Real World Gardener is funded by CBF, Community Broadcasting Foundation.
Living Planet NEW SEGMENTwith ecologist, Katie Oxenham
Frogs are under threat throughout the world and loss of habitat is one of the factors contributing to their demise. A frog pond is easy to construct, adds interest to your home garden and will provide a haven for the frog species in your area. You don’t have to worry about buying any frogs, because they’ll come calling….
Let’s find out more
A pond with flowering water plants can be a very attractive focal point in a garden. These plants never seem to have any problems don’t need much attention. Observing the lifecycle of frogs throughout the seasons provides added interest to your gardening. Frogs also help to control insect pests.
Locate your pond in a part sunny, part shady, but not directly under trees. Some trees or shrubs have poisonous leaves (Oleander, Bleeding Heart and pines for example).
If you place your pond so that it's visible from the house then you can enjoy the pond anytime of day or night.
Putting the pond in the back garden, a bit away from your own house and your neighbour's houses, if the croaking of frogs is too noisy for you.
A low garden lamp that is reflected in the water will not only add to your garden's appearance in the evenings but also attract insects for the frogs.
for more information about frogs, www.frogsaustralia.net.au and www.fats.org.au
We’d love to see photos of any frogs or frog ponds that you have in your garden, just send it in to. firstname.lastname@example.org or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675, and I’ll post a CD in return.
Ginger! Zingibar officianale
- You can also add one part of good compost to two parts potting mix, and that’s going to add some nutrients as well.
- For those gardens with tropical or sub-tropical climates you can put that piece of sprouting ginger straight into the garden after you dug in a spadeful of compost. That should be good enough.
- Put in your piece of ginger about 5cm below the soil surface.
- Remember, filtered sunlight not direct sun for the position.
- For cooler climates, your ginger plant can take full sun because it won’t be as intense for the most part as in the tropics. Near a north facing wall is ideal so the plant can get reflected heat.
- If it gets too hot in summer, move the pot into semi-shade if you can.
- Also, for cooler districts, move it inside at the first signs of cold weather and don’t water it too much.
- The best planting time is late winter/early spring, but if you’ve got a piece sprouting now, don’t waste an opportunity to garden, put it in anyway.
- Ginger grows quite slowly and doesn’t mind being a little bit root bound if it’s in a pot.
- Ginger won’t overtake your garden, because, it’s slow growing and after all, you’re going to be digging it up every year to harvest the rhizomes for your cooking.
- Ginger grows to about one to 1 ½ metres and requires regular watering. Drying out will most likely set the plant back quite a bit, and even cark it.
- To supply humidity for arid climates, you’ll have to get out there with the spray bottle and spray it when you think of it, hopefully every day.
- For those growing ginger in the ground, and plenty of mulch to keep the ground moist.
- Ginger growing in pots will need fortnight feeds of liquid fertiliser if you haven’t added any controlled release or organic slow release fertilisers to the mix before planting.
- Now the most important question, when can you dig it up?
- All books will say the best time to dig up your ginger plant is when all the long green leaves have died down, 8 – 10 months after you’ve planted it.
- This is easy if you’ve been growing it in a pot, because you can tip the whole thing over and just pull it out.
- For areas where ginger growing is out of it’s range, you might be best to leave it for a couple of years for the rhizome to build up in size before tipping it out.
- Break up the rhizomes into smaller useable pieces and either store it in the freezer, or my tip is, put the pieces into some Chinese cooking wine or sherry in a resealable jar and place it in the fridge.
- Doing it this way keeps it fresh for quite a few months.
- Don’t forget to replant some rhizomes for your next years’ crop of ginger if you’ve been successful that is.
- Why is Ginger Good for You?
- Ginger is a very good source of nutrients and essential vitamins.
- It is also a good source of minerals, such as potassium, magnesium and copper.
- Many thanks to tropical permaculture group for providing some of the growing information.
Design Elementswith Landscape Designer, Louise McDaid
Shady gardens can sometimes be problematic, especially if it’s dry shade.Under trees is another area that can give a lot of shade, and the roots take up all the soil, nutrients and water.If you’re tired of looking at that bare patch and wondering what to do about it, listen to this…
Dry shade can be improved with Cliveas, Renga Renga Lilly or Arthropodium cirrhatum, and wet shade can grow a variety of ferns, even grass trees.
Lots of choices for your shady area, including painting the fence a bright or white shade to lift the feel under that tree..
Plant of the Week:Are you wary of planting gum trees into your garden? What if they turn into monsters, or are branch droppers?
Not all are bad and a few years ago a range of flowering grafted Eucalypts hit the stores making us all want to buy one for the garden.
- E. camaldulensis grows in areas where inundation is frequent, flowering late winter to mid-summer.
- Red River Gum grows in full sun and tolerates moderate frost, drought, lime soil, boggy, damp soil, clay loam or sand.
- E. camaldulensis has bark that’s smooth and white or greyish in colour except near the base of the trunk where it is often rough.
- Leaves are "typical" of eucalypts being lance-shaped up to 250mm long and blue-grey.
- The white flowers are seen mainly in late spring and summer and these are followed by small seed capsules about 60 mm diameter with protruding valves.
- The timber is termite resistant and is used in many applications where contact with the ground is needed.
- E.camaldulensis is a hardy tree but is probably too large for urban gardens, growing to 15-20 metres.
- Bywong Nursery is located 30kms north east of Canberra, near the old gold mining settlement of Bywong.
- Here’s a novel new grafted specimen.Eucalyptus " Blue Veil," is a sport selected from a mature Eucalytpus camaldulensis.
- 'Blue Veil' is an unusual grafted variety of Eucalyptus that only grows in a weeping fashion unless trained otherwise.
- Blue Veil has long flexible branches and attractive blue/green foliage.
- The supple nature of the young growth allows it to be trained to grow in many attractive forms.
- Plants can be grown at the top of high walls and allowed to hang down or branches may be espaliered against a fence or screen.
- These are grafted plants and care should be taken to prevent any growth below the graft union.
There’s now a Eucalyptus camuldulensis “Blue Veil” is available from the nursery and some local garden centres. If you’re interested in buying, contact the nursery direct, ww.bywongnursery.com.au