Category Archive: Gardenworld News

Blueberry Burst – extra large fruit.

Blueberry Burst has been bred in Australia. It has large fruit size and is high yielding. It is early in season to flower and early to fruit. What we really like about it is that it is an evergreen, so won’t drop it’s leaves.

It is said that the fruit can be as large as a one doller australian coin. Harvest time is stated to be August September for a cooler Melbourne garden. This is early and we’ll be interested to see how local home gardeners go.

The extra large fruit size has been obtained by traditional plant breeding methods, which has taken the plant breeder many years to perfect. Different blueberry varieties with different characteristics are cross pollinated until

The fruit is a crisp skinned, sweet fruit, harvested over 3 – 4 months resulting in a constant supply of delicious, healthy fruit, filled with blueberry’s renowned anti-oxidants.

This variety is an evergreen, “naturally dwarfing” variety growing to 1.0m high x 0.75m in width. It is self pollinating and because of its low chilling requirement can be grown anywhere in Australia. This variety has been growing in trials in both warmer and cooler climates in Australia with great success in all climates.

Some Growing Tips for achieving the ulimate blueberry crop.

Select a site that has full sun for most of the day. For Melbourne,  with high summer temperatures with multiple days over 36 degrees,  ensure plants receive shade from the afternoon sun and then move plants back out to full sun for Autumn, Winter and Spring. This could be achieved by growing in front of a west facing fenceline, or growing in a pot that can be moved. Otherwise, mulch well in summer, and water at the base of the plant early in the morning of a 36+ degree day. Don’t wet the leaves during the hot day, or they will fry.

For best results, the breeder recommends that Blueberry Burst® be grown in a pot or tub as this gives you more control over the pH, and gives good drainage. Blueberries are acid loving plants like camellias and azaleas. This requires a potting mix with a lower pH which we sell here in the nursery. You could also use aged pine needles as a mulch to aid in this process. pH 4.5 to 5.5 is what you are after.

Potting media could be 50% course pine bark mulch and 50% of our premium quality Camellia/ Azalea potting mix, mixed  together. For warm dry regions the addition of pine bark may not be necessary, however it is still worth considering to keep a well aerated pot which will extend the life of your Blueberry in a pot considerably.

Feeding - Use a good 3 month slow release fertilizer or organic fertilizer such as composted cow manure every 3 months and add a good liquid fertilizer with added trace elements twice through the growing season. A good high potassium liquid fertilizer every 2- 3 weeks applied to the potting mix throughout the growing season will assist with fruit size. Plant health is very important for best results. A good, strong, healthy plant with foliage free from disease is very important to achieve beautiful fruit. Do not allow plants to lose their leaves from poor nutrition or disease.

Watering - Because the potting media is free draining, in warm weather plants should be watered every 2 days (Give plants up to 6 months old 1.5 litres and mature plants 2- 3 litres of water per plant or until water dribble’s out of the pot base). In Winter this can be reduced by 50%. Do not over water. Avoid watering plants over their foliage, as this will help to avoid promoting conditions for leaf fungal diseases. A helpful saucer under the pot can be very handy in summer, or a even drip line for when growing in the ground.

Pest and Disease - All Blueberry varieties are susceptible to fungal leaf diseases under high humidity and high rainfall, including blueberry rust. Apply a good copper fungicide like ‘Kocide’ or ‘Yates liquid copper’ to protect against this. So if we get weeks of drizzly rain, a preventative spray may be wise to consider.

Check for Caterpillar damage on a regular basis and control when necessary with ‘Dipel’, a low toxic solution.

Monitor for scale insects. The first sign is ant activity in the bushes, as ants seek out the sugary secretions of the scale. Use white oil or try pouring a small amount of soapy water onto the infected area for control.

Finally, when all those berries arrive, protect from birds, possums, kids, mums and dads and everyone and everything because we all love blueberries !

Good Luck

Watercress – king of the superfoods ?

Nasturtium officinale is the botanical name for watercress.

Watercress is one of the oldest known leafy greens eaten by humans. It is a perennial plant native to Europe and Asia. It is semi aquatic and often grown in hydroponic systems. Others recommend growing it in ponds, with fresh water constantly flowing through. I find it grows well in a pot just under my tap. That way every time I turn the tap on, it is likely to get some water. It is much better home grown as it is difficult for supermarkets and fruit shops to handle logistically.

The truly amazing thing about watercress, is that this week it was listed as the number one food for nutritional value. According to USA’s  National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, watercress is at the top of the list for healthy food. It ranked twice as well as kale, and is highly valued because of its high levels of vitamins A, C, calcium, magnesium and potassium.

Who would of thought this peppery little round leaved leafy green would pack so much of a punch !

Here is the list as compiled by Jennifer Di Noia, PhD. You can read the full report here.

Item _________Nutrient Density Score
Watercress ______100.00
Chinese cabbage__ 91.99
Chard __________89.27
Beet green ______87.08
Spinach ________86.43
Chicory________ 73.36
Leaf lettuce_____ 70.73
Parsley_________ 65.59
Romaine lettuce__ 63.48
Collard green ____62.49
Turnip green ____62.12
Mustard green___ 61.39
Endive ________60.44
Chive _________54.80
Kale __________49.07
Dandelion green__ 46.34
Red pepper_____ 41.26
Arugula________ 37.65
Broccoli ________34.89
Pumpkin ________33.82
Brussels sprout___ 32.23
Scallion _________27.35
Kohlrabi ________25.92
Cauliflower ______25.13
Cabbage ________24.51
Carrot _________22.60
Tomato ________20.37
Lemon _________18.72
Iceberg lettuce ___18.28
Strawberry _____17.59
Radish ________16.91
Winter squash___ 13.89
Orange ________12.91
Lime _________12.23
Grapefruit _____ 11.64
Rutabaga ______11.58
Turnip________ 11.43
Blackberry_____ 11.39
Leek __________10.69
Sweet potato ____10.51

Please note: raspberry, tangerine, cranberry, garlic, onion, and blueberry didn’t satisfy the criteria required for this particular test.

Gardening with soul – the movie

Love, faith…and compost.

This movie started today at the Classic Cinemas in Elsternwick. It is sure to be a gardeners favourite and an inspiration to anyone under the age of 90. If Sister Loyola can do all this in chilly New Zealand, there is no excuse for us younger Melbourne winter gardeners.

This lively, beautifully shot documentary is filmed almost entirely in the small community of Island Bay on the southern coast of Wellington and follows a year in the garden with 90 year old Sister Loyola Galvin, the main gardener at Home of Compassion. Sister Loyola’s optimism is infectious and it’s fed every day by her love of gardening. Themes of faith, aging and compassion sit alongside the practicalities of community life, issues within the Catholic Church and the importance of good compost in this intimate, funny and moving portrait of a woman approaching the end of her life.  

The following was written about this movie by Jo Randerson (NZ International Film Festival):

As the main gardener at the Home of Compassion in Island Bay, Wellington, her daily tasks include heavy lifting alongside vigorous spade and wheelbarrow work, which she sometimes performs on crutches. Loyola and the other Sisters of Compassion follow the vision of Mother Aubert to ‘meet the needs of the oppressed and powerless in their communities’. 

Filmmaker Jess Feast (Cowboys and Communists) has been following Sister Loyola over the last year, charting her journey through the seasons which included her 90th birthday. Through her garden, we begin to understand Loyola’s commitment to nurture all living things, especially those which ‘don’t get a good start’. From her early work as a nurse with sick or stillborn babies, to her role as a nun raising children with disabilities, we see Loyola’s incredible energy and faith in her God to carry her through the difficult times.

The lively, beautifully shot documentary (edited by Annie Collins) is filmed almost entirely in this small community on the southern coast of Wellington. With music by local musician David Long, and full of the sea- and garden-scapes that have informed Loyola’s life, Gardening with Soul uncovers a local legend and her community for the wider world. It is a conceptual triumph for Feast. Any belief we might harbour that becoming a nun is avoiding the real world is turned firmly on its head as we witness this extraordinary soul steer a sharp course through all weathers, trying to shine love on everything she sees.

Ticket prices: Adults $19, Child $13.50, Concession $14, Senior $11

More information: Classic Cinemas

Winners Of our Gardening With Soul competiton:

Michelle:

My favourite plant has to be the Venus Fly Trap. I was first given
one as a child and it was the perfect plant/pet combination. My
brother and I used to search the window sills to find dead flies to
feed it. They also remind me of one of my favourite movies : “Little
Shop Of Horrors” – while the plant was still cute of course.

Danielle:

My favourite plant is the jonquil.  In the depths of a dark and depressing Winter, up pops their vibrant flowers with the most intoxicating scent.  It is a lovely reminder that Spring is on the way.

Ulrike:

my favourite plant is a Lemon Scented Gum. I grow it in a container in front of the entrance door to my house. Every time I go in or out I rub one of the leaves between my fingers and get invigorated by the fresh, strong aromatic smell. I use the leaves for tea or put it in the bath water. It also looks quite pretty: its new leaves are shiny and reddish, and the stems have little hairs that make it look red. Last but not least, the lemon scented gum is easy to care for – it has few pests, doesn’t mind being cut back, and keeps growing happily as long as it gets well watered in summer!

Gardenworld goes yarn bombing

The call came out from Eastland Shopping Centre in Ringwood. Find us some trees to yarn bomb. If you don’t know what yarn bombing is, its when some fanatical knitters, crocheters, stitchers and quilters get together and cover everyday objects with yarn.

It was not easy to find a tree with a reasonably thick trunk, yet still able to be wheeled through a door way. We managed to find four lovely Ficus macrophylla from one of our growers. Of course you would know these trees as Moreton Bay Figs. That’s right, those massive trees you see in parks that are decades old. In fact I remember my last trip to Sydney when I saw the giant fig at Government House. It’s around 169 years old !

Moreton Bay Fig

Moreton Bay Fig planted circa 1845

But back to the yarn bombing. The Eastland Park is a combined project, by local knitters from Domain Gracedale, Waldtreas Village Aged Care Facility, Wyreena Arts Centre, BUPA Aged Care Croydon and The Yarn Corner.

It is on at Eastland Shopping Centre from now until the 15th June. There is a list of activities for adults and kids on their website here.

Now you might think Ringwood is a long way from Gardenworld, but not any more. Driving the Eastlink Freeway, I get from Gardenworld to Eastland in about 20 minutes. The traffic is usually free flowing. For anyone in Ringwood’s surrounds you can get to Gardenworld in the same time, but you’ll have a different type of yarn when you get there. We’d love to see you !

If anyone wants to buy one of these magnificent 5 year old Moreton Bay Figs, they are available for $495 including Melbourne Metro delivery, but only while the 4 trees last, and only if you have a very big backyard.

 

 

The Cherry Blossoms of Japan

Bu Bonnie-Marie Hibbs

For many years I have admired Japanese landscape gardens and, in particular, the beauty of the cherry blossom season. Fortunately, earlier this month I was lucky enough to see the cherry blossoms. Throughout my two weeks of travelling around Japan I saw my fair share of cherry blossoms. After landing in Tokyo and having a good night’s rest I set off on my first official day sight-seeing, visiting two gardens.


One of the gardens I happened to stumble across when making my way to the stationCurious, I decided to take a look. The name of the garden is Kyu-Shiba-Rikyu’. The design and layout of the garden is what you would title as a ‘Stroll garden.’ There is a central lake which the rest of the garden is focused around. Rock and land formations have been styled to mimic and take certain aspects from the natural landscape. 

Some many consider the garden to be quite simple, but for such a ‘simple’ garden there is a surprising amount of history behind it.  The land that the gardens are currently flourishing on today was once a part of Tokyo bay; it was in 1655-1658 that this land was reclaimed and the gardens were constructed on. Unfortunately, Kyu-Shiba-Rikyu garden suffered significant damage on September 1st, 1923, when the Great Kanto Earthquake struck. Most of the trees that were once flourishing were reduced to ash from the fires that broke out. Amazingly, in April of 1924, one year later, the gardens were re-opened to the public and completely restored.

‘Shinjuku Gyoen National Gardens’ was the next garden that I visited. It was quite overwhelming the amount of people there to celebrate the start of the cherry blossom season. Thousands of people had picnics laid out under the shadows of the cherry trees. Hundreds of people were taking photographs and some simply enjoying a pleasant day out strolling around the gardens. The amount of cherry blossom petals that were falling made it look like the ground was covered in snow it was beautiful.

I have made a small list of just some of the plants that were featured in this garden.

Unfortunately, not all of these plant varieties are available in nurseries around Australia but there are lots of great alternatives these days.

  • Chaenomeles speciosa (Flowering quince)                                       
  • Prunus serrulata var. serrulata
  • Malus halliana (Hall crabapple)                                                           
  • Prunus lannesiana cv. Hisakura
  • Rhododendron ponticum                                                                               
  • Prunus lannesiana cv. Sekiyama
  • Prunus campanulata                                                                                     
  • Prunus cv. Grandiflora
  • Prunus pendula cv. Pendula                                                                     
  • Prunus cv.  Albo-rosea
  • Prunus speciosa(Oshima zakura/cherry)                     
  • Prunus x yedoensis cv. Yedoensis
  • Prunus lannesiana (Carr.) Wilson                                                          
  • Prunus x subhirtella cv. Subhirtella
  • Prunus x kanzakura cv. Kanzakura,                                                          
  • Prunus campanulata
  • Prunus x kanzakura ‘Rubescens’                                                              
  • Prunus jamasakura Sied. ex Koidz,
  • Prunus ‘Youkouzakura’  (Sunlight/Sunshine Cherry)          
  • Magnolia liliiflora (white form)
  • Narcissus pseudonarcissus (wild daffodil, lent lily)
  • Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)
  • Davidia involucrate (Dove tree)   

Please come down to the nursery and have a chat. We have a great range of ornamental trees available in the bare root season, which will start the second week of June.

 

Chaenomeles speciosa Orange form

Pieris japonica


A rewarding time for citrus.

By James Wall

After years of nurturing my precious citrus trees, this year the trees are paying me back.

Yes,  they do need regular watering, feeding and sometimes protection from horrible critters like Leaf-miner and Gall Wasp. Yes, they do grow rather slowly. Yes, Melbourne can be a little cold for some varieties.

But YES, this year I am getting loads of fruit and……..loving it.

Mandarin Japanese Seedless

This tree is only about 1.5 metres and already fruited last year. It consistently fruits in April, and the fruit are of a good size. It is my favourite citrus tree.

Mandarin Imperial

This tree has grown bigger than the Japanese Seedless and has more fruit, but the fruit are much smaller and are only starting to colour up now. On reflection I may have been wiser to give this tree a couple of liquid feeds coming out of summer to try and beef up the fruit a bit.

Orange Washington Navel

Its been a few years, but at last there are some thumping big oranges that have formed on this tree but they are still green at the moment. I saw this variety at a friends place down in Seaford a few years ago, and after tasting one straight off the bush, I just had to grow one at my place.

 

The tree is still only 1.5 metres, but it is really starting to thicken up, after about its fourth or fifth year.

It is the world’s most popular citrus as it is sweet, has a thick, easily removed rind and is nearly seedless. The fruit also breaks into segments nicely.

This variety was originally a mutant from Brazil, brought to the USA by a Presbyterian missionary. It really launched the Californian citrus industry in the late 1800s.

Lemon Meyer

This tree is a phenomenon ! It had been their many years before I moved in and has been declared one of the best lemon trees in the street. There are so many lemons all at once, that unless I bottle them, many of them will be given away at the nursery. I guess one of the advantages of Lisbon and Eureka lemons is that they spot fruit throughout the year rather than glut at once. They usually have bigger thorns though ! They are also true bitter lemons unlike the Meyer which is a cross between a lemon and a mandarin or orange. It originated in China.

Lime Kaffir

Ok, so everyone uses the double leaves for Thai, Laos and Cambodian cooking, using them like bay leaves. There is also the zest which just smells amazing. I actually like to take the weird knobbly fruit and use it for juicing – yes, thats right I am a kaffir juice sinner !  It’s not that sour, but it does make me feel rebellious !

 

Ok, so all I can say to budding citrus growers is be patient. At first its seem like a long haul, but when you think that these trees will fruit almost every year now for the next 2o years of so, it is a most satisfying species of tree to grow. 

Gardenworld Gold and Silver at the Flower Show

There were times we wondered what we were doing. There were times of elation, and times of despair. Today it all became worth it when two of the gardens that Gardenworld were involved in took out four awards.

Designer Phillip Withers and his garden ‘Here and Now’ was awarded a Silver medal, and won The Honda Sustainabilty Award.

Designers Joby and Carolyn Blackman and their garden titled, ‘The Gardener’s Library’ was awarded a Gold medal and won an award for the best use of plant life.

The two gardens were totally different but both contained gardens that had some attainable attributes for home gardeners.

If you can’t make it to the show, come down and see us at the nursery as we would love to show you some of our award winning plants, always on show.

Here And Now

The Gardener’s Library

 

Sneak preview of ‘Here and Now’

We are so excited to be a part of The Melbourne Flower Show this year. Gardenworld and our in house Landscape Designer Phillip Withers have teamed up with Outdeco Gardenscreens, Semken Landscaping and over 20 other sponsors to create show garden ‘Here and Now’

We are creating not just a garden but the back of an Urban Dwelling to promote a good relationship between indoor and outdoor living. Here we will let the audience gain the feeling of looking out into the garden to a small urban family setting, one which celebrates the space they have while carefully carving out a sustainable system so that every pocket is thought through for the use of the whole family. The adults will have their desired entertaining area and secluded outdoor bathroom, while the kids will have avenues to explore, roam and play.

It will be architecturally artful and planted predominantly edible, full of fruit, vegies and herbs for use. The garden will promote function and sustainability but wont hide from Phils signature pops of colour as we look to consider every pocket of the space, even the humble chicken coop.

We have put in a great deal of effort over the past 8 or 9 months designing with the helpful input of a whole host of wonderful contributors whom we can’t thank enough for their support and attention to detail leading into what should be an amazing show…

We’ll keep you posted……..

March 26th – 30th. Exibition Buildings and Carlton Gardens.

Sponsors

Gardenworld

Semken Landscaping

Outdeco

Anston Paving
Frencham Cypress
Vertiscape
Pop and Scott
Apaiser
Transrock
Shades Plus
Merrywood
Oasis
Shades Plus
Porters Paint
Lotus Water Gardens
Smart Water Shop
Lilydale Instant Turf
Glosswood
Cenzo Design
Ross Gardam
Total way Transport
Schneppa Glass
Bark King
Suburban Chooks
Zucchetti
Bayview Windows

Canada’s famous Butchart Gardens

Gardenworld Nursery staff member Sue Webster talks about her recent visit to these famous gardens:

Located twenty kilometres north of Victoria, on Vancouver Island, British Colombia, are the world famous Butchart Gardens.

Robert and Jennie Butchart were pioneers in the cement industry and in 1904 purchased the site for a quarry and cement plant. As the limestone deposits were exhausted, Jennie created something of beauty by bringing in tonnes of top soil to line the floor of the abandoned quarry. Little by little it blossomed into the spectacular Sunken Garden (see above). It was finally completed in 1921.

Between 1906 and 1929, the Butchart’s created an Italian Garden (see above), a Japanese Garden (see below) and the beautiful Rose Garden. By the 1920s, more than fifty thousand people visited the gardens each year.


The Butchart’s gave the gardens to their grandson, Ian Ross, for his 21st birthday in 1939 and for the next fifty years he was completely involved in their operation and development. In 1954 he introduced the Night Illuminations to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the gardens. In 1978 Ian’s son, Christopher, started the spectacular firework shows and after Ian’s death in 1997, the gardens were transferred to Christopher. When Christopher passed away, the management was assumed by his sister, Robin. Still under family ownership, the Butchart Gardens are open to the public every day of the year.


During the summer nights, the gardens are illuminated and have a fantastic display of fireworks set to music each week. The Rose Garden is overflowing with lush colours and scents. The summer annuals and perennials are in full flower making a magnificent display along the walkways.

In early autumn, the diverse collection of some 300 varieties of dahlias come alive and the colours are most spectacular. At this time, the magic of the Japanese Garden appears with the vibrant colours of the Japanese maples as they change colour and begin to lose their leaves. It is at this time that 300,000 bulbs are planted for spring flowering.

During the winter months of December and January, the gardens have a popular Christmas lights display. As the gardens settle for the winter, thousands of pointsettias are moved from the greenhouse to enhance the Christmas décor throughout all indoor facilities.

Spring brings everything from blossoming trees to tulips and everything in between and the 300,000 bulbs emerge in a carefully orchestrated symphony of colour. The eighty full time gardens are at their busiest throughout the gardens.

Each year over 1,000,000 bedding plants in some 900 varieties give uninterrupted bloom from March to October. Over a million people visit annually for spring’s colourful flowering bulbs, summer’s riot of colour, entertainment and fireworks, autumn’s colours of russets and golds, the magic of Christmas decorations and winter’s peacefulness. On the 100th year anniversary in 2004, the gardens were awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Tourist Association and were also designated a National Historic Site recognizing their importance to the development of horticulture in Canada.

 This is a must see for any visitor to the west coast of Canada.

Outstanding Apprentice of The Year.

Congratulations goes out to our second year apprentice Chris Henbery who has been awarded ‘Outstanding Apprentice of of the Year’

Last Tuesday Swinburne University Of Technology held an awards evening to recognise the work and contributions of apprentices within the technology and trades industry. The awards were presented to individuals that showed dedication and contribution to education through apprenticeships as well as skills learned and used to a high standard in both work and study.

Our 2nd year apprentice, Chris Henbery, won an award for ’Outstanding Apprentice of of the Year’ in the Nursery category for horticulture. Chris has been with us at Gardenworld  for almost a year and a half, while studying his apprenticeship at Swinburne throughout this time. We are sure that if you have been served by Chris, you will see that he has learnt a great deal of plant knowledge in a very short space of time.

A number of apprentices from industry sectors including electricians, plumbing and landscaping were recognised. The awards also included a speech from guest speaker Sam Rowe, who plays in the AFL for Carlton and played his first game in the second round this year. He spoke to the guests about his carpentry apprenticeship that he has just completed, a job he hopes to resume when he finishes his AFL career.

The evening was a great success, recognising almost 30 up and coming apprentices across all industries and highlighting the potential we have for great emerging talent in the future. Well done Chris – enjoy your garden !

Chris was part of the now famous bottle garden at the Melbourne Flower Show

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