Blog Radio Round Up August 29 -30

Radio Round Up August 29 -30

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

It's boronias, star magnolia, organic veggie seed catalogues  and, of course, the blossom report including those pretty little pear blossoms about Sydney, just waking from their winter slumber. 


We had a great day at 2GB yesterday celebrating our 35 years on the radio. Thanks to the team at 2GB for support and the wonderful surprise, (and grand-kids thank you for the left-over cake!)

Bush Garden

If you're a facebook-friend of the Sydney Wildflower Nursery down in the Sydney suburb of Engadine, you will have seen the photo of their boronia in full flower. The aroma must be something! Of course, it just one of the many fragrant boronia flowering now in the bush garden.


And this is another. Boronia crenulata ‘Pink Passion’

Well drained soil is a must for boronias, so mix in some course river-sand into the soil before planting. Build the soil up 20-30 cm and give them reasonable sunlight.

Hardenbergia are looking great this spring. Prolific flowerers, very hardy and available as a shrub or a climber. Check out 'Minni ha ha',    


Veggie Patch

You've got mail (order) 

The hint of spring in the air has Mickey Robertson, from Glenmore House, reaching for the seed catalogues. She has posted a blog on our website this week about her favourite mail-order seed suppliers for the kitchen garden, and you can read all about it here - You’ve got Mail(order) -The Kithchen Garden.

Mickey’s favourites include Digger’s, Lamley’s and Green Harvest, in Maleny, Queensland, which is one of my favourites too. Another of my fav’s is Greenpatch Organic Seed Company, up on the Mid North Coast of New South wales. We like these seeds in particular as they are both suppliers of certified organic seeds of the highest quality.


Some of our favourite seed catalogues!



Bugwatch: The Blueberry Blues

The Garden Clinic Helpline has been running hot this week with our budding Blueberry growers in deep trouble! It seems there is a common issue with flowers dropping from these fledgling trees. It's a real shame, and all out of our control to some extent. I believe the weather has a lot to do with it. For weeks now we've had dry weather, then all of a sudden a torrential downpour. The poor blueberry has most likely jettisoned flower to conserve energy for keeping itself above the rising waters. Hate to say it, but better luck next season.

The problem could also be associated with the water not draining away from the roots. Make sure your blueberry is in a well draining soil, and if its in a pot don't put the pot on a saucer and regularly airate the soil so the excess water can run off. 


Helen wants to grow stag horns in her garden. She has sacrificed a pair of pantyhose to tie them on with, and we’ll send her some Seasol to help them along.

Julie at Castle Hill has weeds in her lawn, and I know there is so much more Bindii around than usual. She’ll need to get hold of something like Amgrow buffalo lawn weeder. Whatever the product, it needs to contain the active ingredient MCPA Bromoxynil, because that’s the only thing safe for buffalo. And remember to kill the weeds firs, then feed with Sudden Impact for Lawns.

Wendy, you’re so naughty! I don’t know what possessed you to transplant and prune your camellia before it finished flowering. We’re sending you a package of patience, and some crossed fingers. Hope the poor thing pulls through.

Graham was stumped about what to do with a stubborn tree he’d tried to remove that just wouldn’t die. That is, until someone told him to ‘harden up’. He drilled holes and put some concrete powder in and that did the trick.

We had a call about a thorny issue; a shoot growing from a mandarin tree with long spines and leaves that look nothing like the others. It will need to be removed as close to the trunk as possible. Of course, this is the root stock growing below the graft union, and it’s actually a sign that the tree was grown by one of the better citrus nurseries. If you are buying citrus trees always choose grafted varieties as they have the best chance of becoming strong and vigorous.

And Gwen called about her daughter’s Murraya hedge. one of the trees leaves seem to be going yellow and falling off. Sounds to me like a disease in the soil, which can be quite common with Murraya, especially the plants in the middle of the hedge, boxed in and unable to get their roots into good soil. She should spray with something like Yates Anti Rot all over the foliage, as its absorbed by the leaves.

Blossom Report

Flowering Pear Pyrus calleryana

How many Pear Cottages do you know, where a little weatherboard house sits under an ancient pear tree buzzing with bees in the springtime?

The Pyrus calleryana is an ornamental blossom tree that produce glorious displays of white spring blossom and then in autumn the leaves change colour turning crimson and gold. ‘Aristocrat’ grows 11m x 7m in oval shape. ‘Chanticleer’ is columnar 10mx5m good for narrow spaces.


The Flowering Pear, Pyrus calleryana.


Ornamental pears grow in warm and cool climate gardens. Not fussy about soil but improved rich soil will produce a better tree. Moderate to fast growth rate, makes superb shade quickly. No pruning needed. No edible fruit is produced. Commonly used as street trees.

Potted Garden: Star Magnolia

If you don’t have a garden but still want to grow a magnolia. Try this smaller sized one. We've planted a star magnolia in a pot quite successfully. 


The star magnolia is the only magnolia you can grow in a pot successfully.


I've been talking about Magnolias a lot recently, and we have loads of articles, blogs and videos to show you on the Garden Clinic website. Check out my latest video, 'Graham's Winter Wrap-up', where I talk about my beautiful 'Yulan', Magnolia heptapeta.

Travel with us in 2016

We are looking forward to the launch of our 2016 tour programme this month at the Wesley Centre, Pitt St, Sydney.We can’t wait to see all of our travellers and lots of new faces. In 2016 we’re bringing some new destinations to the Ross Tours stable, like Sri Lanka, Turkey and Ireland. But we’re not about to forget some of our old favourites like the Chelsea Flower Show, France, and China. Join us at the Wesley Centre on Wednesday 16 September. Bookings are essential, so call Royce or Roslyn at Ross Tours to reserve your place on 1300 233 200.


BBM Youth Support Sir John Pagan Horticulture Award

Do you know a young horticulturist, or hort student? BBM Youth Support provides annual UK travel scholarships in horticulture and many other fields. Their goal is to assist motivated young people with potential in their chosen field to gain experience that may otherwise not be available to them. It’s an incredible opportunity for any young horticulturist and that’s why I’ve asked them to extend the closing date to September 15, 2015.

The BBM Sir John Pagan Horticulture Award is open to horticulturists younger than 24 years of age at the date of the closing of applications, who are currently undertaking or who have completed an acknowledged course in Horticulture with any University, TAFE or Training Organisation.

The winner will receive an$8000 travel scholarshipto the United Kingdom to further their experience and training in the field of horticulture. More than enough reason to get your application in right away.






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