Saturday, 24 March 2018

Clucka Tucker, Passionfruit and Peruvian Lilies

What’s On The Show Today?

Some hot tips on keeping chickens happy on the Good Earth, a member of the Rare Fruit Society in Bundaberg talks about growing passionfruit in Vegetable Heroes, Useful & Beautiful sub shrubs in Design Elements and flowers that symbolize friendship and devotion in Talking Flowers.


Plants for Chickens
Have you hankered after keeping chickens or have some of your own already?
If you’ve thought about it for ages, it may be time to bite the bullet and get three.
Chickens are a flocking bird so three’s the minimum so that they feel safe.
But what else can you do to keep the chickens happy other than having a nice chicken coop and daily fresh water?
3 Bantams photo: M Cannon
Let’s find out . I'm talking with Margaret Mossakowska from

Chickens self-medicate if they feel something is missing.
They will eat more of the food that will help them. 
Plant plenty of Rue, wormwood and Comfrey.
Ruta graveolens: Rue
Comfrey has plenty of Calcium which is good for chickens because that's what they need for shell forming.
If you have room to plant a deciduous fruit tree like a mulberry tree near your chicken coop, that would be ideal.
Other trees that are useful or Fig trees, Apple trees and Elderberry trees.
If you have a small back yard you still a tree because there are plenty of dwarf apple trees to choose from.
While the tree grows to a suitable size, you will have to put up some other sort of protection from the sun, and rain.
Of course if they’re free ranging during the day, they can shelter under other big trees or shrubs you have in the garden

If you have any questions either for me or for Margaret, you can email us or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.


Growing Passionfruit: Passiflora edulis
Almost every garden has space for a passionfruit.
Yes, it’s a fruit but botanically it’s a berry.
Plant a Passionfruit or two- Passionfruit Panama Red, Panama Gold, Nellie Kelly and Banana passionfruit.
The passionfruit vine has the look of a tropical vine with it’s lime green glossy 3-lobed leaves and its intricate purple and white flowers with a crown like appearance.
So distinctive is this flower that 16th Century Spanish Catholic missioniaries named it "Flor de las cinco llagas" or "flower of the five wounds."
They thought the flowers portrayed ‘Christ’s passion on the cross’ because it showed the Three Nails, the Five Wounds, the Crown of Thorns and the Apostles
So it could have come from Brazil but no-one knows for sure.
Passiflora edulis: Passionfruit flower. Photo M. Cannon
Right now across Australia, many gardeners are harvesting their passionfruit while others are scratching their heads and wondering why they haven’t got any.
Passionfruit or passiflora edulis has the most amazing flower and you’d think by the way it grows, that there wouldn’t be any real problems.
You would be wrong.
In this interview I'm Val Wright of Bundaberg who is a member of the Rare Fruit Society and the Organic Garden Club up there.
PLAY: Interview

Val correctly suggests that for the problem of flowers but no fruit, or thick skin and little pulp, you need to add potash to the soil and plenty of it.
Adding granular Potash is best coming into Spring and Autumn.
Add liquid Potash any time.
If you vine is dropping it's leaves, check the amount of watering you are doing.
Has it been raining a lot lately and do you have the right amount of drainage?
Passionfruit vines are subject to phytophthera, or root rot if they are sitting in too much water, henc the falling leaves. 
Correction: Phosacid sometimes sold as Yates Anti-Rot.
When to expect a passionfruit harvest?
In warm areas you will get fruit for most of the year.
In temperate areas expect a crop summer and late autumn.
In cold areas only summer.
 (Passionfruit - Panama Gold vigorous and sweeter than the others.
Black Passionfruit - (Passiflora edulis) Will tolerate light frosts. Self pollinating.

Vals  passionfruit fertiliser recipe

2 parts Blood 'n Bone
1 part Potash
1 part Epsom salts
Sprinkle a good handful around the passionfruit every 2 months.


Justicea carnea
Useful and Beautiful sub-shrubs
What are sub-shrubs?
Sub-shrubs is a category that you may not have thought about but it’s certainly worth investing in some of these to fill out your garden.
Large shrubs could be considered to be at least over 3 metres in height, maybe up to 4 metres.

Sub shrubs are a category that is for those plants that are around 1 metre to 1 1/2 metres in height.
Garden designer Peter Nixon always finds the unusual that are a little bit harder to source but are worth the effort because they turn your garden from just nice to just beautiful.

Let’s find out what they are. I'm talking with Peter Nixon Director of

Kohleria eriantha
PLAY: Useful & Beautiful sub-shrubs_14 2018
Peter mentioned sub-shrubs like Plectranthus ecklonii, the spur flower reaches about 1.2m
Barleria cristata “Lavender Lace,” with a lavender and white striped flower.
Barleria micans grows to 40cm flowering in April-May.
Kohleria eriantha with a scarlet tubular flower.
Justicia carnea and J carnea alba and Justicia betonica: Called Brazilian Plume-
A very useful plant.
Lastly, Brazilian Snapdragon or Otocanthus caeruleas with deep blue flowers.
If you have any questions about sub-shrubs , either for me or for Peter or have some information to share, why not drop us a line to or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675


Named after Baron Claus von Alstrome, a Swedish baron who collected the seeds in the late 18th century on returning from a trip to South America.
Alstromeria: Flickr photo
You may know alstromeria as a gorgeous garden plant, but it makes a fantastic cut flower too, on its own or as part of a mix. There are at least 190 cultivars in just about any colour but blue. 
They flower nine months of the year so they are readily available. 
Reminded me of cats whiskers because of the markings on the inside of each flower.
They are poisonous to pets though, so bear that in mind. 

Mercedes Sarmini of Flowers by Mercedes tells you how to select your cut flower bunch and how to make them last.
I'm talking with florist, floral therapist, and floraholic, Mercedes Sarmini of
Recorded during the broadcast of Real World Gardener show

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