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Garden Radio Round Up July 22 - 23

Winter is citrus time and hopefully your citrus are fully laden this year.

With a degree of care, regular seasonal feeding, watering and spraying for pests citrus trees reward the home gardener tremendously.

Not only does citrus look beautiful in the home garden – with glossy green leaves, gorgeously fragrant spring blossom and winter fruit in warming colours that glow in winter light, but they also taste great!

We're helping home citrus growers this winter with the 2017 Love My Lemons Pack, including everything you need to feed up and protect your beloved citrus trees through the year.

You can join or renew your Garden Clinic Membership online at Platinum level this weekend and get your 2017 Love My Lemons Pack online now.

Join today and enjoy fabulous citrus next winter.


Join or renew your membership today. Photo - Robin Powell


It's time to


It's finally harvest time and if you're not picking your own lemons and oranges this season, we think you’re missing out!

Why not find a nice sunny position and plant a citrus grove of your own. Check out Robin Powell's article, How to: Plant a Citrus Tree and get the lowdown on how to give them the best start in life.


In the subtropical garden

Plant seeds or seedlings of: beetroot, carrot, celery, coriander, kale, leek, lettuce, pak choi, radish, radicchio, rocket, ‘Russian’ tomatoes, silverbeet and spinach.

Cover cold-sensitive tropical plants with frost protection cloth or old sheets on still cold nights around the full moon


Want more winter jobs to do in your garden? Check out the full articles here - It's time to: Temperate gardens, and In the Subtropical Garden


Winter in the subtropics is a great time to plant seedlings.



Rose Care at Pruning Time

Once roses are pruned in late -winter it is an ideal time to take steps to control various insects and diseases from attacking roses before growth and flowers appear later in Spring.

The primary insects are rose scale, cottonycushion scale and Californian red scale. When new shoots and flowers are present aphids and plague thrips can also be pests. The main diseases are leaf black spot, downy mildew, rust and anthracnose.


Rose scale problem. Photo - Graham Ross


Black spot issue. Photo - Graham Ross.


After pruning it is advisable to apply a pre-emptive treatment and spray with lime Sulphur to control insect eggs and disease spores hiding on the flakey bark.


Yes, this is what a well-pruned rose looks like. All ready for a pre-emptive treatment and spray with lime Sulphur. Photo - Linda Ross


It is important to remember you can only safely spray with normal, recommended full strength lime Sulphur once the plants are dormant and are leafless after pruning, and before bud burst in spring. If you wait until growth appears you can cause serious leaf burn when using lime Sulphur.

Rake up any fallen and potentially diseased leaves and bin then then spray.

You can also then apply an organic fertiliser and soil conditioner like Neutrog’s Seamungus and then mulch with mushroom compost or cow manure.

Many experts, like Flemington’s Keeper of the Roses, Terry Freeman, advises waiting until new growth has started before feeding with a rose fertilizer like Richgro’s Black Marvel (inorganic), Neutrog’s Sudden Impact for Roses (organic), Yates’ Dynamic Lifter Plus Rose Food or one of the other popular fertilisers.

Once new growth has started change your spray to a modern horticultural oil, such as PestOil or EcOil, not white oil which can burn tender foliage.


Rose care can be very rewarding. 'Kordes Jubilee'


Bush Garden


There are 800 or more species of Acacia or wattle throughout the world with over 600 native to Australia.

They include some of our most visible and iconic plants in Australia seen in full bloom on roadsides and in gardens throughout the country from mid-winter to early-summer.

Many authorities believe, because of their diversity, the huge size of the plant family and its wide spread across greatly varying microclimates, that there will be one species or other of wattle in flower every day of the year.

In the Outback and the Bush its Mulga, Wilga, Spearwood, Sally, Sticky, Blackwood, Mallee, Sunshine, Prickly Moses, and even Dead Finish wattles. Here they are inexplicably linked with Aboriginal legend and culture.

Around coastal areas wattles make up the greater percentage of groundcover to shrub and small tree plant growth. From right on the beach front to the hinterland swamps behind the dunes different wattles have evolved over millions of years to live naturally.

Further inland in all states, when soils improve, the wattles become bigger trees.

After the First Settlement in 1788 Wattle and Daub houses were common and the taller wattles were felled for their timber.

Once towns, villages, cities and rail spread across the continent these hardy, quick growing and highly adaptable wattle species went with the people and the transport to the point where Queensland’s Mt Morgan Wattle can now be found growing across six states, followed by Cootamundra’s silver leaves and yellow flowers now found from coast to coast.

In the lead-up to the Bicentenary it was pointed out by Hazel Hawke to her Prime Minister husband, Bob that Australia didn’t have an official floral emblem, even though it was assumed by everyone that our official colours of green and gold were taken from the Wattle.

The PM changed that in 1988 with the proclamation of the Golden Wattle, Acacia pycnantha, as our National Flower.

There’s a wattle for every bush garden.


The wonderful Wattle. Photo - Linda Ross


Come away with us

A huge year for touring Japan in 2018

It promises to be the biggest year yet, in 2018 Ross Tours will be touring Japan 4 times!

The fantastic Japan At Cherry Blossom Time tour is a real favourite. Follow the cherry blossom trail as it blooms across Kyoto, Kanazawa, Nikko and Tokyo on a 15-day tour that will take you inside Japan’s great gardens. You’ll meet some of the masters of Japanese horticulture, and experience that fascinating mix of ancient serenity and eye-popping modernity that makes Japan such an exciting destination. This is one of our most popular tours.

New in 2018 is the Japan Spring Festivals tour with Linda Ross. Azaleas, peonies and wisteria: it’s a festival of flowers on show at spring time in Japan.

Come along and join us in the Japanese spring, April and May 2018! The Japan at Cherry Blossom Time tour leaves March 31, 2018 with Graham Ross, and April 2, 2018 with Robin Powell. The brand-new Japan Spring Flower Festivals tour leaves April 28, 2018 with Linda Ross. Seats are limited, so go to the Ross Tours website, or call Royce or Roslyn at Ross Tours on 1300 233 200 before they sell out.


The Shiofune kannon ome azalea festival, visited on the Japan Spring Festivals tour in 2018.


Garden News

New Jacaranda replaces lost iconic tree Sydney University

In the early 1920’s E.G. Waterhouse, the famed Founding Father of Camellias in Australia, was teaching languages at Sydney University. In addition, he had considerable landscape design skills that were demonstrated between his language lectures.


Some of the camellias we have Professor E.G. Waterhouse to thank for. Photo - Graham Ross


Professor Waterhouse’s garden design talents early in his career came to the attention of Sydney University when he was asked to care for the inner garden or Pleasaunce at the University Union. He reconstructed the garden, creating a formal landscape which had previously been an unconnected collection of plants. The Vice-Chancellor, none other than Professor Mungo MacCallum, noticed his success and asked him to lay out a garden in the Vice-Chancellor’s courtyard. The University acknowledges today that funds for ‘gardening’ were always limited but whenever money was available, Waterhouse was given free reign. He would often move mature trees donated by friends into the grounds. His aim was to bring order and beauty to the University where before there had been ugliness. His view was that the University had a duty to the younger generation to make it aware of the landscape design possibilities in a large institution.


The famous 'Kissing Tree', the Jacaranda planted by E.G. Waterhouse in the early 1920’s, which toppled over in 2016. Thanks to forward thinking by grounds manager, Mark Moellar, a clone tree propagated from the original has been replanted. Read Linda Silmalis' Daily Telegraph article from October 29, 2016. Photo care of News Ltd.


Students were not always responsive to his attempts to educate them. Three times he planted a young jacaranda tree in the Quadrangle only to have it removed by exuberant students. He finally overcame the problem by planting and staking down a larger tree in1929 and this survived for 88 years until 29th October 2016 when, while in full bloom, it totally collapsed and died.

Mark Moellar, Sydney University grounds manager, immediately arranged for buds from the original tree to be taken and grafted onto jacaranda understocks as no viable seeds were available on the fallen tree. On the 21st July 2017 a new replacement clone tree was planted in the quadrangle where the iconic tree once majestically stood.