits their lifestyle.If you you only have a small space such as a paved courtyard or even just a balcony, but don’t know what to do next, this n…
 
PLANT OF THE WEEK Number 5Scientific Name: Billardiera scandensCommon Name: AppleberryFamily: PittosporaceaeNative Habitat: found mainly along the east coast in a variety of commnityes such as coastal heath and sclerophyll forest.Description:A twining climber or groundcover.. Pale lance shaped green leaves have wavy margins.Height-Width: 1.5 x3 mFl…
 
PLANT OF THE WEEK Number 4Scientific Name: Tetragonia tetragoniodes Common Name:Warrigal Greens Family: Aizoaceae Native Habitat: fcoastal areas, sandy shorelines or inland rivers and salt marshes Description:A ground cover that can act like a dune stabiliser. Height-Width: 2 x 2 m Flowering: tiny inconsipicuous flowers Spring and Summer Fruiting:J…
 
PLANT OF THE WEEK Number 3 Scientific Name: Microseris Lanceolata Common Name:Murnong Yam Family:Asteraceae Yam Daisy Native Habitat: found in a wide range of habitats in Australia: these inlcude mallee, slerophyll and sub-alpine communities. Description:-Strappy, linear green leaves above underground tubers that emerge after rain in Autumn. Height…
 
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