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Garden Radio Round Up June 24 - 25

After the biggest Better Homes & Gardens assignment in 22 years, Graham Ross is back in the Garden Clinic hotseat this weekend.

We have great gardening conditions to look forward to with dry, cool winter weather and lengthy sunny breaks. It's time to get out there and enjoy the garden.

This week we're delighted to have found a new battery-powered sprayer from Swagman. It's the best one we've seen yet, and to celebrate we are including the 8L Sprayer in our Platinum level membership offer while stocks last. If you would like to join or renew your membership to the Garden Clinic this week you recieve the 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.


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


It's time to


Hit snails and slugs hard before they devour emerging bulbs and flower seedlings. Use beer traps or pet-safe baits, or collect snails at night or in the early morning and feed them to the chooks.


In the subtropical garden

Cut established asparagus plants to the ground and top-dress beds with composted manure as a mulch. Plant new asparagus crowns, seed or seedlings in the perennial beds of the vegetable garden. Prepare soil well by digging in quantities of composted manure. ‘Mary Washington’ is a long-lived, reliable cultivar and will grow rapidly, producing a light harvest in its second year.


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


Asparagus. Photo - James Ross/


Bush Garden

Geraldton Wax – Chamelaucium uncinatum

Geraldton Wax have always been much sought after by gardeners on the Eastcoast but troubled by the plants love of sandy, well drained loamy soils, low rainfall and its inability to adapt to heavy clay soils, poorly drained gardens with too much fertiliser and high rainfalls.

Native to the town of Geraldton and Walpole in Western Australia north of Perth, Geraldton wax grows on the roadsides and across the sandy wheatbelt landscape.

Botanically called Chamelaucium, the Geraldton Wax flowers have been sold internationally for their cut flowers for the floristry industry since the 1970’s and continue to be popular.


Geraldton Wax. Photo - Linda Ross


Flower colour ranges from white, cream, pink, to red and purple and are produced from spring to late summer.

Most Geraldton Wax can be grown as a light open hedge, specimen or feature plant or to attract fauna.

They are all attractive to bees, butterflies and beneficial insects.

While they grow in the open full sun in their native habitat, and will do so in the home garden, they also grow happily in the light shade of tall native trees.

They grow happily in Mediterranean and temperate climates to a height of 2-5m and a width of 2-5m but will retain their bushy habit when lightly pruned after flowering in Autumn and then fed with a native fertiliser like Bush Tucker.

Cultivars include:

‘Basil’s Selection’, with its white starry flowers having an exceptionally sweet honey scent and grows to 1x1m in size.

‘Sarah’s Delight’: A rounded medium shrub with vibrant pink flowers and red centres. Grows to 2m high and 1.5m wide.

'Moonlight Delight' : Big glossy red buds open to masses of large white flowers with striking red centres in early spring. It grows to 2m tall and 1.5m-width spread in full sun or part shade.

‘Della’ : Produces big blush-pink wax flowers with purple-red centres during spring. It is a medium shrub which grows to 2m high and 1.5m wide.

‘Eric John’: Is a hybrid crossed with a verticordia producing masses of mauve flowers in early spring. Eric John is a smaller bush variety growing to 1.5m in height and about 1m in width. It has medium frost tolerance and is drought resistant.

‘Lilac Spring’ : A medium rounded shrub to 2.5m, Lilac Spring produces beautiful mauve-pink flowers from mid-August and has a fine dense foliage. It has slightly two-toned flowers covering the bush.

‘Purple Pride Dwarf’ : Is a compact smaller version growing 1.5m high and 1.5m wide. The pink flowers turn to a rich purple. Happy in full sun or part shade and light frost tolerance.

‘Sweet Rosie’ : A quality selection of Walpole wax. White blossoms age to deep red over a long flowering period in spring. The flowers are sure to attract birds.

‘Vesuvius’: A hardy upright shrub, 2m high and 1m wide with dense foliage. Small white flowers appear during spring, maturing to a deep red colour.

‘CWA Pink’: Produces blush- pink wax flowers at the end of winter on a 2m shrub. It is from the uncinatum species so tolerates very windy coastal areas.

‘Burgundy Blush’ A graceful medium shrub with vibrant burgundy/purple flowers fading to light pink. Grows to 2m high and 1.5m wide.

‘Raspberry Ripple’: A medium rounded shrub to 2m high and 1.5m wide. Deep-pink flowers with frilled petals cover the plant creating a fantastic display in sun or part shade.


Come away with us

Gardens of Sri Lanka

Discover a paradise island with incredible flavours, history and culture. Sri Lanka offers World Heritage sites, bustling cities, tea plantations, serene gardens and elephants!.

Come along and join in the adventure. The Gardens of Sri Lanka leaves next February, and seats are limited, so go to the Ross Tours website, or call Royce or Roslyn at Ross Tours on 1300 233 200 before the we sell out.


Tropical treasures abound in Sri Lanka. Photo - Michael Bates


Garden News

Buderim Food Street destroyed by Sunshine Coast Council

This week workers from the Sunshine Coast Council destroyed 18 fruit trees planted by the local Buderim community. The Buderim Food Street, the famous street verge gardens created by locals have been deemed illegal by the Council unless residents obtain permits and take out public liability insurance. Some landholders refused to do so on principle, and the bulldozers moved in. With an enormous bloody-minded show of force from the Sunshine Coast Council, the Buderim Food Street was all but obliterated.

Chris White, local resident, joined me on the show this weekend to tell us just how bewildered and disappointed locals are with council's decision to mindlessly destroy this amazing community project.

ABC News Sunshine Coast's Kylie Bartholomew writes About 200 households use produce from the gardens which spans 11 streets in the leafy suburb.

About 23 residents have obtained the permits, while others refused on principle.

Four properties are yet to obtain a permit and the deadline for two of those is today (June 2nd) with the remaining two due next week.

Council has said it would give the residents some grace, but if the residents did not obtain a permit, the trees will be removed.

Its director of community services Coralie Nichols said the process was straight forward and its guidelines based on that of other councils.

"The advice that we got around insurance was that it was not a difficulty for homeowners to extend their insurance to cover their verge for this purpose," she said. (Read Kylie Bartholomew's full article here)

In the past I have publicly praised this council for it's forward-thinking position, but their actions this week suggests the praise was misplaced - Chris White noting that his councilor "doesn't understand at all".

We live in hope that the Sunshine Coast Councilors come to their senses and ceases this pointless officiousness and destruction of community good will.


Rest in peace, Buderim Food Street. Photo - ABC Sunshine Coast Jo Joyce


It's good bye to more Green space in Sydney - this time from the Botanic Gardens

Over 11,000 square metres of Royal Botanic Garden and Domain Trust - owned land is proposed to be lost to the Art Gallery of NSW, the equivalent of almost 9 Olympic size swimming pools.

The land grab is part of the Art Gallery's expansion, which was announced last week, with the State Government committing $244 million to the Sydney Modern Project.

The expansion is to the north east of AGNSW, with the building to be located at the northern end of the land bridge across the Eastern Distributor and continuing down the hill. Over 60% of the Project is on Domain Trust land, including green space on top of WWII oil tanks. The Trust land earmarked for the Project is home to eucalypt trees and water views towards Woolloomooloo wharf.

“The Gardens and Domain are the green lungs of Sydney which provide essential green space for the increasing density of Sydney. This is exactly what the Government have been advocating with the introduction of ‘Green Grids’. They are crucial in building a more sustainable and resilient Sydney. Removing green space doesn’t fit comfortably with that policy” said Clive Austin, Chairman of Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens.

The State Government has not disclosed what arrangements are proposed for the Trust if the land is lost to the development.

“There is no compensation for loss of green space – it’s priceless.”

“Once the green space goes, it is lost forever.”

“We do not know whether the NSW State Government intend to leave ownership with the Trust and put a lease arrangement in place, compensate the Trust for a transfer of ownership, or simply gift the land to the Art Gallery.”


An artist's impression of the proposed Sydney Modern on what is Royal Botanic Gardens land.


“If the Art Gallery are gifted this land and additionally receive $244 million from the State Government, they’ll have won the lotto to the detriment of Sydney-siders.” The Project is not the first development to encroach on Trust land. Since 1912 over 75,000 square metres (10%) of Trust land has been lost to other projects including the Cahill Expressway, the Eastern suburbs tunnel, and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. “The Botanic Garden and Domain are the green lungs that connect cultural organisations together but are not given the priority and recognition they deserve from the State Government”.

The Trust receives less than 50% of it’s funding from the State Government, and it’s likely to be reduced further in the budget announcement this week, yet over 5 million people pass through its gates every year (more than double the number expected to the Art gallery after its expansion.

“Given this planned land loss, as well as the ongoing budgetary pressure faced by the Trust, the NSW State Government need to be open and transparent about the arrangements it plans to put in place for the land now, and for the protection and enrichment of the Botanic Gardens and its important work into the future.”

“We are concerned about the impacts of other organisations on this extremely vital green space for our city, the Botanic Gardens and Domain need to be protected”.