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Garden Radio Round Up May 27 - 28

The best time of year in the garden, autumn is in full swing and we're enjoying the mild weather.

Perfect conditions for planting and admiring the stunning autumn colour.

Autumn in Sydney means the Vivid festival. Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens is always a huge part of Vivid and this year is set to be one of the biggest and best. The Electric Forest will again be a highlight plus new exhibitions like 'inSIGHT', 'Birds of Lumos' and 'The Sunflowers'.


The Electric Forest at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is a Vivid highlight.


This week in the garden we'll be putting all those autumn leaves in the compost and mixing them in with a pro-biotic like GoGo Juice from Neutrog to fire up the composting process. Hit the Garden Clinic Facebook page and share your garden successes with the gang.


Have you been following the travels of Hercules Friendship, the Wollemi Pine tree that travelled with me to Japan earlier this year? The full story aired last night on Better Homes & Gardens featuring some incredible footage of the planting ceremony in the grounds of the Hotel Kanaya in Nikko, Japan.

Didn't catch Better Homes last night? You can watch on line at Yahoo!7TV.


Bush Garden

Birds Nest Fern, Asplenium nidus

Birds Nest Fern is native to east tropical Africa (in Tanzania, and the Zanzibar Archipelago); temperate and tropical Asia (in Indonesia; East Timor; the prefecture of Kyushu, and the Ryukyu Islands of Japan; Malaysia; the Philippines; Taiwan; and Thailand); and of course in Australasia (in the northern part of Queensland in Australia).

Because of its wide distribution into different cultures it has been used for a variety of folk medicinal uses.


Birds nest ferns grow in the fork of trees like this very well, taking advantage of water and nutrient that collect naturally here. They have an epiphytic relationship with their host, meaning they live in harmony with the tree, not in competition. Photo - Graham Ross


The sprouts of A. nidus are eaten as a vegetable in Taiwan.

Here it is typically cut into inch-long pieces and fried with garlic and chilli peppers.

Asplenium nidus is widely cultivated in temperate regions as a houseplant.

A. nidus has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Merit.

It will happily grow in gardens with a minimum temperature of 10 °C (50 °F).

It will grow in shade houses, on trees, in pots and in tropical landscapes.



Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a widespread fungus that is carried by the wind. It multiplies rapidly in high humidity so thrives in overcrowded garden beds where the air circulation is poor. Identify it by the characteristic grey-white, powder-like mildew on infected leaves. Affected foliage withers, become distorted and dies.

To control its spread start by choosing disease-resistant cultivars, avoid overcrowding plants in shady areas of the garden, don’t use overhead irrigation late in the afternoon, and keep the area clean of plant debris that may carry the spores. spray with a horticultural oil, like PestOil or Eco Oil, before black sooty mould appears.


Powdery Mildew on variegated euonymus, spray with a horticultural oil, like PestOil or Eco Oil, before black sooty mould appears. Photo - Graham Ross


In the Vegie Patch

Plant those peas

It's now time to get your peas planted, if you haven't already. By now the vegie patch should be ready for planting with rich soil prepared, moist and mulched over and a trellis or teepee constructed for them to grow on, although you can grow short varieties of green and telegraph peas if you're not going to build a trellis.

Snow peas are a great choice and should provide fruit all season. Lots of great varieties to choose from. You can even grow some varieties of snow pea in a hanging basket.

Prepare soil with well broken-down compost and dust soil with lime. Dig in well, water and then plant. But don't water after planting peas. They will draw all the water they need from the soil and won't need more until they've grown up a few inches. Watering too early will rot them before they break through the soil.


It's now time to get your peas planted. Photo -


Garden News

Minister for planning, Mr Anthony Roberts plans to reduce domestic power consumption by planting trees

As part of the NSW planning department's blueprint for Sydney's North West, Planning Minister, Anthony Roberts is proposing mandatory tree plantings in every new home in greenfield developments as a means of reducing demand for heating and cooling.

The minister believes that the planting of trees in these developments is more than just landscapeing - it's an important part of critical housing infrastructure. “The plan for North West Priority Growth Area, which includes the suburbs of Box Hill, Marsden Park, Schofields and Riverstone, will provide housing for more than 90,000 people over the next decade and boost the region economically,” Mr Roberts said.

“It is estimated that at least 300,000 trees will be planted in this area and on private properties over the next 20 years. That is more than one tree per person, however I have asked the Department to investigate ways to accelerate and increase the greening of our new suburbs.

The planning department will make these trees available free as a means of achieving this goal, and i congratulate the minister on this wonderful initiative.

Read more on the Department of Planning website


Come away with us

Gardens and Ancient Sites of Mexico and Cuba

Home of the frangipani, dahlia and chocolate! Delve into ancient pyramids of Aztec & Mayan civilisations, experience traditional foods & share the colour of Mexican life. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico City & the Yucatan. Enjoy Hemmingway’s Cuba, Havana and Vinales.

Come along and join in the adventure. The Gardens and Ancient Sites of Mexico and Cuba leaves this October, 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.


And the locals are really friendly! Linda with 'Iggy' on the Mexican west coast near Puerto Vallarta. Photo - Dan Wheatley