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Radio Round Up August 15-16

What did Graham talk about this weekend on the Garden Clinic?

It's natives, camellias and, of course, the blossom report on Graham's mind with spring just around the corner. Here are the highlights from the show.

And what a day Linda had on Friday. Thanks to the 32 Garden Clinic Members who attended, and thanks to David Rose at the Sydney Wildflower Nursery for hosting our ‘Wildflower Workshop’ Garden Clinic Class.

We are delighted to have a Garden Clinic Class coming up in Victoria this spring. Don’t forget to book your spot at the Van Loons Nursery Garden Clinic Class September 24, by going to the events page on the website.

I couldn’t make it to the Wildflower Workshop. I’ve been in Marysville, in Victoria shooting for Better Homes & Gardens. I was inspired by the spirit of the people of Marysville who have rebuilt their town after the devastating fires of Black Saturday, in 2009.

Barangaroo is finally opening, and we’ll be taking to the people responsible for this landmark project next weekend, so make sure you tune in next weekend.


There are lots of members calling the helpline with Bindii and other grass weeds coming up in their lawns. It’s the last chance to get on top of it before summer, and nobody wants the Bindi-ballet, so don’t forget to treat Bindii this weekend. Weed Blitz is a pine-oil based herbicide, perfectly safe as it contains no glyphosate, and works on most lawn weeds. Check out our Bindii article for more information. If you have a buffalo lawn, like Kings Pride, you could use Amgrow Buffalo lawn weeder

Managing Bindii was one of the pests we talked about on Bugwatch this weekend along with Queensland Fruit Fly. The male Queensland Fruit fly have started showing up in the Eco-lure I hung out in my veggie garden at home. Hang out the mail fly lure away from the tree, but close enough to attract the fly, and when you see the male fly appear you know the female is not far away. It’s the female that does the damage, of course, so hang up a lure early to protect your stone fruit, tomatoes and capsicums. 

Potted garden:

Daphne are a great addition to your winter garden. There are even some varieties that love full sun. Check out Linda’s Winter Fragrance blog and read more about looking after Daphne.

We had a call about the new prostrate Gardenia, ‘oh so fine’ developed in Sydney by Ozbreed. See the Ozbreed website for details. 

Blossom Report: Cherry Plums 

Purple-leaf Plum

Spectacular in full flower this small tree 3m x 3m with its noticeable fluff of dark pink stamens inside each double rose pink flower followed by dramatic bronze purple foliage.

Popular street-tree, good for long driveway planting. Well suited to warm climates. Tolerant of drought and varied soil conditions but prefers moist well-drained fertile soil in full sun.


Prunus x blireana (Purple-leaf Plum)


Cherry Plum

Even darker foliage and shell pink blossom again with prominent boss of dark stamens. This one grows to 5m x 4m into a small tree with rounded crown.

Tolerates warm and cool conditions and dry soils. No pruning needed. 


Prunus cerasifera ‘Nigra’ (Cherry Plum)


Star of the season 

Camellia Buttons n Bows

This is seriously one of the most popular camellias. Loved for its formal double form, deep pink outer petals shading to white in the centre. Medium bushy growth. Flowering now until mid-September. Available from Camellia Grove Nursery, Sydney.


Camellia 'Buttons'n Bows'. 



Barbara has a Camellia sasanqua Hiryu, and it sounds like it has a fungal problem. Spray with a mixture of Eco-oil and Eco-fungicide. These products mix together safely to treat fungus like this quite successfully. And we have a video demonstrating how to mix these products coming soon on the website.


Camellia sasanqua ‘Hiryu’


Keith has a Donut Peach which is dropping its fruit, which I’m amazed have come at all given the time of year, and how cold it’s been. In fact I suspect that’s part of the reason its dropped fruit this year. Sounds like there is also evidence of caterpillar. If caterpillar are getting into the tip of the fruiting peach spray with Lyme sulphur. Once the leaves come out you’ll need to spray with Liquid Copper to manage Peach Leaf curl. If you need to read more about treating Peach leaf curl have a look at our Bugwatch article

I’ve been travelling around the country this month and one of the plants I’ve been talking about on television is Magnolias. And believe it or not- Magnolias sulk! They can sulk for the first few years of their life and don’t perform much during that time. They should snap out of it in the fourth year, but if not they generally die. Feed them up with Kahoona at the end of a new trees second winter and get them growing.

We had a great chat about compost this weekend. I remember getting fresh stable manure from the Randwick Racecourse by the wheelbarrow load with my uncle as a child. He would mix a shovel-full into the compost and heap the remainder to let it break down. The only thing in the garden to get fresh manure was the rhubarb. Everything else had to wait. You can read more about the benefits of making your own compost here

Lilli Pilli make a very good hedge, as we all know. But its important to select a psyllid-resistant variety, and there are lots available. Look for 'Winter lights', 'Goodbye Neighbours' or 'Cascade' at your local garden centre or nursery

We talked to Dean Herald from Rolling Stone landscapes about the pressure young up-and-coming landscape contractors are under dealing with the cost of home equity insurance regulation compliance. If you would like to know more visit the LNA website.

Bush Garden 

Spider Grevilleas

Yesterday we saw some beautiful spider grevilleas at Sydney Windflower Nursery, Heathcote. We were amazed at the range of colours available, usually low growing they attract bee pollinators. Spider flowers flower in winter and spring, and are mainly restricted to the Sydney sandstone region. Plant them in a sunny position with light, gritty, free-draining soil that is low in phosphates. Although drought tolerant once established, they flower more freely and the foliage is healthier for occasional good watering. Propagation is from half-hardened cuttings; a few cultivars are grafted, and the species may be raised from seed.


Spider grevillea are in flower right now. Photo - Mubus7/


In the Vegie Patch

Harvesting Purple Sprouting broccoli

Sprouting broccoli, either green or purple is sweeter and more generous than the regular broccoli. Sprouting broccolis develop 30-50 sprouts over a long period, instead of a single head that you may have trouble eating in one sitting. The flavour is good and the stems are particularly delicious. Once it has been cut, the sugars in the stem revert to starch, so the broccoli you grow yourself and cook within an hour of harvest will far exceed anything you can buy in the shops. Don’t allow the head to burst into flower before picking. Plant a few in March, again in April, a few more in May and again in June for a trickle of delicious sprouting broccoli into the kitchen throughout winter and spring. To cook, steam, or boil in about centimetre of lightly salted water for three minutes. Plants grow 1m x 1m - don't overcrowd them.



Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Brassica oleracea var italica. Photo - John Braid/


The pollinators

No, not the next Arnie film. They're my little helpers in the garden. I planted African marigolds, Borage, lavender, broad beans and peas to attract the pollinating insects into the garden ahead of spring to get the best harvest possible from the veggie patch. 


Bees in the borage. Photo - Mateo Sani/


The daffodils we planted in our garden last year have burst into flower, and increased in number too. Daffodil, Narcissus x 'Moneymaker', loves a sunny well drained spot, and it doesn’t get much sunnier than the spot I’ve chosen for them. The flower buds are formed deep inside bulbs in January. So you will need to feed them with slow release blood and bone or pelleted Seamungus while flowering, and then once the blooms have finished apply a liquid (soluble) fertiliser, like Thrive for Flower & Fruit or Nutrafeed Flower & Fruit Booster. Feed them every three weeks and apply liquid Potash until the leaves die down.



Sandra's newly-planted 'Just Joey' rose doing its best to out-shine Graham's Daffodils. 


Travel with Friends

This week we have released the Turkey tour. Our friend Libby Cameron will be leading the tour in 2016, taking in all that Turkey has to offer. And yes, that includes Gallipolli. If you would like to join Libby on the tour you can download the itinerary now. Read more at the Ross Tours website

David Glenn's Seville Orange Marmalade

Each year Linda makes a year’s supply of Seville orange marmalade. I have marmalade on toast every morning for breakfast. This year Linda used David Glenn's recipe from Lambley Nursery and it worked a treat, so here it is! Oh and thanks to Engalls Nursery for the box load of Sevilles – we’ll drop you in a jar later.

And you can join the Garden Clinic and take advantage of the wealth of information on our website, join in on our Garden Clinic Classes, and receive our quarterly magazine by clicking on Join. Phyllis joined a few weeks ago and took advantage of our sprayer offer, which was very popular indeed. We’ll let you know when we have another one to offer you soon.