Thursday, 28 June 2012

In The Beginning, Kale, Striped Marsh Frogs and Moorish Gardens

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 , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.
Wildlife in Focus:Striped Marsh Frog- Like most birds, frogs are a gardeners friend because the eat many of the problem garden pests like caterpillars and mosquito larvae. Frogs often forage around the decaying leaves of some plants looking for insect pests as well. Hear ecologist Sue Stevens talk about this frog.
If you go to you can a listing of all frog groups in Australia. This site also gives information on frog pond building and how to make a frog friendly garden.

Vegetable Heroes:Brassica Family and ancestor to many vegetables like Broccoli and Cabbage, Kale is good to eat too.
Kale can be planted in Arid areas from March until July, in temperate and sub-tropical climates from March until June, and unless you have a greenhouse or grow them in pots or a half wine barrel, Kale is grown from August until April in cool mountain districts , but apparently is winter hardy and it’s flavour is improved by frost.
How does that work? Well a frost or even several frosts, will help break down starches into sugars making the Kale a whole lot sweeter.
Kale is easy to grow and a fast grower as well taking only 7-9 weeks from seed sowing until harvesting.
Kale likes soil temperatures of between 8°C and 30°C., full sun and a pH of between 6.0 and 7.0
Slugs and snails for some reason don't like Kale, but your chooks will.
Sow Kale seeds direct into the garden or they don’t mind being transplanted so you can start them off in punnets if you like.
Sow the seeds about 1cm deep and 30cm or a ruler’s length apart. Three or four seeds can be planted together and thinned out at the two leaf stage.
Look after young plants by watering during dry patches and keep weed free. Firm the soil around the base of the stem every so often to prevent the larger varieties swaying in the breeze or you could stake them too.
During the winter months, apply liquid fertiliser from your worm farm or you can buy fish emulsion which is great too!
Remove yellowing leaves, "earth up" the stems and stake tall varieties if exposed (kale can handle exposed, slightly shady plots).
Try these sites for Kale seeds- -  or  and -
Santa Isabel Real Palace Garden, Seville Spain
Design Elements: We can have Federation, Bush garden or Cottage garden styles, but we’ve learnt that you can have different themes within these styles. This year, Garden Designer Lesley Simpson and I have trekked to Spain to see the world famous Moorish Alhambra in Granada and Santa Isabel de le Real Palace gardens in Seville. Let’s find out more.

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Santa Isabel Real Palace Garden, Seville Spain

Alhambra Palace, Granada, Spain

Alhambra Palace, Granada, Spain

Plant of the week: New Salvias for Australia.
Two new Salvias from PGA . 70CM X 1 M Spread.
Heatwave Glow is pale apricot coloured flowers tinged with salmon pink. And Heatwave Glare is pure white.
 If you’ve got a big empty spot in your garden that you want to fill quickly with plenty of colour, don’t go past Salvias. They also help attract nectar feeding birds into your garden.
  Salvias prefer to be in the ground except for the new varieties that have been bred a lot smaller. They’ll do well in a reasonable size pot. 
Larger Salvias can't be kept growing them in a small pot as they like a root run. "Any dry tolerant varieties need a root run, which is how they become drought tolerant," 
Salvias generally require a reasonable amount of sun the majority would want 2/3rds of the day in sun but there are some that take more shade. Whatever your climate, there’s a Salvia for you.
For supplies of the Salvia Heatwave series see:-Plant Growers Australia is a wholesale nursery that supplies plants to many retail nurseries in NSW, ACT, VIC, SA  mainly.Go to our web site  and click the where to buy tab this will so you your closest stockist. 

If you’re after a wide range of Salvias, Sue Templeton is a grower that stocks al manner of Salvias from the rare to the unusual.
For a description on a wide range of salvias go to
That will take you to the Salvia study group of Victoria.

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