Garden Clinic Blog

Keep in touch with what we're doing, there's always something going on. Our team has been busy gathering interesting, helpful and exciting stories for you to enjoy. Seasonal inspiration from our garden to yours.

A love of colour

A love of colour

Heather Cant is known locally as the Rose Lady. Find out why in this extract from ‘Beyond the Garden Gate: private gardens of the Southern Highlands’.

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The new rose garden

The new rose garden

Roses mix it up at Wisley, blooming brilliantly with a range of other flowering plants.

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Libby’s Armenian Nutmeg Cake

Libby’s Armenian Nutmeg Cake

Simple and delicious, Libby's Armenian Nutmeg cake, with a nice cup of tea, is the perfect treat after a hard spring morning's garden.

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We love: A Dollop of Clotted Cream

We love: A Dollop of Clotted Cream

Opening pale pink then fading to soft coffee cream ‘Cafe au Lait’ is a celebrity-status dahlia. The multi-petalled blooms are up to 25 cm across and there may be 40 on a plant at once, so strong support is essential.

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Meet: Anne Ruston, rose garden owner

Meet: Anne Ruston, rose garden owner

Anne Ruston is a South Australian senator, but for rose lovers the really important job she holds is as owner of Ruston Roses, a horticultural icon in South Australia, established by her uncle David. Robin Powell walked though the garden with her.

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La Vie En Rose

La Vie En Rose

The charms of French country living inspired Marian Somes to create her own version at her beautiful garden Picardy in the Gippsland hills. How did she do it? Here she shares four underlying elements of the French country garden.

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Know your: Hedging plants

Know your: Hedging plants

Inspired to get hedging? Choosing the right plant for your hedging plan is critical. Look for a height range and maintenance regime that suits your needs, as well as plants that will do well given the soil and position you can offer. Here are a handful of the hedging plants we think should be on your shortlist.

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A lesson in clipped hedges

A lesson in clipped hedges

A hedge is many things. It can define areas of the garden; shield you from the curiosity of passersby; block ugly intrusions into your view; protect your privacy; offer favourite plants a green backdrop against which to dazzle; or simply give your garden a nestling sense of enclosure and cosy comfort. Here Graham Ross answers the most-asked questions on hedge cultivation and care.

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Star of the season: Jacaranda

Star of the season: Jacaranda

The purple veil that floats over Sydney in November is an international star – but not one most of us can bring home.

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Kitchen Garden: Spring Planting

Kitchen Garden: Spring Planting

It’s time to pull out winter crops to make room for summer’s great produce. Here Linda Ross shares her know-how and experience about what to plant now to keep a family of four enjoying delicious home-grown food all through summer.

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How to: use your pea harvest

How to: use your pea harvest

Peas are one of those crops that can make the home gardener feel smugly self-satisfied because they taste so good fresh from the garden.

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How to: use edible flowers

How to: use edible flowers

Eating flowers sounds exotic but in fact we do it all the time. Some are disguised, like saffron, which is the dried stigma of the crocus flower; others are obvious, like the gold flowers of zucchini.

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Thinking Gardens

Thinking Gardens

Betty Maloney was a pioneer of bush gardening whose advice on finding serenity in the garden is as relevant now as it was half a century ago.

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Blooms and Brushstrokes

Blooms and Brushstrokes

In their floral history of Australian art, mother and daughter team Peneloep and Tansy Curtin uncover the stories behind some of our favourite floral artworks.

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Zinnia (Sow now)

Zinnia (Sow now)

Zinnias are the happiest of summer’s flowering annuals and come in vibrant colours of cerise, terracotta, gold, and lipstick-pink.

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Spring Jobs: October

Spring Jobs: October

Prune rhododendrons when they finish flowering to maintain shape. Plants grown too tall will respond well to a hard prune. Follow with a feed formulated for acid-loving rhodos, and mulch with cow manure.

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Delicious asparagus 3 ways

Delicious asparagus 3 ways

Asparagus is so fresh right now and Robin Powell has 3 ways to make the most of a fresh harvest.

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How to: fix your tomatoes

How to: fix your tomatoes

Fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes are one of the great joys of summer. The best way to ensure that your tomato-growing experience delivers baskets of delicious fruit is to keep plants healthy.

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The List: Our top 6 bush pinks

The List: Our top 6 bush pinks

Pretty pinks are a huge feature in the spring time native garden. Here are Nola Parry's best pinks for the season.

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Mulberry pudding

Mulberry pudding

This classic pudding is a simply delicious taste of summer. This is the kind of recipe that reminds us how inventive the cooks of previous generations were in turning leftovers into dinner or dessert, especially bread.

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Mulberries: 3 ways

Mulberries: 3 ways

Mulberries flooding in to the kitchen? Here are some quick and tasty ways to use them.

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Mulberry growing

Mulberry growing

No summer goes by in the Ross family household without mulberry jam, mulberry pie, and swirled mulberry icecream. Fancy the menu? Take Linda’s tips on growing the hero ingredient.

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Roses

Roses

Winter is rose-planting time, and to help you make the most of these much-loved flowers, we’ve put together all the information you need. Armed with some growing advice you'll be picking armfuls in no time at all.

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Meet Ros Loftus

Meet Ros Loftus

Riversdale is a National Trust property in Goulburn where volunteers have battled drought, rabbits and running bamboo to recreate a beautiful, much-loved garden.

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What is Cake and Cuttings Day?

What is Cake and Cuttings Day?

A few years ago we wanted to get our gardening family together to talk about what we're growing, share secrets and exchange some of our favourite treasures from the garden. It's turned into one of our most popular events, and it's free!

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Fish baked in paper with olives and tomatoes

Fish baked in paper with olives and tomatoes

These fragrant fish parcels are tasty, healthy and quick. And as a bonus, there’s no washing up!

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Set up your own worm farm

Set up your own worm farm

Linda caught up with some school students using the power of the worm to decrease their waste, increase their vegetable harvest and raise money for their school. Here she shares some tips on worm farming.

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Comfrey tea can save you money

Comfrey tea can save you money

This home-grown fertiliser contains more potash, and more nitrogen, than commercial feeds, and costs only the price of a bucket and its water. Your vegetables will love it, especially your tomatoes.

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Know Your Flowering Shrubs

Know Your Flowering Shrubs

Flowering shrubs are the backbone of the garden. Get familiar with these beauties to add some spring bling to your garden.

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Roses for Sydney

Roses for Sydney

Some of the best performing roses for warm climates are old favourites -and we mean old. Search out these hardy centurions for fragrance, generosity and trouble-free beauty

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How to manage Black Spot on Roses

How to manage Black Spot on Roses

Out, damn’d spot! The dark side to growing roses is fungal disease. Knowing your enemy is the first step in ridding yourself of this problem for good.

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Roses for Perfume

Roses for Perfume

Spring brings a new bunch of roses to nurseries. These new introductions are the latest in a long history of rose evolution.

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Roses at Red Cow

Roses at Red Cow

Seduced by the colour, forms and perfumes of roses, Ali Mentesh has already collected some 200 to adorn the garden rooms at Red Cow Farm. Can he choose a favourite?

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Sandra's favourite roses

Sandra's favourite roses

Roses are at their swooning best this week. But are you growing the right ones? Here are some we think you should become acquainted with, for old fashioned elegance and knockout fragrance.

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5 Things You Need To Know About Roses

5 Things You Need To Know About Roses

It’s time to get those unruly roses under control. Spring is all about emerging rose buds. With some prior planning you can give your roses the best shot at a spectacular flowering season. Sandra Ross shares the 5 things you need to know to make them happy, healthy, fragrant and fabulous.

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Flower Farm: Spring

Flower Farm: Spring

Here Linda gives us her advice and plans for the flower garden this Spring. Spring is a great time for choosing shubs, admiring ceanothus and Cherokee Rose, feeding orchids, and of course picking armfulls of Spring flowers.

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Kitchen Garden Spring: Soft Herbs

Kitchen Garden Spring: Soft Herbs

The key to a thriving herb garden is to give each plant the conditions it needs to prosper. The result is easy gardening, and delicious pickings. Here Linda Ross shows you her favourites and the conditions they need to thrive in spring.

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How to: grow African violets

How to: grow African violets

African violets are treasured, long-lived indoor plants. Make them shine with these tips.

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Meet Dave Gray: Head gardener, Everglades

Meet Dave Gray: Head gardener, Everglades

For the last two years Dave Gray has been head gardener at Everglades, a National Trust property in Leura, designed and built through the 1930s by Paul Sorensen.

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Plants I Love: peony

Plants I Love: peony

Years ago, on one of our early Jacaranda Cruises, a woman presented me with a cardboard toilet roll. I was a bit surprised until I saw the round pink bud inside. It was a single long stem of the‘Sarah Bernhardt’ peony. Over the next two weeks I was captivated as the bud gradually opened to a multitude of pink petals and a boss of golden stamens. I’ve been mad for peonies ever since and have admired them in peak perfection in gardens in England, Canada, USA and France, as well as in cool climate gardens in Australia.

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Five of the best: wisteria gardens

Five of the best: wisteria gardens

Here’s our pick of the best places in the world to be thrilled by the fragrance, form and sheer delight of wisteria.

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What’s new this spring

What’s new this spring

Here's what's new in the garden this spring.

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Recipe: Triple Ginger Loaf

Recipe: Triple Ginger Loaf

Jo Wright is a keen baker (she’s notched up several wins the Royal Easter Show for her cakes!) an avid gardener, a treasured member of Garden Clinic, and for the last three years, has been the trusted baker of goodies for our garden classes. She wowed attendees at our recent Bees and Butterflies workshop with this delicious ginger cake. As we said our goodbyes everyone begged for the recipe. So here it is. Thanks for sharing it Jo!

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Know your: Ferns

Know your: Ferns

Many ferns have a soft feathery quality that makes a great contrast with other plants - in the garden or indoors.

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Meet Tahnee Carroll, Stylist and plant-lover

Meet Tahnee Carroll, Stylist and plant-lover

Tahnee Carroll has never seen a room that can’t be made more appealing with a plant or two, as she explains in this extract from a new book on indoor plants, ‘Leaf Supply’.

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How to: brew compost tea

How to: brew compost tea

When I was a child all our neighbours and friends had a large tub - generally an old enamel washing machine tub - buried close to the vegetable garden. This was the ‘brew’ tub. Ingredients for the brew - compost, manures and seaweed - were widely discussed and benefits widely acclaimed. And it turns out these gardeners were onto something!

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In the garden: Retford Park

In the garden: Retford Park

Rick Shepherd, head gardener at Bowral’s grand Retford Park, dishes the dirt on what goes on in the garden in spring.


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Star of the Season: Jasmine

Star of the Season: Jasmine

The jasmine moment is a brief celebration. Grab hold, cut armfuls of it and drape it all over the house, because in a flash it’s all over til next year.


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Recipe: Curried Carrot and Coconut Soup

Recipe: Curried Carrot and Coconut Soup

Perfect for spring’s changeable weather, this soup is delicious eaten piping hot and comforting on cold days, or refreshingly chilled when the sun is shining and the garden is calling.

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Grow Carrots

Grow Carrots

The difference in flavour between supermarket and homegrown is most pronounced in the humblest of vegetables- potatoes, onions and carrots. Trust us, homegrown carrots are a revelation: sweet, spicy or earthy depending on the cultivar, but never bland.

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