Gardening Australia episode 34 2022: Costa explores a daffodil festival; Millie makes the most of spring; Josh meets gardeners of all ages; Jerry sees plants soften brutalism; Tammy explains types of variegation; we meet a midwife with a front yard food forest. Costa visits a regional town celebrating the 50th year of their iconic daffodil festival, to learn about how this beautiful spring flower brings the community together. Millie is pumped for spring in the productive patch, and she shares her strategies to make the most of every moment in this beautiful season!
Josh learns about the therapeutic benefits of horticulture when he tours an aged care facility that prioritises connecting the residents to plants and the outdoors. Sophie thins fruit trees for a better harvest. Jerry visits an iconic brutalist building which has been updated and elevated by considered landscape architecture and stunning plantings.
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 34 2022
Go for Gold!
Costa visits a country festival celebrating its 50th year, where the whole town has one thing on their mind — daffodils! In the Central Victorian highlands, about an hour north of Melbourne is a vibrant little town. Kyneton sits on the banks of the Campaspe River, the intersection of Taungurung and Dja Dja Wurrung Country. It’s about halfway to Bendigo, which for a time, was famed for its gold rush. But, in spring every year – Kyneton has a goldrush of its own. Daffodil gold!
For the last 50 years, the Kyneton Daffodil and Arts festival has filled the streets, shops and gardens of the town with trumpets and cups, jonquils and tazettes, cyclamineus and papillons forms. Over two weeks, there are a range of events celebrating spring. There is the golden mile of daffodils, the horticultural society flower show with competitive daffodil growing, an art prize, a daffodil doggy dash, one-act play performance, a scarecrow competition, and the GRAND PARADE!
There is also a Daffodil royal family, with the king and queen dominated nominated for their services to the community and positive work at school. This year the community has chosen some icons of the local hospitality industry, who kept their lights on, serving the community through the darkest Covid winters. They spend time throughout the festival on a royal tour, visiting the schools, local aged care, and community services.
Get Set for Summer – Gardening Australia episode 34 2022
Millie gets stuck into some productive garden preparation to ensure there is food flowing over many months to come. In this cool climate, the warm season is incredibly short, so gardeners need to be strategic, and take advantage of every space.
While the air temperature has warmed, for most plants it is the soil temperature that is most important. Millie uses a thermometer to monitor conditions underground. She also looks to plants in the garden to indicate seasonal changes. Some self-seeded nasturtiums have germinated, indicating that the soil is warm enough for things like beans, basil and cucurbits. Mulch is only thinly applied to soil to ensure the sun will continue to warm the soil.
Tomatoes are a staple of most summer gardens, and in warmer climates they will be well established. But in Millie’s cold climate, they are only now going into the ground having been raised under cover to an advanced stage. Millie is using a steel stake which should last forever and can be washed and stored at the end of the season. Once they are planted, they will grow quickly and need to be pruned and trained.
When it comes to pruning, many garden varieties are indeterminate, meaning they will continue to grow and fruit along a main stem. To concentrate energy into the growing tip, remove any lateral shoots, those that occur in the leaf axils. It is also important to remove any foliage that is touching the ground, as this can be a pathway for fungal infection, but also the lateral branches to concentrate the energy into the main stem.
Josh is in the Perth foothills to visit an aged care facility that has been designed with a difference. Karingal Green has put landscape and gardening at the forefront of its therapeutic philosophy, with great outcomes for residents and staff. We meet one of the residents, Ken Allen, as he pots up flowers outside of his residence. He says, ‘my wife liked gardening, she encouraged me to plant things. It gives me something to do and adds a bit of colour around the place.’
Graeme Prior is the CEO of Hall and Prior Aged Care, who are behind the project. Graeme explains the thinking behind creating an open and connected home for elderly residents, ‘We started designing with the principles of no boundaries and total freedom. In the 21st century, people want a great deal of freedom.’ Rocelyn Crowe is one of the landscape architects who designed the gardens onsite. She has worked on designs for hospitals with a similar concept underpinning the landscape. She says, ‘the idea behind this is the evidence-based research into how nature is beneficial for health and wellness outcomes. We were really mindful in designing the space that there is a real connection to outdoor spaces, not only visually but physically, so residents can come out and interact with the garden.’
Designing with accessibility in mind is key for gardens that are welcoming to aged care residents. Rocelyn elaborates, ‘each house or apartment has direct access to a garden space, and we created gardens that are easy to access. The pavements should be smooth with minimal joints and bumpiness, pathways are flush to doorways to allow ease of access between inside and outside, and all the pathways are wide to accommodate wheelchairs.’