Sunday, 6 February 2011

Dollar Bird in The Hand?

Wildlife in Focus. NEW SEGMENT!
Kurtis talks about the Dollar bird. To listen, just click on the player. ( Available until 2nd March 2011)
Visit for hear the Dollar bird call again.

Vegetable Hero: Real World Gardener recommends growing Plectranthus amboinicus-Cuban Oregano.   This powerful smelling herb seems to contain large amounts of Thymol which explains why the leaves have a very strong aroma when handled.   A succulent perennial herb that can reach 50cm  in height with fleshy leaves in opposite pairs. Cuban oregano's fleshy, almost succulent leaves are held tightly around the stem and are extremely aromatic. In summer the plant carries spikes of whorled, lilac-pink, mauve, or white flowers, and it lends an architectural element to an ornamental or herb container. 
Cultivation: The brittle stems and leaves sort of resemble the common Coleus but are much fleshier of course. Growth is slow in the winter months and moderate in spring and summer. Heat and direct sun don't seem to adversely affect growth or appearance. Insignificant flower stems form in the autumn. It is extremely tender to frost, so grow in a protected area or keep it mobile in a pot so it can be placed in a controlled environment in the winter.  Propagate vegetatively, from cuttings at anytime.

Design Elements: An introduction to designing a garden border. Start small and simple in a corner of your garden, but do it right. Here Lesley and Marianne talk about what steps you should take before you buy plants to fill your garden.
To listen, just click the player. (Available until 2nd March 2011)

Plant of the Week: Frangipani rubra.  They like very well drained soil and at least 5-6 hours of sunlight a day. If they don’t get these two main growing conditions, your Frangipani tree will start to show signs of stress by getting fungal diseases, attacks from pest insects and not flowering well or at all.  
  Frangigpani’s prefer organic fertilizer at the beginning of the growing season. Make some deep holes with a tomato stake around an established tree on the canopy edge, and drop the fertilizer in that way.
  Frangipani’s have a deep tap root and many fine feeder roots. This doesn’t make their roots invasive because you would’ve seen many mature trees growing within 1-2 metres of older houses without any sign of damage to the house or lifting of any pavement.
Some highly scented cultivars are Classic Cream, Vera Cruz Rose, Charlotte ebert, and Orange Glow.
If you enjoy propagating plants and would like to be involved in making your community a greener place, you might like to join the Growers for Greenspace project. This is a regional program organized by the Parramatta River Catchment Group in which a number of local councils are involved including Hunters Hill. Participants will be growing native plants in a little greenhouse at their own home, for use in community areas such as parks and reserves.
The Growers for Greenspace program will run at Ryde TAFE on three Tuesdays – the 8th March, 29th March and 3rd May.  More info is available at or call Sue Stevens at Strathfield Council on 9748 9940.