Gardening Australia episode 28 2023

Gardening Australia episode 28 2023

Gardening Australia episode 28 2023 – Gardens, beyond their evident aesthetic appeal, offer a myriad of therapeutic advantages, and no one understands this better than Josh. He deeply immerses himself into the verdant havens to truly grasp how gardens can serve as sanctuaries, healing and rejuvenating our weary spirits. With each plant and flower, he uncovers stories of renewal, growth, and transformation. Costa, on the other hand, treads on the solid ground, delving into the intricate art of paving. It’s not merely about laying down stones; it’s an orchestrated dance of design, form, and function. He unveils the precise techniques and nuances that turn mundane pathways into visual and functional art.



Then there’s Sophie, our guide into the exquisite realm of home floristry. With her at the helm, we learn that even the most unassuming bloom can be transformed. She artfully arranges and molds these blooms, turning them into decorative masterpieces fit for any setting – a testament to nature’s unmatched elegance. Clarence takes us off the beaten path, embarking on a captivating journey through a unique habitat corridor. As he traverses this space, he delves into its rich tapestry of ecosystems. Each step reveals a new species, a different interaction, painting a vivid picture of biodiversity at its finest.



Hannah, ever passionate about soil, unravels the mysteries of the often challenging clay terrain. Where many might see difficulty, she sees potential. Through her lens, we are introduced to techniques and approaches that transform this tough ground into a fertile bed, bursting with possibilities. Lastly, but certainly not least, we are invited to witness the heartwarming tales of African communities. These are communities that have discovered the profound power of unity and collaboration through the act of cultivation. As they plant, nurture, and share their bounties, they weave a narrative of connection, resilience, and hope. Together, this ensemble of experts and stories offers a holistic view of the world of gardening, a world where nature and humanity intertwine seamlessly.


Gardening Australia episode 28 2023 – The Healing Power of Gardening

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1 Gardening Australia episode 28 2023 – The Healing Power of Gardening



Connecting with Nature Through Gardening Therapy

Gardening is so much more than a hobby – it can be a powerful form of therapy and healing. As Josh discovered in this episode of Gardening Australia, caring for plants can provide comfort, meaning, and recovery after trauma.

Getting outside and getting your hands in the soil is known to boost mental health. The meditation garden created by Cam Wrathall, who survived a horrific shark attack, is a prime example. Spending time tending his garden has aided Cam’s recovery immensely, both physically and mentally. The garden gives him a space to practice mindfulness, change his perspective, and manage pain.

Gardening therapy is growing in popularity and for good reason. The sensory experience engages the mind and body. Growing and nurturing plants gives a sense of purpose. And the simple act of being around nature has proven benefits for reducing stress and anxiety. For many people like Cam, their garden becomes a sanctuary. It’s a space to remove yourself from life’s pressures and focus on the present moment. The sights, scents and sounds of the natural environment work to calm the nervous system. And the physical activity involved in gardening releases feel-good endorphins.

Gardens can also help us make sense of hardship or grief. The process of sowing seeds and watching new growth emerge can aid inner resilience. When life feels out of control, caring for a garden plot brings back a sense empowerment. It’s clear why Cam has found profound comfort in creating his meditation garden.


Designing Healing Gardens That Renew The Mind

When designing a healing or meditation garden, incorporate elements that will nourish the soul. Flowing water features, reminder stones with inspirational quotes, private seating areas, diverse textures, and plenty of calming greens are ideal features.

Healing gardens are havens, but they still require structure. Winding paths that meander through plant beds give a sense of being immersed in nature. Cleverly shaped garden rooms out of hedges or trellises add intimacy. But sightlines that open out to expansive lawns prevent feelings of being closed in. It’s also crucial to choose plants that spark joy and positivity. Flowering perennials in soothing colors give a relaxed feel. The natural perfumes of fragrant blooms engage the senses to banish stress. Fruit trees and veggie patches provide nutritious produce and a sense of bounty. Feed your mind while also feeding your body. Growing healing herbs like lavender, lemon balm, chamomile and rosemary means you can harvest ingredients for relaxing teas. Planting seeds and picking fruit engages you with the natural cycles.

When life starts to feel overwhelming, take a stroll through your thoughtfully designed healing garden. Let your worries melt away as you stop and appreciate the beauty surrounding you. A well-planned green space truly can provide the best therapy.


Growing African Connections Through Community Gardening

In this episode, we also got to see how community gardening is bringing African cultures together. United African Farm is uniting people from all corners of the continent through a shared love of growing food. For these African communities, farming and agriculture is an integral part of their heritage. But many lost this connection after fleeing war and resettling in Australia. Working the land reminds them of home and family traditions. Community gardens like this have so much to offer. They build bonds, reduce social isolation and promote a sense of belonging. Members find friendship, swap skills and recipes, and mentor younger members. Gardens erase barriers and bring diverse people together.

Food is such a vital part of culture. Growing traditional African crops keeps culinary customs alive. Farm members talk of seeing the fruits of their labour turned into authentic home-cooked meals. It nourishes both body and spirit. This urban farm also provides opportunity for young refugees. They learn horticulture skills to help them break into the industry. Mentors pass on wisdom and experience. Produce grown generates income at local farmers markets too.

Projects like this empower communities. They showcase the many benefits of community gardening – from social cohesion to education to job opportunities. And they demonstrate how much we stand to gain when diverse cultures come together.


Cultivating Personal Growth Through Gardening

Gardening Australia highlighted how gardens can provide the perfect environment for personal growth. For many, it becomes a journey of cultivating inner strength. Facing difficulties, setbacks, boredom or isolation? Then immersing yourself in the garden may help reinvigorate. The endless jobs involved keep the mind active and present. Testing your green thumb gives a great sense of satisfaction. And learning new skills builds confidence to take on challenges.

The garden is also the ideal place to practice mindfulness. The physical nature of the tasks promotes focus on the here and now. No need for noise or constant stimulation like technology. Instead you become engrossed in the methodical rituals of sowing, weeding, pruning. Creativity blossoms in the garden too. You get to play with color, texture and form by combining flowers, foliage and garden art. Express yourself by designing a floral herbal tea garden edged with seashells and wind chimes. Let your imagination run wild.

Most of all, gardening cultivates patience. Things grow on their own schedule, not yours. But slow and steady progress still brings immense joy. Nurture your inner growth by tending the life growing all around you.


Achieving Physical Therapy Goals Through Gardening

The physical nature of gardening promotes mobility, strength and endurance. As Josh discovered, it served as an excellent form of physiotherapy for shark attack survivor Cam. The garden helped rebuild his strength as he recovered from the life-changing event.

Gardening requires movement of all the major muscle groups. Digging works the arms and upper back. Squatting and bending tones the legs and core. Carrying pots and hauling barrows challenges your balance. The constant motion helps lubricate joints and keeps you nimble. The garden is also a gym. Raking, shoveling, hoeing all raise your heart rate. The aerobic workout improves stamina and cardiovascular fitness. You strengthen your bones by lifting and hauling. And pushing a mower or using shears builds upper body power.

By making a few adjustments, those with physical limitations can also experience these benefits. Raised beds minimize bending for those with back issues. Vertical gardens mean no kneeling for sore knees. Adaptable tools reduce strain for arthritis sufferers. Mindfully choose suitable tasks to suit your ability. Don’t underestimate the physical gains from an hour of gardening. It can be just as effective as a session at the gym. And it works wonders both physically and mentally. Use your garden workout to make progress toward therapy goals.


Tailoring Your Garden to Suit Heavy Clay Soil

Many gardens are blessed with nutrient-rich clay soil. But clay can be heavy, prone to waterlogging and hard to work. As Hannah revealed, some clever design choices can help your garden thrive.

Firstly, focus on plants that appreciate these growing conditions. Veggies with shallow root systems like lettuce, Asian greens, celery and chard all flourish in clay. Fruit trees, especially stonefruit, also suit the moist soil. Just ensure drainage is adequate. Raised garden beds are ideal for improving aeration and minimizing compaction when working in clay soil. Even just 15-20cm extra depth makes a big difference. Incorporate plenty of organic matter like manure and compost when building beds. Mulch well to retain moisture and suppress weeds. Consider installing drainage pipes, gravel beds or sand channels in very boggy areas. And apply gypsum, which chemically helps break up clay, a couple of times per year. In summer, reduce watering and top up mulch to limit evaporation.

Despite the challenges, clay soil is incredibly fertile. With some simple strategies like Hannah suggested, your garden can thrive. The key is selecting suitable plants, building up soil and improving drainage. Your efforts will pay off with bountiful harvests.


Invigorating Homes With Vases of Freshly Cut Flowers

Filling your home with flowers straight from the garden breathes life into indoor spaces. As Sophie demonstrated, creating vibrant posies just takes some planning of what to grow. For year-round vases of cut flowers, plant both annuals and perennials. Focus on long-blooming varieties that produce masses of stems. Easy-care prolific flowers include sweet peas, zinnias, sunflowers, larkspur and cosmos. Have fun playing with color and form as Sophie does. Include tall structural plants like delphiniums along with frothy, delicate blooms like gypsophila. Foliage like eucalyptus or ruscus makes fabulous greenery. Grow useful fillers like Queen Anne’s lace.

Don’t just stick to traditional flowers. Follow Sophie’s lead and look beyond roses and lilies. Unusual edible blooms like chrysanthemums, calendulas, nasturtiums and violas add whimsy. Let hardy herbs flower for vibrant posies. Condition each bunch by giving stems a fresh snip in warm water. Pluck off any leaves below water level. Recutting extends vase life. Display arrangements in different corners of your home and refresh them regularly.

Growing an array of flowers means never having to buy a bunch. Reap the joy of arranging garden-fresh stems picked at their peak. Let your home reflect the seasons with natural, botanical beauty.


Crafting Inspiring Garden Spaces for Wildlife

This episode highlighted the importance of green corridors that provide interconnected habitats for local wildlife. Even small home gardens can make a contribution by providing essential food, water and shelter. Aim to cultivate a biodiverse ecosystem with layers of vegetation. Canopy trees give birds a place to perch and nest. Underplant with smaller trees and shrubs bearing fruit or seeds. Fragrant flowers attract pollinators. Leave some areas of groundcover and leaf litter.

Natural water sources are magnets for wildlife. Install a frog pond, bird bath or shallow dish with rocks for insects to perch. Provide fresh clean water and refresh it regularly. Growing moisture-loving sedges around the edges is ideal. Also incorporate special wildlife nesting boxes suitable for your garden visitors. Bird and bat boxes are readily available. Make shelters for lizards and insects by drilling holes in old wood or laying stones and branches. Site them in calm, sheltered spots.

When planning your garden, consider how habitats interconnect in your local area. Grow bee and bird attracting plants. Avoid pruning hedges in nesting season. Keep chemical use to a minimum. With care, our gardens can collectively become a nature oasis.


Achieving Professional Paving Results in Your Garden

Adding stylish paving is a classic way to elevate your garden. Follow Costa’s methods for achieving flawless results every time. Proper planning and preparation prevents poor performance! Begin by assessing your site and thinking about the paving’s purpose. Is it an occasional footpath or driveway for heavy vehicles? This determines the bed depth and strength needed. Measure the area precisely to work out material quantities required.

Select your preferred stone, brick or concrete pavers to suit the garden style. Avoid a Humpty Dumpty result with Costa’s clever tricks like using a spirit level, screed rails and boards. These ensure level, properly aligned paving for neat finish. Excavate existing soil to allow for the combined depth of pavers, sand bedding and crushed rock base. Pack down the substrate and use a compactor for large areas. This prevents sinking or movement later on.

Place the pavers according to your set pattern, securing edges with “haunching” mortar. Sweep sand into gaps to lock pavers together. Costa’s key advice is taking time to get foundations and edges right. Then admire your professional-looking DIY paving job!


Enjoying Healthy Eating Direct from the Garden

One of the great rewards of gardening is harvesting ultra-fresh nutritious produce to enjoy. Growing your own food means no chemicals or plastic packaging too. Fill your garden with edible plants to promote healthy eating habits. Dedicate beds, borders or pots solely to culinary plants. Focus on what your household loves eating most. Quick-growing salad greens and radishes make snacking from the garden a reality within weeks. Dwarf fruit trees yield bumper crops in modest spaces.

Get kids involved through fun themed veggie patches. Let them grow a rainbow garden of red tomatoes, orange carrots, yellow zucchini, green beans and purple kale. Make pizza gardens with cherry tomatoes, basil, oregano. Grow nutrient-dense superfoods like broccoli, kale, berries and sweet potato. See gardening as an extension of cooking. Pair plants together that will feature in recipes like tomatoes with basil. Grow robust herbs to harvest for sauces, soups and marinades. Fill any empty pockets with edible flowers to add a garnish.

The ultimate foodie satisfaction comes from growing something unique. Try an exotic fruit like yuzu or babaco. Sow ancient grains like amaranth and quinoa. Your own garden lets you experiment with exciting flavours not found in shops.


Creating Productive Gardens in Small Urban Spaces

Don’t let limited space deter you from growing edibles. With inspiration from this episode, gardens of all sizes can be productive. Follow these tips to cultivate bumper crops in small urban plots. Maximize vertical space through structures like obelisks and teepees for climbers. Beans, peas and cucumbers will thrive. Install wall-mounted planter boxes. Use trellises or fences to espalier fruit trees. Even upcycle hanging baskets for cherry tomatoes and strawberries.

Get creative to optimize every square inch. Interplant quick crops like lettuce between slower ones like broccoli. Underplant pumpkin vines with arugula. Utilize borders and edging pockets for herbs. Plant around infrastructure like water tanks. Embrace container gardening for ultimate mobility. Dwarf fruit trees grow beautifully in large pots. Salad greens and cherry tomatoes thrive in smaller containers. Position movable pots to capture sun patterns. Wheeled planter boxes let you relocate produce easily. Improve soil quality through regular additions of plant-based compost and manure. Nourished soil supports higher density planting. Build raised beds to provide deeper soil. Install irrigation systems or critter deterrents if needed.

With drive and imagination, modest plots can be surprisingly prolific. Follow these tips to create an urban oasis overflowing with homegrown goodness. Discover how even apartment balconies and courtyards can become bountiful food gardens.


Growing Flowering Container Plants to Brighten Patios

Limited on garden space? You can still enjoy beautiful blooms by planting flowering container plants perfectly suited to pots and balconies. Follow this advice for sensational summertime color. For dazzling warm weather displays on patios and balconies, plant summer-loving annuals and tropicals. Vibrant zinnias, petunias, marigolds, geraniums and verbena bloom constantly if deadheaded. Water lilies transform tubs into ponds.

Give flowering tropical plants like bougainvillea, hibiscus, mandevilla and passionfruit vines ample root room and free drainage. Use trellises and obelisks to train climbing vines upward. Tuck lower-growing annuals around their base. Tempt hummingbirds to your patio with their favoured nectar-producing plants. Sow nasturtiums, fuchsias, pentas, lavender and salvias in pots. Use red flowers to really catch their attention. Site containers near seating areas. For cool weather, plant flower bulbs like hyacinths, tulips and daffodils in autumn. Position containers where you can appreciate the fragrance. Protect frost-tender plants by moving pots into warm spots.

With the right plant choices, even the smallest outdoor spaces can become flower-filled sanctuaries. Follow these container gardening tips for gorgeous blooms no matter your garden size.


Creating Productive Veggie Plots in Heavy Clay Soils

Nutrient-rich clay soils can grow bumper crops with the right techniques. Here are Hannah’s top tips for building thriving productive veggie gardens in heavy clay. Improve drainage by mounding soil into raised beds at least 30cm high. Incorporate lots of organic material like compost when building beds. Aim for a light fluffy soil texture that’s easily worked.

Stick to shallow-rooted veggies that appreciate the moisture retention of clay. Favourites include Asian greens, lettuce, celery, peas, beans, radish and chard. Heavy feeders like broccoli and cabbage also thrive. Consider diversion channels to prevent waterlogging and install agricultural pipes to help drainage. Apply gypsum to help break up clay particles. Always mulch well and avoid walking on wet soil. If you have very boggy spots, construct dedicated no-dig beds for water-loving crops. Plant in compost and aged manure directly on the soil surface. Place boards underneath to prevent sinking.

Despite the challenges, productive veggie gardens can flourish in clay with soil amendments and the right planting choices. Your efforts will be rewarded with a bounty of tasty chemical-free produce.


Creating Wildlife-Friendly Habitats in Your Backyard

As Clarence’s segment showed, our gardens can provide essential corridors that interconnect habitats for local species. Even small backyards can make a meaningful contribution with thoughtful design. Aim to cultivate a diverse ecosystem filled with trees, shrubs, foliage and flowers that provide habitat niches. Food sources like seeds, nuts and nectar encourage animals to visit and stay. Ensure access to fresh clean water via a pond or bird bath.

Incorporate special shelters like rock piles, frog hotels made from PVC pipes, and nesting boxes mounted out of pets’ reach. Use logs, rocks or timber off-cuts to build insect hotels and lizard lounges. Site them in sheltered, secluded spots. Plant shade trees like eucalypts as well as understorey shrubs bearing berries and seeds. Avoid excessive pruning and let fallen leaves accumulate to provide habitat. Keep chemical use to a minimum and garden organically where possible.

With planning, our home gardens can collectively become sanctuaries that sustain local flora and fauna. Even if you only have a courtyard, a few small tweaks can make it more hospitable for urban wildlife.


Achieving a Continuous Supply of Cut Flowers

Filling your home year-round with fresh-picked posies is easily achieved by growing a diverse range of flowers. Follow Sophie’s lead with these tips for endless vases of garden-cut blooms. For seasonal colour, sow annuals and biennials from seed at intervals. Cosmos, clarkia, calendula, larkspur, sweet peas, sunflowers and snapdragons are simple to grow. Use selective picking to prolong flowering.

Reliable perennials like Shasta daisies, asters, hardy geraniums, hellebores, iris and peonies provide spring through autumn stems. Interplant with annuals for summer gaps. Divide congested clumps to rejuvenate. Grow prolific filler flowers that complement showier blooms. Queen Anne’s lace, baby’s breath, statice, astilbe, artemisia and ornamental grasses add airiness. Pick by the armful! Allow some herbs like basil, borage, thyme, sage and rosemary to flower for pretty edible posies. Grow interesting seeded pods from lunaria and nigella to add architectural detail.

With the right mix of plants chosen, fresh garden flowers can adorn every room. Never buy a bunch again – create your own vibrant, natural arrangements full of imperfect perfection.


Using Gardening as Physical Therapy and Exercise

As Josh discovered, gardening provides an excellent form of physiotherapy and mobility exercise. The physical nature of the tasks makes it ideal for those with injuries, disabilities or fitness goals. Digging, lifting, pushing and hauling work most major muscle groups. The resistance strengthens arms, shoulders, chest, core and legs. Shoveling, raking and hoeing elevates the heart rate for cardiovascular benefits. Carrying and holdingchallengesthe smaller intrinsic muscles.

The constant range of motion improves flexibility and lubricates joints. Squatting and bending increase mobility. Balance and coordination are honed by moving across uneven garden surfaces. For those with limited mobility, make adjustments to reap the rewards. Install raised beds, vertical gardens and window boxes. Use long-handled, lightweight tools that minimize strain. Sit on a stool to garden rather than kneel or bend.

Gardening ticks all the boxes when it comes to functional exercise for optimal physical health. Let your garden serve as a gym. Alternate light and heavy tasks for a balanced workout rivaling a personal training session. Reap amazing mental health perks too!


Growing Waterwise Native Plants to Conserve Water

With water scarcity increasing, opt for drought-tolerant native plants that thrive on little moisture. Native gardens also support local biodiversity. Follow these tips when converting to waterwise natives. Gradually remove thirsty exotics like camellias and roses over time. Replace them phase by phase with hardy natives like banksias, grevilleas, acacias, lomandras and kangaroo paw. Group plants with similar water needs.

Improve sandy soils with clay and compost to retain moisture. Add water-storing gels and crystals. Mulch well to suppress weeds competing for water. Use greywater if possible. Ensure irrigation is directed only to root zones. Plant densely as mature native gardens mimic bushland with layered canopies. Ground covers suppress weeds and protect soil. Many Australian plants are sensitive to phosphorus – use low phosphorus organic fertilizers.

Once established, native gardens are remarkably resilient. They adapt to your local climate and soils needing minimal watering. You’ll attract a delightful array of birds and insects too.


Improving Garden Soil Organically for Productive Plants

Great gardens start with healthy living soils brimming with microbial life. Follow organic techniques to correct and enrich your soil without nasty chemicals. Your plants will thank you! Test soil pH and fix imbalances. Most edibles prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH between 6 and 7. Add sulphur to lower pH in alkaline soils. Lime raises pH in acidic soils but avoid overcorrecting. Recheck every few seasons.

Improve drainage or water retention naturally depending on your soil type. Incorporate plenty of compost and conditioners like coir, peat or rice hulls. For clay, add gypsum, sand or gravel. Water-holding gels help sandy soils. Nourish soil life through regular applications of plant-based compost, manure, seaweed, mulch and worm castings. These feed soil microbes which make nutrients available to plants. Rotate kitchen waste into new beds. Eliminate chemical fertilizers and pesticides which destroy soil life and leach into waterways. Embrace organic techniques like crop rotation, interplanting and companion planting to prevent pests.

Growing truly natural chemical-free produce starts with balanced living soil. Follow these organic methods to create the ideal soil environment so your garden and the planet both thrive.


Harvesting and Preparing Homegrown Herbs and Veggies

One of the joys of food gardening is harvesting ultra-fresh produce minutes before eating. Follow these tips when picking and preparing your homegrown veggies and herbs. Know when crops are at optimal maturity for harvesting. Pick greens like lettuce, spinach and kale while young and tender. Allow root vegetables to size up for maximum flavor. Harvest zucchinis and cucumbers when glossy and firm.

Time herb picking for maximum essential oils. Harvest basil, tarragon, oregano right before flowering. For parsley and coriander, use newer growth. For bay, rosemary and thyme, select mature leaves. Always use clean secateurs and avoid bruising produce when harvesting. Pick in cooler parts of the day. Gently wash with filtered water and dry thoroughly before use. Refrigerate produce promptly. Herb bunches keep best when put in a jar of fresh water like flowers. Wrap kale and lettuce leaves in tea towels. Store roots in containers of damp sand. Freeze, pickle or preserve any excess.

Follow recipes that use entire edible plants like carrot tops pesto and broccoli stem slaw. Compost any inedible scraps to recycle goodness back into your garden soil.


Best Vegetables and Herbs for Shady Gardens

Lack of sunlight needn’t deter you from edible gardening. Many tasty crops actually thrive in partial or full shade. Here are the best performers for shadowy sites with little direct sun. Leafy Asian greens offer versatility for shady plots. Mizuna, tatsoi, choy sum, pak choy and shungiku all grow rapidly without bolting too quickly. They bring crunch and fresh flavor to meals.

Lettuces also relish cooler positions away from hot sun. Opt forloose leaf varieties like oakleaf for cut-and-come-again harvesting. Baby cos and romaine work for mini heads. Toss leaves through stir fries or salads. Hardy cooking greens like spinach, kale and chard produce copious harvests in shade. Swiss chard in particular brings vivid color. Use young or mature leaves in any dish. Many herbs adapt well to shade including mints, lemon balm, chervil, parsley, chives, oregano, tarragon and wild rocket. Boost culinary dishes and brew herb teas.

With the right edible plant picks, your shadiest zones can become productive. Avoid hot-sun lovers like tomatoes and zucchini and focus efforts on shade-tolerant species.


Growing Culinary Container Herbs on Balconies

Lack of garden space needn’t prevent you from growing fresh herbs. Productive pots can sit anywhere from patios to doorsteps. Follow these tips for successful container herbs. Stick to compact bushy varieties suitable for containers. Dwarf basil, oregano, thyme and sage take up little room. Curly parsley and chives regrow after cutting. Vietnamese mint and lemon balm spread nicely.

Use free-draining potting mix and add water crystals to help retain moisture. In winter, move pots to a bright sheltered spot. Feed with organic seaweed fertilizer every few weeks during growing season. Harvest by snipping off outer stems and shoots. Always leave some newer growth behind. Cutting encourages bushy regrowth. Timely harvesting means you use what you cut. Flavor mellows if herbs flower, so pinch out budding stems. Exception is bolting cilantro harvested for seeds. When plants become straggly, replace with fresh young plants.

With the right care, portable pots of herbs will reward you with ample fresh seasoning. Enjoy homegrown flavors just steps from your kitchen.


Creating Wildlife Habitats in Small Courtyard Gardens

You don’t need acres of land to help local wildlife. Small spaces like apartments or courtyards can also provide essential food, water and shelter. Follow these tips to transform your courtyard into an urban oasis. Select plants with wildlife appeal like daisies, bottlebrush and grevillea for nectar-loving insects and birds. Night-scented flowers like nicotiana attract moths. Grow blueberries, native grasses or banksia for seed-eating birds.

Add a simple water source like a birdbath, shallow fountain or container pond. Include rocks for insect perching and escape routes for small animals. Change water regularly to avoid disease. Build and install nesting boxes suitable for your space. Avoid disturbing vegetation during nesting seasons. Put out nesting material like pet fur or shredded paper. Install insect hotels. Incorporate refuge areas via rock piles, small logs, clumps of vegetation and leaf litter. Avoid chemicals and let some lawn areas grow longer. Motion-sensor lighting reduces disturbance at night.

With thoughtful plant and habitat selections, even the tiniest spaces can help sustain urban biodiversity. Follow these tips to convert courtyards into mini nature sanctuaries.


Key Takeaways from Gardening Australia Episode 28

  • Gardening provides a powerful form of therapy that can aid recovery, resilience and personal growth. Designing healing gardens that nourish the mind is very beneficial.
  • Community gardens unite diverse groups and cultures, reducing isolation and promoting belonging. Sharing the joy of growing food together bridges divides.
  • Productive gardens are possible even in small compact urban spaces. With clever design and plant choices, bountiful edible crops can be grown in pots and courtyards.
  • While clay soil has challenges, with some amendments and suitable plant selections, thriving productive gardens can flourish. Improving drainage is key.
  • Filling your home year-round with garden-cut flowers is easily achieved by growing diverse annuals, perennials, herbs and fillers.
  • Wildlife-friendly gardens, big or small, provide interconnected habitat corridors that help sustain biodiversity. Proving food, water and shelter encourages visits.
  • The physical nature of gardening makes it an excellent physiotherapy aid. Tasks can be adjusted to suit ability. Gardens serve as outdoor gyms!
  • With the right plant choices, gardening in shade, in containers, on balconies or with limited space is very achievable. Be creative!
  • Growing your own chemical-free herbs and veggies lets you harvest produce at its peak ripeness. The ultimate fresh flavor!

The healing power of gardening was a key theme in this episode. As we saw, gardens sustain us in so many ways – physically, mentally, emotionally, creatively, spiritually. They heal souls and build communities. Gardening brings meaning and purpose to life. Sow the seeds of joy.

Here is part 3, the conclusion of the 4,000 word SEO optimized blog article:


Frequently Asked Questions – Gardening Australia episode 28 2023


What are some examples of plants suitable for a healing garden?

Some great plants for a healing or meditation garden include:

  • Flowering perennials like lavender, echinacea, roses, peonies, iris – for fragrance, color and relaxation
  • Textural foliage plants like lamb’s ear, silver sage, ornamental grasses – for sensory stimulation
  • Edible herbs like mints, thyme, basil, lemon balm – for making relaxing teas
  • Water plants like water lilies, irises, sedges – for serene aquatic gardens
  • Fruit trees like lemon, lime, peach, nectarine, plum – for nutritious fresh produce
  • Seed and nectar-producing flowers to attract pollinators and birds


What type of garden tasks are good physiotherapy exercises?

Some great physiotherapy exercises to do in the garden include:

  • Raking leaves, hoeing weeds and mowing lawns – for building upper body and core strength
  • Digging holes, shoveling soil and turning compost heaps – for working major muscle groups
  • Carrying pots, hauling barrows and lifting bags of mulch – for improving stability and coordination
  • Pruning trees, trimming hedges and picking fruit – for mobilizing joints and improving dexterity
  • Squatting, kneeling, bending and stretching – for joint lubrication and flexibility
  • Walking on uneven surfaces – for balance, posture and proprioception


What vegetables grow well in heavy clay soil?

Some suitable vegetables for heavy clay soils include:

  • Leafy Asian greens like bok choy, tatsoi and mizuna which thrive in moist soils
  • Celery and celeriac which appreciate the extra fertility and moisture retention
  • Beets, carrots and radishes which can push through dense soils with their strong roots
  • Peas, beans and legumes which fix nitrogen into the heavy soil
  • Broccoli, cabbage, kale and other brassicas which can cope with wet clay soils
  • Lettuce which grows rapidly before moisture has a chance to affect it
  • Green onions, chives and leeks which grow vigorously in clay


How can small space gardeners maximize food production?

Useful tips for maximizing food in small space gardens:

  • Grow in containers and hanging baskets on balconies, patios, decks
  • Install vertical gardens, trellises, walls of pots to use vertical space
  • Practice succession planting and interplanting to maximize productivity from garden beds
  • Build raised garden beds to provide deeper soil in compact areas
  • Use space efficiently with geometric herb spirals, keyhole gardens, arching rows
  • Preserve excess produce by freezing, drying, bottling, pickling to avoid waste
  • Focus on small crops like salad greens, herbs, cherry tomatoes, chillies, beans
  • Choose dwarf and patio fruit tree varieties that have compact growth habits


What are easy wildlife friendly plants?

Some wildlife-attracting plants suitable for small and large gardens include:

  • Nectar-producing flowers like bottlebrush, grevillea, banksia, eucalyptus, tea tree to attract birds, bees and butterflies
  • Fruits and berries like lilly pilly, callistemon, saltbush, mulberries to provide food for birds
  • Seed producing plants like grasses, wattles and gum trees to attract seed-eating birds
  • Frog-friendly water plants such as lomandra, carex, juncus rushes to provide amphibian habitat
  • Dense prickly shrubs like banksia, hakea and westringia that provide shelter for small birds
  • Ground covers like dichondra to allow lizards to forage for insects


How often should you amend garden soil?
  • Tree and shrub beds – apply aged compost or manure annually each autumn
  • Vegetable and annual beds – add compost or organic fertilizer 2-4 times yearly
  • Potted plants – repot into fresh potting mix every 1-2 years
  • Lawns – apply a thin layer of compost or organic fertilizer 1-2 times per year
  • New garden beds – add lots of organic matter like compost before planting and then regularly top up
  • Test soil pH every 2-3 years and correct if needed – don’t over-correct
  • Sandy soils – add water retaining amendments like compost regularly
  • Clay soils – add gypsum and organic matter 1-2 times per year

The key is regular addition of organic composts and manures to nourish soil life and replenish nutrients used by plants. Avoid over-applying chemical fertilizers.


Final Thoughts

This episode of Gardening Australia highlighted the incredible healing power of gardens. They sustain us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Gardening engages us fully in the present moment. It grounds and connects us to the natural world. We experience the cycles of life firsthand. Hard work cultivates inner resilience. Beauty nourishes the soul.

Gardens erase divides. They unite communities, cultures, generations and nations. Shared gardening brings meaning and purpose. It awakens our nurturing instincts. Hope springs eternal in gardens. The future is always full of potential sitting in a seed. Dig your hands into the soil and sow the seeds of transformation in your own life.

Keep observing nature’s rhythms. Be open to lessons learned in the garden. Healing begins from within. Grow yourself as you grow your garden. Sow seeds of joy, connection, gratitude, peace.

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