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Gardening Australia

Gardening Australia February 2020

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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2 min

Over the last few issues, we’ve run a series of stories about using water wisely. This issue is about gardening when you have very little – or none at all – of the wet stuff. It has been a depressing summer. Our TV screens pulsate with the orange of bushfires and footage of drought – dairy cows being sent to slaughter because farmers can no longer feed them; people playing cricket on the brown base of what was once a river. In tough times, maintaining ‘a little patch of green’ can be the difference between sanity and despair. This was a recurring theme among the rural gardeners Jennifer Stackhouse spoke with for her story on how to keep gardening through drought. What emerges is a resilience, a sense of community and the…

2 min

Many roses available in Australia have won medals overseas, but it’s even better if they’ve won awards here, as you know they’re suited to local growing conditions. At the 2019 National Rose Trial Garden of Australia Awards, the Kordes-bred Black Forest Rose won the Gold Medal and was named Australian Rose of the Year, Best Rose of the Trial and Best Floribunda of the Trial. Its medium, double flowers are a standout red with a wavy edge. This Floribunda rose flowers in terminal clusters from spring through to autumn. Growth is a tidy 70–90cm high by 60–80cm wide, making it suitable for containers or the garden. www.treloarroses.com.au Shady spots in the garden can be difficult to fill if you want flowers as well as foliage, but this newly released Australian native…

1 min

How can you keep your indoor plants and under-cover balcony pots alive when you’re away? Filling pot saucers with water is only a short-term fix, whereas the Aqualux 8062 watering system offers a more substantial solution. Powered by rechargeable batteries or mains electricity, the 30L tank, timer and pump create a drip-irrigation system that waters up to 20 plants for up to 28 days. watermyplants.com.au When it’s simply too hot to garden outside, or you’re away on holiday, the Flex Water Computer can be connected to a tap to control the irrigation of your pot plants automatically. Using the detachable control panel, set the program for watering in short bursts up to six times a day for small pots on balconies and terraces, or longer watering every few days for larger…

2 min

COOKING WITH THE OLDEST FOODS ON EARTH AUSTRALIAN NATIVE FOODS: RECIPES AND SOURCES John Newton NewSouth Publishing Demand for native foods is growing as their flavours become more known and appreciated. This compact book is a companion guide to the author’s award-winning book, The Oldest Foods on Earth, published four years ago. Organised by ingredient, each chapter provides a brief history, nutritional profile and recipes. Whether you have already experienced the taste of local foods or are yet to try them, this is a handy resource that aims to encourage more commonplace use of Australia’s delicious and healthy native produce. THE SECRETS OF GREAT BOTANISTS AND WHAT THEY TEACH US ABOUT GARDENING Matthew Biggs Exisle Publishing History buffs and plant lovers will enjoy this beautifully illustrated presentation of stories about 35 plant collectors and gardening…

3 min

VICTORIA 1 ST –29TH Sustainable Living Festival Various times and venues. info@slf.org.au. Up to 300 events across Melbourne and Victoria exploring sustainability and climate change. slf.org.au 17 TH Feb–17TH Apr Australian Plants Revealed Mon–Fri 9am–5pm (not Labour Day), Sat noon–4pm. Maroondah Federation Estate Gallery, 32 Greenwood Ave, Ringwood. (03) 9707 5275. Free. This exhibition about traditional plant use and science features images and six specimens collected by Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander in 1770 on the Endeavour voyage. apsvic.org.au 22 ND –23RD Beautiful Begonias Sat 10am–5pm, Sun 10am–3pm. Moorabbin Senior Citizens Club, 964 Nepean Hwy, Moorabbin. 0404 817 449. $5. Begonias on display and for sale at the Melbourne Begonia Society Show. 23 RD Feb Secret Life of Birds 9.30–11am. Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Melbourne Gardens, Birdwood Ave, South Yarra. (03) 9252 2429. $18 adult, $9 child. Spot…

3 min
colourful cordylines

With their dazzling foliage colours and patterns, tropical cordylines are perfect for injecting a dash of lushness and ‘holiday vibe’ to a garden or balcony. Grow them as understorey plants beneath large trees, as a backdrop for a garden bed, or as feature plants in their own right. They look great with plants that share that tropical feel, such as gingers, bromeliads, liriopes and gardenias, but you can mix and match them with anything you like, really. Despite their name, tropical cordylines (Cordyline fruticosa) live quite happily outside the tropics, although growth is slower. What sets them apart from other cordylines is their significantly broader leaves, which range in colour from green to pink to red and bronze, with many exhibiting beautiful variegation. The foliage grows clustered around a central trunk,…