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Garden Radio Round Up October 15 - 16

A hot weekend is on the way and Linda is in the hot seat answering your calls.

It's time to get out into the garden, enjoy the sun and celebrate the season.

If you're in Sydney head over to the Granny Smith Festival in the birthplace of the Granny smith apple, Eastwood

The annual Granny Smith Festival celebrates the life and legacy of one of our district’s most famous citizens, Maria Ann Smith - aka Granny Smith - who, back in 1868, ‘accidentally’ grew the first batch of little green apples that bear her name and are now grown all over the world.  


Thanks Maria Ann Smith, for these sweet and sour gems.


It's Time To


Soft-tipped cuttings taken from fresh new growth make roots quickly in water or cutting mix. After about four weeks pot them up to give away, or plant out into garden beds. Salvias, begonias and geraniums are all good candidates.



Begin a fruit fly control program to protect stone fruit and tomato crops. Use a combination of traps and organic baits, exclusion bags or fine mesh netting.



Feed indoor plants with a weak liquid fertiliser mix. Lightly prune natives that have finished flowering. Feed gardenias and increase their watering. Tip-prune passionfruit each month to encourage lateral growth and more fruit.


Cold climates

Plant cress, chicory and lettuce for summer salads. Plant autumn-flowering salvias and Easter daisies.


Temperate zone

Prepare the vegetable patch for summer veggies, remove tired plants and dig in manure or well-rotted organic matter. Remove any weed before seed sets: ‘one year’s seeding is seven years’ weeding’


In the north

Plant broccoli and rhubarb crowns. Pot-up bromeliad pups in course orchid mix. Grow snake and Madagascar beans.


In the Tropics

Plant new shrubs and trees now, so they are established before the heavy rains of the wet. Fertilise in two applications four weeks apart.


Bush Garden

Native Gardenia, Randia fitzalanii

It's a gorgeous tropical Australian native shrub with deliciously scented flowers, a fragrance quite like gardenia. It's an evergreen tree with large, dark green, glossy leaves. In Spring, clusters of highly perfumed, small, white, tubular flowers are produced along the stems. These are followed by large yellow fruit, which are edible when soft. Randia prefers a warm, sheltered site in full sun to semi-shade with moist, well-drained, light to medium soil.


The native gardenia, Randia fitzalanii


Sadly for the temperate zone gardener, Randia is very frost tender. It's best in tropical and subtropical climates. Mulch it well and water well during dry spells.


In the Veggie Patch

Summer Teepee

It only takes a meter of land to grow enough veg to harvest 36kg + of tomatoes, cucumbers and beans. You can even do it in a wine barrel.

Tie 6 x 3m stakes at the top to make a wigwam. Plant up with tomatoes, beans and cucumbers, which all grow harmoniously together. Use the central shaded area in the middle for summer lettuce.


Sweet peas growing on a narrow teepee tunnel. Photo - Luisa Brimble 


Garden News

Gardens for therapy

Like most regular gardeners Joanne Aquilina knows how good gardening is for your mental health. But unlike other gardeners Joanne has decided to dedicate her life to spread the word about how gardens can be used as therapy by creating Therapeutic Gardens Australia, an orgainisation designed to bring Australia's leading garden experts together to help create therapeutic gardens where ever they can benefit most.


Photo - Hannah McCowatt


Joanne has a passion for bringing together teams of experts to tailor-make therapeutic gardens that enrich the lives and well-being of people living with a range of conditions and disabilities. Therapeutic Gardens employs a holistic approach to creating therapeutic gardens for individuals, groups and organisations seeking to achieve improved physical & mental health outcomes for those living with developmental, cognitive, psychological, and physical challenges. It’s not just about designing and building the gardens. It’s also about getting people out amongst them, despite mobility or mental health challenges.


Aussie Backyard Bird Count is on again

Do you love native birds visiting your garden? Nothing gives me greater pleasure in the backyard that seeing native birds nesting and feeding in the plants I've chosen. This week bird lovers all across Australia will participate in the great Aussie Backyard Bird Count, and help researchers see how Aussie birds are faring

Head to their website, download the app and register to participate in this great national project.


Get as excited about the Aussie Backyard Bird Count as this guy! Photo - Wild & Endangered

Come away with us

Scotland and Wales

Scotland and Wales are full of remarkable gardens. This new tour includes public and private, grand and intimate, walled and wooded gardens in Northern England, Wales and Scotland. High summer brings exuberant borders, a flourish of roses and spectacular weather for sightseeing


One of the remarkable gardens you will see on the Scotland and Wales tour 2017.

If you would like to know more about the Scotland & Wales tour, or to enquire about any of our tours contact Royce or Roslyn on 1300 233 200, email us at, or visit