Sunday, 10 April 2011

Fly Like An Eastern Yellow Robin

Real World Gardener for 6th April 2011, Wednesdays 5pm on 2RRR 88.5fm
Wildlife in Focus: Kurtis talks about the Eastern Yellow Robin, it's habitat, call and much more. Hear it .....

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Bill Rankin and Tony Bayliss of the Wildlife Sound Recording Group  have kindly provided RWG with wildlife sound recordings for our 'Wildlife in Focus" episodes.
For more info on the Eastern Yellow Robin see
Vegetable Heroes: Broccoli, Brassica oleracea var italica.  Broccoli is not too choosy about the site it grows in but prefers to be in full sun, but will tolerate partial shade with no problems. Although, growing in too much shade will reduce the size of the Broccoli head.   The ideal soil is a reasonably heavy (not pure clay) A light soil can be improved by the addition of compost. Adding blood and bone to sandy or a heavier soil which is not too rich in nutrients will also help. Don’t plant Broccoli seedlings in your veggie bed if you’ve grown it before in the past 3 years. You may get a disease called Club Root that causes you Broccoli plant to wilt regardless of how much water you give it. Remember the acronym. LRLC-Legumes, root veg, leafy then Cucurbits, Brassicas.
Harvest broccoli heads when they have reached maximum size, are still compact, and before the buds loosen, open into flowers, or turn yellow. It will be about 70-90 days or 2 ½ -3 months, when your Broccoli will be ready if you plant it now, in time for a Spring crop
No Design Elements this week:
Feature Interview: A short interview with John Page, volunteer guide at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney. John talks about the Walk and Talk that he co created with Brian called Garden Memories of War and Peace. 16th April:2-4pm Garden Memories of War and Peace.  Discover the stories behind plants and memorials and the importance of the gardens to generations of military personnel.
At the Moore room at Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, $15 p.p. book 9231 8304 Refreshments included.
For more info.
Plant of the Week. melicope elleryana. Doughwood or Corkwood. The Pink Flowered Doughwood is usually found in riverine rainforest areas.
That should give you a hint of this tree’s requirements. It definitely will not grow well in sandy soil. The one at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney is a magnificent specimen growing next to the Moore building. In my yard it’s underperforming and losing quite a lot of top canopy because it can’t cope with insufficient water and growing in poor soil. Where it is, it’s not for above a sandstone rock shelf and definitely not worth trying there. The flowers are certainly showy and look spectacular on a well growing tree. In it’s natural habitat in northern NSW and further up, it attracts the Papilio ulysses. Ulysses butterfly.  A fast growing, evergreen, large shrub or small to medium tree, forming a broad, spreading canopy which is excellent for shade. Cut back in Spring if it becomes too leggy.
What's On: On Sunday 17 April, there’s a free guided Tall Timbers walk from the City of Ryde. Enjoy an easy 3km walk through the remnant Blue Gum Forest in Darvall Park. You may wish to stay on to ride the steam trains after the walk. (Sydney Live Steam Locomotive - $2 adults, $1 children). The walk will go from 1pm to 3pm, and you should meet at 12.45pm at the playground by West Parade, Denistone. Bookings essential on 9952 8222. This is one of several free school holiday activities – find out more at or call Council on 9952 8222.

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