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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Historical Camellias

Sydney Garden Talk 88.5fm 2RRR Wed 5pm, Sat12 midday
Feature Interview: Jim Lykos from
the Sydney branch of the Camellia Research society. Jim talks about the project to re-introduce some of the 400 camellias that were lost from Camden Park, the historical home of William MacArthur of the 1800's.
Vegetable Heroes:Pisum Sativum or Peas from the Fabaceae family.Peapods are botanically a fruit, since they contain seeds developed from the ovary of a (pea) flower. However, peas are considered to be a vegetable in cooking. Peas belong to the Fabaceae family, which means they fix Nitrogen from the air into their roots. Sow the seeds directly into the soil 15mm to 20mm deep (1'' or knuckle deep) and 75mm to 100mm apart (3'' to 4''). Water in well and don't let them dry out.By watering Peas in the mornings will help to avoid mildew. Don’t overhead water late in the afternoon. If you do have mildew, try spraying with MILK mixed with a couple of drops of detergent.
Design Elements:designing small water gardens. Small water gardens are just a collection of submerged potted plants. If they don’t work for you, just lift them out and start again.
A half wine barrel, or terracotta pot of similar size, can house a small water garden
You can get glazed pots with no holes or plug one you’ve got with some cork and seal it with silicon to make absolutely sure. You will have to water proof your regular terracotta pot with with a sealer.
For the wine barrel, line it with a pond liner cut to size.When you place your pot or tub in it’s final position, make sure you use a level so that it sits right, otherwise you’ll have to tip all the water out and adjust it.
Some suggest that putting some sand underneath the pot gives it a flat even surface. Otherwise you can put your pot on your paved area.
Pumps are optional, but they are a good way to keep your pond clear instead of filling up with algal bloom. The drawback is you need a handy power point.
Combine marginal plants like a tall spiky planted like yellow flag iris (Iris pseudacorus) with broad leaves like Alocasia or Colocasia spp.
If you want to build a frog pond, you can pick up a kids paddling pool-those shell shaped ones that you might see on a throw out day, and sink that into the ground. Place a few large rocks around the edge and inside the pond so that the tadpoles when they are frogs can climb out.Plant some sedges and other marginal plants around the edges. Put in some floating duckweed and one or two dwarf lilies (otherwise it wont flower) as this type of pond is really shallow.
A note from your local council: Generally, there is no point in releasing frogs in a garden. They have a homing drive and are unlikely to stay.
Plant of the week: Magnolia soulangiana Common names for the Saucer Magnolia include Tulip tree and Japanese magnolia., their showy flowers are large and goblet shaped and may vary in color from light to deep pink. The size and shape of the flowers are what gave the Saucer Magnolia its common name. When fully opened into the "saucer" position the petals range from 5" to as much as 10" in diameter. The large flower buds are covered with pubescent scales. The flower itself is made of 6 tepals, mostly pure white inside. Each tree flowers for about 28 days.
Needs protection from hot dry winds and from frost. Water well in summer to avoid leaf burn.
Fertilise with a complete fertilizer when young otherwise it’s not necessary.
This tree is difficult to propagate from cuttings and doesn’t like being transplanted.
If you do prune a branch take the whole branch out rather than leave a stunted stump-because that’s how it will stay. Generally tends to have its own shape.
What's On: National Tree Day. Sunday 1st August

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