Thursday, 6 October 2011

Fancy Fairy Fan Flowers

REALWORLD GARDENER  produced at 2RRR Sydney  and broadcast across Australia on the Community Radio Network, Saturdays, 10.04 EST

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DESIGN ELEMENTS:Your garden might’ve been handed down from someone else when you bought the place. Maybe you just put plants in a free spot whenever you bought one back from a buying spree. Did you every think, what’s missing or how can I make it look better?  Listen here to Part 1 in the 4 part series of "garden design basics."
VEGETABLE HEROES: Horseradish  or Armoracia rusticana from the Brassicaceae family.-          Except for tropical regions, Spring is the time to get pieces of Horseradish root from either a friend, garden centre, or online nursery.
  Just simply dig a hole, about 1 ½ to 2 feet (50 - 60cm) deep – horseradish has extremely long tap roots. pop in the piece of Horsradish root, and back fill with a mixture of compost and the planting soil. 
If you want lots of Horseradish to make up the paste you can lay the roots of horseradish in a trench about 12 inches (30cm) apart and then cover with more soil. Firm in with your heel. 
It’s best in full sun particularly if you’re in a cold part of Australia.
If you’ve got damp soils, it’s no problem for horseradish because it grows vigorously. 
Keep well watered if it's not a damp spot.
It should be planted in a permanent position and not disturbed as new plants will grow from any broken roots ,but then this is the best way to propagate Horseradish, and give it to your friends.          ECO TIP: This deep rooted plant can be used in orchards to open up compacted soils and return nutrients to the surface of the soil.
By mid autumn if you were lucky enough to have planted it last year either in autumn OR spring, the roots should be ready to harvest-simply dig them up and preserve some pieces for next year's harvest.
Some places to get it online.  
Plant of the Week Fairy Fan Flower or scientifically, Scaevola aemula and S. albida.
With such pretty blue flowers, you'd think this plant would be rather fussy or delicate. Instead, this durable Australian native takes the heat without wilting and produces heaps of lavender-blue or white fan-like flowers all summer.
a.    Visited by butterflies and Honey Bees,   Scaevola or Fan Flower is the perfect groundcover. (Ramm Botanicals have released quite a few new ones, )
c.    Scaevola prefer a well-drained soil with little to no phosphate added. Like most Australian natives, scaevola is sensitive to phosphorous.
d.   Scaevola. aemula also requires well-drained sandy soil and a good sunny position.   It grows naturally along the coastline around Nambucca Heads to Coffs Harbour where I’ve seen it on bushwalks.
 Scaevola. albidus grows as far south in coastal areas of Victoria and Tasmania in a range of habitats, including clay soils. Scaevola albida varieties under the Dam Savers range are S. albida  which will grow in semi-shaded positions and is frost hardy. Mauve Carpet, grows in full sun, ground cover and hanging baskets. S. Super Clusters, flowers through to Autumn and is strictly for the garden. 
White carpet is a good choice if you’re looking for a low maintenance plant that receives irregular watering and is a good weed suppressor.
Feature Interview (not heard on CRN) Talking with Ruby Ride of the Bromeliad Society of Australia Check out meeting times of this society and others around Australia.
There's a Bromeliad for every corner of your garden.

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