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Radio Round Up March 5 - 6


Later this month the heat will abate and gardeners all across Australia will gear up to plant, prune and propagate.

Why not take the radio out in the morning when you water the vegetables and tune in to the Garden Clinic Radio show on 2GB: we’ll keep each other company in the early hours of the weekend.


I can’t wait to plant out my next winter veggie patch later in autumn


It’s time to:


As our dear friend Elizabeth Swane reminded us in our latest Garden Clinic magazine, thanks to the cooler nights of autumn roses have intense colour and longer lives, both on the bush and in a vase. It’s time to enjoy the beautiful roses we have tended all year long.


The cooler weather ahead will stop your herbs from bolting to seed. It’s time to sow seeds of rocket, coriander, basil and chervil. Give them a good liquid feed every two weeks.


Time to go a-hunting! Not for elephants, but for lily caterpillars on clivia, crinum lily and other strappy leafed plants. Spray with Yates Success Ultra or Eco-neem at the first sign of damage. They may not be big game. But left unchecked they can just as much damage in your garden.


Apply controlled release fertiliser to garden beds then top up mulch to 30-50mm thick. Water everything in well. Give potted cymbidium orchids a dose of liquid orchid food and move them into a sunny spot to encourage developing flower spikes.


Cymbidium orchids will need a liquid feed to get those flowers off to a good start



Neaten hedges, tapering the sides slightly outwards so sunlight reaches foliage at the base of the hedge. They’ll reshoot before the cool weather arrives and look sleek all through winter.


Spring-flowering bulbs should be bought now, but hold off planting until later in autumn, unless you live in a cool climate.


The Bush Garden:

Want to attract birds to your garden? Nothing beats Grevillea flowers. They produce huge quantities of nectar, and they are so many different colours, shapes and sizes and they flower for such an extended period of time, there's so many reasons to grow them.


Grow your grevilleas in well drained soils is the key to success. Feed with a specialised native plant food. Prune lightly from day one and often after every flush of flowers or they tend to get leggie. And yes, you may need to sacrifice some flowers for the sake of pruning, but they'll quickly bounce back with more. Try the Grevillea Wattlebird series like Wattlebird Yellow, a large and attractive golden flower; Grevillea ‘Sylvia’, deep pink and dripping with nectar, are a big hit with native birds; and Grevillea ‘Molly’, red to crimson at the tip, is simply stunning.


Grevillea 'Molly'


What’s On:

The Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show is coming round again and I can’t wait to see all of our Victorian members at the Garden Clinic stand, stand number B52. If you’d like to come and say G’day, head to the Royal Exhibition Building & Carlton Gardens between the 16th and 20th of March.



Whilst in Melbourne for the show Linda will be hosting a free ‘Jump into Autumn’ garden clinic class at Gardenworld, Braeside, for our Victorian members. You will need to be a Garden Clinic member to attend. But joining the club has never been easier. Just go to the Join page and follow the prompts.

And there will be lots of other free Garden Clinic Classes happening for our members all across Australia including at Brookfield Garden Centre in Queensland, and Sydney Wildflower Nursery at Heathcoat.

Sadly, I need to make a correction about the Cake & Cuttings Day, Chelsea Fringe 2016 event on the 28th of May. This event will take place at the Garden Clinic Clubhouse in Beecroft, NSW, not at the Sydney Botanic Gardens as published on the contents page of the Autumn Garden Clinic magazine.


Mother & Daughter Rose

What a wonderful time Autumn is for appreciating roses. I spoke to a caller today about her Mother & Daughter rose, which is the rose developed by Rankin Roses for Melissa King, as a memorial to her Mum who died after a life-long battle with Motor Neuron disease.


Mother & Daughter rose


Proceeds from the sale of Mother & Daughter go to motor neuron disease research. If you would like to help support research into this destructive disease, and get your hands on a beautiful rose, contact Rankin Roses If you are looking for the Mother & Daughter rose you can find it at Rankins Roses.



Aphids, even our queen of the night cactus flower buds are covered in aphids at present. Be carefull to watch out for ladybirds before spraying. They love to eat aphids, and if there are enough of these little critters about they can keep aphids under control all by themselves.


Aphids are about right now


In the Veggie Patch:

Autumn is the best time for planting. But I would hold off on planting the winter crops just yet until the last of the heat has faded off. Plant silver beats, spinach, Asian greens, and mignonette lettice. Better sewing carrots in sieved soil and mixing seeds with sand to spread them out. You could grow your carrots in a pot.


Come away with us:

Later this year we’ll be exploring South Australia and the coastal wilderness of Kangaroo Island. Come with us and enjoy the culinary highlights – honey, seafood and native spices. Be inspired by natural wonders such as Admiralty Arch and Remarkable Rocks. See the sea lions at Seal Bay.

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.


Garden News:

Stephen Bali, mayor of Blacktown City Council joined me for a chat on air this weekend to talk about on amazing new joint-venture between Greater Sydney Land Services, Sydney Arbor Trees and the City of Blacktown turning dead trees into habitat for native animals.


Stephen Bali and his team. Photo – News Limited


Birds, bats and possums will benefit under a scheme aimed at helping endangered species recover from habitat destruction.

“A section of the outer trunk is removed, the hollow carved, and then the trunk section is replaced, making it a very unobtrusive nest,” Blacktown Mayor Stephen Bali said.

I applaud Stephen and his team for their efforts and innovation. I can only hope that other Sydney councils will follow Blacktown’s example.


Garden Designer, Daniel Tyrell exhibiting at MIFGS

Long term exhibitors and old favourites will be returning alongside a host of new of talent at MIFGS this year, including internationally acclaimed UK landscape designer Paul Hervey-Brookes (winner of Gold & Best in Show at this year’s RHS Tatton Park Flower Show for his Perennial Garden), and brilliant local talent from Ian Barker Landscapes in collaboration with Australian House & Garden, Vivid Design, Georgia Harper Landscape Design, Jake Stone Design and Tourism NT in partnership with Candeo Design and Peta Donaldson, to name a few.

And I am delighted to say that our friend, garden designer Daniel Tyrrell, will also be exhibiting at MIFGS this year.


Daniel Tyrrell’s show garden from MIFGS 2013


Daniel Tyrrell is an award winning Melbourne garden designer and landscaper based in St Kilda. Over the past ten years, Daniel has been a leader in the design and the construction of gardens throughout Melbourne. Daniel has been inspired by many facets of his life, from the urban lane ways near his Studio through to his travels to the Chelsea Garden Show in the UK, where he has worked on award winning show gardens.

I’ve really enjoyed watching Daniel grow as a designer over the years, and look forward to seeing how his experience has evolved in his display garden at MIFGS this year.

If you can see yourself in Melbourne in mid-March come and join us at MIFGS. Head into Carlton Gardens and check out Daniel’s latest masterpiece.