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Garden Clinic Blog

Keep in touch with what we're doing, there's always something going on. Our team has been busy gathering interesting, helpful and exciting stories for you to enjoy. Seasonal inspiration from our garden to yours.

What to do in the Garden: time to plant avocado

What to do in the Garden: time to plant avocado

Plant an avocado; better still plant two for better pollination rates and more fruit. Given the correct growing conditions these trees will bear heavy crops in three years. Mature trees can be affected by excessive rain and by hot and dry wind, especially at flowering and fruit set.

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In the Vegetable Patch: keep a close watch on broad beans.

In the Vegetable Patch: keep a close watch on broad beans.

Broad beans are so tasty, and so nutritious! It’s one vegetable you should try. Watch them closely at this time as the flowers are setting pods, for aphid attack. We sprayed our crop with Yates Nature’s Way (ready to use) garlic and pyrethrum spray.

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Star of the Season : Light and Lacy… Japanese Maples

Star of the Season : Light and Lacy… Japanese Maples

Alan Jackson is crazy about maples! His nursery, Maple Springs is in Little Hartley where he propagates, grafts and grows 250 species of maple. Over the last 25 years he has designed and created Gory’u Japanese garden (which featured in the spring issue of the Garden Clinic Magazine). Alan is jumping out his skin with excitement as his maples burst into fresh new leaf. Click here to read our story.
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Star of the Season: Clivia

Star of the Season: Clivia

The classic burnished orange-red clivia has been overtaken by new lemon, lime and peach colours. Peter Hey is mad about the new clivia colours he is now producing – lime-green, bronze, peach, scarlet and apricot!


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What to do this week: Feed the Flowers

What to do this week: Feed the Flowers

Hibiscus bring a glorious taste of the tropics to a warm frost-free garden. This week is your last chance to prune them. As they flower on new wood, the harder you prune, the more new growth is produced and the more flowers. Hibiscus are hungry so feed them every six weeks with either Sudden Impact for Roses (Neutrog) or Black Marvel Rose Food (Richgro) and water it in with a seaweed solution.

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In the Vegetable Patch: It’s time to plant passionfruit

In the Vegetable Patch: It’s time to plant passionfruit

The passionfruit vine is a vigorous, climbing plant with deep green leaves and fragrant, delicate, purple to white flowers with a distinctive corona. The vines are sensitive to frost and the fruit matures to a deep red colour and contains a sweet, juicy, orange edible pulp.

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Happy Hippies!

Happy Hippies!

We have been growing this exotic-looking bulb for three years. Hippeastrum is also known as Amaryllis. We started with one and now we have approximately 10 bulbs in five clumps. It comes from the tropical forests of Brazil and grows easily in a frost-free climate.

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In the Vegetable Patch: It’s time to plant tomatoes

In the Vegetable Patch: It’s time to plant tomatoes

The structures are built! The soil is powered up! The agricultural pipes are in place. Now the temperature is right to plant tomatoes.

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Know Your Grevilleas

Know Your Grevilleas

There are 365 species and 100 subspecies of grevillea, making grevillea the third largest genus in Australia. Many species attract birds into the garden as they produce huge quantities of nectar. 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.

 

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What To Do This Week

What To Do This Week

With the arrival of spring there is much to do in the garden. Plants are hungry! And in some areas the garden is dry and we need to keep the moisture level high for good root growth. Here is our weekly checklist.

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What to do this week

What to do this week

Get ready, spring will be here before we know it. It's time to feed flowering bulbs, replenish moisture and give the Crepe myrtle a prune. Get those ‘last chance’ winter jobs done this week before spring has sprung!

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Spring Inspiration

Spring Inspiration

A new range and an old favourite garden this spring will be just what we need. Mr Fothergills summer bulbs and Nooroo, Mt Wilson

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Spotlight: on Mistral Anemone

Spotlight: on Mistral Anemone

It’s a masterwork in plant breeding! Depth of colour and incredible vigour makes this anemone outstanding. Deep purple and bleeding into a blue centre with black stamens, its dramatic as a cut flower and no wonder the florists love it.

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The Magnolia

The Magnolia

In flower now with huge goblet-shaped blooms that burst from furry grey buds on bare branches. This is their charm; no leaves, just grey bubs and branches and glowing flowers. There are some incredibly beautiful hybrids available in your local nursery. Choose one now while they are flowering.

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What to do this week

What to do this week

Get ready, spring will be here before we know it. As we come to the end of winter here is a list of ‘last chance’ jobs:

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In the Vegie Patch: It’s time to feed strawberries.

In the Vegie Patch: It’s time to feed strawberries.

We are feeding our potted strawberries with Rocket Fuel (Neutrog) and watering with Harvest seaweed (Amgrow). Remember to water the soil, not the leaves, with a seaweed solution every two weeks.

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Fathers Day Swagman Pack

Fathers Day Swagman Pack

This week we have a great special to get your Dad his hands on a Swagman battery operated sprayer. It comes with Wet and Forget to get your house looking great this Spring.

 

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What to do this week:

What to do this week:

After heavy rain last week it’s timely to attend to our pots, check the drainage, make sure they are sitting on pot feet and draining freely. You can use a chopstick to open the potting mix and help with drainage.

 

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Early Flowery Spring

Early Flowery Spring

You might remember we planted spring flowering bulbs in pots around Mother’s Day; tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, ranunculus and anemones. The first of these tulips and hyacinths are flowering!

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Camellias in Pots

Camellias in Pots

Camellias make fine potted plants but you need to choose wide pots, not too deep, to accommodate their shallow root systems. Choose the varieties suited to pot culture with compact root systems. Bring them centre stage while they flower then tuck them away somewhere cool for the summer.

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In the Veggie Patch: It’s time to harvest cauliflower

In the Veggie Patch: It’s time to harvest cauliflower

Many vegetable gardeners believe that the date to start planting cool season crops is on the first day of winter. Big mistake.

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Star of the Season: The Sensation Lily

Star of the Season: The Sensation Lily

Lily bulbs are one of the most exciting bulbs to grow, with a scent, scale and drama hard to beat in the flower world. Lilies will look gorgeous for years.

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Star of the Season: the Aussie Wattle

Star of the Season: the Aussie Wattle

Do you know John Williamsons’ song … Cootamundra Wattle? “Hey it’s July and the winter sun is shining. And the Cootamundra wattle is my friend”. Worth looking up on YouTube; one of his best songs. We call him the ‘Living Lawson’. There are many beautiful forms of wattle, but this one, Acacia baileyana ‘Goldilocks’ is well worth growing.


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What to do this week: knock-out those weeds

What to do this week: knock-out those weeds

It’s timely to attend to our lawns at this time as winter weeds can weaken growth and should be controlled before they set seed. Here are Graham’s tips for a great lawn, all about control of lawn weeds.


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What to do this week: Prune climbing roses

What to do this week: Prune climbing roses

Every suburban paling fence should be swaddled with a rose! Our fence at The Garden Clinic HQ is adorned with Crepescule, a glorious old rambling rose from 1904. It can be trained against a trellis or as we have done, along wires attached to the fence. Some people are intimidated by climbing roses, uncertain of how to prune them. It’s not difficult; all you need is a sharp pair of secateurs and long leather gloves to protect your arms.

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What to do this week: Plant ‘Crown Vegetables’

What to do this week: Plant ‘Crown Vegetables’

Asparagus and rhubarb are two long-lived plants you can grow from crowns planted in winter. The crown is a section of the plant with roots attached. Crowns are more expensive than seed but offer a shorter wait till harvest.Both these plants do best with an entire garden bed to themselves

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The Brilliant Banksia

The Brilliant Banksia

Do you remember the Big Bad Banksia Man from the pen of May Gibbs in her famous classic, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie? May had a soft spot for banksias and so do we. Their golden candles are a beacon for bees and a haven for birds. Grow it as a dense shrub to provide safe haven for little birds such as the blue wren.

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In the Vegie Patch: Sow tomato, eggplant and capsicum seeds indoors

In the Vegie Patch: Sow tomato, eggplant and capsicum seeds indoors

Last week we sowed five seeds of an oxheart tomato (Cuore Di Bue Rugantino) in small pots in a mini greenhouse sitting on a heat pad in our laundry.

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In the Vegie Patch: Time to sow tomatoes

In the Vegie Patch: Time to sow tomatoes

July is a good time to sow tomatoes. It takes 6 to 8 weeks for seeds to germinate and seedlings to grow big and strong enough to be planted out in the vegetable garden.

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A Camellia Update

A Camellia Update

This week all the delectable varieties of Camellia reticulata are coming into flower. Flowers are massive; some as large as dinner plates, up to 25cm across. Flowers have a ruffle of petals, and come in rich reds, deep pinks and crimson. These beauties flower later and longer than other camellias, blooming between early May and late September. Most varieties bloom for two months.

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