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Guardians of the garden Grow pumpkin Meet the basil family





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flow Summer




like us!

Issue 83


Guardians of the garden p4

Summer celebrations 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.

About the Garden Magazine is proudly produced from sustainable resources.

Gardens during the summertime can be far busier with life than any international airport on a good day. Along with the pretty and wellknown species that we recognise buzzing about pollinating plant to plant, they are mirrored by those that wish to prey on our prized plants and flowers during the warmer months of the year. Yet despite all of this, we have our own natural defence force at our disposal that we can support to help our gardens reach their fullest potential. The beneficial predatory army! Identifying and understanding those natural insect predators that lurk within our backyards isn’t all that difficult. Accepting them and being aware that they are part of your backyard border patrol is the first step to strengthening our defences without the need for harmful chemical sprays while raising biodiversity and upholding a healthy gardening environment for all. Here are just a few to look for in your garden this summer gardening season.

Golden Orb Spider

Noel Burdette




Female Golden orb weaver with prey

Green jumping spider

Lynx spider with prey

White flower spider draws the attention of small flying insects

Ladybird on tweedia flowers

Ladybird eating aphids Although unnerving to many, spiders play an important role in our gardens. There are several thousand different species to be found around the world with many that require to be treated with full respect due to their venomous nature, but there are also many more that play a silent role in our gardens to help control many common pests. All spiders are solitary by nature and only come together for breeding purposes and even then, the male of most species are regarded by the females as a dinner option after the act! The common lynx spider (Oxyopes quadifasciatus) is a small harmless species that travels across many smaller shrubs and waits in ambush to catch its prey. They stay close to the flowering of many plants in the hopes of catching a passing bee, small butterfly, ants or small caterpillars. The green jumping spider (Mopsus mormon) can always be found during the heat of summer on low growing plants, in cars, steps and walls. This tiny spider slowly sneaks up on its prey and can jump from plant to plant in search of prey such as small flies, ants, mealy bugs and many other small crawling insects. One of the larger spider species to frequent our backyards is the golden orb weaver (Nephila plumipes). Females are often ten times larger than the tiny males and are a little intimidating to observe, yet couldn’t be less interested in humans. They make strong, golden silken webs (sometimes) in the most inconvenient of places such as across pathways, doorways or under archways. Orb weaver spiders are simply one of the very best spiders for keeping pesky mosquito and fly populations under control as they can catch many thousands in their lifetime. A truly intimidating household spider is the Huntsman spider (Heteropoda jugulans). They are a nocturnal predator and are often discovered within homes where they have chased their prey such as cockroaches, silverfish or other small spiders.

Note: Although the spiders mentioned are regarded as harmless and non-venomous to humans, it is strongly suggested that handling of any spider should be avoided.

Ladybirds love tansy flowers

7 Ichneumon wasp

chicory owers


Mention the word wasp to many, and their instinct is to back away. But not all wasps behave with evil intent; in fact a vast majority of garden wasp species are amazing natural predators and are amongst the most fascinating of insect species in your backyard. All predatory wasps hunt tirelessly for their prey on many different plant species for the widest assortment of prey. The tiny banded Ichneumon wasp can be found most commonly hunting on citrus species in search of citrus leaf miner. They primarily search for caterpillars and if successful, will sting and paralyse them after which it will lay an egg within the tiny bodies of the unsuspecting prey (which by the way survive). This tiny egg hatches into a small pupae while its host is still alive and feeds on the host from the inside out. Sounds

gruesome I admit, but it does make you wonder if some of the most successful of Science fiction movies of all time were inspired by the trials of nature! Other wasp species such as potter wasps (that make their nests from mud), also hunt for prey such as grubs, small spiders and caterpillars on plants and when found will parasitise them, then proceed to bring them back to their mud nest where they will feed them to their growing larvae. Adult predatory wasps do not eat their prey, they actually feed off nectar from flowers such as sunflowers, daisies, lavender, feverfew, basil and chicory (amongst many others), yet their pupae are carnivorous and like all growing youngsters, have a never ending appetite!

Night time is the perfect time for one of our more intriguing natural predators, the Lacewing. Lacewing eggs

These nocturnal insects search for unsuspecting prey such as small grubs, aphids and mealy bugs (amongst others) during the night. This is most distinguished by their large eyes which allow them excellent night vision. During the early morning and throughout the day they can be encountered resting underneath densely foliaged plants such as hibiscus, plectranthus or coleus. Although they have large wings, they are weak flyers and can only manage to fly a few metres before requiring rest. They in turn are easily predated by small birds and reptiles if they move around too often during the day. Their young larvae however are wonderful daytime predators feasting on most small insects that plague roses and vegetables. They have the amazing ability of disguising themselves with plant debris which they attach on their backs on small spines. During the summer, the adults are highly attracted to the lights in our homes.

Grandstand ‘Red Pink Lipstick’


Grandstand ‘Red’ Grandstand ‘Purple’


ning outlets. These new forms of Look out for these new colours available in garde owers making them ideal for garden salvias are covered with compact and upright fl Masses of flowers continuously bloom sun. full beds, containers and mixed plantings in spread. 35cm x H 45cm er. summ from spring through to late

BubblegumTM Fuch sia

Evolvulus Blue My Mind

It is hard to find a great plant with lots of bright blue flowers. Here we have an improved version of Evolvulus, dwarf and spreading in its habit, flowers its head off. Size: 30cm spread x 30cm H. Position: This plant makes a statement in frost free gardens.

Care: Keep soil moist with good drainage. Any well prepared garden in sun to semi-shade will be suitable. Liquid feed every two weeks with Searles Flourish Soluble Plant Food to keep the plant flowering.



9 9

you can have e gum tree n’t have a Now this is th when you ca rd ya ck a b in your ltivars are a se hybrid cu e Th . e tre gum mbia en the Cory nd cross betwe bia ficifolia a m ry o C nd a a rp a ptycoch ‘Summer around 5m. only grow to rry pink and e b w lovely stra Beauty’ is a th produce d’ is cerise. Bo ing spring ‘Summer Re l displays dur ra flo r ve la cu a spect e flowers ha r and after th e e m rg m la su l a ic nd p a ty produce the ture finished they rown as fea g e b n ca se e Th . ts ill nu w gum re they garden whe trees in the very nectar e y b njoyed y species. The always be e ell as insect w s a n. ird io b sit loving shade po sun to light enjoy a full

Lemon myrtle is one of the most valuable, versatile and loved bush tucker plants in Australia. A native to South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales dry rainforest edges, the lemon myrtle will grow happily and easily in full sun or part shade. During summer, this large shrub or small tree is adorned with fluffy, cream-coloured flowers that emit an irresistibly delicious, lemony fragrance. Growing to around 6m in full sun and 15m in the rainforest, this attractive tree can be easily grown in a large pot. Protect it from frosts.

These Eremophilas are beautiful native groundcovers that will add some interest to your garden. Producing colourful bird-attracting flowers during spring and summer, they are sure to brighten up any dull spot. They require little maintenance once they are established, and tolerate most soil types as long as it is well-drained. Pop them in full sun, either in the landscape or in a container. They would look amazing softly spilling over a pot.

10 8 Image & information courtesy of Plants Management Australia

Nandina ‘Lemon and Lime’ has a compact, evergreen form and tight habit. With stunning lime green foliage and an explosion of lemon tones year round, this Nandina is extremely versatile and tolerant of frosty conditions and full sun planting. 90cm H.


‘Ascot Rainb

‘Silver Swan’ The Euphorbia Collection continues to impress novice to the most experienced gardeners across Australia thanks to their hardy, versatile nature. Growing in most soil types, this collection can withstand extremely hot and cold temperatures thanks to its incredibly hardy nature. Offering a range of stunning foliage colours, as well as being incredibly low maintenance, they are dry tolerant and suited to garden and container planting. Try ‘Silver Swan’ for light colour contrasts, ‘Blackbird’ for instant dark impact, ‘Redwing’ for unusual pink new growth and ‘Ascot Rainbow’ for its fantastic multi-coloured foliage. Image & information courtesy of Plants Management Australia

A stunning small and compact evergreen shrub for a modest garden, low hedge or container. Spires of stunning flowers in tones of pink fading to white are held above glossy green foliage. The peak period of flowering is throughout the summer months but spot flowering can also be seen well into autumn. An easy care, low maintenance and tough plant for many applications. Plant in full sun to part shade. Keep moist during extended dry periods and whilst flowering, fertilise with Searles Flourish Soluble Plant Food. 1m spread in gardens. Image & information courtesy of Plants Management Australia

11 These creamy white, deliciously fragrant flowers are ever-popular appearing freely both in mid spring and autumn. Many new forms are available including double, semi-double, single, golden-flowered and ground cover varieties, all of which carry that alluring fragrance that beckons admirers. All gardenias are acid-loving plants, requiring a soil pH of around 6 to 5.5. Plant in a mix specifically designed for gardenias. Gardenias are susceptible to mineral deficiencies. Searles Flourish Azalea, Camellia & Gardenia Soluble Plant Food applied every fortnight will usually prevent such problems and maintain general vigour.

This lilly pilly is an outstanding cultivar for backyards, producing the most stunning pa le pink powder puff flo wers throughout sprin g and summer. It has a lovely weeping ha bit with red and pink colou red new growth. It wi ll grow to around 3m hig h and 2m wide. It ca n be used as a scree n, hedge, or specim en plant and will happily grow in pots as well. They flourish in a ful l to semi-shade positi on and in soil that is humus rich with go od drainage. They will like a reasonable amount of water to look the ir best especially durin g times of drought. The flowers are attractive to bees and birds. Toler ant of light frosts and is psyllid resistant.

classic white & fragrant s ‘Florida’ grow sun. ll fu in 1m tall

‘My Love’


If you don’t have comfortable and interesting outdoor entertaining furniture, borrow a few of your favourite indoor pieces and bring them outdoors, just for the day.

Summer is a time when many of us take advantage of the longer day light hours, summer holiday season, sunny days and overdue catch ups with friends and family who you have promised to see all year. Check out these great tips to get your outdoor entertaining area looking its best. Many of these tips can be completed with a minimum of fuss. Lets get started...


Remove unwanted items

Easy way to simplify backyard and patio areas, create extra space and look instantly cleaner is to remove unwanted and unused items. Be strong! If you don’t use it, give it away to someone who will. Send it to a recycling depot or post on social media as a giveaway. Simplifying your area will prompt a re-think of your reclaimed space.

Prune, edge and mow

Now the clutter has been cleared, you can see what gardening jobs need to be done. Mow lawns with a catcher so you don’t have lawn clipping killing the grass. Clean up garden lawn edges a few days before friends and family arrive. This will give the lawn time to bounce back after a shearing. Remove dead branches and plants. It is better to see a gap in the garden bed than a dead plant. Deadhead spent flower heads to encourage more flowers to bloom. Liquid fertilise every two weeks to keep flowers blooming and promote more lush foliage.


One very easy way to hide garden beds’ soil unevenness and make plants pop out of the garden is to mulch. Not only does it protect soil and plant roots from the summer sun it will eventually decay and provide the soil with extra nutrients for the following year. Searles Premium Garden Mulch is an attractive dark mulch that also feeds and rewets soils for many months beyond. Other attractive mulches, such as, sugar cane and cypress mulch are quick to apply. Pebbles can be used, but they don’t break down and can absorb heat. Pebbles are effective in smaller areas around patio edging and in areas to create visual effect.

Garden paths

Spend some time to pressure clean garden paths, robust outdoor furniture and house walls. If you don’t feel that energetic, call in a professional. You will be surprised how bright and new old pathways can look after a good clean. If you are repainting pathways, use a non slip paint. There are also decorative pathway pattern stencils available from hardware stores to create texture along your pathway and add a fresh accent to the surrounding gardens.

Revamp garden furniture

Give wooden timber chairs and tables a quick sand back and restain to restore them to their former youth. Pressure clean or soak and brush outdoor furniture fabrics to remove mould and presents the birds have left for you.

Invite the feathered guests

An easy way to add a feature area and encourage the wildlife is to install a bird feeder, bird bath or nesting box where it is easily accessible to birds but safe from prey.

Table top colour

Liven up patio tables with a pot of colour. Visit your local gardening outlet for ideas on ideal plants to use for smaller spaces and table top presentations. Before friends drop by, decorate the table with cuttings from your garden. Be creative, even branches be can made into a tabletop feature.

Your front entrance gives a first and las ting impression. Make front of house areas inviting for yo ur guests. Remove any over grown vin e or tree branches aw ay from pathways. Relocate dirty boots and shoes from the front door before guests arrive. Add so me potted colour or a pair of matching pots with stunning feature plants to fra me the front door. Replace the old door mat.





400g cubed pumpkin Red onion Packet of baby spinach 1/2 cup walnuts Persian feta 200g baby beets, quartered Dressing 2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar 1 tsp honey 1 tbsp olive oil

Place pumpkin cubes and sliced red onion on a baking tray. Lightly coat with olive oil and roast in the oven until pumpkin is cooked. Set aside to cool. To assemble: Place baby spinach on a plate. Top with roasted pumpkin and red onion. Lightly toss. Add walnuts, feta and beetroot. Mix balsamic vinegar, honey and olive oil in a separate bowl. Drizzle over salad to taste.

Serves: 4 For more tasty recipes from the garden, visit

A quick and robust salad to served with BBQ and roasted meats.

17 Lemon (Ocimum citriodorum) or Lime basil

Lemon basil gives a great citrus zing to salads and stir fries. (annual)

Boxwood Basil

Thai basil (Ocimum basilicum ssp.)

Plant the beautiful and delicious Thai basil year-round in frost-free zones. Its distinct ‘licorice’ flavour is delicious in Asian and Middle Eastern-style dishes. Unlike other basil, its flavour is not sensitive to cooking times. (annual)

Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Sweet basil is most commonly seen in supermakets and available in seedlings at gardening outlets. Water frequently and harvest leaves regularly for best results. Unlike most herbs, basil’s flavour intensifies with cooking. ((annual)

Perennial Basil

Boxwood basil (Ocimum basilicum)

This small fragrant basil bears resemblance to boxwood with its tiny leaves and compact habit. Ideal for smaller pots, ground covers or a very small border hedge. Regularly harvest leaves and pick out flower buds to maintain optimum bushy habit. (annual)

Holy basil, Tulsi or sacred basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum)

Holy basil is one of the most powerful in medicinal properties, most commonly used in Asian religious ceremonies and enjoyed as a herbal tea for its clove, spicy and peppery flavour. Holy Basil will grow to a height of a metre and produce green and red leaves along with delicate purple flower bracts from mid summer on. Fits nicely in cottage style gardens. (perennial)

Purple Basil - ‘Dark Opal’ or ‘Purple Ruffles’

Deep purple leaves gives this basil variety a point of difference in a warm sunny garden or patio pot. Used for Asian and Italian salads for its clove-like, slightly spicy flavour.

Greek Basil (Ocimum obovatum)

Miniature leafed basil with more sweetness than the commonly larger sweet basil variety. Can be trained into a topiary. (perennial)

Thai Basil

Perennial Basil (Ocimum gratissimum)

As the names suggests this basil is a perennial lasting longer than other basils, tolerating mild winters. It has smaller leaves than sweet basil, tall purple flower and with a clove like smell. (perennial)

pictured: sweet basil & purple basil


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A decorative centrepiece for any coffee table or special entertaining table is essential. Creative inspiration can be found from items in your garden branches, unusual foliage, rocks, cut timber...

SunPatiens ‘White’


Spanish moss or Old mans beard

and is one of the easiest plants to grow meliad decorate with. It is part of the Bro ans it family and is an epiphyte which me h its leaves absorbs its food and water throug ing from rainfall and nutrients from fall pot plants debris. Use in vertical gardens, in leaves or drape over tree branches. Mist r. during long period of dry hot weathe 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.

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


One of our avid readers has shared with us her creative table top creation. Daw n has planted a small dracaena in one cup and small dieffenbachia in the other. Calandiva in the teapot.

is unique. Reject products said to be "just as good", nothing is at all "like it".




Subtropical Temperate

Cairns Broome

Cool Mediterranean Arid

Townsville Whitsundays



Mt. Isa Longreach

Alice Springs Carnarvon

Hervey Bay


Gympie Roma Toowoomba Warwick

Coober Pedy Kalgoorlie

S.A. Port Augusta

Perth Esperance




Adelaide Victor Harbour



Bunbury Albany

Rockhampton Gladstone


W.A. Geraldton

Regional Garden Diary


Sunshine Coast


Gold Coast

Grafton Port Macquarie Newcastle


Canberra Wodonga


Mt Gambier




The Queensland fruit fly is common in the warmer times of year. After mating, the female lays her eggs under the skin of the fruit. When the maggot-like larvae hatch, they burrow deeper into the fruit causing it to rot. Searles Fruit Fly Trap is an effective reusable trap to monitor and control fruit fly activity around vegetables, particularly tomatoes, and around citrus trees. It contains a wick that attracts male fruit flies, traps and kills them, stopping the breeding cycle.

Over the summer wet months, watch out for fungal diseases, such as blackspot, on roses and ornamentals. Liquid fertilise with SeaMax Fish & Kelp to ward off disease and heat stress. If infestation of blackspot, aphids or powdery mildew appear, spray with Searles Rose Pro.

Follow our regular conversation on... For more information on garden hint & tips and what’s on visit


Harvest summer fruit like avocadoes, mangoes, pawpaw, passionfruit and custard apples. Fertilise with Searles Fruit & Citrus Plant Food to encourage juicier and more abundant fruit. Lookout for fungal diseases on fruit and spray infestations with Searles Copper Oxychloride.

Diamonds in the DarkÂŽ are a revolutionary new range of Lagerstroemias (Crepe Myrtle) featuring flawless near-black foliage that emerges in early spring, followed by masses of vivid blooms from summer until first frost. The range grows to 3m x 2.5m in height and width. Their compact growth habit makes attractive flowering hedges or beautiful trees to line your driveway or fence, they can even be grown in large decorative pots. Diamonds in the Dark are deciduous plants and will generally lose their foliage between late autumn and mid winter, stunning new growth will re appear in spring. Pure White

Mystic Magenta

see full range


Harvest cucumber young to maximise taste and bring on more.


Visit us online for what to

grow now, harvest now & bake now.

The Scaevola flowers throughout spring and summer and come in a range of colours. This perennial fast growing ground cover generally grows anywhere from 1-2m. This garden gem can be used in rockery situations, where ground cover is needed, in pots and their cascading habit make them ideal as hanging baskets plants as well.

Scaevola aemula

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Hervey Bay


Gympie Roma Toowoomba Warwick

Coober Pedy

Geraldton Kalgoorlie

S.A. Port Augusta

Perth Esperance

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Adelaide Victor Harbour



Bunbury Albany

Rockhampton Gladstone




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Summer 17/18

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About the garden summer edition 2017  

Great gardening advice for summer gardening in Australia. Packed with information on new release plants, easy care plants, growing pumpkin,...

About the garden summer edition 2017  

Great gardening advice for summer gardening in Australia. Packed with information on new release plants, easy care plants, growing pumpkin,...