Exploring the Wonder of Australian Native Plants

There are numerous benefits to growing natives – they attract bees, birds and butterflies to your garden by providing diverse habitats and food sources. They can combat climate change by storing carbon dioxide, and once established, native plants generally require little maintenance. Most importantly, they require far less watering than non-indigenous plants, saving you time, money and our precious resource, water.

To encourage everyone to plant more indigenous plants, we asked Australia’s leading native plant expert, Angus Stewart for some of his favourites so we could share them with you.

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Caring for your Chrysanthemums

If you’ve ever been lucky enough to have been given a bunch or pot of Chrysanthemums, you’ll know how colourful and beautiful they are. Available in a huge variety, there are a few secrets to caring for your Chrysanthemums which will help to maximise their stunning blooms.

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June Birth Flower – The Rose

Much like birthstones, birth flowers signify the month someone is born, and many believe they also reflect certain personality traits. June babies are lucky to have the rose as their birth flower.

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Caring for Orchids After Flowering

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 Garard – 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.”

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The Uni Rose Garden – Hobart

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.”

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Winter care of roses

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’.

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Old garden restoration in the Adelaide Hills

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”.

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Controlling nematodes in your garden

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?

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How to prune your roses

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.

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Reducing the need for crop rotation

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?

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