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Gardening Australia

November 2021

Australia’s number one monthly gardening resource, ABC Gardening Australia magazine is packed with step-by-step advice and stunning design ideas from its popular team of experts. Whether you are a novice gardener or have a green thumb and years of experience, you’ll find the advice you need.

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12 Issues

in this issue

5 min

The Cohens lived on the corner across from ours. I knew them mainly as the old people who had a pet cockatoo, and I liked it when they went away because we got to take care of the bird. And then came the rose competition at school – maybe it was for Book Week, or Easter, I can’t remember, but this particular competition had sub categories, including ‘most unusual rose’. I was eight or nine, and couldn’t care less about roses. But Mum said Mrs Cohen grew beautiful roses, and they must have had a chat, because next thing, I was standing in Mrs Cohen’s front garden, being handed a long-stemmed, bluey-mauve rose just on the cusp of peak open-ness. Up the road to school I went, clutching this beauty, which…

2 min

The award-winning Floribunda rose ‘Lady of Australia’ is a perfect example of why sunny yellow flowers symbolise happiness and friendship. The classically shaped, bright yellow fragrant blooms with ruffled petals exude cheeriness. They fade to a lighter yellow that contrasts with its deep green foliage. This Australian-bred rose grows to 1.2m tall, and is highly pest resistant. It’s the official rose chosen to celebrate the spouses of the governor-generals of Australia. It launches on Remembrance Day, with Australian War Widows Inc. receiving $2 from each sale. Pre-order now for bare-rooted stock in winter. wagnersrosenursery.com.au If you prefer your chillies on the tamer side, you’ll appreciate these two great performers. Big Jim lives up to its name, with fruit up to 30cm long that are screaming to be stuffed or chopped into…

2 min

GROWING EREMOPHILA Russell Wait, with Christine Huf, Cathy Powers & Dr Jenny West Eremophilas have recently gained popularity, being tough, needing little water once established, and having colourful flowers that attract insects and birds. Russell Wait, the principal author and photographer, was one of the first to discover their qualities in the 1960s and ’70s, when he travelled throughout Australia collecting them, then growing them on by cuttings and seed. He was a farmer who specialised in growing eremophilas in his garden, where they thrived in the low-rainfall conditions; his present garden in central Victoria has more than 240 species. As frost and fungal problems can be of concern, Wait grafts onto myoporum rootstock for stronger growth. Wait’s discoveries and successes in growing, maintenance and propagation are covered in detail, with magnificent…

19 min
top of the pops

As Jane Edmanson notes in her story on page 36, garden and plant trends come and go. The first issue of the magazine launched with Californian poppies on the cover. Over the next six months, a wide range of plants appeared in the pages, including bearded iris, sweet pea, fuchsia, rose, staghorn, hippeastrum, lavender, palms, orchid, begonia, native flowering shrubs and native flowering trees. Roses were given special treatment in a 16-page bonus pull-out, and flowering natives were run across several issues, with galleries of plants for home gardeners. Comparing what was featured in those first six issues with the plants nominated in the reader survey in August this year, it’s clear that while some things have changed, a great deal remains the same. The rose remains the most loved plant, by…

1 min
reader tip

For lots of blooms, feed well in spring and summer. Brenda, Nowra, NSW In cold climates, don’t prune too early in winter. Megan, Sheffi eld, Tas Plant in soil that holds p a bit of moisture. Prune after frosts have finished. Nicola, Irymple, Vic Prune plants annually after flowering to keep them growing strongly for years. Anj, Ashby, WA Plant what is indigenous p to your area, and you will have beauty in plants and animals. Elizabeth, Maryborough, Qld Mulch and fertilise lightly but regularly. Gwen, Wyuna, Vic My camellias love wood mulch, vermicompost and organic pellets. I apply seaweed solution and molasses four times a year, and trace elements before flowering. I have also been experimenting with some other regenerative soil techniques, such as the addition of biochar and use of fulvic acid. Glenda, Deua River, NSW For beautiful blooms, I use an…

7 min
the way we were

Congratulations to the ABC Gardening Australia magazine team – 30 years is a splendid achievement in the world of publishing. The magazine has certainly stood the test of time, even in this digital age. I looked back to the first issue from November 1991 – ‘Only $2.75!’ – and the information and presentation stand up well. My first article was ‘Behind the scenes at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne’, which was where the official launch was held, with all the presenters from those days gathered together. There was Peter Cundall, with his ‘Starting out organically’ article, and features by other presenters on irises, irrigation, plants for summer colour and Greening Australia. I can remember thinking and wondering with anticipation about the magazine’s future. Today, the magazine is embedded in our national…