Gardening Australia episode 31 2021: Josh Byrne meets an ornithologist to learn about supporting birds in backyards; Costa and junior gardener Caylee create magical miniature gardens; Sophie Thomson meets a group redistributing cafe waste to backyard composters.
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 31 2021
Jerry introduces one of his favourite groups of plants for colour and interest through a sub-tropical spring. The Zingiberales is an order consisting of eight botanical families, around 70 genera, and 2,600 species, the bulk of which occur naturally in the tropics. This is an important order of plants, both horticulturally, but also economically, as many of them are crops. Take, for example, the members of the Musaceae, or banana family.
The Roma Street Parklands in the heart of sub-tropical Brisbane, has a large Zingiberales collection, and seeing members of this botanical order grouped together reveals more similarities than one may expect. Paul Hoffman, curator of the Roma Street Parklands, explains that “within Zingiberales, many of the plants and their leaves are very large. They are herbaceous perennials in the sense that most of them have little or no woody tissue, and in wetter, tropical areas, many are evergreen”. The similarities don’t end there – “they are all rhizomatous, meaning the branches arise from modified underground stems.
Café to Compost – Gardening Australia episode 31 2021
Sophie tracks down a community co-operative who are working to distribute organic waste from local cafes to backyard gardeners to compost. Sophie visits a community compost network in Semaphore where cafes and gardeners have organised a face to face, old school, super local, compost collection network that is closing the loop on food waste while building soils.
People the world over are interested in waste, compost and doing the right thing with food scraps. In one Adelaide suburb, a local grassroots compost network of scrap collectors has been very successful in diverting 120,000kg from landfill. The motto of the group is “A café’s waste is a composter’s gold!”
Stuart Cameron, café owner explained how the network benefits cafes who often have to pay handsomely for waste services, especially composting services. Stuart: “We tried to do composting previously but we were just to busy. Scraps would build up. It just didn’t work. We produce about 40kg food scraps and coffee grounds every day. We cook everything from scratch, so there’s lots of waste. There was a huge change when Tim started taking the scraps. He guaranteed to take all the scraps.” Stuart can show the kitchen area with it’s 5 separate bins for collection. He says his staff are very enthusiastic about separating the scraps. “If we can do this in a busy café with a small kitchen, any café can do it.”
To celebrate National Bird Week, Josh meets an ornithologist to look at ways that gardeners can help to support local birds. Simon Cherriman is an environmental biologist, who has developed a deeper love and knowledge of native birds. In the wider environment and within the garden, birds play a variety of roles – pest control, pollination, seed spread, nutrient cycling, earthworks, landscaping and even clean-up crews, and this is no different in gardens and urban settings. Many bird species survive in urban areas, but their presence and persistence depend on how specific their food and shelter needs are, how they respond to disturbances, and the quality and quantity of other green spaces in the landscape. “Knowing which birds are likely to occur in your neck of the woods can go a long way to planning and providing the appropriate environment for them, whether it’s habitat, preferred plant species or shelter”.
Making Magic – Gardening Australia episode 31 2021
Caylee and Costa let their horticultural imaginations run wild, creating some magical miniature landscapes. Costa and Caylee create some magical, miniature gardens perfect for growing some fascinating flora AND fauna.
Some people have a big park or garden nearby, that they can explore and play in. But the imagination can be just as fun to explore, and to grow. C & C are going to dream-up and plant-up some magical miniature landscapes, with all the trimmings. Fairies, dinosaurs, bats and bugs, ponies and possums will all be happy to call these little gardens home.
While Costa is a landscape architect, Caylee is taking the lead on the design here. She proposed that a pot could be painted like a fairy house & then planted. Maybe Costa could make a farmyard version?
Life of Riley
Guest presenter Palisa visits her vegetable growing mentor to learn about the backyard methods being used on a market garden scale. Palisa visits a thriving market garden to find out how diversity and learning is at the heart of their productivity. Kelrick and Maree’s farm is about 50 mins inland of Byron, is one of her favourite places to talk soil, food, and production. Starting 30 years ago on black basalt soil which is fertile and can be hard setting.
They cut the paddocks as mulch a diverse mix of pasture species, whatever is there, even weeds, as we can cut and mulch before seed set. “You want diversity in the plants in a mulch, that’s a diversity in minerals going into the soil! If you’re just applying bales of wheat straw, that is not much in the way of diversity”.
Diversity is writ from the large scale to the small – implemented across the farm, in each paddock, and on an individual bed scale. “We have the luxury of space here, so gardens are spread out across the property. Trees, grass country, the gardens are in between. They all contribute to the biodiversity that supports production”.