Your local gardening advice for Australian gardens
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2021 | ISSUE 97
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The Serenity Prayer
Winter 2021 At your local - In season plants - Flowers - Natives - New variety strawberry - Foliage - Treloar Roses
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Echeverias Bare-rooted planting Winter potted colour Bush tucker plants
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On the table - recipe Pork belly with Davidson’s plum sauce
About Autumn - Edibles - Flowers - Dirt Doctor - Climatic zones
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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
Let nothing disturb thee. Let nothing affright thee Who has God. Wants for nothing. All things pass God alone suffices. God never changes. (St Teresa of Jesus) Patience gains all.
Front cover image: Osteospermum ‘Purple Sun’
Managing Director: Conway Searle Contributors: Ashley Searle, Jillian Coomb. 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 Ph: (07) 5422 3090 firstname.lastname@example.org
Bush tucker p14
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 2021 About the Garden Pty. Ltd.
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RAPID RESPONSE TRIPLE ACTION +REWETTING GRANULES
RAPID RESPONSE TRIPLE ACTION +REWETTING GRANULES
see what’s new at your local gardening outlet
FULL SUN PART SHADE
Petchoa Supercals are a cross between a calibrachoa and a petunia. • Full round mounding habit • Brilliant early cool season and spring colour • Fantastic in containers, hanging baskets and huge impact in landscapes • Strong rain recovery • Non sticky foliage • 12 colours available
page 04 | About the garden magazine
30cmH 50cmW Images and wording supplied by ‘PMA’ www.pma.com.au
These designer ground covering daisies are a blissful colour addition for your garden. Perfect for planting as groups and along borders in the garden or in pots on your patio. Mix and match the colours from this collection or blend them with other plants; there are no rules, it’s up to you. As they only grow 15cm high and 30cm wide, you’ll have fun filling in the small pockets in your garden. They are comfortable growing in a cool to sub-tropical climate, in a range of moist well drained soils with full sun or partial shade. A light trim and a feed of native fertiliser, such as Searles Robust Native Controlled Release Fertiliser in Winter, will keep them ﬂourishing, and your garden in a state of constant bliss.
For lovers of the beautiful winter-ﬂowering Helleborus, ‘Molly’s White’, ‘Charmer’ & ‘Anna’s Red’ are three varieties set to impress gardeners this Winter. They are surprisingly tough and well-suited to Australian conditions with most of their growth and all their ﬂower display in the cool and moist conditions of winter. These new breeds are more compact and their stems upright making them better suited to pot displays, smaller gardens and recently winning favour with florists looking for authentic garden flowers with exceptional vase-life. They enjoy indoors, either as cut flowers in a vase or as potted plant for up to 3 weeks before spending time outdoors in a shady spot in the garden or patio. ‘Anna’s Red’ is an absolute stand out with red to burgundy flowers sitting proudly on tidy foliage. New breeds available are more compact and their stems upright making them better suited to pots and smaller gardens such as ‘Charmer’ and ‘Molly’s White’. These marble-leaved Hellebores produce masses of flowers which sit tall on the plant, making them quite the showpiece. Plant in Searles Platinum Potting Mix for continued feeding during the year. Keep soil moist but free draining and away from humidity. Tidy spent flowers to encourage new growth.
About the garden magazine | page 05
Grevillea ‘Winter Delight’
2.5m to 6m H
Grevillea ‘Winter Delight’ is as the name suggests, at its very best during the winter months. ‘Winter Delight’ is a low mounding shrub or ground cover, with soft grey foliage. You will be rewarded with a profusion of reddish pink and cream flowers from mid winter right through to early spring. This variety is a real show stopper when in full flower. Grevillea ‘Deua Gold’ has stunning rich golden yellow flowers on arching glossy green foliage, appearing at their heaviest from March to October. Loves full sun and extremely hardy, frost and heat tolerant. Great addition to native gardens, coastal plantings and dry areas. Grevillea ‘Fire Cracker’ explodes fiery coloured flowers from April to October. Compact, rounded habit. Small evergreen foliage soft to touch. They do best in full sun. This winter flowering native is ideal for small gardens and is a show stopper if planted around patios and verandahs.
Grevillea ‘Fire Cracker’ is a low growing ground cover. Grevillea ‘Deua Gold’ Images courtesy of Plants Management Australia www.pma.com.au
page 06 | About the garden magazine
A large shrub to small tree with bluish foliage, and much admired for the stunning flowers – is grown as a street tree, screening and feature plant. Plant in a sunny spot for best flowering. Budding starts in late summer, with pom pom flowers opening from late autumn through winter. It can be grown in part shade, but produces less flowers and sparse growth. Frost tolerant, but new growth can sustain some frost damage. Grows well in warm and cool temperate climates, Mediterranean and temperate coastal climates. Low maintenance plant.
A colourful winter perennial, related to the scaevola family, with a similar low growing habit. Ideal for potted colour and available in a wide variety of ﬂuorescent colours. In areas of high humidity treat as an annual.
Redlands Joy - Fruit is
Now gardeners in warmer climates with higher humidity across Australia can be confident in growing strawberries successfully with these newly bred varieties. These varieties are bred for their high sugar content, suitability to warmer climates (QLD environment), and most importantly the home garden performance. Designed to be picked and eaten within a day, they are super sweet and juicy, where supermarket varieties tend to have longer shelf life but may not be as sweet. A real game changer for the home gardener being able to grow a strawberry which is high yielding and develops sweet fruit.
Lowanna - A variety which forms a medium dense, highly
productive plant. Fruit is conical and glossy red in colour when fully ripe. Flesh is light red throughout and firm. In frost-free regions, Lowanna can produce fruit almost all year round.
large and one of the sweetest strawberries in Australia. Produces high yields throughout the season. Softer, more tender and a little lighter in colour than Californian varieties. Resists rain damage. Fruit are well displayed and easily harvested.
Ruby gem - A very popular variety in QLD. Fruit production commences very early, & continues throughout the season. Fruit is attractive, uniformly shaped, moderately dark red and glossy. Has some resistance to rain damage. Flesh is medium acidity and consistently sweet flavour. Sugar Baby - A mid-season variety. Fruit production
commences in early June. Fruit are exceptionally attractive red, glossy, conical, large to extra large sized (20g), firm and resilient, with resistance to rain damage. Flesh is bright red, of low acidity, and excellent sweet flavour. Fruit are well displayed, and easily harvested. Eating quality is exceptionally high.
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.
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TO YOUR POSSUM PROBLEMS
Deep green, glossy leaves streaked in white. Plants are compact and low maintenance; self-heading (non vining) variety, not requiring support. Ideal as an indoor plant. Patterning may reduce under varied temperatures.
Kalanchoe ‘Flapjack’ The Kalanchoe luciae ‘Flapjack’ has increased in popularity over the past few years and is a great choice for lower maintenance styled gardens. Its large, disc shaped foliage develops rich tones of russet and burgundy, which contrast well against its usual silver green colouring, throughout Winter. A wonderful textural element to any garden or potted feature.
Senecio ‘Blue Chalk Sticks’
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Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Firesticks’
Check out Senecio ‘Blue Chalk Sticks’. Upright narrow fleshy leaves in a vivid blue colour, add an amazing design edge to your garden. People will stop and marvel as they walk down your garden path. It would look lovely tucked around some stepping stones, in the corners of natural stairs, or anywhere bare that needs a bit of
English Shrub Rose
Crocodile ferns (Microsorum musifolium) derive their name from their reptilian textured, bright green leaves with dark green veins. Their long upright habit make great indoor pot displays. Keep them happy in a bright, indirect sun position and regular watering. Ensure the soil is free draining and the pot is not sitting in water to help prevent fungal diseases and root rot.
Aglaonema - great indoor foliage texture
English Shrub Rose
English Shrub Rose - Winner of a Silver Medal
Crotons have striking colour combinations. interest. Match and layer your landscape with contrasting burgundy-leaved plants for a stylish design. During the cooler times of the year, many succulent species take on a very different appearance and can often eclipse flowering plants with their beauty. A fine example of this is Euphorbia tirucalli also known as ‘Firesticks’. This textural variety brings out its best colours in cooler weather. The new growth on this unique species turns shades of orange, gold and cherry red giving the appearance of glowing embers in a fire. This euphorbia is best grown in full sun and well drained sites. It can also successfully be used as a potted feature. Use gloves and goggles when handling this plant as the sap is highly toxic and your skin can become irritable.
and the Irwin Award for health at the National Trial Garden in 2020. Soft orange-red buds open to medium-sized, cupped rosettes of perfect apricot colouring. They are extremely robust and have a lovely fruity tea scent. Very healthy; it matures into an attractive, rounded, bushy shrub with few thorns. Perfect for any situation and can cope with partial shade. Awarded the most pest & disease resistant of the trial and silver medal at the 2020 National Rose Trial Garden of Australia awards!
English Shrub Rose - Climber - Apricot-yellow buds open to shallowly cupped, heavily petalled rosettes. They are a beautiful blend of subtle apricot-pink and soft yellow, giving the overall impression of apricot, with creamy outer petals. There is a superb floral myrrh fragrance, with hints of honey and tea. It forms a short, vigorous climber. Good for pillars arches or obelisks. It can get to a 3m spread.
About the garden magazine | page 09
‘Perle von Nurnberg’
Favoured varieties of Echeveria are ‘Dark Prince’ with the deep rich colour, ‘Bumps’ or ‘Rain Drops’ where the leaves have raised area in the middle and are so eye catching. Echeveria Peacockii with the blue hue in the leaf, is wonderful when planted with other colours in the leaf such as ‘Afterglow’ or ‘Romeo’. The perfectly formed rosettes of Echeveria imbricata, elegance or derenbergii are just so flawless, and their texture in the leaf can be just as appealing as their flower or colour. The flowers of Echeveria appear on long stakes, with vivid coloured flowers of pinks, red, yellows or orange. When not in flower, the foliage and textures of the leaves make them worthy plants to grow. Look around your local nurseries and take a closer look at the Echeveria, plant two or three in a pot together and they will form a potted display that will be the envy of your green thumbed friends. Being a succulent, a few basic principles apply, plus one surprising one. Number one is excellent drainage, so use a potting mix specifically designed for their needs. Searles Cacti & Succulent Mix is fantastic for use in pots or the garden. Number two is air circulation; a well-ventilated room or growing area is a must. An area where the air is still, page 10 | About the garden magazine
and high humidity will bring on disaster. The surprising fact is they do not always do well in the hot western sun during the height of summer. They can lose a lot of their lustre and can look dull or washed out. Echeveria make spectacular pot plants; the sun does not have to hit the leaves but the brighter the area the better, and the higher the light the more flowers. Never over fertilise. Use one specific to their needs like Searles Robust for Cacti & Succulents. Echeveria often get their best leaf colour in autumn, and flowers regularly appear in spring and summer, giving you a handsome plant year-round. During Winter. cut back on the watering, and in the growing time of spring and summer increase the frequency. Watering requirements will vary in different climate zones, but the quickest way to kill them is to over water them or have them standing in saucers of water. The majority that perish have usually started with root rot from being too wet, and from there insects like mealybug and scale can appear and cause damage. Every pest likes to kick a plant when it is down.
Photo Credit: GAP Photos/Mark Winwood
The bare-rooted plants you see in nurseries are usually grown in the ground, out in a field. They are dug up and sold in winter when they are dormant as this gives them the best chance of being replanted successfully. Look for bare-rooted plants in winter - June, July and August. (Don’t buy bare-rooted stock after August as plants will start to reshoot, making transplant difficult.) Reputable garden centres should sell only quality stock but it’s still a good philosophy to examine before you buy. Avoid specimens with brittle branches that can break easily; they should feel sturdy and fairly flexible. Also avoid specimens with visible damage or disease.
Many bare-rooted trees are sold with their roots bound in sawdust to keep them moist. Remove this sawdust before planting as the decaying matter can harm the new feeder roots.
• Plant the tree as soon as possible after purchase. • Don’t plant too deep. The tree needs to be at the same depth as it was in its original position. Look for a slight change in colouration on the base of the stem for an indication of the original soil line. (As a guide, the graft should sit about 10cm above the ground.) • Remember to keep the roots moist. If you are not planting immediately, wrap the roots in wet newspaper and a plastic bag. • It can be good to apply water crystals when planting, but using more than recommended on the instructions can cause root rot.
1. Dig a hole, mixing in 1/3 garden soil, 1/3 river sand and 1/3 organic matter, such as Searles Premium Organic Compost Mix. Remove any diseased or damaged roots. 2. Place the plant in the hole, spreading the roots into a natural position. Building a mound at the base of the hole may help steady the plant. When backfilling, wiggle the tree and water the roots to help remove any air pockets. 3. Bare rooted plants have their roots cut for easy removal and transport, which can leave them top heavy and without good anchorage. Once planted, the tree can be ‘balanced’ by pruning the branches about 30cm from the main trunk, cutting just above a bud. 4. Loosely stake it until established. Water immediately after planting, but don’t overwater when dormant. Apply SeaMax Fish & Kelp with initial watering to help plant develop roots and resist transplant shock. Start applying fertiliser when growth resumes in spring. About the garden magazine | page 11
Lobelia, verbenas & petunias
Jillian Coomb Horticulturist
In winter, who could go past potted colour for impact in your garden, baskets, balcony or window boxes? I am a sucker for pansies, viola, marigolds, calendula and nasturtium. Beautiful flowers plus being edible, what more could you want? I remember freezing ice cubes with viola flower in water for my children’s drinks. Ice cubes can be added into wines and even the odd spirit drink. Remember the snapdragons you used to pretend were talking when you played with the single flowers, or the sunflowers that follow the sun across the sky? So many to choose from that bring back memories from my childhood and that of my children. Poppies, primula, phlox, dianthus, stock and sweet pea are staples in most winter gardens for their brilliance and ease. I know you are all thinking of the dozens of others that we all rush out to plant as soon as the weather allows. Petunias, impatiens and geraniums should not be forgotten. I still plant up my colour every season and even had some of my pansies from last year only finish flowering at the start of autumn. My balconies are awash with colour and people in my town comment on them and this drives me to achieve even more colour.
Now we have chosen our glorious colours, we turn to how to get the most out of them. Preparation is the key to success. If they are going into the ground, prepare the soil by rejuvenating it with a good organic matter which nourishes the plants while it improves the soil. A regular in my garden regime is 5 in 1 Organic Fertiliser, turned into the beds when preparing the area. Once planted they are mulched and, on the day of planting, a good drenching with Searles SeaMax Fish and Kelp which is followed up every fortnight. For baskets or pots, Mandevillas where I do not want fertiliser aroma & dichondra on a regular basis, I tend to use ‘Silver falls’ Searles Flourish Fruit and Flower after the initial watering in of SeaMax. All are indulged with Searles Robust as a control release, think of it as a main meal and the Flourish or SeaMax as dessert. Dessert may not keep you alive, but always makes you happy and it shows.
In cooler locations, foxglove, delphinium, hollyhocks and cineraria would be overflowing in gardens. Dahlias and ranunculi can be peppered through the staples of zinnia, portulaca and gomphrena. I have no set colour scheme but to create a focal point, I use colours from the opposite end of the colour wheel, purple and yellow or blue and orange. The riot of opposite colours diverts visitors eyes from my clothes line and bathroom window. I buy trays and trays of seedlings at the start of each season, but especially winter. If I cannot get my colour through flowers then it is the leaves that steal the show, such as, kale, coleus and amaranthus.
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rachoas, Petunias, calibabelias. geraniums &
Petunias & scaevolas in hanging baskets spaced out along a fence.
* Check with your local gardening outlet as to which flowers are edible.
For my terracotta pots and baskets, I use a potting mix with extra peat moss to hold more moisture such as Searles Platinum Potting Mix formula. Again, all my little darlings will be drenched with SeaMax when planted to rapidly improve their start. For my angels that keep going longer, Searles Recharge is sprinkled to revitalize the soil as it is a wetting agent, quick release fertiliser and controlled release fertiliser all in one. A formula is used to combine baskets and pots displays. For larger displays, I start with a gorgeous centre feature, say geranium, then add something flowing over the side, perhaps Dichondra Silver Falls, and lastly to fill the gaps possibly alyssum or lobelia. They can be smothered out when all the rest grow but look lovely until then. There you have it, a thriller, spiller and filler. In smaller pots, the fillers are not added, and if the pot is smaller still or a pot can stand on its own, then one variety is planted. I have found cascading petunia, trailing viola and lobelia wonderful spillers.
Petunias & diascias
Many will look at my yard and think it is too busy or too colourful, but everyone’s garden is distinct. In some seasons my choice in plants is limited, but I will always have plenty of winter colour to choose from. If you want a more comprehensive planting guide on what to plant in your climatic zone, go to www. aboutthegarden.com.au/winter-ﬂowersplanting-guide-by-regional-zones/ This must be one of the happiest seasons to garden, so now is the time to get planting. About the garden magazine | page 13
Most lilly pilly shrubs and trees bear edible pink, red or purple berries that can be made into a sauce, jam or jelly. Syzygium luehmannii and S. oleosum are best for this.
Davidson’s Plum (Davidsonia pruriens var. pruriens)
There are several species of Davidson’s plum. Davidsonia pruriens var. pruriens from northern New South Wales and north Queensland rainforests is the best-known species. Its dark purple, almost black skin contains a vibrant, cerise-red flesh. Although basically pleasant-tasting, these plums can cause some rather interesting screwed up facial expressions when eaten raw straight off the tree, due to their rather tart and acidic flesh. Most people prefer to cook Davidson’s plums into a sauce that can be used in savoury or sweet dishes, or preserve them in the form of a tasty jam, jelly or wine. The Davidson’s plum, which sadly is becoming scarce in its native habitats, is a slender tree, growing around 6-8m tall. The frond-like leaves are hairy and somewhat prickly, and the new growth is a brilliant pink. Davidson’s plum prefers warmer climate zones but will tolerate cooler regions if protected from frost. The fruit appears in large clusters which hang down the tree after the delicate mauve flowers have blossomed in summer. They then ripen throughout the autumn and winter. Being a native rainforest tree, the Davidson’s plum is best grown in a sheltered, part shaded position in the garden with ample moisture and protection from damaging winds.
Drought, frost and salt tolerant, also called ‘Native peach’ Quandong (Santalum acuminatum) is an Australian native plant that is part of the sandalwood family. Quandongs are large shrubs growing up to six metres in height featuring gum-like leaves and producing rich magenta pink fruit all year round. Their fruits have been used in Aboriginal culture for thousands of years as healing properties and a source of nutrition. Quandongs grow best in full sun in free draining nutrient-poor soil. Quandong are labelled hemiparasitic meaning they may be parasitic for water and nutrients from other plant roots for their feeding. In the wild you will often find them growing next to other Australian natives such as wattles. The flesh of the fruit of the Quandong tree is sweet like a peach. It can be eaten raw, pickled or use cooked in tarts, pies and jams.
Small Leaf Tamarind (Diploglottis campbellii)
Davidson’s Plum ﬂowers & fruit
A pretty small rainforest tree, native to northern NSW and Southern Queensland, is threatened in its native bushland but can be easily purchased through gardening outlets. It has a lovely canopy full of glossy foliage. In warmer months creamy-white flowers appear followed by a hard bulb. This bulb eventually splits when ripe, exposing the bright red flesh of the fruit. The fruit eaten raw can be quite tart, but its tangy flavour is ideal for jams and chutneys on cheese boards and enhancing curries. This tree can reach up to 10 metres, but this tree can happily grow in a large pot. Plant in part shade in well drained soil full of organic matter which simulates a rainforest floor.
page 14 | About the garden magazine
#Before consuming, please check with the plant label, the plant is suitable for eating.
Roseleaf raspberry (Rubus rosiﬂorus)
Small leaf tamarind
There are several species of native raspberries and some are tastier than others. Also known as the Atherton raspberry, this variety is very resilient to warmer climates and can produce a heavy crop. The taste is milder than store bought varieties. None the less, the roseleaf raspberry is edible and sweet. Ideal for jam making. The Roseleaf raspberry is a suckering shrub up to 1.5m tall. Some management is needed to stop it from sprawling to other parts of the garden. If this is a concern to you, it will happily grow and fruit in a large tub. Give it full sun to part shade. Native to Australia’s east coast, Rubus rosiflorus has beautiful, delicate white flowers several times per year; the bright red fruit then follows. Other native raspberries of interest are Rubus moorei, Rubus fraxinifolius and Rubus moluccanus.
Bush Mint (Mentha satureioides) This smaller and delicate mint, native to many Australian states, has a similar aroma to other mints and can be used the same way in cooking, teas and medicinal remedies. Bush mint grows as a clumping groundcover and like other mint can spread rapidly, so we recommend growing in a pot. Its hardy nature means it will grow well in both full sun and part shade, boggy areas and a variety of soil types. White flowers in summer attract bees.
Prostanthera ‘Minty’ ‘Minty’ - Mint Bush (Prostanthera sp.) A highly aromatic minty foliage adorned with violet flowers in the warmer months, grows to about 1.8 metres high. Grows well in most Australian climates in a sunny position and in a variety of soils. Its evergreen compact foliage is ideal for hedging, feature plantings and in coastal gardens as it can tolerate sandy soils.
Backhousia citriodora Cinnamon myrtle Lemon scented myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) 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. The leaves are the world’s most concentrated, naturally-occurring source of citral (a lemon fragrance found in lemongrass and other lemon-scented plants), which gives them their irresistibly delicious, lemony fragrance. Lemon myrtle leaves can be used either fresh or dried in teas, cakes, biscuits, desserts, sauces, savoury dishes, fish dishes and dressings. Growing to around 6m in full sun and 15m in the rainforest, this attractive tree can be easily grown in a large pot. In cool climates, its growth tends to remain compact. Protect it from frosts. The lemon myrtle has a couple of close relatives that are also widely sought after for their aromatic and culinary uses; aniseed myrtle (Syzygium anisatum), for its aniseed flavoured foliage and cinnamon myrtle (Backhousia myrtifolia), for its sweet, spicy scented foliage. The leaves of any of these plants can be used fresh or dried. When using them dried, grind them up with a mortar and pestle. This way they can be added to recipes without having to be strained off later. If using them fresh, the foliage releases flavour more readily if infused in hot water first. Lemon myrtle leaves can be picked straight off the bush and put in a cup of boiling water for a refreshing tea. Add a slice lemon or a teaspoon of honey.
About the garden magazine | page 15
Finger Lime (Citrus australasica)
The finger lime is one of many limes native to Australia. It is found naturally on rainforest edges and grows to around 4-6m in height. The bush is extremely prickly, so it’s a good intruder deterrent when planted close to windows or as a boundary hedge — but avoid planting it near walkways or children’s play areas. All native limes prefer a free draining soil with a slightly acidic pH of around 5.5 to 6.5. If drainage is a problem, the finger lime will happily grow in a large container. The juice of the finger lime is held inside hundreds of tiny round, cellular structures inside the fruit. These tiny balls become pressurised when the fruit is ripe, at which point they will spill out of the fruit if it is cut open. The flesh and skin of the finger lime is strong in flavour. The flesh is very refreshing when used in fresh juices, punches or even a glass of champagne. The fruit looks like caviar balls and is very attractive bobbing around in the glass. The flesh comes in range of colours; pale green, pink (cultivar called ‘Rainforest Pearl’ which has exquisite, pale pink flesh) and red. Finger lime can be used in sauces, jams, marmalades, savoury salads, and Thai cuisine — just about anything you would use traditional limes for, and more. It is excellent as a garnish and makes a fantastic accompaniment to fish and poultry dishes. Other native limes of interest are the round lime (C. australis) and desert lime (C. glauca).
Chargrill saltbush leaves on the BBQ and add them to seafood dishes for an extra salty taste.
other bush tucker
Old man saltbush (Atriplex nummularia) - Commonly grown to feed grazing livestock, this fast growing shrub has attractive silvery foliage which along with the seeds can be eaten. As the name implies, the leaves have a salty flavour ideal to flavour meat and fish dishes, stuffing and used as a herb. Old man Saltbush tolerates poor quality soils such as sandy, salty and drought ridden soils. Plant in full sun in free draining soil and provide some water to young plants to establish better. Native violets - Not only do they make a great alternative to groundcover, their delicate flower petals and leaves can be used to sweeten salads and make a finishing touch to cake decorating. Flowers prolifically from Spring to Autumn. Lemon aspen - Acronychia acidula - This rainforest tree bears small pale green edible fruits with strong lemon accent crossed with eucalyptus flavour. Grows along the east coast from North Qld down to Sydney. Can be eaten raw and cooked. Chocolate Lily (aka. Nodding Chocolate Lily, Dichopogon strictus) - Although the flowers emit a sweet chocolate scent, it is the juicy tubers which are generally Native eaten. This species can be found in grassy, woody and forest areas in many states of violets Australia. Warragul Greens (Tetragonia tetragonioides) - Its Aboriginal name is Warrigul meaning ‘wild’. Warragul greens can be grown, harvested and eaten similarly to English spinach. Their yellow flowers appearing in Spring and Summer are also edible. This leafy green is native to Australia and New Zealand where it is widely used in Maori cuisine. Plant in sunny spots in the garden or pots where it can sprawl naturally. Harvest regularly to promote more growth. ‘Prima Donna’ Blueberry Ash, Elaeocarpus reticulatus - An attractive rainforest tree for warmer areas. In Spring, this tree is covered in dainty soft pink flowers, followed by edible bright blue fruits appearing in the cooler months. More bush tucker; Abelmoschus - edible flowers, Bunya pine, Pittosporum angustifolium Wattle seed, Carpobrotus rossii – pig face - fruit edible, - Gumbi gumbi – native Dianella cearulea & Native sage & Native oregano (Prostanthera Blueberry Ash medication, fruit edible rotundifolia). page 16 | About the garden magazine
simple recipes made from garden kitchen produce
For more tasty recipes from the garden, visit www.aboutthegarden.com.au
Cooked squares of pork belly. Plum Sauce 500g Davidson’s plums, washed and diced 2 cups brown sugar 1 cinnamon stick ¾ cup water ½ tbsp unsalted butter Pinch of salt ¾ cup light red wine
Plum sauce - Combine all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to boil, simmer until plums have dissolved and sauce has reduced to a thickened state. Strain the sauce through a sieve to remove skins and cinnamon stick.
Drizzle or smear sauce over plate base and top with pork belly and garnish with sprouts or apple roasted chips. This sauce can be used for dessert toppings and for strong gamey meat dishes such as duck, kangaroo or pork. About the garden magazine | page 17
winter planting and care guide > Sub Tropics/Tropical - Plant broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, Brussels sprouts, onions & leeks, beetroot, carrots, pumpkin, silver beet, sweet corn, tomatoes and zucchini. Cooler Climate - Plant broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, leek, Brussels sprouts, onions & leeks, beetroot, carrots, turnip, potatoes, broad beans, English spinach and sliver beet. > Peas grow well in Winter all throughout Australia. Whether you pick a climbing or bush variety, support their growing habit by installing a trellis. Plant in compost enriched soil. Water bushes regularly at the base of the plant to promote consistent pod production and to reduce the risk of powdery mildew. Pick young and often to encourage more flowers. > Keep healthy during the Winter months by planting Winter salad vegetables. Cabbage can be shredded raw with other vegetables in a tangy dressing. Grate carrots for salads or dice them to add to hearty casseroles. Celery is surprisingly delicious in casseroles. They keep crisp and add another taste dimension. Fresh, raw beetroot can be grated in much the same way as carrot. Don’t forget lettuce, kale and Winter herbs such as, rosemary, chives, rocket, sorrel are in abundance now. Liquid feed with Searles Flourish Vegetable & Tomato Soluble Plant Food every fortnight to keep leafy growth strong. > Plant a lemon tree during Winter. For cool climates plant ‘Meyer’ lemon variety. > Brussels sprouts need the cold weather, particularly frosty areas to keep their sprout buds tight. Warm days will loosen their leaves affecting their quality. > Prune gall wasp off citrus trees and burn or bin them to stop the breeding cycle. > Fig trees fruit in Autumn and Spring, so Winter is the ideal time to prune branches to restrict their size for better handling and netting. Keep watch for any pests and diseases and treat promptly. page 18 | About the garden magazine
Camellia japonica ‘The Czar’
> The japonica camellia is the undisputed ‘star attraction’ of the winter garden. Like other camellias, the japonica is long-lived, versatile and easy-care. Every Winter these beauties burst into floriferous colour and splendour. Camellias are ‘acid-loving’ plants and dislike soils with a pH higher than 6 to 6.5. In most parts of Australia, soils tend to be naturally acidic, which means correcting the soil is not usually necessary. In regions with naturally alkaline soils or heavy clay soils, plant in Searles Azalea & Camellia Specialty Mix for pot or garden applications. This mix will help maintain the ideal level of soil acidity for camellias, as well as providing all the nutrients needed for excellent growth, vigour and flowering. Always mulch well after planting and reapply mulch once or twice every year. > Try these Winter flowering natives in your garden. Lechenaultia formosa, wattles, banksias, croweas and correas, Leptospermum ‘Cardwell’, grevilleas, Geraldton Wax and Chrysocephalum apiculatum. > Try Hardenbergia Edna Walling Snow White - fast snowy white hardenbergia climber over fences, pergolas or a wall for dense winter foliage and blooms. Preforms well in full sun, dryish soil and loves a good prune after flowering. > Add some sweet smelling fragrance to the Winter gardens by planting sweet peas, boronias, magnolias, rondeletia and jasmine. For cooler climates plant winter sweet, Hamamelis mollis, hyacinth, jonquil and daphne. > Winter sunlight is reduced, so move indoor plants to a brighter warmer position in the house. Let the potting mix dry out before watering to reduce fungal and root diseases. Keep plants away from heaters. > Plant Winter flowering annuals such as pansies, violas, cyclamens, primroses and kalanchoe. > Add a Moth orchid (phalaenopsis) to your indoor sanctuary during this Winter. Their distinctively arching single stem is littered with large blooms lasting for many months with minimal care. Place them in a warm bright spot away from direct sunlight and cold Winter nights. Let the soil mix dry out before watering and liquid feed after flowering with Searles Flourish Orchid Booster every few weeks. > Winter flowering fuchsias look great draped over hanging baskets.
Cyclamen are the perfect plants for indoors or shady areas in Winter. They have a long, continuous flowering period — usually from May until October. Cyclamen aren’t fussy. Even though cyclamen grow fantastically indoors, they love the cold; it seems to refresh and revitalise them. Every few days give your cyclamen a drink and put them outside for the night. They will appreciate the cold, frosty night more than us! Never let your cyclamen sit in a saucer of water permanently — this will cause a yellowing of the leaves, rotting of the stems, and eventual death of the plant. Cyclamen appreciate a feed with a liquid fertiliser. If done fortnightly with Searles Flourish Liquid Fertiliser, cyclamen should continuously bloom until mid-Spring.
Hervey Bay Toowoomba Warwick
Grafton Port Macquarie
> Plant hippeastrums bulbs now for spring blooms. Plant in a sunny spot with the head of the bulb sitting above the soil line to prevent rot. > Plant cool loving vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and zucchini. When planting, allow plenty of room for the plant to grow to full size. > Some Winter flowering red hot pokers add splash of tall colour in gardens. Look out for Kniphofia ‘Winter Cheer’, K. sarmentosa and K. ensifolia.
Give your trees, fruit trees and garden plants a treatment of trace elements if you think they are looking a little tired. Trace elements helps correct any trace element deficiencies such as poor growth, deformed and yellowing leaves and deformed fruit.
Winter fruit tree issues
For yellowing between leaf veins and progressively yellowing of the whole leaf, mainly older leaves, apply a combination of magnesium sulphate and garden lime to bring back the fruit trees vigour and greening of the leaves.
Apply dolomite to lawns and garden soils during Winter to help strengthen grass cell walls. Dolomite helps to increase soil pH improving the availability of soil nutrients to the grass and its roots.
Over watered plants or plants sitting in saucers of water can easily cause roots to rot over the Winter. Adjust watering to suit the Winter conditions.
> Orange trumpet vine (pyrostegia venusta) flush with fiery orange flowers on their vigorous twining vine in Winter right through to Spring. > The colourful bracts of poinsettias and snowflake (Euphorbia leucocephala) are in full display throughout Winter. > Lift, divide and replant daylily and hippeastrums in readiness for Spring blooming. > Plant chamomile, comfrey, dill, garlic bulbs, lavender, lemon balm, marjoram, mint, parsley, oregano, sage, and thyme. > Plant spinach, silver beet, lettuce and early-maturing cabbage. Fertilise fortnightly with SeaMax® Fish & Kelp and keep the water up to them to ensure an excellent crop. Look out for Winter flowering camellia japonicas in gardening outlets.
To protect citrus, avocadoes, grapes and ornamentals from root rot fungal diseases, apply Searles Root Rot.
For more information for what to grow in your climatic zone visit www.aboutthegarden.com.au page 20 | About the garden magazine
Cairns Townsville Mt. Isa Longreach Carnarvon
> Winter is a great time to prune due to the low humidity and relief from the harsh, hot conditions. > The wet season is over so keep up with your watering schedule to ensure your garden still gets the moisture it needs. > Heavily cut back gingers, cannas and heliconias as flowering finishes and they enter their dormancy period. They will reshoot when temperatures warm up in late winter to early spring. > Plant citrus trees (oranges, lemons & limes) in Searles Fruit, Citrus & Rose Specialty Mix. Give them a deep soaking once a week. Prune dead and crowded inner branches on existing citrus trees to direct new spring growth for fruit producing branches. > Check indoor plants for aphids and mealybugs. Spray with Searles Ecofend Vegetable & Garden Spray (Organic registered) to control and protect plants. > Feed herbs, leafy and Winter vegetables fortnightly with Searles Flourish Vegetable & Tomato Soluble Plant Food to aid production. > Plant Asian greens, beetroot, carrot, coriander, chives, mint, lemongrass artichokes, kale, lettuce, radish, rocket, silverbeet spring onion and tomatoes. > Aerate lawns with a spiked roller, garden fork or lawn aerator sandals. Follow up with an application of Searles Robust Slow Release Lawn Fertiliser for slow, thicker growth during Winter.
Enjoy flowering natives like cocky apple, kapok, kurrajong and woollybutt (pictured).
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Hervey Bay Toowoomba Warwick
> Gardening outlets will be full of cyclamen colour to decorate indoor and patio spaces. Choose young plants with many flower buds to maximise flowering display time. Position in bright indirect sunlight and keep away from heating appliances. They prefer cool, dry environs. Cyclamens enjoy spending the night outside occasionally to keep cool in Winter. > Plant pansies and violas for Winter garden and potted colour. > Many natives are flowering now for Winter colour, check on page 16 for plants that flower now. Plant in Searles Native Specialty Mix for the right nutrient ratio. > Citrus trees are full of ripening produce. Pick regularly and if you have an oversupply give them to your neighbour or juice for an early morning breakie hit. > Plant Winter greens such as broccoli, cauliflower, English spinach, Chinese greens, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and peas. Plant straight into Searles Herb & Vegetable Specialty Mix for 9 months feeding to produce a bumper crop. Water daily, especially leafy vegetables to keep their taste from going bitter. > Grevilleas and banksias are great choices for Winter colour. Plant them in a low phosphorous soil mix, such as Searles Native Plant Specialty Mix for their special soil needs. > The highly scented magnolia and the closely related Michelia bloom in Winter. Michelias generally stay evergreen while magnolias are more routinely deciduous. Plant both in an acidic soil mix, Searles Azalea & Camellia Specialty Mix in a sunny spot, protected from strong winds. Frost tolerant and hardy. > Peas are aplenty during winter. Keep picking to encourage more cropping so you don’t run out.
page 22 | About the garden magazine
> Keep indoor potted plants away from heaters and protect outdoor potted plants from frosts by moving them into a protected area. > Stunning waxy snow coloured berries adorn the Snowberry deciduous shrub from Summer through to Winter followed by small clustered white to pink flowers covering the shrub in Spring. Snowberry shrubs can withstand a myriad of weather variances from the driest climates to areas of constant frost. > Witch hazels produce a canopy of sweetly scented, spidery, yellow orange or red flowers on their deciduous branches during Winter. Tolerates heavy frosts in acidic soils. Remove deadwood. > Spray for the disfiguring fungus peach leaf curl when buds are first forming on the stem. Control with Searles Copper Oxychloride. > Plant pansies, polyanthus, poppy, primula, ranunculus, snapdragon, begonia, calendula, cineraria and violas for instant Winter colour. > Camellia sasanquas will finish flowering mid Winter, but fear not, Camellia japonicas will take its place in the flowering game and flower during Winter and into Spring. > Plant bare-rooted roses, deciduous trees, shrubs and fruit trees using Searles Fruit, Citrus & Rose Specialty Mix. > Beetroot are ready to harvest and compliment winter soups and stews, Also plant artichoke, asparagus, broad beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, chives, curry, dill, endive, leek, lettuce, mint, onions, parsley, peas, snow peas, sage, silver beet, spinach and radish.
For more information for what to grow in your climatic zone visit
Alice Springs Rockhampton Gladstone
Hervey Bay Toowoomba Warwick
> Many euphorbias will flower mid Winter until Spring. These tough, drought-tolerant plants range in size, colour and shape ideal for large garden displays or compact creations for pots. > Attract the bees into your garden during Winter, plant lavender, alyssum and salvias. > Protect frost sensitive plants by moving pot plants into warm sheltered position, cover garden plants overnight with a sheet and remove in the morning and resist pruning until the last frost is over. Apply SeaMax Fish & Kelp to help improve frost tolerance.
Brisbane Grafton Port Macquarie Newcastle
> Sow ageratum, alyssum, cineraria, cleome, cyclamen, forget-me-not, Iceland poppy, lobelia, lupin, marigold, pansy, petunia, phlox, primula, stock, verbena, wallflower and zinnia.
Armidale Tamworth Orange
> 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 Flowers & Foliage during flowering season. > Fertilise bulbs with a high potassium fertiliser in readiness for spring growth. Searles Flourish Flowers & Foliage Soluble Plant Food. > Tamarillos crop in Winter. Harvest when shiny, fully in colour and softens slightly when pressed with fingers.
> Native hardenbergia provide bright purple colour in winter.
> Plant chrysanthemum, cosmos, dahlia, dianthus, everlasting daisy, gaillardia, gazania, geranium, gerbera, impatiens, kangaroo paw, marigolds, nasturtium, petunia, portulaca, rudbeckia, salvia, snapdragon, sunflower, torenia, verbena, wallflower and zinnia.
> Be mindful of leaf curl and other fungal diseases on stone fruit such as peaches and nectarines. Spray with Copper Oxychloride at the first sight of flower buds.
> Sow artichoke, asparagus, broad bean, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, lettuce, onion, parsnip, pea, potato, pumpkin, radish, rhubarb, silver beet and spinach.
> Plant chives, curry, dill, mint, parsley, sage and thyme. Asian greens, coriander and rocket love the cold.
> Now is the prefect time to plant bare-rooted deciduous trees and roses. This will set them up for a great start when spring arrives. Soak them in water before planting. Be careful not to damage roots when planting into soil.
> Winter is a great time to plant leafy and root vegetables like artichoke, asparagus, members of the brassica family (including broccoli, cauliflower, brussel spouts, cabbages, english spinach, lettuce), broad bean, carrot, onion, pea and radish. With the rainy season here, watch out for mildew and blackspot on roses and ornamentals. Treat with Searles Rose Pro.
Plant Winter loving herbs savoury, sorrel, sage and thyme. The great benefit of planting herbs is they suit being planted amongst any type of garden styles or grouped together for easy reach.
www.aboutthegarden.com.au or follow us on About the garden magazine | page 23
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Great gardening advice for Winter gardening in Australia. Packed with information on new release plants, easy-care plants, foliage plants, n...
Published on Apr 19, 2021
Great gardening advice for Winter gardening in Australia. Packed with information on new release plants, easy-care plants, foliage plants, n...