Marianne is talking with ornitholgist Dr Holly Parsons about an indigenous ground dwelling bird in Wildlife in Focus, growing turmeric , a root veg that is too easy, in Vegetable Heroes, Tristaniopsis laurina or water gum is a native tree with many things to love in Plant of the Week plus what to do about indoor plant pests in Design Elements.
WILDLIFE IN FOCUS
Out of all those birds I just mentioned, gardeners might prefer the Rufous Bristlebird digging around in their garden.
Let’s find out.
The Rufous Bristlebird (Dasyorni Broadbenti) is only found in Australia and mainly along coastal areas in south-western Victoria.
Bristlebirds are generally shy birds that skulk in dense vegetation during the day. They prefer to run away to avoid danger, but are capable of flying short distances. Bit like the brush turkey.
Usually they hang around in pairs
Bristlebirds have previously been seen in south-western Western Australia and south-eastern South Australia, but unfortunately frequent burning has led to their extinction in W.A.
Have you seen a Rufous Bristlebird?
If you have any questions for me or for Holly, why not write in to Realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.
- Did you know that in Hindu religion there’s a wedding day tradition in which a string, dyed yellow with turmeric paste, is tied around the bride’s neck by her groom?
- This necklace, indicates that the woman is married and capable of running a household.
- You may have seen Buddhist monks with their saffron or yellowy coloured robes. This is where the natural colouring properties of Turmeric comes in.
- Not only is it used to colour Buddhist robes, but has been used to dye clothing and thread for centuries.
- To get your rhizome to sprout just place it in a paper bag in a warmish spot in the kitchen, say by a window and you should see sprouts in a few days. Once you have a fresh rhizome or root, all you need to do is plant it.
- A large root will have several fingers to it.You can cut these apart and start more than one plant if you like.
- Another way to get it to sprout is to just bury the rhizome 5 cm deep into loose potting mix.
- If there are any knobs or buds on the root, turn it so they are facing upwards.
|Sprouted turmeric does OK in a pot|
- You’ll have to wait at least 8 -10 months before you can dig it up.
- When the leaves turn yellow and start to dry out that’s when your turmeric is ready to dig up.
- You’ll have to dig up the whole plant and cut the rhizome away from the stem.You might be lucky and manage to dig up only a small part because storing it in the ground will keep it fresh the longest.If you’re growing it in a pot, it’s pretty simple to turn the rhizome out, take what you want, and then put it all back.
|Turmeric Flower is edible|
PLANT OF THE WEEK
This week we have a native plant that has Tristaniopsis laurina or Water gum is like the native version of Crepe myrtles, with interesting bark, leaves and flowers.
It’s in the Myrtaceae family but it’s not a gum tree.
|Water gum in flower: I'ts not a gum tree.|
I'm speaking with Adrian O’Malley, horticulturist and native plant expert.
But are the flowers perfumed? Adrian thought not but apparently they do have a perfume.
There’s an updated version called Tristaniopsis laurina ‘Luscious.”that grows up to 8m in height.
Leaves are dark green, shiny and large with a dense canopy.
New growth starts out a distinctive copper colour and further interest appears over time with the branches developing deep purple coloured bark which peels back to reveal a smooth, cream trunk.
Flowers are yellow and sweetly perfumed, appearing in clusters through summer.
If you have any questions for me or for Adrian or would like some seeds of this tree, please write in to email@example.com
Quite a few in fact can cope with all weather conditions for the far north of Australia to Tasmania.
Despite all your loving attention though, some plants can be susceptible to pest attack, or just like plain unhealthy, making you think you did something wrong.
Not necessarily true, so let’s find out about looking after indoor plants
That was Julia Levitt Director of www.sticksandstonesld.com.au
PLAY: Indoor plants-pests_2nd August 2017
Even the best plant owner will come across pests.
The trick is to keep an eye on your plants and act quickly as soon as you see something wrong with your indoor plant.
Why are we having plants indoors again?
Apart from plants reducing carbon dioxide levels in your home, did you know that people with plants in their homes have less stress, and plants have been known to contribute to lower blood pressure?
If you have any questions about indoor plant pests why not email us firstname.lastname@example.org