Blog Radio Round Up September 19-20

Radio Round Up September 19-20

Graham is back in the seat this weekend on the Garden Clinic with another jam-packed show.

It’s wet out there and the spring garden is loving it. And we’re not going to let the rain dampen our spirits. So let’s get straight into it.

September: It’s time to…


Hyacinths, tulips and Dutch iris are looking great. Keep them going with regular liquid fertiliser.

Spring peach, both the pure white and the red varieties,are at peak blossom this week. 

The beautiful clivias in full flower. We have both the orange and the lemon coloured clivia in our garden, both at their best right now.

And the May bush, even though in the southern hemisphere it flowers in September. Sadly, it seems to be disappearing from Australian gardens


The may flower looks great in September. 



Cut that passionfruit back by a third. Also clear lower growth to increase airflow. Flowers will appear on new season’s growth. Follow the trim with a good feed.

Trim azaleas later this month when they finish flowering.

Cut banksias if they’re getting a bit tall, but only back to green wood.

Other natives can be trimmed by one-third to keep them neat, compact and longer-lived.


It's not just the flora that comes to life in spring. Photo - Robin Powell 



Grevilleas and Geraldton waxes. Picking is a good way to keep the bushes trim, and the flowers look and smell beautiful in your home.


Use a slow-release fertiliser for native plants and a specialised slow-release fertiliser for potted plants to power new growth.


Clumping perennials like sedum, shasta daisy, lambs ear, gazania and salvia can be divided now. Replant in groups of two to five plants for a better result.

Divide and repot water lilies. Add a fertiliser tablet to the pot and top with a pebble mulch to keep the roots in place before they go in the water.

Watch out

Remove bindii by hand before they ruin your summer!

Protect seedlings against snails and slugs by putting out upturned pots of snail bait.

Blast aphids off new growth with a strong jet from the hose. Follow up with Natra soap, and introduce beneficial insects to keep the aphid numbers down.

Bush Garden

Have you enjoyed the meadows of paper daisies in gardens like Kings Park in Perth, and the Mount Annan Botanic Garden? Those annual paper daisies can be impossible to grow at home, so why not forget about planting annual paper daisies like Rhodenthe and go for long-lasting perennial types. Perennial daisies come in colours such as yellow, white, lemon, apricot, orange, pink and dark red. Names include ‘Golden everlasting’, ‘Diamond Head’, ‘Dargan Hill Monarch’ and ‘Golden Bowerbird’. Check them all out in our perennial daisies blog

Perennial paper daisies can last over two years in the garden, and some will self-seed. Photo - Silvergul / Shutterstock. 


Like me you've probably noticed aphids multiplying on the new spring growth around the garden this week.These tiny sap-sucking insects can be a problem on a wide range of plants, and now is the time to get them back under control. A few aphids are no problem, but it could lead to an infestation that will deform new buds, damage flowers and (heaven forbid) lead to defoliation. They have a short life-cycle. But numbers can build up quickly. You'll know you have aphids if you find sticky honeydew or sooty mould, distorted young leaves or flower buds, flower bud drop, or the presence of ants that feed on the excretions.

Blast them with a hose and soapy water. Nature's Way Natrasoap from Yates works well. For ornamental plants try Bugkilla from Richgro. But for your fruit and vegies don't be too hasty with the insecticide.  

The best method of control for aphids in the veggie patch, one that is the most environmentally friendly, is a natural biological control. One predator of the aphid is 'Gracey’ the native green lacewing, which you can buy mail-order from the Eco-organic Garden website. The juvenile lacewings (Malata signata) are voracious predators and will feed on almost any small insect or egg they can find. But aphids are their favourite fare and they can consume 60 in an hour.

After that, boost the plants bug resistence with Eco-oil and enjoy the flower show.


'Gracey' the Lacewing, and a few other backyard buddies, in action feasting on those aphids. Photo - PHOTO FUN / Shutterstock


Veggie Patch

Linda has great success growing lebanese and apple cucumbers on tepees in the garden. Train them onto the tepee with string and the fruit will hang down off the ground and away from the slugs and snails. Check out our latest kitchen garden article where you can get more information about creating a veggie tepee in your veggie patch.


The fabulous spring veggie garden tepee.  


Garden News

If you're in Melbourne next weekend listen online at from 6am. We'll be broadcasting from the 3AW studio for the Victorian Spring Garden and Lifestyle Show, and you can come and see us there. Go to the Victorian Spring Garden Show website for tickets and more information.


Join us at the Victorian Spring Garden & Lifestyle Festival 25 - 27 September 2015. 


Birds in Backyards is a research, education and conservation program from BirdLife Australia about the birds that live where people live. The program was developed in response to the loss of small native birds from our parks and gardens, the rapid expansion of our urban landscape and the consequent loss of habitat for native birds.

Holly Parsons is the Program Manager on the 'Birds in the Backyard' project and she joined me on the show. Holly has always had an interest in birds and ecology, which led her to the field of avian urban ecology at University. Since then Holly has gone on to complete her PhD looking at the impact of urbanisation on Superb Fairy-wrens and, while she still loves doing ecological research, she has moved into the environmental education field by managing Birds in Backyards.

From 19-25 October 2015, during national Bird Week, thousands of Australians will be found in backyards of all shapes and sizes spotting their local birds and discovering how they are coping in the spaces we share. And you can get involved by registering on the 'Aussie Backyard Bird Count' website and downloading an app to your mobile device so you can send bird count in. The app has all the helpful tools you need, like a bird identifier. 


Who's a pretty birdie? Photo - hkomala /


Meet Ross Uebergang, one of our finest young garden designers. He’s on his way to Japan as one of two Australian representatives at the 2015 Gardening World Cup, which will feature entrants from more than 30 countries all responding to the theme, “my country, my culture”.



His response, the Tea Garden, is the next chapter for Ross, who has form – including as winner of the Don Fleming Award at the 2012 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show and a top-four finish in the popular Melbourne event’s 2014 Boutique category....and he's only 32!  

Ross actually began his career in childcare and moved to Horticulture pretty quickly when he found the joy of gardening. A big challenge awaits Ross in Japan. He has a construction team ready to go and he'll be living and working on site to construct his garden.

With the Tea Garden Ross wanted to create a place where people could come together to reflect in peace. "I wanted to comment on the way modern home owners often approach gardens as an after-thought after the house is built." Interestingly, Ross feels like a bit of an impostor, as he doesn't drink tea. But I've offered him some of my Yorkshire tea from Harrowgate in the UK, and I'm pretty sure that will cure him. 

We wish Ross well in the competition. I'm sure he will have an incredible experience, and meet friends he will keep for a lifetime. You can follow Ross's progress in Japan at his website,


Blossom Report

A wisteria in full beautiful bloom escaping up a random tree will stop traffic. Sadly short lived, but well worth the wait, wisterias are vigorous, quick-growing vines and Olympic-level training is sometimes required to contain their over-exuberant growth, encourage a good shape and show off the long curtain of flowers. Wisterias can be trained into any shape or style — as waterfall-shaped shrubs, lollipop standards, over sturdy pergolas and archways, along verandas or fences, framing windows, and as bonsai. The key is to grow them tall enough to allow their long flower sprays to hang freely without becoming entangled

A good wisteria display will stop traffic! Photo - SoulAD /  


It’s no wonder the Japanese dedicate a whole month of ‘Hanami’ celebrations to the beautiful blossoms of the cherry. You know spring’s arrived when their pink-hued blooms blanket these perfectly shaped trees. I don't usually expect cherries to be out at this time. But I was reliably informed last night (thank you, Linda) that the 'Snow Fountain' cherries are just coming out in Beecroft. And Sandra saw lots of flowering 'Snow Fountain' at Honeysuckle Garden in Mosman on Friday too. 

One of our favourite cherry displays comes later this spring, usually a month behind Sydney, to the village of Leura in the Blue Mountains of NSW. The Leura Garden Festival coincides with the peak blossom period of these wonderful trees, mid-October. And Sandra will be leading a group through NSW this spring including a visit to the Leura Garden Festival, and these beautiful cherry trees. 


Cherries in full bloom at Leura. Photo - Leura Village Fair 


The NSW Spring festival tour is about to set sail with Sandra Ross at the helm. And they will be taking in the Leura Garden festival on route through NSW. Heading south to Bowral Sandra will visit botanic artist, Elaine Musgrave’s studio, Chinoiserie, and Red Cow Farm, one of the finest gardens in Australia. Then down to Canberra for Floriade. We take in the Cowra Japanese Garden, and Rainbow Ridge Nursery in Orange where we will meet Sharon Drinkwater. Off to the Blue Mountains and out to 'Nooroo' in Mt Wilson with it's carpets of bluebells. And, of course, the Leura Garden Festival. 

But the king of all flower shows is Chelsea. I'll be heading there in May 2016 for the show and you can join me there on the Gardens of England & the Chelsea Flower Show tour with Ross Tours. We'll take in the Chelsea Flower Show in all it's glory on Members Day- a privilage not offered to everyone, and the best time to see the show without the crowds. But that's not all. There's also Hidcote, Sissinghurst and Highgrove, home of His Royal Highness, Prince Charles. 

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 both of these tours.



We spoke to the former executive chef from Gilbulla House.  Norm was reminiscing on his two years at the historic home, which is open to the public this weekend.

Rosemary called looking for a non-chemical weed killer. Weed blitz from Amgrow is the perfect product, as its only pine oil. Perfectly safe to use around your veggies and its so effective you'll see the results in a few hours after spraying.

And our dear friend Deb in Alice Springs called. And guess what? the plants have responded beautifully to the seaweed watering, eco-oil and eco-fungacide. Watering with seaweed and spraying with eco-oil every two weeks will protect plants from pest and disease.  

Dianne called to skype about the success of her seedlings. You might recall Dianne called us to say she was raising seedlings on an old foot warmer. Well, she’s been very successful raising nearly 100%, and she had to let us know. Dianne has also successfully grown a pineapple in North Richmond! Gold star for you Dianne. Well done.

Dawn from Tea Gardens has a fuchsia turning yellow. She has just pruned it (well done, Dawn) and I think it just needs a good feed. Perfect time to prune your fuchsias now. Feed with Neutrog Sudden Impact for Roses.

Dawn’s call reminded me that I must plant the fuchsia ‘Lord Byron’ cuttings I took from the pre-renovation garden. It's a beautiful old variety, and very tough.  Most good nurseries should have them. 


Fuchsia 'Lord Byron'. Photo -


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Glen Anderson commented on 20 Sep 15

Beautiful !

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