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Radio Round Up June 4 - 5

Winter is finally here and the welcome rain pouring down this morning has put life back into the garden.

I'm back from the Chelsea Flower Show and this weekend I'm chatting with Silver Gilt winner, Charlie Albone about his impressions of this years show and about his award winning garden.

The Garden Clinic Winter magazine is out now. In this issue we meet Bob Price, the curator of the Puerto Vallarta Botanic Gardens in Mexico, we look at a wonderful native garden in Canberra, share the best new dwarf banksias, and take a road-trip to Albany.


Somewhere in Mexico Linda and Dan found this garden bathed in sunshine. Photo - Dan Wheatley


Now that some decent rain has arrived, softening the dry soil, and breaking down all those autumn leaves, it's time to get stuck into those winter jobs. So lets get started.


It's time to....


Camellias are outstanding winter-flowering plants with an intriguing range of colors, flower forms and plant habits, and options to suit sunny or shaded positions.


Photo - Hannah MacCowatt



Add compost and a handful of pelletised chook poo to planting holes for newly purchased deciduous trees, shrubs and roses. Dig to mix in well before planting.

Sharpen and clean secateurs and loppers ready for pruning roses and tidying trees and shrubs next month.


Make winter sweet with fragrant plants such as daphne, wintersweet (Chimonanthus), winter honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima) sweet osmanthus, pink luculia, Buddleia ‘Spring Promise’, viburnum and pretty violets.

Cram hippeastrum bulbs into shallow pots for a fabulous display in spring, or palnt in the garden, with their necks protruding out of the soil.


Liquid feed spring bulbs such as jonquils and snowdrops, even though they have already flowered. The foliage creates energy for next year’s show.


Want more winter jobs to do in your garden? check out the full article, It's Time To: June


Bush Garden

Dwarf Banksia

No space doesn’t mean no impact. Dwarf banksias are low-growing, have full-sized flowers like shining beacons all through winter, and draw in the nectar-loving big birds as well as tiny little insect-eaters. And there are an enormouse range available.


Banksia 'Birthday Candles'. Photo - Angus Stewart


If you would like to know more about our favourite dwarf banksias have a look at Linda & Mez's article, Star of the Season: Dwarf Banksia.



Getting rid of Gall Wasp for good!

Native to Queensland and northern New South Wales, the tiny citrus gall wasp lays eggs in the branches of citrus trees causing lumpy bulges called gall.


The Gall will develop over winter and the gall wasp will emerge from their eggs in spring. Affected stems must be cut off and put in the bin, not the compost. Photo - NSW Department of Primary Industries.


Gall affects fruit production and can eventually kill your beloved citrus tree, and that's why it's such a nasty little critter, and why it must be controlled at the first sign of trouble.

Landscape gardener Kaye Roberts-Palmer is the co-founder of Save Our Citrus, a grassroots campaign to fight the citrus gall wasp in Melbourne where the problem is now worse than ever.

Save Our Citrus is running the 'Prune In June' campaign this month to encourage citrus growers across the city to find and destroy the wasps before spring. A good reminder for those of us growing citrus in the in New South Wales and Queensland to do the same


Red spider mite


Tiny insects invisible to the naked eye, but seen as webbing and silvering of new growth. They love plants like Camellias, Azalias and Rhododendrons. If you grab a magnifying glass you'll see these tiny red spiders moving about.


Red Spider Mite. Photo - 



insecticidal potassium soap sprays such as Yates Natures Way Veggie & Herb Spray, a.k.a, Natrasoap, work by blocking the breathing pores and dissolving the scale’s outer covering, causing dehydration. These treatments will not harm beneficial insects and have a very low toxicity to people and pets.

The use of Natrasoap should control this pest but in the case of severe infestation the use of predatory mites is helpful. Eco Organic Garden have a range of predatory insects available for use in the home garden targeting pests like red spider mite. Check out their range of 'Backyard Buddies' on the OCP website.

Yates Lime Sulphur is also a useful tool in reducing the population of red spider mite, spray onto bare stems after winter pruning.


Damage caused by red spider mite. Photo - Graham Ross

In the Veggie Patch

I'm planting broad beans in the veggie patch today, if I get a break in the weather, that is.

Broad beans are sweet when picked straight from the vine at about 2/3 their maximum size. Full of antioxidants these fat, juicy beans are perfect planted now and i know the grand kids will eat them right of the vine.Pick them just shy of their maximum size and be rewarded with sweeter, juicier broad beans.


Photo - Azure / shutterstock 


Kale, broccoli, carrots or any winter root crop will thrive at this time of year. So give them a go in the veggie patch this weekend too.

If you are planting broad beans this year check out Robin Powell's broad bean recipe ideas, Broad beans 3 ways.


Garden News

Sydney city an urban ‘heat island’ - even during winter

Dr Melissa Neave, from RMIT joins me on the air this weekend to discuss recent research from RMIT & Swinburne University looking at winter temperatures in high density areas v's low density areas. The researchers have found that the 'urban heat island' effect, where built-up areas are warmer than greenspace, persists in winter as well as summer. In a nutshell, the high density areas such as Sydney's CBD are significantly warmer overnight than the low density areas - there is an 8 degree difference in Sydney and a 9.1 degree difference in Brisbane.


Over the next 15 years, 180,000 homes will be built in western Sydney meaning more reflective surfaces and less green space. Photo: WSROC/


The study is the first to look at winter temperatures and Dr Melissa Neave, the lead researcher, attributes the major differences to more and more high rise developments and less green space and natural surfaces.


Aussie garden wins back-to-back Silver Gilt medals at Chelsea

Australia’s own Charlie Albone has beaten the world’s best green thumbed hopefuls to claim a silver gilt medal at the 2016 Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Chelsea Flower Show.


Silver gilt winner, Charlie Albone in his Chelsea Flower Show display garden.


Albone has earned his second silver gilt medal in as many years. It’s a superb achievement for the popular landscaper and television personality, who is the first Australian ever to compete in back to back shows.

Want to see more of this award winning garden? check out the latest blog, Australian garden wins silver at chelsea.


Come away with us:

Michael McCoy brings you Garden Marlborough

New Zealand’s gardens are amongst the best anywhere on earth. Throw in a warm kiwi welcome and Garden Marlborough, we have the perfect excuse to visit this beautiful region of the south island when the peony and wisteria are just heavenly.

Join Michael McCoy and see the best of New Zealand including: Christchurch Botanic Garden, Linton Giant House & Artists Garden, East Coast Garden tour, Urban Tour, Queen Charlotte Sound Cruise, Hortensia House, Hans Herzog Winery


You too can join Michael and enjoy the peonies in Marlborough this year.


Glorious Southern Italy

Italian Renaissance and Baroque gardens are extravagant exercises in philosophy, mythology and glorious theatre. Add the mesmerizing Amalfi Coast and the island of Sicily with its archaeological treasures and you have an unforgettable experience.


The Amalfi Coast in Southern Italy.


For more information on this incredible tour 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.