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Radio Round-up 1 August 2015

Another great show this morning. Thanks to everyone who called in, there were some great questions. And special thanks to Brett Summerell, for getting out of bed early to talk to us about the alarming armalaria, or ‘honey fungus’.


Star of the Season: It's all about magnolias at the moment. Have a look at my daughter Linda's story, displaying a spectacular magnolia collection from our garden. But here's how my front garden is looking at the moment!


Linda helping herself to my Yulan magnolia. Photo - Luisa Brimble

Success Story: Brisbane listener, David was our gardening hero last week. He sent us evidence of his pineapple-growing prowess, as promised, and I’m glad he did. I’m pretty sure it was turned into Pina Colada shortly after David’s photo was taken.


David’s pineapple. Photo - David.


Thanks again to Bob Cherry, one of the few real plant-hunters we have in Australia, and the plant breeder who deserves all the credit for my beautiful polyanthus display this winter. Polyanthus featured this week on Better Homes and Gardens, as did Rhododendrons. I had the pleasure of filming the segment at the National Rhododendron Garden in the Dandenong Ranges earlier this year, where some of the best looking rhododendrons in Australia can be found. I remember a time when gardens sported huge rhododendron hedges. Rhodo’s were quite common in Sydney too. But these days it’s quite rare to find any east of Leura. You might like to read about other plants that are disappearing from gardens in our latest blog. You may also like to read about George Forrest, the plant world's Indiana Jones.


Massive Rhododendron hedge. Photo - Shelli Jenson/


Better Homes TV: We found out that there is indeed a 'diamond' rose. It's Diamond Jubilee, from Treloar roses in South Australia. Of course, it’s time to prune the roses. I passed on a few of my tips on pruning roses on Better Homes TV last night. If you missed the show you can have a look at Sandra’s rose care video

It’s also a great time to get ginger planted now before spring has sprung. Just the thing to spice up your life. But if sweet is more your thing, it’s time to plant strawberries, and I planted a few straight into a bale of straw on Better Homes last night, which is the perfect ready-made, elevated garden for these little delights. Straw was always close to the strawberry farm, placed under the fruit to keep them out of the mud.


Garden Travel: I talked about the incredible Nabana No Sato garden in Nagoya, Japan. You can read all about Nagoya in my recent Ross Tours blog. This week it’s all about Jacarandas. Of course it’s too early for jacarandas, but if you want to join us on the Sydney Harbour Jacaranda cruise to see them in all their glory this spring you’re just in time, especially if you have a group booking. And of course the Chelsea Flower Show in 2016 is everyone’s favourite tour. We’ll be heading back in 2016 and taking in plenty more of the best gardens in the UK whilst we’re there. All the information is on the Ross Tours website.


The Bush Garden: A brand new Kangaroo paw “The Wiz” caught my eye with its red and green paws and dark emerald green leaves. Disease resistant, and good in pots.  I gave a few away to new Garden Clinic members!


The Wiz, a new kangaroo paw

Garden Health and Safety: We spoke to Caroline about ticks and Lymes disease. Bernie Hudson at RNS hospital has confirmed ticks in Australia transmit Lymes disease and once you get it you have it for life. It was a timely reminder to check all over for ticks after being in the garden, especially if you have bandicoots or possums in your area. We sent Caroline an electronic 'Mitey Tick-Off' device. The Karl Mcmanus Foundation is a promoter of evidence-based research and clinical practice for tick-borne diseases and an advocate for better testing, treatment and education in Australia. If you would like further information log on to the KMF website.


Thanks for listening,

Have a great weekend!

Graham Ross