Perched amongst granite rocks on the foothills of Mount Alexander in Victoria sits Mica Grange, with its stunning panoramic views across the Sutton Grange valley. Mica Grange is a 40 hectare property and the pride and joy of Mary and Bede Gibson.
Fourteen years ago, Mary and Bede had just sold their house in Sydney when they received a phone call from their daughter asking them if they would look after Mica Grange while she resettled in Melbourne. Reluctantly they agreed, but only on the basis that it would be for no longer than a year. Instead, they fell in love with the property, purchased it and set out on a project to create a studio/catering facility and a vast garden using the contours of the land.
Much like birthstones, birth flowers signify the month someone is born. Many people believe the flowers reflect certain personalities. September babies are lucky to have a few options as their birth flower.
First is the gorgeous Aster which is well recognised as the September birth flower. Asters are a group of perennials and annuals with starry-shaped flower heads. They bring delightful colour to the garden throughout late summer and autumn when many other summer blooms may be fading. The name Aster comes from the Ancient Greek word άστήρ meaning “star”, referring to the shape of the flower head. There are many species and varieties, all of which are popular garden plants due to their attractive and colourful flowers. The Aster flower comes in many shades of pink, purple and white. Various butterflies and moths will find the flowers a great food source.
The seedling section of your garden centre is where you go to dream. To dream of how wonderful you could make your garden. We can all appreciate the enormous amount of work which goes into the floral displays which are often highlighting public parks and gardens. Areas such as these make a positive impact upon you as you’re driving or walking around them. They can be so inspiring. Colours might be blended to complement each other, other patches may be a beautiful burst of every colour imaginable and you may even have a mix of colours which you wouldn’t have ever considered; but somehow, they work.
Here’s a little light relief and a giggle for you all.
Artificial flowers and plants have reached new heights in their “realness”. They look so true to form that you reach out; to touch; to smell……..
Which of the Neutrog crew kept this beautiful artificial Phalaenopsis in their bathroom – for two years – watered it and fertilised with Strike Back for Orchids – before realising that it was in fact, not the real deal? Oh dear….
Neutrog’s Microbiologist and R&D Manager, Dr. Uwe Stroeher talks about balanced nutrition for your plants.
We know that a balanced diet is required for us to be healthy and to perform at our peak, and for plants it is no different. Plants need balanced nutrition.
Often people look at a packet of fertiliser but only look for levels of nitrogen, phosphate and potassium, but plants need so much more. Other critical nutrients which are required in relatively high levels are things like sulphur, magnesium and calcium as well as a whole range of trace or micronutrients such as iron, zinc, manganese – the list goes on. There are a plethora of plant issues related to the incorrect feeding of plants, but these can be overcome by using a nutritionally-balanced fertiliser and feeding your plants on a regular basis.
Anthony Grassi, President of the Frangipani Society of Australia shared a heart-warming story about a little tomato seed that made a big difference.
Anthony tell us, “my wife & I went to our local RSL a few months ago for dinner. Our meals included a generous salad with the sweetest grape tomatoes I’ve ever tasted. When we finished there was one solitary tomato seed left on my plate. I took it as a sign & wrapped it in a tissue and took it home. It was planted in my veggie patch, prepared with plenty of cow manure, Sudden Impact for Roses & mulched with Whoflungdung. It grew into a huge bush 2m tall x 2m wide & fruited so prolifically I decided to keep a tally.
This is Helen Lovel here from Neutrog, with a sad tale and even sadder photos of my potted citrus. At garden clubs and training sessions, my colleagues and I are always talking about the importance of feeding on a regular – at least seasonal – basis. One of the group of plants which we particularly emphasise the importance of feeding, are citrus. They are very heavy feeders, and an application of Gyganic for Veggies Fruit and Citrus every 8 weeks, along with GOGO Juice fortnightly will make a huge difference to the growth of your citrus. You will see an improvement in flowering, as will fruit size, quality and flavour.
The not so humble tomato is at the top of the “must grow” list for many gardeners. In most years, the challenge is to see who is the most successful in harvesting a crop before Christmas. There are so many varieties to choose from and there is such a great range of colour too.
The Neutrog team told us what they’re growing in their home gardens this year. We have Green Zebra for its wonderful green colour and yellow stripes which indicate when it’s ripe. Several varieties of cherry tomatoes in different colours. The fabulous and ever reliable Grosse Lisse. Plus, a couple of unknowns. One of the team had their property under flood in June 2016. In the summer of 2016-17 a tomato seedling popped up on their river flats. It was a delicious little truss tomato which was never watered, had cows trampling over it and it survived right through until the worst of the frosts the following winter. Seed was saved and it has been affectionately named Flood Red. Another is growing a tomato known as Mr. Curry. Known as Mr Curry, because that’s the old bloke who provided the original seed. This is a huge fleshy and extremely tasty tomato which fruits right through until late May.
As we’re getting closer to spring, it’s time to consider the next jobs which need to be completed in your rose garden. Our thanks go to Kelvin Trimper AM, RSSA Past President and Life Member for this most valuable information
1. Finish rose pruning – ensure you remove any leaves from the plant and as many old loose leaves from around the base of the plant as possible, as these contain damaging fungal spores and insect eggs which will create problems in spring if not dealt with now.
In this article, Microbiologist and R&D Manager, Dr. Uwe Stroeher talks about transplanting your plants and what role soil microbes play.
It might seem strange to think about this in August, but before we know it, the weather will warm up and then it’s really too late to move many plants. The stress of moving them, together with the potential for a very warm day or two is probably is not worth the risk to wait too much longer.