Gardening Australia episode 8 2022: Costa Georgiadis finds a bushland roof garden in inner-city Sydney, Sophie Thomson explores the world of pollen, Jane Edmanson enjoys a South African plant collection, and Josh Byrne prepares his garden for guests.
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 8 2022
Costa visits an inner-city apartment with a surprising feature – a miniature patch of bushland growing on its roof. In inner Sydney a former tractor factory has been transformed into a residential building that includes a sky-high garden oasis. Owner and architect Adam Haddow designed the 5th story space as a test case to “change the way apartments are thought about and make them much more like a home, and in that process get a garden.”
The 350m2 garden across two levels is intentionally much bigger than the 190m2 apartment! The first level is designed to extend the living space, provide privacy, and capture stunning city views. The top level is a more organic and wild style, fitting Adam’s brief of “I want to feel like I’m in the bush. I want the trees; I want the birds.”
Adam worked with Landscape Architect Tom Smith (Dangar Barin Smith) to bring the vision to life. There were lots of challenges including exposure to strong winds and sun, low soil depth, and tricky drainage. Tom says, “We did a lot of collective work with the builder and the architect to make sure we had effective drainage, and that went right back to the waterproofing and drainage cell layers.” Thankfully the building was designed for heavy tractors driving around so some of the engineering work was already done for them. They also raised the floor level of the apartment in order to increase the depth of soil for plants.
FAQs – Plastic mesh | Pest ID | Fertilising outdoor potted plants
Millie explores the perils of plastic mesh under turf, Clarence turns detective to work out what’s eating his plants, and Josh offers advice on when to fertilise potted plants.
DIY Grow Poles – Gardening Australia episode 8 2022
Jerry revisits a pair of young plant collectors who show how they make simple supports for their beloved climbing aroids. Jerry has returned to the home of plant collectors Jazmin Edwards and Jacob Wood in Caboolture, where care for more than 600 plants, including some of the most obscure and sought-after varieties around.
Jazmin and Jacob construct custom “grow poles” to train their climbing aroids up. “They’re the type of plant that wants to grow on a surface. They go nuts when they grow on a pole that they think is a tree – Philodendron means ‘tree hugger.’” Many growers will use sphagnum moss to construct these poles, but it comes with significant environmental concerns. Jaz and Jacob came up with an alternative that they feel also performs better.
Sophie explores the fascinating world of pollen to learn why plants produce it, and how it works. Under a microscope, he shows that while pollen appears to be lots of yellow dust to the naked eye, it’s actually highly varied in size and shape, depending on the plant it’s from.
He has some 3D models of pollen to show the varied shapes and patterns. Each of these 3D Pollen models are 200, 000 times bigger than the actual pollen they’re from. They are an initiative of the Australian 3D Pollen Project at the Australian National University and have been shared with scientists all over the country and used as educational tools.
The pollen we see is a shell. Inside the pollen are gametes, which are the male DNA of the plant. The pollen lands on the female part of a plant and sends down a pollen tube to reach the ovary and, within it, the ovule – the egg. This delivers the male DNA to fertilise the egg and produce a seed. Some plants, such as acacia, produce pollen with multiple grains, to maximize the chance of fertilization and create more seed.
Lekker Flora – Gardening Australia episode 8 2022
Jane is at the Melton Botanic Garden, where a large section is devoted to South African plants. The 26-hectare gardens were only planted 11 years ago but are maturing well and full of colour. They are planted with species from inland Australia, the Mediterranean and other parts of the world with similar dry conditions.
Two volunteers – Ella and Stephen Parker – manage the South African section. They met while both living in Africa, and they helped care for gardens on a university near Kruger National Park. They brought that love of plants with them when they moved to Australia and were invited to help start the South African section by president of the Friends of Melton Botanic Garden, John Bentley. The garden shows local residents what can be grown in Melton’s low-rainfall area. In South Africa the plants might be described as ‘lekker’ or superb.
Slow the Flow
Millie finds an elegantly simple solution to a problem in her sloping vegie patch. Millie installs a simple hardwood garden bed edge. Edging a garden bed has multiple benefits, defining the garden and paths for users, retaining added water, compost and mulch, and creating more useable garden space.
In the productive patch here, Millie has used a series of simple hardwood edges to retain each, terracing the slope and providing easy access to each bed. The bed at the top of the garden is the only area not retained, and as a result it consistently sheds water and soil amendments, so today it’s getting an edge.