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Garden Radio Round Up April 15 - 16

Our very wet start to autumn is briefly abating. It's a great opportunity to get out there and start planting.

We are planting all of our new Collectors' Plant Fair purchases in the garden this autumn and looking forward to a spring display.

What are you planting? Log on to the Garden Clinic Facebook page and tell us what's going into your garden.


Welcoming a few new-comers to the garden this autumn. Photo - Linda Ross


It's Time To:

In the temperate zone

It's not just the perfect time to plant, it's also a great time to repot any tired outdoor (and indoor) plants, especially in pots in which the potting mix has slumped well below the rim of the container. Lift the plant out of the pot, then replant into the same or a larger container using premium quality potting mix.

Is your lawn looking a little beaten up? The recent Collectors' Plant Fair has taken a bit of a toll on the lawn at the Hawkesbury Race Club. But with a little help it will bounce back nicely.

It's time to aerate compacted lawns using the tines of a garden fork (hire an aerator for larger lawns). Apply controlled release lawn fertiliser and water in well to boost turf growth for a greener, healthy lawn over winter.


In the sub-tropics

It's time to admire the glorious slipper vine, Thunbergia mysorensis, with its cascading chains of flowers that last for months. We have one in our Sydney garden that never stops flowering

Plant so it can create a curtain from a tall pergola or wire suspended between posts.


Slipper vine, or Indian Clock Vine, Thunbergia mysorensis. Photo - Linda Ross


Bush Garden

Banksia plagiocarpa 'Hinchinbrook Banksia'

This is a magnificent and striking Banksia, well worth growing as an ornamental for its incredible blue-grey flower buds which make very impressive cut flowers. It also sports lush red new growth. Its range in the wild is limited to Hinchinbrook Island and the adjacent mainland in QLD. Grows well in the eastern states, tolerant of humid summers, and can be grown as far south as Melbourne. Needs well drained soil and tolerates light frost. It will not tolerate heavy frost, however, being from North Queensland.

Perfect to grow as a low, bushy coastal windbreak. Brings bees and nectar feeding birds to your garden. Feed with a quality native plant fetiliser like Bush Tucker from Neutrog. Prune lightly after flowering to encourage shapeliness.

Height: 4-6 m

Width: 3-4 m

Flowering time: Summer autumn winter

Soil: loamy sandy

Climate: sub- tropical, warm temp, cool temp


The Hinchinbrook Banksia. Photo - Angus Stewart 



Mealy bug

These pearly-white, fluffy little sap-suckers tend to attack plants under stress. Like aphids they secrete a honey-dew that black sooty mold grows on. Then in come the ants to eat it, and here is where the trouble starts. The ants can carry mealy bug from plant to plant making your small problem a big problem in no time. Mealy Bug like to hide in those protected places, like inside palm fronds. So if you see one or two its best to have a closer look. An infestation could be brewing, and it could be below the surface.

Controlling mealy bug can simply be a matter of reducing the water given to plants now the weather has cooled, scrubbing them off using natrasoap and an old toothbrush. Then spray with a mixture of Eco Oil and Eco Neem. But a severe infestation of mealy bug is a good indication that the plant is not happy, so it may also be necessary to investigate what else is wrong.


Mealy bug will eventually cause this plants leaves to drop if left untreated.


Come away with us

North Queensland short break

Escape the winter chills in tropical North Queensland this August. Discover Port Douglas, Mossman Gorge, the Daintree, Cairns and Botanical Ark. Witness heliconia, lipstick palms, miracle fruit and fan palms in tropical glory. Visit private gardens, meet gardeners and sample unusual tropical fruits.

To join the group on this fabulous short break tour go to the Ross Tours website, or call Royce or Roslyn at Ross Tours on 1300 233 200.


Stunning tropical flowers abound on the Far North Queensland tour.


The Potted Garden

Shasta Daisy, Leucanthemum 'Daisy May'

Flowering in Summer and Autumn, and grow to about 40 x 40 centimeters. Loves a full sun position.

Try planting a drift through your garden bed. Good in pots and good for picking. They will Attract butterflies and bees to your garden.

Remove spent flowers to prolong flowering.

Find them at Planters Patch. There is a double collection called Real Collection (sometimes available from Lambley) with dwarf strong upright growth blooming late summer and autumn. There is also one called 'Becky' that grows 60 x 60 centimeters, from Perennialle Nursery.


'Daisy May'. Photo - Planters Patch Nursery


Hyacinth vases

Available from Heaven in Earth (just $13) Beautiful etched vases designed to hold a hyacinth bulb and grow indoors.

Water should never touch the base of bulb just 5mm below. Keep in a dark cupboard until shoots appear then gradually bring out into full light not direct sunlight


Autumn Planting

Ideas for a sunny garden

Autumn is planting time, and thanks to the collectors' Plant Fair we've got lots of beautiful new plants to add to our garden. We need first to give some thought to where best to plant things so as not to crowd anything out.

Here are some ideas for planting out a lovely sunny garden this autumn.

In the Background: Camellia sasanqua, Murraya, Lillipilly, and Magnolia Teddy Bear.

In the Middle: Purple Fountain grass, Perovskia Little Spire, (Dwarf Russian Sage), Echium Duxfield Blue.

In Front: Geranium Roxanne, Sedum Neon.