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Radio Round Up January 23 - 24

Welcome to the (early) Australia Day weekend. What an incredible summer we’re having. Bushfires in the south, and very dry. The rain is pouring down just about everywhere else and the garden is just loving it.

It’s another glorious morning. Beautiful sunshine and the promise of another great day in the garden. So let’s get straight into it.


It’s Time To:


Prune agapanthus flower heads to prevent seeding through the garden and bush.


Agapanthus 'Queen Mum' 


Prune lavender into globes and dry flowers to use in potpourri.

If leaves get sunburned, don’t prune them off. The scorched leaves will protect those beneath from further scorch on the next blasting hot day. The plant may find it hard to recuperate from two burns.


Sow seeds of next winter’s vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflowers and lettuce, into seedling trays. Keep in a shaded spot.


Feed hungry hibiscus, passionfruit, dipladenia and tomatoes with a fertiliser high in potassium.

Feed palms, ferns and salad greens with seaweed, worm juice or fish emulsion.


Check nursery catalogues and order bulbs and perennials to plant out in autumn. The earlier you make you decision the more likely your favourites wont be sold out!


Stake dahlias as they grow.


To pick hydrangeas that last, first water the plants well. Then cut and dunk the mop top flowers into a sink of cool water. Drip dry, then crush the end of the stem and arrange in a vase.

Take care

Be vigilant against rust on frangipani, canna and fuchsia. Spray with Eco-fungicide, and bin any fallen infected leaves.


Bush Garden:

Kangaroo Paw

One of the great West Australian success stories, the Kangaroo Paw is a stunning native addition to any garden, anywhere in Australia. These furry, iconic Australian flowers are great performers, especially the smaller varieties. As long as you have a space that sees full sun and they’re planted into a native potting mix, you can’t go wrong. From now until early summer keep up the water to maintain colour and extend longevity in the blooms. To stimulate new growth, cut back old flower stems and foliage to the base and feed with a native fertiliser like the new ‘Bush Tucker’ from Neutrog.


Angus Stewart's new kangaroo paw, 'Landscape Lilac' looks incredible in Linda's coastal garden.



Watch your citrus, they’re not out of the woods yet

Keep the eco-oil up to the new growth. These shoots are growing rapidly in summer, and they’re going to need a fine film of oil over them to ward off the Bronze Orange Bug and Citrus Leaf Minor.

Keep an eye on your citrus trees and note how rapidly the new growth is developing. Keep your eco-oil gun at the ready and you can’t go wrong.


Powdery Mildew

After the 90 % humidity we’ve had recently we are going to battle fungal disease in the garden. The lady beetles are doing their best to eat the fungus on the veggie foliage, especially vine crops, but they’ll need some extra help after all this rain.

Try to prune any foliage close enough to the ground to get splash from the soil during heavy rain. Keep mulch fresh around veggies to absorb some of this splash, as its where the fungal spores are concentrated. Use Eco-oil and Eco- fungicide in a spray as a second layer of defence. It’s hard on fungus, but not on the beneficial bugs like lady beetles.


In the Veggie Patch

It’s the last weekend to be planting tomatoes, so get them in before it’s too late. Watch out for powdery mildew on vines.

Plant out leafy green seedlings and mulch well. Don’t forget spring onions for a bit of fresh crunch, in fact you can grow spring onions all year round and harvest them at many different stages of growth.

Cucumbers are in full production at the moment. If you’ve put up an arbour like we have you could be harvesting a kilo of cucumbers a day at this time of year. Get your vine crops off the ground and they’ll have a much better natural defence against pests and disease.


Come away with us

Always wanted to go to the Chelsea Flower Show? Why not join us in 2016? There are two ways to go when you come to the show with Ross Tours. But either way, we’ll beat the crowds and see the show on Members day.

Come with us to an England up to its knees in spring blossom, carpets of tulips and meadows of wildflowers. Our England tour is a happy mix of horticulture and history: the Chelsea Flower Show on members’ day, Sissinghurst, Great Dixter and a touch of Tudor glamour and don’t forget Prince Charles’ Highgarden.

Or perhaps you’ve always wanted to see more of Europe. Our Grand Gardens of Europe tour is just the ticket to see the highlights of a European spring – great flower displays in Holland, France and England including Monet’s Giverny, Kenkenhof’s tulips, the Chelsea Flower Show on Members’ day and so much more.

Go to the Ross Tours website, or call Royce or Roslyn at Ross Tours to reserve your place on 1300 233 200 for more details on the tour.


Beat the crowds and come with us to the 2016 Chelsea Flower Show on Members' day.


What’s On:

As a Garden Clinic Member you get to come along to one of our classes or walkaround events free. And we’ve got lots happening in 2016.

We’ll be visiting Wendy’s Secret Garden in Lavender Bay on the 4th of March 2016 with Wendy Whiteley herself.You can join us for this event, and any of the other garden clinic classes by going to the events page on the Garden Clinic website.

And for all the plant people out there don’t miss the Collectors’ Plant Fair this April 9th and 10th. Over 70 nurseries specialising in rare and unusual plants will be there with bargains to find, inspiring speakers including Wendy Whitely and Tracey Deep, and informative workshops. For details head to the events page.


Garden News:

Victa 2 stroke to go the way of the Dodo

The Australian icon, the 2 stroke Victa lawnmower is to be discontinued according to new owners, Briggs & Stratton, who will not be redesigning the mower’s engine to meet new standards.

Tom Rugg, Briggs & Stratton Managing Director, has flagged plummeting sales of the iconic Aussie garden fixture as the main reason for their decision.

Invented in 1952, this Aussie innovation was such a popular addition to our gardening arsenal it featured in the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000.

If you want to keep this dream alive you can still get your hands on a Victa 2 stroke mower at Sid Hopping’s Mowers at Rydalmere in Sydney. But only until they run out! Call Sid on (02) 9638 5777


Sydney Olympics opening ceremony. Photo- c/o Newscorp


Greg Hunt (MP): 20 Million Trees programme

Local communities around Australia are getting ready to plant around 1.3 million trees as part of the Australian Government's 20 Million Trees Programme, with many projects targeting habitat protection for native plants and animals under threat.

This is the first time that local communities have been able to apply for both Green Army and 20 Million Trees projects at the same time.

This latest funding will help Landcare and community groups, individuals and organisations to plant native trees, shrubs and other vegetation in their local communities.

The government is calling for grant applications from community groups wishing to get involved in the 20 Million Trees programme and take advantage of this fantastic opportunity.

The 20 Million Trees Programme will provide $50 million over four years to re-establish native vegetation, providing habitat to support our threatened plants and animals, and create greener spaces to improve the liveability of our cities and towns.

You can find more information on the programme online at:



The glorious Angophora costata. Just one of the 20 Million Trees that you could  plant in your neighbourhood with help from the Federal Government.


Garden Magic

The Crepe Myrtle offers some of the most vibrant flowers right through summer when most flowering trees are bare. The Garden Magic range from Fleming’s Nurseries feature glossy, rich coloured foliage as well as show-stopping flowers that will last into autumn when most other plants are dropping last year’s leaves for the winter.

Coral Magic forms a beautiful rounded, dense shrub loaded with coral-pink flowers in early summer. Dark reddish new growth, becoming glossy green in summer.

Purple Magic blooms early summer with dark purple flowers. this dense shrub form of crepe myrtle fits the landscape where taller crepe myrtles don't. New growth has a reddish tint and eventually matures to glossy green.

Plum Magic is a new semi-dwarf form of crepe myrtle, blooming in early summer with plum coloured flowers. The foliage emerges plum-purple in colour eventually maturing to rich dark burgundy, nicely setting off the bright flowers.

All three are now available through good nurseries everywhere.


Plum Magic, with it's plum-coloured foliage.



Jean from Ryde has some bromeliads and bush rock to give away. The quick callers will be lucky enough to take home a mini-makeover for their garden. You can reach Jean on (02) 9878 2672. Do bring Jean something nice for being so generous.