Gardening Australia episode 18 2021: Costa meets city gardeners who are taking it to the street, Millie shows how to plant mature trees, Josh explores a protea paradise and Jane finds a garden fence that’s as pretty as a picture.
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 18 2021
A Buzz Around Town
Costa meets a group of super-keen city gardeners who don’t let small gardens stop them – they’re spilling their bee-friendly plants out onto the streets! We’re in inner-city South Melbourne, just a short walk from the CBD, where the houses are small and the gardens even smaller. There are good street trees but limited flowering plants – so it’s slim pickings for pollinators and insects. Or it was until Emma Cutting started to green up the streets, one small bed at a time.
Emma Cutting loves gardening and quickly filled up her tiny patch of dirt around her weatherboard cottage, so then she started eyeing off the ground around her local street trees. “I started street gardening about 5 years ago,” she says.
“I checked what I could do with the local council, then started to build tree squares,” Emma says. Emma says it was very important that she checked with her local council that what she wanted to do would comply with their safety regulations and expectations.
“As covid hit people started talking to me and doing more – the bushfires really motivated me – I had to do something. There is space to help biodiversity right here and show kids what nature can be – without leaving the city. That’s why Emma started building BEE gardens specifically planted to attract pollinators.” BEE stands for Bees, Education and Environment.
FAQ’s – Blood and bone on vegies | Spots on citrus | Pruning Geraldton Wax-flower
Tino discusses using blood and bone on vegies, Jane explains spots appearing on a citrus tree and Clarence has tips on keeping Geraldton Wax plants looking terrific.
Tree Change – Planting Advanced Trees
Millie looks at the benefits of buying a semi-mature tree and shows the best way of planting them. Trees can reduce the temperature in a house, bring privacy, increase home value, provide a play space, have health benefits, reduce noise, absorb carbon and put oxygen in the atmosphere! And choosing one is the biggest decision a gardener makes.
Damien has been growing trees all of his working life, he started at the nursery on work experience, and after 2 ½ decades is a partner in the business. Damien doesn’t remember why he chose the job: “My motivation is growing a tree that’s going to be here not just for my lifetime but for future generations; making sure every tree we grow is going to outlive us and benefit those who follow.”
Here they specialize in growing advanced trees, across 2 sites about an hour north of Melbourne,
Just like a puppy, a tree is for life and there are advantages of starting young! Small and seed grown trees are cheaper, establish quickly and have a reduced risk of transplant shock and being root bound. But sometimes you need a bigger tree, to provide instant screening or a feature and this is what these guys specialize in.
Moth Orchids – Gardening Australia episode 18 2021
Jerry explains how to care for moth orchids when their potting medium needs replenishing. Phalaenopsis orchids are epiphytes, meaning they grow on top of trees rather than in soil. Their planting material doesn’t need to be replaced until it rots. When it does need replacing, an ideal replacement is coir chip. Instead of putting it in an ever-bigger pot, you push the coir chip into the gaps formed by the depleted mix.
Phalaenopsis orchids naturally grow hanging downwards. Jerry recommends an old-fashioned orchid pot with holes in the middle and suggests sourcing them from orchid shows or specialty growers.
Pretty as a Protea
Josh visits the Grevillea and Hakea garden at Perth’s Kings Park and shares some of the superb species found growing there. We’re at Kings Park in Perth, to look at their varied and interesting collection of Proteacea plants. There are some 900 species that sit within this family, including local garden favourites like Grevillea and Hakea.
Horticulture coordinator Sylie Shai-Gaull shows Josh around the impressive collection.
Don’t Fence Me In – Gardening Australia episode 18 2021
Jane visits a tiny retirement village garden on Phillip Island where a talented artist has created an instant floral display – by painting his back fence!
We’re in Cowes, Phillip Island, a holiday spot famous for its penguins, racetrack and beaches. Tourists wandering around with an ice cream often stumble across a set of historic scenes painted on the side St Philips Church in Cowes, depicting wildlife, local Grand Prix winners and the surf beaches. The artist and parishioner who painted this – unpaid – was 88 at the time and offered to do it because “it was just a big blank wall that irritated me”. Jane is off to visit his home nearby to see his latest work of art.
The Jungle Within
Sophie plants out some lovely combinations of indoor plants to create lush, miniature rainforests.
There is so much to choose from when it comes to indoor gardening. From a bold statement palm or ficus to the classic trailing devil’s ivy, and the vast array of philodendrons, there’s more available now than ever! Instead of choosing just one for that perfect spot, why not combine a few? Indoor plants are often potted individually, but it is possible to experiment and plant multiple types together. This not only helps to mimic the forest environment most of them come from (they don’t live alone in the wild!) but can also make a unique display and fit more plants into a small space – so you don’t have to choose just one!
Pruning Kiwifruit – Gardening Australia episode 18 2021
Tino shares a top tip for pruning established kiwifruit. The kiwis at The Patch have been in for 4 years, and last year they had inconsistent and poor quality fruit. Tino suspects it’s because there’s too much fruit, so will remedy with a winter maintenance prune.
Tino concentrates on the fruiting sites, coming off the main laterals. Where there are 3 fruiting sites, he “singulates” to a single site. Once singulated, you need to consider the space between your fruiting sites. A good rule of thumb is a handspan width. Sites too close together can be removed.
A summer prune is still necessary.
Clarence shares his tips on choosing – and training – some of Australia’s wonderful climbing plants.
Whether you’re looking to cover a fence, fill in a vertical gap or create a show along a balcony railing, there are plenty of attractive and tough natives to choose from that are natural climbers in sun or shade. And they not only serve a functional purpose, but many also provide a stunning show of colourful or scented flowers that will brighten up your garden.
My Garden Path – Adriana Picker
We meet artist, author and illustrator Adriana Picker whose lush, impressionistic work focuses on plants and flowers.