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.

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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Meet: Anita Rayner

Meet: Anita Rayner

The gardens at Vaucluse House are one of Sydney’s historic horticultural treasures. Anita Rayner fell in love with them at first sight; now she runs them.

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Our Kitchen Garden

Our Kitchen Garden

There’s inspiration here to help expand your vegetable repertoire- in the garden and on the plate.

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Recipe: Pasta with asparagus and peas

Recipe: Pasta with asparagus and peas

Quite simply this is spring's freshest flavours on a plate!

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Meet Peter Hey, clivia breeder and grower of rare plants

Meet Peter Hey, clivia breeder and grower of rare plants

Peter is presently President of the Clivia Society of New South Wales, helping to organise the upcoming Spring Show Sept 14-15. You can also find him and his amazing clivias at The Plant Lovers Fair and Collectors’ Plant Fair each year with his specialist nursery Cliveas and Rare Things.

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How to: garden under trees

How to: garden under trees

Growing plants beneath established trees can be challenging. There’s no direct light, roots take up space and water, the soil becomes dry and compacted, and to compound the problem, the tree roots sucks up the available nutrition, leaving precious little behind.

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In the Garden: Cruden Farm

In the Garden: Cruden Farm

Dame Elisabeth Murdoch’s much-loved garden is on the brink of its big show as spring begins.Head gardener Mitch Burns takes us behind the scenes.

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Star of the season: Clivia

Star of the season: Clivia

The trumpet flowers of this indestructible plant put them top of the list for dry areas, dry pots and under trees. Let’s take a closer look.

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Garden Road Trip: Southern Highlands

Garden Road Trip: Southern Highlands

Some of the best Australian gardens lie in the rolling hills of the Southern Highlands. Rolling green fields, white picket fences, smoking chimneys and trees bursting into new leave as spring colours the landscape; many of the gardens here open regularly through the spring and autumn seasons. We spoke to horticulturist and local Carolyn Dwyer to share her favourites.

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How to: Grow summer annuals

How to: Grow summer annuals

For decorating fun in the garden nothing beats a few punnets of annuals. These plants only last a season, but they generously colour gardens, courtyards and balconies during their brief life. Whether it’s a patchwork of blossom you want, or a ribbon of colour along a border, something to fill a gap, a dramatic hanging basket, a fringe of trim in front of shrubs, or simply a pot brimming with flowers, annuals offer the answer.

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Meet Keith and Maureene Smith

Meet Keith and Maureene Smith

Cancer fundraisers and plant propagators

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How to: Attract butterflies

How to: Attract butterflies

When I think about things that spark joy I think butterflies. The singular most joyous event in my garden is the appearance of a butterfly:fluttering wings of the prettiest colours; a quick flit across the garden, up and down, looping the loops, surfing the air like a wave of light. Each sighting makes me feel so good I often ponder how I can attract more butterflies into my garden at Frog Hollow. This is what I’ve learnt so far.

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Delicious: Strawberry and rhubarb jam

Delicious: Strawberry and rhubarb jam

Rhubarb and strawberries are perfect partners – in pies, crumbles, and in this jam. Here Robin Powell shares her Strawberry and rhubarb jam recipe with us.

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Star of the season: Agastache

Star of the season: Agastache

These easy-care, minty-fresh flowery fillers offer reliable and long-lasting summer colour.

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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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Eat Your Greens

Eat Your Greens

We are in love with this simple mixed greens dish. A quick and tasty weekday meal to up our green intake - best when picked fresh from the veggie patch. It’s a taste sensation.

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Garden Road Trip: Rydal

Garden Road Trip: Rydal

Hosts of golden daffodils dance in the wind when the tiny village of Rydal, just east of Lithgow, celebrates the Daffodils at Rydal festival. Robin Powell takes you there.

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In our garden: Wildwood

In our garden: Wildwood

A cool-climate garden of five acres gives Sue and Wayne Tapping room to grow the beauties they love. Here they share what’s keeping them busy this spring


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Know your: Spring Blossom

Know your: Spring Blossom

Get to know your spring blossoms now before they disappear for another year.

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Garden Pea Risotto

Garden Pea Risotto

One of my favourite gardens in Victoria is Picardy, a romantic French provincial style garden in the picturesque hills of Neerim. Marian and Bryce Somes had always been Francophiles - mad for French food, in love with the language - but it was a trip to France to celebrate a significant birthday year in 1986 that confirmed a passion for French style.

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Visit Boongala Native Gardens

Visit Boongala Native Gardens

An inspiring native garden rings bells for Linda Ross and to the sound of birdsong she changes her tune about the best plants to create pretty gardens.

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Know your: Wildflowers

Know your: Wildflowers

Get to know our small native flowering plants, says native plant expert Nola Parry, and you’ll have a pretty new palette with which to paint romantic native gardens that are full of flower. Australia is blessed with an amazing range of small flowering plants. Yet some gardeners never get beyond a familiarity with gum trees, bottlebrush, paper barks, grevilleas and a few other large plants.

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Zap My Pests & Weeds OCP Pack

Zap My Pests & Weeds OCP Pack

Join or renew your membership this week and you will receive ECO Oil, Hydrate & Fungicide and OCP Slasher. And to celebrate upcoming Springtime, included is a gorgeous potted Garvinea courtesy of Majestic Young Plants.

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