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.

Small space: big ideas

Small space: big ideas

Courtyard and balcony gardens are less forgiving than suburban gardens. A big garden can ramble a bit, drawing you past a bit of a dead patch with the lure of the something great glimpsed just around the corner. But in a small garden everything is on show, all the time.

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How to: declutter your balcony

How to: declutter your balcony

As obsessive plant collectors we can’t help bringing home interesting plants from friends and fellow plant-lovers. Our enthusiasm had resulted in an unlovely clutter of pots. Something had to be done. Here are our tips for turning Plant Lovers’ Clutter into a pleasing display.

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Know your:Balcony flowers

Know your:Balcony flowers

Add some summer dazzle to a sunny balcony with these pot-loving beauties.

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Brussels sprouts: 3 ways

Brussels sprouts: 3 ways

Need new delicious ways to serve Brussels sprouts? We’ve got 3 simple ways that will wow the crowd.

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Handy guide: Magnolias

Handy guide: Magnolias

Deciduous magnolias thrill us in winter with cup-shaped blooms on bare grey stems.

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How to: arrange flowers

How to: arrange flowers

If I could print Constance Spry's 1953 book How to Do the Flowers here in full, I would. It is not a big book, but it is a thoughtful one, and full of very good information. It is this book that first got me thinking about ‘arranging’ flowers, as opposed to simply plonking them in a vase.

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Meet Mark Jury, magnolia breeder

Meet Mark Jury, magnolia breeder

If there’s a stunning deciduous magnolia in your garden with enormous cup-shaped blooms and rich colour, chances are it was bred by New Zealand plantsman, Mark Jury.

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Magic Magnolia Mulch

Magic Magnolia Mulch

Magnolia not happy? Try a Magic Magnolia Mulch. Sandra's special recipe does magical things to sulking magnolias!

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I love a star magnolia

I love a star magnolia

Magnolias can languish in their formative years, but perseverance will be rewarded. Here Graham discusses his favourite magnolia's story.

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Roasted cauliflower salad

Roasted cauliflower salad

Match our cauliflower salad with roast chicken or barbecued lamb. My Nanna never served cauliflower that wasn’t boiled and drowned in a thick white sauce.

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Cauliflower soup

Cauliflower soup

Got an abundance of cauliflower?Give this delicious soup a go. Perfect for a cool winter's night

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Caramel pineapple upside-down cake

Caramel pineapple upside-down cake

Sweet pineapple and toasty coconut are always a happy combination and they make this cake mouth-wateringly delicious. The Ross Family celebrates any occasion with something freshly baked.

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Know your: Roses for warm areas

Know your: Roses for warm areas

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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Relaxed style: Marcia Hosking

Relaxed style: Marcia Hosking

Sydney-based designer Marcia Hosking gave a holiday vibe to this compact garden.

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Meet: Pat and Bill Rhodin, Tulip Tops gardeners

Meet: Pat and Bill Rhodin, Tulip Tops gardeners

Meet Pat and Bill Rhodin, Tulip Tops gardeners. They work hard all year to make this garden's spring display something memorable

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Red Earth Bulb's Lilium 2019 Collection

Red Earth Bulb's Lilium 2019 Collection

Add a splash of summer colour to your garden with Garden and Oriental Lilies. Each bulb produces 30-40 flowers per stem and just keeps on giving every single year. Our friend Tim Drewitt from Red Earth Bulbs has Liliums going at unbelievable prices. Drum roll please.

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Lemon and yoghurt cake

Lemon and yoghurt cake

Back in 2015 we declared it the Year of the Cake with this mouth-watering recipe.

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It's time to plant Liliums

It's time to plant Liliums

For wow factor in the summer garden it’s hard to go past lilies, and a new bunch of liliums is now opening bold big blooms across the country.

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How to: divide upside down orchids

How to: divide upside down orchids

Graham’s upside-down orchid (Stanhopea tigrina) has grown old and unproductive, and this year treated us all with only five flower spikes, instead of the usual 30!

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How to: create an orchid tree

How to: create an orchid tree

Inspired by a trip to Singapore and the gorgeous Gardens of the Bay, Graham decided to create an orchid tree.

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Know Your Orchids

Know Your Orchids

The orchid family is so extensive, and so wonderful in the garden. Here we introduce just the essential exotics for your garden. The exciting native orchids we’ll save for another day.

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How to: reflower a moth orchid

How to: reflower a moth orchid

One of our most-asked questions to the Garden Clinic helpline and to radio is about caring for moth orchids so they flower again. Here are our top tips.

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Handy Guide: Orchids

Handy Guide: Orchids

Orchids are found in every corner of the planet and come from the biggest family of cultivated plants on earth: 30,000 wild species. There are twice as many orchid species as there are species of birds! Orchids have had a 200-year journey from the tropical jungles to become the nation's most popular houseplant.

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Federal Gov authority to de-register common home-garden insecticides containing Chlorpyrifos

Federal Gov authority to de-register common home-garden insecticides containing Chlorpyrifos

A special gazette published by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) last month detailed the proposal to cancel the registrations of the 27 chemical products containing the active ingredient chlorpyrifos

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How to: Grow tomatoes

How to: Grow tomatoes

For home-grown tomato tragics like Linda late winter doesn’t signal a time to ramp up the gym membership and line up a fake tan. Rather she is busy germinating heirloom tomatoes seeds. Whether you are joining her in growing from seed, or skipping that step with seedlings from the nursery, here are her top tips for growing a great feed of tomatoes this summer.

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5 steps to starting a veggie patch from scratch

5 steps to starting a veggie patch from scratch

Ever wanted to grow your own veggies but never knew where to start? Here are five steps to consider when starting a patch from scratch.

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How to make Power Soil

How to make Power Soil

Give the warm season vegetable patch a big boost before seedlings go in. Use our Power Soil recipe and get ready for take-off!

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How to make a veggie stock

How to make a veggie stock

If you planted out root vegetables in early autumn you’ll be harvesting them now. While roots make great side dishes for whatever you’re cooking for dinner, your home-grown produce also makes the best stock.

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Mickey's Kitchen Garden

Mickey's Kitchen Garden

Mickey Robertson gardens at Glenmore House near Camden. Sounds like a scene out of Pride and Prejudice? Well yes, you do feel as though you've traveled back in time where women wear linen and the air smells clean. Winter, she says, is crisp mornings thawing to glorious blue-sky days. Early morning reveal traces of frost on cabbage and kale leaves; and sometimes, just sometimes, the paddocks blanketed in white. Evenings also have a rhythm all their own as woodsmoke trails through the valley. Here she shares glimpses of days in her winter garden.

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How to grow veggies from seed

How to grow veggies from seed

Planting punnets of vegetable seedlings is easy, but it is much more cost-effective and more fulfilling - not to mention offering wider choice and better results - to sow seed directly into the garden. The key is to sow plants suited to your climate, at the appropriate time of year.

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In the garden: July

In the garden: July

The winter chill is settling on the garden. It's time to enjoy winter flowers, sharpen up the pruning tools and get those spring bulbs in

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Orange and whisky self-saucing pudding

Orange and whisky self-saucing pudding

What’s not to love about a self-saucing pudding? There’s the magic trick of pouring liquid over batter and having it transform, a short time later, to become a thick, luscious sauce under a fluffy, crisp-topped cake.

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How to use seaweed in the garden

How to use seaweed in the garden

In their new book ‘Milkwood’, permaculture gardeners Kirsten Bradley and Nick Ritar devote a whole chapter to the glories of seaweed. Beyond its uses in the kitchen, seaweed is great in the garden.

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The rebirth of New York's High Line

The rebirth of New York's High Line

Back in 2013 workers removed the last remaining bits of Sydney’s monorail. After 25 years the unpopular transport project has been relegated to memory. How different the decommissioning of New York’s old freight rail, the High Line, and the transformation into a most exciting horticultural tourist attraction, revitalising a city and utilising the worlds premiere perennial plantsman.

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Bake a whole Orange Cake

Bake a whole Orange Cake

From Linda’s go-to collection, a dead-easy cake that she makes in triple quantities. One cake is eaten fresh and the other two go into the freezer for entertaining emergencies.

 

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Grow better Oranges with our handy guide

Grow better Oranges with our handy guide

Orange trees are jewels for the home garden with shiny green foliage, sweet-smelling blossom and glowing winter fruit.

 

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Coping with a deluge

Coping with a deluge

While subsoil drainage, such as drainage grates, gravel pits and sumps, are effective in light rain, heavy downpours overwhelm pipes and the water sheets across the landscape. Arno King has some tips top help cope when the heavens open up.

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How to Make Magic Mix

How to Make Magic Mix

At a Garden Clinic class held at Honeysuckle Nursery in Mosman we wondered aloud at all the plants bursting with health and vitality, with shiny, glossy leaves and so much energy they seemed about to leap off the shelves. The answer? This Magic Mix!

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Know your flowering trees

Know your flowering trees

Love tropical flowering trees? Paul Urquart knows all the tropical trees that will thrive in Sydney

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Six great plants for summer

Six great plants for summer

Peter Nixon traded in his inner-city Sydney courtyard for a Sea-change paradise. Here he givces us six plants that make this central coast garden sing

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Sea-changer

Sea-changer

Four years ago garden designer Peter Nixon traded in his inner-city Sydney courtyard for a big blank corner block on the Central Coast and turned it into this!

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Broughton Hall: Six plants I love

Broughton Hall: Six plants I love

David Husker is busy this winter maintaining his stunning garden, Broughton Hall Here David gives us 6 plants he loves that look their best in winter

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Winter in Broughton Hall, Victoria

Winter in Broughton Hall, Victoria

Winter is a busy time in the garden as we prepare for the big show that is spring. Find out what David Musker is up to at the stunning Garden at Broughton Hall in Victoria.

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6 Plants for Autumn

6 Plants for Autumn

Mature trees, sharp hedges and a passion for roses shape the unfolding beauty of Mittagong's Red Cow Farm. Here Ali Mentesh gives us 6 plants for autumn.

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Picardy Garden Pea Risotto

Picardy 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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Know your indoor plants

Know your indoor plants

Plants make indoor spaces beautiful and people happy. Here are a few easy-care options to start - or enlarge! - your indoor garden.

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How to brew a Compost Tea

How to brew a 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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Meet Marianne Farrer, The Secret Garden and Nursery

Meet Marianne Farrer, The Secret Garden and Nursery

The Secret Garden and Nursery is a not-for-profit community and therapy garden that allows variously abled people to work together in a beautiful space. It’s also a great local nursery, with plants at bargain prices.

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Getting ready for Tomato Time

Getting ready for Tomato Time

It's time to get ready for tomato planting. Autumn is the absolute best time of year to get prepared, feed the soil, prepare beds and growing structures and raise seeds to plant out as seedlings in spring

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What's in the She'll be PINE-apples pack?

What's in the She'll be PINE-apples pack?

Renew or join the Garden Clinic at the Platinum level this weekend and you’ll receive two of Linda’s home-grown Pineapple tomato plants and a swag of products, like Neutrog’s Gyganic & Amgrow Seaweed concentrate.

Plus, everyone who joins or renews their membership this weekend goes into the draw to win a double pass to Wildwood Garden’s at Bilpin. We have 5 double passes to give away!

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