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Radio Round Up August 8 and 9

What a wonderful show we had this weekend on the Garden Clinic. 

Wow Sandra had lots to say about blossom and spring is just around the corner. Here are the highlights from the show.

I just love my roses. I cant wait to be rewarded for all the care and attention I've invested in them. I have a few pictures of some of my favourites that I mentioned today.

Renae’ climbing Rose


Its rose planting time right now, but it won’t be for long. So if you want a stunning rose display this year its time to get your bare rooted roses in the ground.


'Monsieur Tillier'


Bare rooted roses are available at all nurseries at this time of the year, and Swanes can also send bare-rooted roses to you. But do be quick. Time is running out to get them growing before the change of season. 

Margaret called to ask how long she has to transplant a rose. My advice would be that you can plant any time you like if you plant in a pot. But it’s best to plant bare-rooted roses at this time of year.

The other roses i mentioned this weekend were 'John Paul II', 'Crepuscule', Mutabilis, and the rose most likely to be a big hit this year, 'Claire Austin'


John Paul II

Climbing rose, 'crepuscule' 




Claire Austin


Margaret also has ‘little gem’ evergreen magnolia. It’s a Magnolia grandiflora, and bred to be compact. But beware, it is not as little as the name would suggest, growing to 5 meters! ‘Teddy bear’ is a much more compact variety growing to 3 meters.

We talked about Magnolias yesterday as they are in peak flower right now. You may be lucky enough to have some of the large flowering varieties near you, like ‘Star Wars’.


Magnolia 'Star Wars'


Norma at Menangle has a Magnolia tree with very small buds. The roots seem to have dried out. I would try watering deeply once a week when the tree is in flower, and make up a batch of my 'magic mulch'. If you would like to know how you can read more on the Garden Clinic website.

John from Abbotsbury, has a magnolia tree that hasn’t flowered 18 months after planting. I think Johns Magnolia tree are likely not to have been planted well, as he said they really haven’t grown at all. The soil is likely to be poor, and because of this there isn’t enough vigor for flowers.


We were introduced to the ‘Dogsbane’ herb, (Apocynum floribundum) Which, we’re told is quite good at keeping your neighbour’s pets out of your garden. The little purple flower is quite pretty as well, don’t you think?


Dogsbain (Apocynum floribundum) 

Garry from Mitchelton north of Brisbane, is the Garden Coordinator at the local aged care facility, where the uneven lawn is creating a hazard for the less mobile residents. Garry needs to top dress with a product like Supertop lawn dressing from Amgrow. 

In the Bush Garden this weekend we went gardening with Angus Stewart, and we looked at the Tea Tree, Leptospermum 'Freya'. This lovely small to medium upright shrub will stay narrow, which makes it great for hedges. Freya is not only a pretty flowerer, but she is well-adapted to lots of different soil types, moisture and light levels. And Freya’s beautiful blooms make adorable, long-living cut flowers.


Angus Stewart’s Leptospermum 'Freya'. Photo - Angus Stewart


In our Bug Watch segment I talked about fruit fly. With spring just around the corner it’s time to protect your fruit trees from these nasty little blighters. You can manage them with a combination of hanging the fruit fly traps and spraying at the right time. Place your trap now and you’ll notice at what time the fly begin to be prevalent, and then commence spraying with organic products safe for fruit. There are a range of traps available, including one from OCP for Queensland Fruit Fly, called Eco-lure. See it on the OCP website.


Joe called about a bamboo problem. His neighbour’s bamboo is sending runners 3 meters into Joe's yard. This can be a big problem, so Joe will need to dig them out, and dig a trench at the fenceline to inspect any runners that may try to cross the border in future. Dab each new shoot with neat Weed Killer or use the old Bush Care technique of wound and dab. . It’s a good reminder that when you're buying bamboo you need to ensure you’re getting a clumping variety, not a running variety, no one likes an escapee!

Joe came with me on a tour I led to Alaska a few years ago. I remember Joe, and the wonderful Alaska tour. If you are thinking of joining us on tour, as Joe did, why not come along to our 2016 tours Launch at 10:30am on Wednesday 16 September 2015 at  September 1030 in Wesley Centre, Pitt St, Sydney. Bookings are essential, so call Royce to reserve your place on 1300 233 200. 

And one of the tours we will be talking about is the France tour. We will be heading to France in May and June in 2016. If you would like to see more about the 2016 France tour go to the Ross Tours website


In the Veggie Patch this weekend I'll give my plants a good deep watering to give us the best chance of a great late-winter harvest. Don’t forget to add seaweed to your watering can to protect your veggies from the last of those frosty mornings. One caller from this morning, Les, will be out in his veggie garden watering his cauliflowers with seaweed today, I’m sure.

Don't forget that if you want a good summer crop of tomatoes you need to sow the seeds of success right now. You can also sow eggplant, chilli, capsicum and cucumber seed. Just be sure to keep your little babies warm. Linda has also sewn tomato seeds, including heirloom varieties, ready for planting in late spring. She brings them in every night and places the tray right next to the fire place!


We spoke to Steve from OCP about Cryptolaemus, the native ladybeetle lavae. This mealy-bug-eating little critter is perfectly safe to use, and very effective. They called her Linda, and you can buy her from the 'back-yard buddy' range on the OCP website.


In the Potted Garden today its all about winter fragrance. And Boronia 'Purple Jared' (Boronia megastigma) is a beautifully fragrant native available from Gardening with Angus or other native specialist nurseries around the traps.


Boronia megastigma  'Purple Jared' has an unbelievable fragrance, perfect under your window. Photo - Angus Stewart


Dianne from Matraville has the lovely 'Winter Cheer' yellow poker, but unfortunately she has to take it out. Dianne would like it to go to a good home, so if you're interested call Dianne on (02) 9661 3015


The Blossom Report 

We talked about the very first of the blossom trees to flower, the Taiwan cherry Prunus campanulata flowers in late winter. These blossoms have peaked already, but still look very pretty.

The winter peach, Prunus grandulosa, is at about 80%, so seek them out over the weekend. They are likely to peak this coming week. They keep well in vases and we've been picking them for over two weeks. They don't grow too big either so you can fit one in a small garden. They look like this!


Winter peach. Thankyou next door neighbours!

We have hit peak time for magnolia blossoms right now. Gee they're looking spectacular. There are some unusual varieties out there too. More on that later. We'd love to see your photos, especially if you have an unusual variety. Go to the Garden Clinic facebook or instagram @gardenclinicclub pages and share your images with the whole world. Please use the hashtag #blossomreport and we'll be all able to see your blossoms! How inspiring!