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Garden Radio Round Up July 8 - 9

Sydney gardeners are enjoying the winter sunshine and unseasonably warm weather, while in the north it's time for the Queensland Garden Expo at Nambour.

A fabulous garden festival full of plants, plants and more plants. It's a must-see for Queensland gardeners, green thumbs and novice gardeners alike.

This weekend is the last chance to take advantage of the 2017 Winter Master Gardeners’ Eco-Organic Pack, including the fantastic battery-powered sprayer from Swagman - the best sprayer we've seen yet. Join or renew with a Platinum level membership and get your 2017 Winter Master Gardeners’ Eco-Organic Pack including the Swagman 8L sprayer, and all the ingredients to make our Magic Mix spray.

Join today and see for yourself why we just love this fantastic sprayer, while stocks last.


Don't miss out on the new 8L Swagman sprayer. Join or renew your membership today.


It's time to


Follow winter pruning of roses, deciduous fruit trees and vines with a winter clean-up spray. Spraying with lime sulfur will reduce infestations of insect pests such as scale and mites, as well as fungal diseases such as black spot and mildew.

Spray lawns to control bindii before painful burrs develop. Most bindii herbicides also kill broadleaf lawn weeds such as clover, oxalis and cape weed. If your lawn is soft leaf buffalo, select a safe and suitable spray.


In the subtropical garden

Complete the last of the mulching this month to avoid attracting male bush turkeys to the garden. If they build a nest in your garden, they can destroy all planting in the immediate area.

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

A real star of the winter season, Pyrostegia venusta. Photo - Robin Powell.



Growing Wormwood amongst your Crucifers - Part 2

On the 20th May this year I mentioned growing the ancient herb wormwood, (Artemisia absinthium) among our cabbages, cauliflowers, kale and broccoli, to ward off cabbage white butterfly moths.

As I said at the time and is recorded on our Garden Clinic web site Radio Roundup for that weekend, the initial signs looked good then after a week or two there were caterpillars everywhere on the leaves devouring the young foliage.

Because I feared losing the entire crop, I sprayed once with Yates Success, an organic caterpillar control. That had an instant effect in controlling the caterpillar infestation. Incidentally it was not the new generation Yates Success Ultra.

After a month the wormwood cuttings, a variety of Artemisia called ‘Powis Castle’, had grown taller and were half the size of the crucifers.

Now, nearly two months later, the results are more dramatic.


A variety of Artemisia called ‘Powis Castle’. Photo - Graham Ross


The initial spray with Success, while being translaminar or spreading into the leaf surface making it rain resistant, its desired effect but would have had its impact reduced by time and weather.

It is impossible to say accurately how effective the Success is 7-8 weeks later, and on any subsequent caterpillar populations. But what is clearly evident there have been no caterpillar infestations since the initial one 7+ weeks ago. The wormwood has grown up amongst the vegetables and they are free of any insect attack.

Was it the initial spray with Success or the maturing wormwood that did the trick? The research continues....


Bush Garden

Banksia ericifolia, the Heath Banksia

Reputed to be the first native plant Joseph Banks touched and collected with the Endeavour lying at anchor in Botany Bay in April and May 1770. It was named by Carl Von Linnaeus in 1782 to celebrate Joseph Banks, not Sir Joseph as he wasn’t knighted until 1795.

The Heath Banksia has been a popular tall shrub and small tree for over 200 years being one of the first native plants to be cultivated.

It’s large upright, 20 x 10cm golden yellow flower spikes in Winter, spring, summer and autumn are a great sight and a great attraction for nectar feeding insects like bees, butterflies and a vast array of birds, possums, gliders and micro bats.

Hugely useful in the garden as a quick growing, hardy feature specimen plant, hedge, windbreak, privacy screen or inclusion in a bush garden.

Its ultimate height can be 3-7m over time and a width of 1.5 – 2.5m.

As the golden yellow flower ages the flower styles spring open and change colour to red.

It prefers sandy, loamy soil but has been grown successfully on heavier well drained soils.

It is particularly useful around salt water pools because of its native coastal habitat.

Once established it is drought hardy and will grow in cool, warm temperate and Mediterranean climates in full sun or light

It has also found popularity as a cut flower, and useful for nesting small birds and for honey producing bees.

There are several varieties, from the dwarf form, like B. ‘Little Eric’ to the giant-flowering B. ‘Giant Candles’, with an even larger flower than the species.


B. 'Giant Candles', Banksia ericifolia


Come away with us

Melbourne Flower Show 2018

Stimulate your senses with a dose of botanical inspiration admiring new trends, world-class show gardens and an exhibition hall full of flowers. It’s the southern hemisphere’s biggest garden festival. We’ll sample a few of Melbourne’s flowery and operatic treats for a 4-day break!

Come along and join us in 2018! The Melbourne Flower Show leaves March 20, 2018. Seats are limited, so go to the Ross Tours website, or call Royce or Roslyn at Ross Tours on 1300 233 200 before we sell out.


The Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, March 2018.


Garden News

Mayfield Garden threatens closure

The world-class Mayfield Garden may close later this year if Oberon Council approves a controversial development proposal adjoining the property.

Oberon council is considering a quarry expansion proposal on a neighbouring property to Mayfield Garden that is likely to have significant impact visually, socially and economically.

A sight-line analysis survey undertaken to assess the visual impact of the proposed expansion has concluded that the quarry will be visible from a substantial proportion of the Mayfield Gardens site, substantially more than Oberon Council had been led to believe - Mayfield Garden solicitors noting “It is clear that the materials prepared and relied upon to date by the proponent of the Project do not validly assess visual impacts arising from the Project."

Mayfield owner, Mr Garrick Hawkins has written to Oberon Council outlining their objections to the project, highlighting the contribution Mayfield Garden makes to The Oberon Community as one of its major employers and as a highly significant tourism asset for the Oberon community that could potentially grow into a tourism asset of both State and National standing.

We sincerely hope that Oberon Council shares the enthusiasm of garden lovers all over the country. We stand with the Hawkins family and their team and ask Oberon Council not put this incredibly important garden at risk, don't approve this development, and instead throw support behind Mayfield Garden - an asset of immense community importance.


Mayfield Garden's hand-made stone bridges may close to the public if local council approved controversial quarry development next door.