Gardening Australia episode 20 2023

Gardening Australia episode 20 2023

Gardening Australia episode 20 2023 – In this delightful gardening journey, we are introduced to a group of passionate individuals who embody the essence of timeless horticultural wisdom. Sophie, with her boundless knowledge, expertly navigates the realm of perennial principles, unraveling the secrets behind their enduring beauty and resilience. Meanwhile, Jane embarks on a captivating visit to a remarkable centenarian gardener, where age becomes a testament to the profound connection between humans and nature.



Tammy’s tender care and nurturing touch are bestowed upon the delicate African violets, as she immerses herself in their intricate needs and brings forth their vibrant blossoms with utmost dedication. On the other hand, Costa ventures into the realm of strappy-leaved plants, their unique foliage dancing gracefully in the wind, creating a tapestry of colors and textures that captivates all who behold it.



Amidst this diverse array of horticultural endeavors, Jerry breathes new life into a raised bed, channeling his creativity and resourcefulness to transform it into a flourishing oasis. And as our journey unfolds, we have the privilege of encountering a true garden guru nestled in the arid heart of Alice Springs, whose unparalleled expertise defies the harshness of the desert, showcasing the boundless possibilities that exist even in the most challenging environments.

Together, these remarkable individuals and their enchanting stories paint a vivid tapestry of the profound connections we share with the natural world. Their unwavering dedication and boundless enthusiasm inspire us to embark on our own gardening adventures, nurturing the beauty around us and embracing the wonders that await in every leaf, petal, and bud.


Gardening Australia episode 20 2023


Perennial Questions

Sophie exemplifies the art of harnessing the enduring vitality of perennials to craft an enduring garden design. Few sights rival the captivating allure of a perennial garden. When skillfully orchestrated, with a harmonious blend of shapes, colors, and textures, its impact is truly awe-inspiring. Sophie graciously imparts her expertise through a concise and pragmatic guide that employs fundamental design principles to create a garden display that stands the test of time.

Perennials, the stalwarts of the plant kingdom, grace our landscapes for a minimum of three growing seasons. While technically encompassing “woody perennials” such as trees, shrubs, and vines, the term “perennial” predominantly refers to the non-woody plants that either continually rejuvenate or follow yearly cycles of growth. These resilient beauties encompass an array of dynamic options, including ferns, bushes, grasses, ornamental flowers, and groundcovers. Their essence lies in the seamless interplay of diverse forms, heights, textures, colors, and seasonal allure.

Formulating a captivating silhouette is a pivotal aspect of garden design. The juxtaposition of bold and delicate elements can magnify the individual beauty of each plant. For instance, the juxtaposition of a straight and strappy Lomandra against a wispy Russian salvia creates a captivating pairing. Additionally, capitalizing on plants with naturally tiered habits, like kangaroo paw, or integrating contrasting plants with different growth patterns, leaf shapes, and flower structures can introduce captivating layers. For instance, the combination of Easter daisies, with their wide disc-shaped flowers and upright stature, against cape fuchsia, boasting long tubular bells and an arching habit, makes for a compelling duo.

The strategic implementation of varying heights within a garden bed, regardless of its size, ensures an enchanting view from all angles. Tall sculptural plants, such as giant miscanthus and salvia ‘Meigans Magic,’ command attention when positioned at the back of a border or at the heart of an island bed. Mid-sized plants, exemplified by bluebeard and stokes aster, are most impactful when planted in groupings or artfully arranged “drifts.” Groundcovers, such as native violets and seaside daisies, contribute to the edges of the bed or can be woven throughout the composition, adding a touch of visual interest.

Texture plays a crucial role in a garden’s aesthetic, with foliage reigning supreme in creating enduring and harmonious designs. Pairing the succulent, glossy sedum with the velvety softness of lamb’s ears yields an intriguing interplay of textures that lasts over time.

Color, with its immense expressive potential, allows for a spectrum of possibilities, ranging from daring to subtle. One might opt for a harmonious blend of cool tones like blues, mauves, and purples, or explore the warmth of yellows, pinks, and oranges. Alternatively, an elegant silver and white monotone design can exude timeless sophistication. Moreover, certain colors possess the ability to attract beneficial insects, thereby offering more than just aesthetic appeal.

Seasonality takes center stage as a diverse selection of vibrant seasonal flowers, interspersed with captivating foliage, gifts the garden with enduring splendor throughout the year. To infuse foliage with captivating hues, one might consider the eye-catching arching copper-orange leaves of orange sedge (Carex testacea) or the fine grey-silver foliage of wormwood (Artemisia sp.). With perennials at your disposal, every season holds the potential for a stunning display, encouraging a succession of colors that continually captivate and inspire.

Plant Wisdom

Meet Nance Esmore, an incredible centenarian whose lifelong passion for gardening keeps her active and connected to her community. At 101 years young, Nance is a remarkable woman who resides in the same house and tends to the garden she has lovingly nurtured for over 50 years. Her impressive collection includes a variety of plants such as award-winning orchids, bromeliads, bulbs, succulents, cyclamen, rhipsalis, and tillandsias.

Among Nance’s remarkable specimens is a tillandsia that her husband creatively planted in a pipe drilled with holes over 35 years ago. Another fascinating tillandsia, more than 20 years old, was delicately sewn onto a wire basket. It’s quite impressive that Nance manages to cultivate so many mature tillandsias outdoors in Melbourne, considering their preference for warm climates. For caring for these unique plants, Nance shares her advice: “In the summer, I simply give them a sprinkle with the hose. Occasionally, I soak them in a weak solution by placing them in a styrofoam box without holes, sometimes for half a day. They prefer east-facing locations and dislike the scorching west sun, which can burn them. On extremely hot days, I protect them by draping an old towel over them.” If you’re looking for vigorous growers suitable for cooler climates, consider Tillandsia bergeri and Tillandsia ‘Cotton Candy’.

Nance’s garden is adorned with various baskets, shade houses, and structures meticulously crafted by her engineer husband. She proudly shares, “He made everything, all the hooks and countless hangers. If you spot a hanger anywhere, he made them all.” Beneath the shade of her magnificent Lophostemen tree, you’ll find a collection of captivating plants, some of which have been with her for decades. These include a rope hoya, string of dolphins, and a rare Ceropegia ampliata nicknamed “bishop’s crown” due to the shape of its flower. Nance reveals, “I have 76 baskets hanging from this tree. You wouldn’t believe how I managed it. I used to put a pebble in the toe of a pantyhose, throw it over a limb, and hang a basket there.” Nance’s passion for unique plants flourished when she retired and joined multiple gardening clubs over 40 years ago. Through these connections, she made lifelong friends and discovered that “gardeners are friendly people.”

Upstairs, Nance proudly displays her collection of ribbons, medals, and awards from various competitive garden shows. Among them is her prized cataleya orchid, adorned with numerous textbook pink blooms. The most prestigious accolade she has received is the John Pascoe Fawkner medal from the Royal Horticultural Society Victoria, an honor that Jane recognizes as the highest recognition in horticulture. Reflecting on her lifelong affinity for gardening, Nance shares, “I’ve always wanted to be around the garden. I had a small patch since I was five or six years old. When you step into the garden, everything else fades away. It’s therapeutic, truly.” Despite her legal blindness, Nance dedicates time to her garden every day, explaining, “I may not see it clearly, but I still come down, potter around, and appreciate the beauty. It’s genuinely beneficial for your well-being.”

With her wealth of experience, Nance offers some advice to novice gardeners, saying, “Even if you have a small balcony and just a few pots, that’s how I started. And you know what? It grows on you.” In a generous gesture, she presents Jane with a cutting from her tillandsia, suggesting, “You can mount it and secure the roots. It’ll be a wonderful reminder of my garden.” Having known Nance for several years, Jane values this gift dearly. She remarks, “I’ve always been captivated by plants and the people who tend to them. Nance is an absolute legend. Her garden tells the story of a life well-lived, surrounded by flourishing plants, good health, and pursuing what you love.”

No Shrinking Violets

Discover the charm of African violets, once among the world’s most popular house plants. Their exquisite blossoms and resilient nature have ensured their timeless appeal. Join Tammy as she shares her expert care tips for cultivating vibrant African violets.

African violets, part of the diverse Gesneriad family, captivate with their quirky allure. From the lipstick plant to the goldfish plant, each variety boasts unique flowers that reflect their namesake. With striking foliage like mottled pink leaves and lace-patterned cultivars such as ‘Pretty Turtle,’ it’s impossible not to adore them! Understanding their natural habitat is key to successful growth. Native to tropical East Africa’s mountains, African violets thrive in humid conditions and adapt to fluctuating temperatures. Their ability to withstand wet and dry spells, along with their preference for oxygen-rich environments, makes them content in small pots.

While specialized potting mixes are available, you can create your own DIY mix. Combine 2 parts coconut coir, 1 part premium potting mix, and 1 part perlite for excellent drainage and aeration. When caring for African violets, keep their leaves dry to avoid blemishes. A gentle brush with a paintbrush will remove any dirt or dust. While a splash of tap water won’t harm them, be cautious of pooling water in the crown, as it can lead to rot. Consider watering from the base or lifting the leaves during watering.

Tammy prefers bottom watering and uses a larger decorative pot for her African violets. Simply fill the outer pot with water, allowing the plant’s container to soak it up for 15 minutes. Remember to discard any excess water. Watering once a week in summer and every few weeks in winter is a good guideline, but always assess the plant’s weight to determine when it needs hydration. To promote robust blooms, opt for a potassium-rich fertilizer or specialized products for African violets. Additionally, ensure they receive adequate light, avoiding direct exposure to intense sunlight. Morning sun is ideal, but experimentation is encouraged.

With proper care, African violets will delight you with abundant blooms throughout the year. Their presence is truly a joy, and once you’ve experienced their beauty, you’ll want to explore more!

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