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Air Plants New Release Roses Raised Garden Benefits




Issue 81



Air Plants p6

New Roses p12 The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next. Amen. Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths. Proverbs 3, 5-6

Con Searle

Oh, glorious Apostle, St Jude Thaddeus, We salute you through the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Thou who didst gloriously suffer martyrdom for the love of your Divine Master, We beseech you, obtain for me the grace to remain always faithful to our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Managing Director: Conway Searle Contributors: Noel Burdette & Ashley Searle. Magazine Manager: Alana Searle Design & Layout: Alana Searle ATG Group Co-ordinator & Advertising: Jason Searle About the Garden is published seasonally by About the Garden Pty. Ltd. ABN 21 076 919 992 • 4914 D’Aguilar Highway, Kilcoy or P.O. Box 70, Kilcoy Qld. 4515 Phone: (07) 5422 3090 • Fax: (07) 5497 2287 Email: The material appearing in About the Garden is subject to copyright. Other than as permitted by the Copyright Act, no part of this magazine may be reproduced without the permission of the publishers. No responsibility is accepted by About the Garden Pty. Ltd. for the accuracy of information contained in the text, illustrations or advertisements. Although believed to be accurately and correctly sourced, thereof disclaims any liability against itself, editor/s or employees arising from any person acting on the material herein. The opinions expressed in the magazine, or by contributors, do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher. ©Copyright 2017 About the Garden Pty. Ltd.

The About the Garden Magazine is proudly produced from sustainable resources.

Sprinkle &


Renews the nutrients in the soil for gardens and pot plants. Feeds and rewets for 6 months.



le Con Sear

As gardeners, most of us are fully accustomed to growing plants in containers or directly in the ground, but for some who lack the generosity of garden space, growing plants can often be a struggle with space restrictions, difficult corners to tackle or an overabundance of tree cover to block out sunlight. Well what may seem like obstacles should possibly be viewed as wonderful opportunities to embrace a special group of plants that are highly adapted to take full advantage of these situations, the epiphytes.

Noel Burdette


Epiphytic plants are scattered around the globe from wet tropical regions to dry arid zones and have managed to colonise natural spaces where many other plant species can often struggle to get a foothold. Where most plants form roots to take up nutrition and moisture from the soil, the roots systems of epiphytes are specially developed to also hold them firmly in place in the bows or trunks of trees, on fallen logs, and in some cases, directly on the hard surfaces of rocks and other debris. They have developed specialized tactics in which to extract moisture and nutrition sources unlike most other plants and this provides them with a clear advantage when faced with extreme weather conditions.

Here are a few easy to grow species that you may like to enjoy in your garden.

7 Spot the difference! Elkhorn ferns grow in thick colonies that form the look of one enormous (rounded) plant with multiple smaller fronds in all directions, while the Staghorn has upward facing fronds that form a “shield” and two main fertile fronds hanging vertically downwards.

Staghorn & elks

Another fern species most will be familiar with are the Staghorn Fern (Platycerium grande) and the Elkhorn fern (Platycerium bifurcatum). Again both are native to Australia and have been well embraced by gardeners around the country. Unlike the birds nest ferns, these species grow directly on the trunks of trees and palms as long as they can get a firm footing. It takes time for these epiphytic fern species to become fully secure in their natural positions so when purchased from garden centres, they are often found already mounted on a backing board to make this easier. They naturally live off decaying organic matter that has landed within their backing shields yet the Platyceriums enjoy a small boost of potassium in their diet. This can easily be achieved by placing a banana skin down the back of the shield once every six months.

How to mount ferns, visit


When you mention the word Bromeliad to most people, they often imagine them massed planted under trees as a terrestrial planting option or in designer pots on the balcony or veranda, yet most are naturally epiphytic by nature and can be found scaling large trees in attractive colonies made up of many hundreds of plants . Many of the smaller, clumping varieties such as the Neoregelia species are extremely adapted to growing in this way and can be easily attached to the trunks of a tree or even to the sides of sturdy hanging baskets for extra effect. Most multiply quickly and develop attractive bright colours and markings depending on the time of year. The root systems of these bromeliads are relatively tiny, yet are incredibly strong as the plants gradually ‘march’ their way up a tree trunk. Watering isn’t a major issue as by ensuring that moisture is kept within the centre of each bromeliad it can be easily sustained.


Many of our much-loved orchids such as Cattleya, Vanda and Oncidium species that are commonly purchased in pots make excellent options to be used alongside many other epiphytic plants. In fact most naturally grow in soilless environments where their fleshy roots adhere tightly to the trunks and bows of trees or are lightly covered in fallen organic debris from which they obtain a regular supply of nutrition. Orchids come from all parts of the world and can often be best enjoyed when encouraged to grow in their natural environment for best effect. Most native species orchids, such as the many dendrobium species, will eagerly climb their way along branches while forms, such as the Oncidium (Dancing Ladies), will form large healthy clumps that flower at the end of spring each year with an eruption of weeping spikes in bright yellow, orange and red flowers. They can be divided every few years for easy propagation and placed in other parts of the garden or potted up and given away as gifts. Orchids can easily be used in open hanging basket situations when planted into a specialty orchid mix and hung directly from tree limbs or balconies and verandas for an extra beautiful feature for everyone to enjoy. In their native tropical environments, minute particles of debris act as fertiliser, yet in a garden environment, the addition of a small amount of liquid or slow release fertiliser every three or four months will provide enough nutrition throughout the year. Most orchids prefer a protected site with bright light, yet Oncidium orchids also have the ability to grow and flower well in full sun.



Pretty little waxy pink and white shaded flowers show off from July onwards and throughout spring. Red and purple flowering varieties are also available along with more compact varieties. Originating from Western Australia, this Australian native grows well in coastal and dry areas in well drained sandy or gravel like soils. If planting in pots or in gardens, use a specifically designed low phosphorus mix like Searles Native Plants Specialty Mix.



Perfect winter colour. Pansies & Violas love cool weather and generally can be planted from March to July. In cooler areas, pansies can also be planted at the end of winter and will flower into spring and early summer. For good flowering, they need a sunny position but in warm climates they usually prefer some protection from the hot afternoon sun. In such cases, ensure they have sun for at least half the day. They can get spindly and won’t flower well in full shade. Pansies & Violas need good nutrition to support their profuse flowering habit, so feed them fortnightly with Searles FlourishŽ Soluble Plant Food.




3 4 Bambinos® are without doubt the best container 2 3 Bougainvilleas on the market, there are selections for any application most of them flowering non-stop. As garden plants the displays are flamboyant and unbeatable. They can be grown as trimmed garden shrubs, as hedges 4 and standards through pruning to establish the height you need, as pergola plants, 1 espaliers and ground cover in larger areas where foot traffic needs control. Bambino® have few pests and diseases. All Bougainvilleas are heavy feeders, Bambinos® are the same. Feed with Searles Hibiscus & Bougainvillea Food for better flower displays.


Images supplied by Treloar Roses’.


Gardens just would not be com plete without the magnificen t scented rose flowers and win ter is the best time to plant rose s for great spring growth. POSITION - Roses love a full sun position and like room aro und them so they don’t become overcrowded. SOIL PREP - Now the real trick for roses is in the soil preparatio n. Roses love a rich organic soil, full of fertiliser. For best results dig a hole and fill with Searles Frui t, Citrus & Rose Mix. Plant you r roses straight into this planting mix . This mix will fertilise plants for 4 months. Ideal for roses in pot s too. FERTILISING - For future fertilisin g use a liquid fertiliser which promotes strong growth and helps protect roses from fung al diseases. SeaMax Fish & Kelp does both.


Unused sloping backyards, reduced mobility and better control over soil structure are some of the many benefits to installing raised garden beds. The answers to the following questions exemplify why raised beds can be a really good idea. Why can’t I grow anything in my soil?

Unless you are blessed with an abundance of deep, rich, volcanic soil in your backyard, you will probably need to improve it to make it fertile. Whether your soil is composed of sand or clay, both will need bulking up with the addition of compost and manure to enable your plants to grow well. By concentrating your efforts on improving the soil contained within raised beds, it’s possible to give your plants the very best they deserve without breaking your back.

How can I make my garden easier to tend?

Gardeners with limited mobility find bending down to plant, weed, mulch, prune, pick and harvest a physical impossibility. By making a raised bed it is possible to design the work level to be at a comfortable height for the gardener. When calculating the ultimate height of a raised bed, take into consideration the height of the plants you will be growing in it.

Prefab corrugated raised bed kits are easy to assemble.

The shape of the bed is an important consideration, too. Gardens at wheelchair height should be circular or oval to enable smooth access to each part of the bed. Arthritic or rheumatoid gardeners may benefit from beds built onto platforms so they can work at waist height. In either case, the bed should be designed so that each section is accessible to the gardener.

How can I make the most of my small back yard?

Sloping yards can be turned into useable, structured and productive areas by terracing of raised beds. Raised beds give the gardener the option of planting on different levels. Install climbers or taller shrubs at the back of the raised bed to make the most of the vertical space. In the centre of the raised bed medium-sized annuals, perennials or small flowering shrubs will provide year-round colour in the horizontal space that this section affords. At the front of the bed, groundcovers can be allowed to spill over the edge in a colourful cascade, again taking advantage of vertical space. If you make the structural edge of the bed wide enough, it can also be used as informal seating, while niches in the wall can be designed to accommodate a barbecue or garden seat.

What can I grow in a raised bed?

Raised beds are ideal for annual and perennial plants which require a high level of maintenance. All herbs and vegetables, all annual flowers, many perennial flowers, fruits such as strawberries, small fruit trees and shrubs flourish in an average-size bed. Raised beds created on a large scale can accommodate just about anything, and are especially good for native plants that require excellent drainage. Modern potagers, which contain a mixture of edible and ornamental herbs and vegetables, lend themselves perfectly to cultivation in raised beds.

What do I build it with?

The limit is only endless by your imagination. Thick timber structures and perfab galvanised beds are popular. Stone walls add a touch of class. Ironised copper panelling is on trend now.




Cauliflowers are best planted in autumn and early winter to enable the flowering heads or curds to ripen in cold weather. Plant them in a full sun position with good drainage and deep, rich soil to accommodate their extensive roots. Growing them in a raised bed is ideal. They should be protected from frost, so avoid planting them in low-lying areas. Cauliflowers dislike acid soil, so if yours is sourer than 6.5, dig in lime at least two weeks before planting. They require liberal quantities of fertiliser to produce the large, edible head so dig in some 5IN1® Organic Plant Food. Seedlings should be thinned or transplanted to allow for plenty of space between each plant.


Cauliflowers need a steady supply of food and water to develop good heads. Keep weeds at bay and fertilise fortnightly throughout their growing period with Searles Flourish® and/or SeaMax® Fish & Kelp. As the head grows, wrap the large outer leaves around it to protect it from sun and prevent it from becoming discoloured. Cauliflower heads also dislike being wet, so irrigation with a dripper rather than a mister system is recommended. A good soak once a week is preferable to daily sprinklings. If heavy frosts have been forecast, protect the head with hessian at night, but remove this during the day to allow air to circulate.

Pests & Diseases

Cabbage white caterpillars are the main problem with cauliflowers, and should be removed by hand or dusted with derris if necessary. Aphid infestations can build up in warmer weather and should be sprayed on contact with Searles Bug Beater.


Cauliflower heads are ready to be picked when it is firm and tight and large enough to fill one’s hand. Dig up the whole plant and discard the stem, roots and outer leaves.


Ingredients 4 rashers of bacon, finely chopped

6 cups of cauliflower florets 4 whole cloves garlic 200g sour cream

salt & pepper to taste handful chives, finely chopped 1/2

cup grated cheddar cheese

Cook bacon and garlic in a small pan until bacon is crispy, set aside to drain on a paper towel. Steam or boil cauliflower until florets are super soft to make a creamy consistency. In a blender, purée cauliflower, cooked garlic cloves, half of the chives, sour cream, salt and pepper until creamy. Spoon into individual oven proof bowls, top with cheese and bacon. Grill in oven until cheese is melted. This recipe can be made as a whole in a casserole dish.

For more tasty recipes from the garden, visit

Sprinkle remaining chives on top and serve hot. Great with BBQ steak or as a snack on its own.


Salvia ‘Black & Bloom’

W FLOWERING NO y to grow Grevilleas are ver y eas and are ideal in a dry “water wise” garden. Most of them flower from Winter to Spring but some will give you blooms all year round. All Grevilleas love full sun and dry feet. Grevilleas like a soil low in phosphorus, so plant them in Searles Native Plant Mix.

citrus harvest

Now is the time to harvest the fruits of your labour. It is also a great time to drop into a garden centre to select citrus trees for planting. Planting them now will allow time for the roots to establish before its spring growth. Before planting dig some 5IN1® Organic Plant Food into the existing soil for a bumper crop next season.



Winter is a time when Bindii start to invade our home turf, causing much pain and frustration. Bindii set seed late winter to early spring, so spray your lawn now, with Searles Lawn Perfect, to avoid the painful prickles in spring.

Beetroots are easy to grow and are not fussy about what soil they grow in. Plant seed or seedlings in full sun or part shade, ideally in rich composted soil, and water once a week.


Year after year many gardeners are devastated by the damage Possums do to buds, flowers and new growth on their roses, shrubs, trees and herbs. However for over 30 years many rose growers, both amateurs and commercial and others ‘in the know’, have used and confirmed D-TER Animal & Bird Repellent’s real success. “I have used your D-TER for 6 months now – am thrilled at the results. It’s the only product to keep Possums off our roses on our 1.5 acres.” Marion C. Vic. “D-TER has made the difference between the joy of roses and the despair of seeing them stripped by Possums and Parrots … Thousands of visitors flock to see our garden and the roses in particular in October and November each year, I am so often asked if D-TER really works, I only need to point to the wondrous display of cascading roses as proof.” Heather C. NSW. “I have used D-TER for the past 3 –5 years and found it the only one to ‘deter’ the 10,000 (sic) possums on my quarter acre block.” Myra M. Vic. “We purchased your D-TER Animal & Bird Repellent last year to reduce the activity of possums on the roof of our home. The product has been very effective…..I wish to purchase a further 1Kg jar. Neil S. NSW

Importantly, D-TER is registered for use against all animals and birds, is extremely effective in repelling them, environmentally sound; very safe, not a poison, has no withholding period and does not harm humans or the creatures. For further information contact Lorac Australia Ph. 02 9589 0703

Protect herbs, vegetables, trees and shrubs from possums, kangaroos, wallabies, rabbits, hares, bandicoots, deer, foxes and other wildlife. Protect vegetables, fruit trees, ornamentals, seedlings and buildings from cockatoos, crows, ducks, pigeons, rosellas, starlings, swallows, other birds, fruit bats and microbats. Protects homes, gardens, patios, shop fronts and paved areas from both dogs and cats or rats and mice.

Protects one plant or a whole area — perimeter &/or band sprays. Repels — without harming animals or humans. Not considered a poison — no withholding period. Easy to use — spray on. Effective when dry. Safe, Proven and Effective. Available in 100g, 1Kg & 4Kg Sizes.

is unique. Reject products said to be "just as good", nothing is at all "like it". For more specific information send 2 x $1 stamps, Please mention your problem, post to:

D-TER, Dept. A, PO Box 3, Oyster Bay, NSW 2225. Enquiries: Phone: (02) 9589 0703 Fax: (02) 9589 0147






Subtropical Temperate

Cairns Broome

Cool Mediterranean Arid

Townsville Whitsundays



Mt. Isa Longreach

Alice Springs Carnarvon


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Gympie Roma Toowoomba Warwick


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Regional Garden Diary

Hervey Bay

QLD Coober Pedy


Rockhampton Gladstone





Canberra Wodonga





Images supplied by Treloar Roses.

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Grafton Port Macquarie Newcastle



22 Hellebore ‘Wintersunshine’

For elegant winter blooms try planting hellebores. These vigorous growers tolerate poor soil types and shady conditions. They display beautifully in gardens and pots around the patio and shady nooks. For best results, feed with Searles Flourish®. Image & information courtesy of Plants Management Australia


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2017 winter about the garden magazine  
2017 winter about the garden magazine  

Great gardening advice for winter gardening in Australia. Packed with information on new release roses to plant, epiphytic plants, the benef...