Gardening Australia episode 1 2020: Costa Georgiadis visits the home of permaculture, Sophie Thomson visits waterside accommodation for native bees, Tino Carnevale prunes stone fruit at The Patch and we explore Bundjalung country with Clarence Slockee.
Gardening Australia has always provided practical, trustworthy and credible gardening advice to inspire and entertain. Inspiring, entertaining and full of practical advice, join Costa Georgiadis and the team as they unearth gardening ideas, meet avid gardeners and look at some of the most inspiring gardens from across the country.
Gardening Australia episode 1 2020
The Home of Permaculture
It’s more than 20 years since we first visited Melliodora – the legendary permaculture demonstration garden – so Costa is back to see how the land and its residents have grown. Melliodora was set up by David Holmgren and his partner, Su Dennett, to trial the theories David developed – along with the late Bill Mollison – when they devised the term permaculture in the 1970s to describe a model of sustainable living based on ‘permanent agriculture’.
Permaculture is a set of design principles centered on whole systems thinking, simulating, or directly utilizing the patterns and resilient features observed in natural ecosystems. It uses these principles in a growing number of fields from regenerative agriculture, rewilding, and community resilience.
The term permaculture was coined by David Holmgren, then a graduate student at the Tasmanian College of Advanced Education’s Department of Environmental Design, and Bill Mollison, senior lecturer in Environmental Psychology at University of Tasmania, in 1978. It originally meant “permanent agriculture”, but was expanded to stand also for “permanent culture”, since social aspects were integral to a truly sustainable system as inspired by Masanobu Fukuoka’s natural farming philosophy.
FAQs – Scorched lillies | Ripe corn | Kikuyu under fence
Gardening Australia presenters answer commonly asked gardening questions.
Sophie visits a community project that is providing waterfront accommodation for native bees. Sophie revisits some prime waterfront accommodation she helped install, along with local students, to provide nesting holes for native bees and other insects beside the River Torrens.
The native bee B’n’Bs are designed to showcase these amazing but tiny creatures that are easily overlooked. Native bee expert Dr Katja Hogendoorn, from the University of Adelaide says native bees are very important because they are bio-indicators for the health of ecosystems – healthy bees are a sign the broader environment is doing well. When we protect them we protect the whole ecosystem.
Keeping Chooks Cool
Millie shows us how she keeps her chooks cool over summer.
Summer Fruit Tree Pruning
Tino is at The Patch to show how and when to prune stone fruit. Winter pruning when trees are dormant promotes vigorous growth, so prune then to encourage a good basic structure for a young tree or when trying to adjust the shape of a mature tree.
Summer pruning inhibits growth so now is the best time to maintain a tree’s shape and to keep the tree to a reasonable size for netting and harvesting.
Seed Saving School
Josh visits a primary school where students are playing an important role in growing and saving the seed of locally rare and endangered plants. Saving seed is important to preserve genetic diversity. A massive global seed bank is held in Svalbard, Norway, but there is also an important one at Woodlupine Primary School in eastern Perth.
Principal Trevor Phoebe said that many plant species native to the area were becoming endangered and the school wanted to be part of the solution. He asked Dr Andrew Crawford from the WA seed centre in the Department of Biodiversity if there was anything the school could do to help, and Dr Crawford suggested growing rare local plants so harvest the seed.
Top Tip – Growing Bromeliads
Jerry shares his tips for growing a diverse collection of bromeliads. Bromeliads are great plants for any garden, especially if you live in the sub tropics. They come in many varied forms and habits though – some grow on rocks, some grow on trees – so they can be grown in lots of different ways.
Costa visits Nick Ritar and Kirsten Bradley at their permaculture home, Milkwood, to see how they grow different types of mushrooms.
Jane shows how and when to prune lavender to keep it looking fresh and growing well. If you don’t want your lavender bush to start looking tatty with dried off, brown heads, trim off the heads.
You can use your secateurs to cut each head off just below two side stems of leaves. Due to their high oil content, these cuttings make good firelighters when dry. For a faster trim, simply use hedge trimmers or shears to snips the tops off the bush. Not only does the bush look much neater, but it will keep a more compact shape in future, too.
My Garden Path – Clarence Slockee
Gardening Australia presenter Clarence Slockee leads us through Bundjalung country to explain his deep.