Saturday, 14 April 2012

Artistic Garden from the Ground Up and Ethereal Pandoreas

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm, 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.
The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on
Design Elements: Art in the garden series is to inspire you to add finishing touches or maybe change your view of the garden. You may not have considered the ground as a canvass for art in the garden before, Listen to Lesley Simpson garden designer here.
Vegetable Hoeroes:Onions.  Or Allium cepa from the Alliaceae family that contain Garlic, Leeks Shallots and Chives. You won’t cry with these onions because today I’m going to focus on the “odourless” Onions that will grow in all parts of Australia. I should specify that these seeds are of the  brown mid-season Odourless Onion readily available from garden centres from one of two major seed suppliers.,. There is a Red Odourless globe onion that is a long day variety, only suitable for cooler districts.
 In temperate and arid climates you can sow the seeds of Odourless Onions from mid-Autumn to early Winter. The same goes for sub-tropical areas.
In cool temperate zones, sow the seeds late Autumn to winter.They love sunny well drained beds, especially when the bulbs mature in summer.
 If you’re observing crop rotation, and you were growing tomatoes in that bed, always lime your soil  a week or two before planting onions.
 Avoid applying manures and blood and bone to the beds in which you're about to grow your onions because they prefer alkaline soil. You can use spent mushroom compost instead of cow manure.      Onion seeds can be sown into seed raising mix into punnets. Or if you want to sow them directly into the garden, make it easy for yourself, mix the seed with some river sand-say one packet of seed to one cup of sand and sow it that way. Bit like sowing carrots!
 They can be transplanted to garden beds when the seedlings are around 8 cms tall.     
TIP:When planting out onion seedlings, instead of planting them sticking straight up, lay them down in a trench and move the soil back over their roots. In about 10 days they're standing up and growing along strongly.
In about 6 months the onions should be ready-tops will start to yellow and go dry. Pull them up whole-leaves and all, and then leave in a dry place for 3 weeks to cure. Should last a year if stored in a cool and dry place. After that they'll porbably start sprouting.
Plant of the Week: Pandorea Jasminoides "Lady Di", or White Bower of Beauty has white trumpet flowers with a yellow throat, are a striking feature of this hardy climbing native plant. It’s perfect for training along pergolas and around archways and has shiny dark green attractive leaves. This is a hardy plant in most areas and soils, accepting of mild frosts, so that’s down to -30C,  through to tropical zones.
Evergreen in frost-free areas; perennial if roots are protected during heavy freezes, when it will die back to the ground. 
The Bower of beauty is a vigorous climber that likes part shade but accepts full sun as well. This popular and well known variety is native to NSW and Queensland but is often seen growing all over Australia. It can be easily trained over fences and trellises forming a dense screen.
  Why grow one at all? Bird attracting- Suitable for hedge- - Fast growing
So attractive, I had a birds nest in it for the last two years.
Flowers mainly in Spring and Summer, then you get the long seed pods filled with winged seeds that germinate easily given the right conditions.

I’ve given away quite a few plants that have been grown from seed.

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