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Garden Radio Round Up May 13 - 14

The Garden Clinic is broadcasting live from the jewell of the central west region of NSW, Orange.

It's a fantastic place to see magnificent autumn colour, and the parks and gardens of Orange are simply stunning right now.

Log on to the Garden Clinic Facebook page and share your autumn colour images. We'd love to see you're autumn garden in all it's glory.Garden Clinic Facebook


Last night the sunset was beautiful in Orange, Central West of New South Wales. Photo - Graham Ross


It's Time To:


Pick long-stemmed flowers of protea, leucodendron and grevillea to use indoors. This is a win-win as it gives the plants a light trim, encouraging bushier growth, and gives you bunches to enjoy.


It's time to bring your long-stem flowers inside. Photo - Aandrew Lehmann


In the sub-tropics

Prepare highly tropical plants for winter by reducing the use of high nitrogenous fertilisers and manures. Nitrogen encourages soft, leafy growth, which can be more prone to damage over winter. Apply a ground rock micro-nutrient fertiliser to the soil to ensure essential trace elements are provided and encourage strong disease-resistant tissue. Three weeks later, apply garden lime if your pH is below 6.5 (take soil sample to your local garden centre for testing), or gypsum if your pH is above 6.8, and silica in the form of horticultural diatomaceous earth, to strengthen the leaf tissue. Finally, apply half-strength seaweed solution (such as Seasol) to the foliage monthly through the cold weather to help reduce cold stress and the likelihood of leaf tissue diseases.


Bush Garden

Pennisetum ‘Purple Fountain Grass’

Long considered attractive and hardy plant by professional landscapers this native plant is just as handy and beautiful in the home garden.

When used as a border planting, groundcover under trees, specimen group planting in clumps amongst a perennial border, or as a potted feature, the ‘Purple Fountain Grass’ is a winner.

Its showy clumps produce long, narrow arching leaves of a burgundy or purple colour throughout spring and summer to a height of 1.5m and spreading 1.3m. The main feature, the feathery plumes of flowers sit above the main body of leaves and are produced in late summer and autumn into winter. The attraction of the plumes blowing in the breeze adds greatly to the plants appeal in the garden.

The foliage and flowers provide a delicate and soft textural addition to any landscape.

This variety is drought tolerant growing happily in full sun to partial shade positions. Also suitable in coastal areas and around swimming pools and ponds. It is also tolerant of high humidity and heat.

Only maintenance recommended is to prune the plant to ground level at the end of winter, then feed to encourage fresh new growth.


Mass-planted Purple Fountain Grass.



Black Sooty Mould

This common fungal disease often occurs as a secondary infection after the arrival of insects such as aphids, any of the scales and mites with their production of an exudate called ‘honeydew’.

They have several impairments to plants including clogging the breathing pores (stomata) on leaves reducing plant health through a reduction in food production or photosynthesis.

Further the appearance of the black powdery soot on leaves can detract from the appearance of plants. It can also impact on the visual quality of fruit affected by the disease.

The controls are simple but require persistence.

It is important to firstly remove the source of the disease, the aphids, scale or mites.

In many plants a spray with Eco Oil on ornamentals and edibles or Pest Oil on ornamentals will suffice. Occasionally a further spray with an organic insecticide may be necessary.

With larger shrubs and small trees like citrus it is advisable to throw buckets of warm water with added plant safe detergent over the tree. Leave for several hours in sunshine then apply a strong jet of water directly onto the foliage to loosen and dislodge the black mould and fungal spores. The black mould will dry and flake off.

For really stubborn attacks additional spray applications will be necessary.


Black sooty mould on a young grevillea. Photo - Graham Ross


Come away with us

Emirates Melbourne Cup

Go behind the scenes at The Race That Stops The Nation (TM). Special visit to see the Flemington racecourse rose garden before the race, when the roses are looking their best. Highlights include the Coombe Melba Estate, Cloudhill Garden, Werribee Mansion and the Victoria State Rose Garden.

Join in the fun, have a flutter at the Emirates Melbourne Cup and enjoy the sights on this wonderful tour. 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.


Don't forget your facinator at the Emirates Melbourne Cup in November.


Garden News

Waterman's Cove

A new Sydney Harbour cove, a one-hectare public park, an expanded waterfront walkway and a public pier are the key features of the next section of Barangaroo’s public domain to be delivered by 2021.

Waterman’s Cove will be a fully-accessible amphitheatre-style boardwalk where people can dip their feet in the water. It will be a magnet for visitors and Barangaroo office workers. The one-hectare Hickson Park will provide a green link from the CBD into the heart of Barangaroo.

The Development Application for the two hectare design will go on public exhibition in coming days through the Department of Planning website.


An artists' impression of the 'Waterman's Cove' development coming soon to Barangaroo.