Orchids are such popular plants and for good reason – they flower for long periods, make great gifts and come in a huge range of varieties and colours. But if you’ve ever wondered how to care for your orchids after they flower, Trevor Garad – Past President of the Orchid Club of South Australia – has some wise advice. “Here are some valuable tips to make the most out of some of the more popularly grown orchids. If you are interested in learning more about any aspect of growing orchids, then we’d welcome new members to out club which provides a great avenue to learn more.”
Heather Huxley has spent many years in the horticultural field, and in March 2019 was successful in obtaining the role of Program Officer Parks & Reserves with the City of Hobart, which encompasses the care of 148 parks and gardens in the metropolitan area.
The Uni Rose Garden is one of the main gardens under Heather’s care, and is located on a main entrance into the Hobart CBD. The garden features almost 700 roses with around 40 varieties. “Most of the roses were quite old and well past their prime” said Heather. “Given the condition of the roses, I made the decision to get tough – either they had to improve or we’d make the decision to remove them.”
Each season the Rose Society of South Australia releases cultural notes, which are recommendations from the experts on how to care for your roses. Here are the winter cultural notes from Gavin Woods, Past President of the RSSA and the National Rose Society of Australia. Gavin is also Chief Judge with the RSSA and an International Rose Judge accredited with the World Federation of Rose Societies. The photos are of the Rose Society’s Rose of the Month – ‘Pepita’.
Brenton Roberts and his wife Libby have restored an old garden in the Adelaide Hills. Watching over the property is a beautiful old stone home which is also under restoration.
Brenton grew up in the area, and as many people do, moved away with work to further his career. This took him to Ballarat and Melbourne for 8 years, but the goal was always to return home. Brenton tells us, “We knew what we were looking for; a few acres and a home which matched our style. We found our dream property, which although affordable, was run down and quite overgrown. We knew this would mean a tonne of work – especially to make more bushfire safe. Whilst I’d been living in Melbourne, I studied at Burnley Horticultural College and undertook a Graduate Certificate in Garden & Landscape Design, and our new property was the perfect opportunity to allow me full reign with my ideas, whilst incorporating our family’s needs and wants”.
Nematodes or roundworms are almost microscopic worms – the majority of them can be beneficial as they help break down organic matter and control pests such as insects. However there is one group of nematodes which are real troublemakers – they attack and feed on the roots of plants, and if their numbers explode, the damage to a plant’s roots can kill young plants and stress older plants so they become prone to diseases.
So how can we control these damaging nematodes?
Perhaps you’ve taken the step of planting some roses, you’ve enjoyed their fragrance and colour during the year, and now you’re feeling a little panicky at the need to prune shortly? Sandra Turner, President of the Victorian Rose Society explains how to do it.
When pruning all roses, you need to be prepared. Be dressed appropriately, have good gardening gloves – preferably elbow length. Correct tools such as sharp secateurs, loppers and a pruning saw are essential. You will also need a cloth and jar with diluted bleach to disinfect your tools as you prune your roses.
Many gardeners, particularly those that grow roses, would know about sick soil or replant disease. In essence, if you put a plant into a hole where the same type of plant was previously, often the new plant does not perform well, and can wither and die. However, when you replant from a different family of plants, it does well. So the question is, what causes this?
Delving into the activity of soil microbes in autumn, we find that the biological activity of soil microbes is driven by the same factors that influence plant growth, moisture, temperature and nutrients.
In summer when the soil moisture drops and temperature of soils is high, microbial activity slows down. In your garden, this means the breakdown of organic material and nutrient cycling slows down. The residual effect is a reduction in nutrient availability for your plants.