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Friday, October 30, 2009

It Was all about "Little Birds."

Stay tuned to 2RRR 88.5 FM

Saturdays 12noon-1pm for 1 hour of gardening talk about plants, local gardeners,environmental issues, about bushcare and about what's on in 2RRR listening community.

Today's episode of Sydney Garden Talk was about creating a habitat for birdlife in the garden with Executive Director of IEWF (International Environmental Weeds Foundation.) Bev Debrincat. For information  on the Habitat network, or IEWF,email Bev or ring 0419 206 253
To buy plants to attract small birds, contact Rob at Cornucopia in Gladesville Hospital grounds.
ring 9816 0344 M-F 9-3.30
You need prickly type plants like Acacia ulignosa and Hakea sericea or grevillea sericea to provide a safe haven from bigger more aggressive birds.
Things to do: over the next couple of weeks there are historic walks around Hunters Hill. Tells you all the walks available.
Vegetable Hero was Spinach. Grow Spinach Summer Beauty or Baby Leaf Spinach from seeds available from Yates.
Top roses for plant of the week:
Red Pierre, Altissimo (clg); Crepuscule, Papa Meilland,
Crepuscule climber 

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Festival of the Olive

The image on the right is my amazing African Violet in the special plastic pot for such plants.
TODAY'S PROGRAM 2RRR 88.5 FM Saturdays 12noon-1pm
After interviewing the head gardener, Dave Grey, of Historic Houses Trust, we headed of to Elizabeth Farm for some olive tasting. I've decided the olive growing in Sydney is frought with problems. Best to buy fresh from local produce markets, but if you want to give it a go, here's that recipe.
By the way, the oldest olive tree in Elixabeth farm is actually dead, but has resprouted. The 500 cuttings taken from the tree to try and preserve the genetic link only resulted in 2 surviving. One was planted at Elizabeth Farm, and the other at Vaucluse House in the kitchen garden.
The recipe for olives in Brine is
Make a slit in each olive or crack each one open carefully with a wooden mallet.
•Put the olives in a large bowl and cover with water.
•Change the water daily for two weeks to extract the bitterness and make the olives "sweet".
•After 14 days, drain the olives and place in a solution of brine made with 100g salt/1 litre water for every kilo of olives - leave for 2 days.
•Drain again and place in a solution of vinegar and water made with 1 part water to 4 parts vinegar for a further two days.
•Finally, drain the olives again and store them in olive oil and herbs of your choice OR a mix of 3 parts brine (made as above) to 1 part vinegar covered with a layer of oil
The other topic on the show was growing Bromeliads. Ken from the Bromeliad Society gives tips on how not to kill the plants. DON'T OVERWATER. The next Bromeliad show is not till April in 2010!
But they have monthly meetings, 2nd Tuesday of every month, so why not join?

Plant of the week is the rose. Next week is top 5 roses.

Rose Spray recipe:
3 tsps Bi-Carb Soda
2 Tablespoons horticultural oil.
4 and 1/2 litres of water.
Mix and spray fortnightly on roses to prevent black spot and powdery mildew.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Granny Smith Festival Day

Today's program  featured the CEO for Smart Approved Water Mark. Go to to use the water use calculator.Michael from Eden gardens gave some beaut descriptions of the 1st and 2nd place getters for the Ryde Spring garden competition. It seems judges are looking for a unified theme. Stuff your garden with as many plants as possible. Don't mix and match plants from tropical and cottage garden themes. Don't have any weeds, and manicure your plants to blazes.

The vegetable hero, was in fact the Granny Smith Apple. Needs winter chilling of 400 hours (below 7 deg. C) to grow successfully. This also applies to Pink Lady and Pinkerbelle apple trees. You also need two trees for pollination to occur.

My tip: leave the apple growing to Bilpin growers and buy your fruit from the organic markets.
Plant of the week:Grevilleas-any. (Pictured)
Put in the new hybrids Grevillea Lady O and the ground cover one G. Lemon Gem. Or stick to traditional good doers like G. Moonlight, G. Superb and G. Ned Kelly. Prune these larger grevilleas to keep them looking good in your garden.
Listen to 2RRR 88.5 FM on Saturdays 12noon-1pm. email your gardening question:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Saturdays On the Radio

Todays program (October 10th)was all about how to get involved with Enviroweek. Register by going to or
It's all happening today at Lane cove, Burns Bay road (october 11th) with their Village Fair.
Todays Plant of the week is Bauhinia variegata or Orchid tree. Great for small back yards as it only grows to 5 t0 6 metres and you can cut the flowers for a vase.
My Vegetable Hero is the chilli. 100 grams of Chilli provides you with a weeks worth of vitamin C! But if you're growing it, it needs a minium night temperature of 16 degrees C to set fruit.
Keep listening to Sydney Garden Talk on 2RRR 88.5 FM, Saturdays 12 noon- 1pm
Tomato Fungus fighter recipe:Mix fat-free milk with water in a 1:1 ratio and apply it using a spray bottle. Spray directly onto the clean leaves of your tomatoes. The solution coats the leaves and leads to the growth of an invisible fungus that frightens off black spot.