Gardening Australia episode 29 2020: Sophie Thomson visits an Adelaide garden inspired by royalty; Costa Georgiadis explores the wildflowers around Sydney; Tino Carnevale shares some soil wisdom; Millie shows you can plant into pretty much anything.
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 29 2020
Costa explores the stunning spring wildflowers on Sydney’s doorstep. Costa visits Ku-Ring-Gai Wildflower Garden within the Garigal National Park, north of Sydney. Spring may be peak season for Australia’s wildflowers but here the flowers start filling the park with colour from winter onwards.
Visitor information officer Jennifer Edyejones says it’s a good idea to visit a few times throughout the year if you want to see different plants in flower. Ecologist Jacob Sife explains the challenges he faces in preserving some of the rare plants and ecosystems in the park, and different landscapes, such as ‘hanging’ swamp in elevated areas where the water is contained by the underlying sandstone rocks.
A nursery onsite has many of the wildflowers for sale, so visitors can take home a taste of the beautiful bushland they’ve just explored and grow it at home.
FAQs – Plant growth | Sphagnum vs Peat moss | Fertilising indoor plants
Gardening Australia presenters answer commonly asked gardening questions.
Top Tip – Parsnips in Gardening Australia episode 29 2020
Millie shares a great tip on re-planting turnips to produce flowers for beneficial insects and seeds for next years’ crop. Millie loves growing parsnips for their taste, to save money, and so she can pick when they’re at their peak, which is after a heavy frost. Some of the crop are a bit misshapen or too small to eat so Millie replants them to enjoy the flowers and produce some seed, which can then become next year’s harvest.
The flowers are magnets for beneficial insects.
Sophie visits a garden that has been influenced by some of the world’s best – but adapted to South Australia’s challenging conditions. After a visit to Versailles, the royal hunting lodge converted to a palace by King Louis XIV that is surrounded by immaculate, formal parterre gardens, Rory McGregor was inspired to recreate a similarly formal design at home.
However, he needed to adapt the idea to suit South Australia’s harsh, dry climate, the soil at Strathalbyn – and a scale he could manage and afford. Rory researched plants that were proven survivors in his area – both exotic and native – and started his design. “I wanted low maintenance,” he says. “I didn’t want to dead-head like a cottage garden. No plants that needed staking or dividing. I wanted to use a hedge trimmer and lawn mower.”
It features a strong central axis and side axes that lead the eye and invite investigation. Trimmed hedges divide off areas, including a lawned area where his sister got married.
The garden is approximately 15% native and 85% exotic. Native Correa alba features and Rory is looking forward to pruning shaping these over time. Rory has selected natives that tolerate sandy and alkaline soil and his successes include saltbush, hakea, banksia and westringia. There is also a fruit orchard, featuring hardy stone fruit, apples, and pears, that is irrigated from a recycled water system.
Lemon Scab Disease
Jerry shows how to deal with lemon scab disease. The lemon ‘Villa Franca Variegata’ has decorative leaves with pale patches or variegations, and it’s one of Jerry’s favourite plants. Even the fruit is variegated! However Jerry’s plant is sick with a fungal disease called Lemon Scab, which shows up as raised brown scabby growths on the fruit, leaves and twigs. The scabs are pinkish at first and then darken with age.
While the fruit can still be juiced, its skin can’t be used in marmalade and, eventually, the plant may die. The disease can also spread to other citrus plants nearby, so it’s worth treating. To treat it, Jerry prepares an antifungal spray mix of copper hydroxide and thoroughly sprays both sides of the leaves and the bark. This has to be repeated as new leaves and lowers appear, as the airborne fungal spores will attack them too. Repeat this three times over a 9-week period.
By next year, your fruit should be fine for marmalade, and other trees in your garden will be safe, too.
Pick a Posy
Jane shares some plants that provoke gorgeous garden memories. As well as sharing pictures of our plants online, Jane Edmanson knows a more traditional way of sharing garden content and winning ‘likes’.
Many of the plants in her garden hold memories of friends and family: there’s a Ribbon Plant that was given to her by her aunt, a Lemon Verbena and Peppermint Geranium from her mother, and a Tree Marigold from a great friend. The scents of the plant can bring back memories and you can create new memories by giving a posy of any of these plants to neighbours and friends.
The Dirt Detective in Gardening Australia episode 29 2020
Tino has his ears, eyes and nose to the ground in order to understand his soil.
Whether you’re getting started on a home vegie garden, or a market garden (like Tino), it’s important to get to know your soil before you start dropping plants into the ground. Taking the time to observe, dig a few holes and get your hands dirty before planting will save you time, money and grief in the long run. When Tino and his young family moved to their Tasman Peninsula property last year, Tino knew his first job was to get to know what lies below – the soil.
Plant into Anything
Millie shows that almost any container can be adapted to growing plants.
Josh plans his productive garden so he always has some harvest to enjoy. It’s easy to get gaps in your harvest as you go from one crop to another, but Josh has a simple system to avoid this and ensure a consistent food supply. “Vegie beds are precious real estate so it makes sense to make use of the space over time,” he says. “One way to do that is stagger planting.”
Even when the garden seems full of productive food, Josh always spaces out his plant to ensure he always has a few spare spots and spaces to fit in an extra crop. In one bed he has quick-growing Gai Lan, whcih he planted the Gai Lan quite densely and plans to harvest every other plant as a crop to eat while leaving the remaining plants to grow to full size.
Next to it is slower-growing Red Cabbage that is spaced widely apart – about 50cm – to allow it to fill out fully. However this will take several months, so in the meantime he can grow an interim crop of fast-growing lettuce in the gaps.
He plants a mix of varieties that he can crop over the next few weeks, or remove completely when the cabbages need the space.
Food Forest Fundamentals – Gardening Australia episode 29 2020
Guest presenter Hannah Moloney explains the idea of a food forest, and how to start a simple one in your garden
Plant Profile – Black Bean
We profile Castanospermum australe – a rainforest tree that is native to the east coast of Australia and the Pacific Islands that is a magnet for wildlife.
My Garden Path – James Brincat
We meet horticulturist James Brincat whose work and leadership have helped a whole community of gardeners to grow.