Spring - Your Local Gardening Advice For Australian Gardens

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Fragrant shrubsBush tuckerPRINT POST APPROVED PP 424022/00409Grow tomatoesPassionfruitLavenderClivias.and more hints& tips than ever!ISSUE 58Spring 2011For more gardeningrdening hints & tips, visit www.aboutthegarden.com.au

Issue 58Premium ResultsOrganicallyNewLiquidFormSpring 2011About this issue.FeaturesGrowing bush tuckerFragrant shrubs make good scentsLet there be lavenderGrowing passionfruitTasty tomatoesClassy cliviasOther top shade performersPlant clinic: iron chlorosisRecipe: lemon myrtle barramundi469101820212223RegularsSpring 2011 Garden DiarySpring 2011 handy hints & tipsSubscribe to About the Garden121422Spring has sprung! Sumptuous fragrantplants and edible gardens are thehighlight in this issue and there’s noend of inspiration in our new extendedhints and tips section. Spring is when it’seasy to make your garden look great, so getoutside and enjoy! God bless.Beautiful PBeautifulPlantslantts BetterBettereCrops Healthier Environment Available in soil, pellet & liquid formCon SearlePPrayerwillill increaseiiin power andd realitylit as werepudiate all pretense and learn to be utterly honestbefore God as well as before men. — A. W. TozerAsk for these great Searles products at your nearest gardening outlet. Managing Director: Conway Searle Contributors: Claire Bickle, Noel Burdette,Frida Forsberg, Alana Searle and Ashley Searle Magazine Manager: Alana Searle Design & Layout: Frida Forsberg — ATG Graphics Dept. ATG Group Co-ordinator & Advertising: Jason Searle Front Cover Photography: French lavender (Lavenderalliardii) by Noel Burdettevisit our websiteAbout the Garden is published seasonally byAbout the Garden Pty. Ltd. ABN 21 076 919 9924914 D’Aguilar Highway, Kilcoy or P.O. Box 70, Kilcoy Qld. 4515Phone: (07) 5422 3090 Fax: (07) 5497 2287Email: [email protected] FAMILY BUSINESS SINCE 1977The material appearing in About the Garden is subject to copyright. Other than as permitted by the Copyright Act, no part ofthis magazine may be reproduced without the permission of the publishers. No responsibility is accepted by About the GardenPty. Ltd. for the accuracy of information contained in the text, illustrations or advertisements. Although believed to be accuratelyand correctly sourced, thereof disclaims any liability against itself, editor/s or employees arising from any person acting on thematerial herein. The opinions expressed in the magazine, or by contributors, do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher. Copyright 2011 About the Garden Pty. Ltd.SuperiorresultsFeeds for 12monthsQualityguaranteedwww.searles.com.au

lemon myrtleLemon myrtle closeup with flowers.Davidson’s plumLilly pilliesby Claire Bicklebush tuckerBush tucker plants are the new vogue in Australian cuisine — afew species have even skyrocketed to worldwide fame. There arepossibly thousands of edible plants in Australia and each state andclimate zone has its own endemic species. Here are some of themore popular and accessible of our indigenous edibles and how togrow them in your home garden.Lemon Scented Myrtle(Backhousia citriodora)Lemon scented myrtle is one of the mostvaluable, versatile and loved bush tuckerplants in Australia. A native to South EastQueensland and Northern New SouthWales dry rainforest edges, the lemonmyrtle will grow happily and easily in fullsun or part shade. During summer, thislarge shrub or small tree is adorned withfluffy, cream-coloured flowers. The leavesare the world’s most concentrated,naturally-occurring source of citral (alemon fragrance found in lemongrassand other lemon-scented plants), whichgives them their irresistibly delicious,lemony fragrance. Lemon myrtle leavescan be used either fresh or dried in teas,cakes, biscuits, desserts, sauces, savourydishes, fish dishes and dressings.Growing to around 6m in full sun and15m in the rainforest, this attractive treecan be easily grown in a large pot. Incool climates, its growth tends to remaincompact. Protect it from frosts.The lemon myrtle has a couple of closerelatives that are also widely sought afterfor their aromatic and culinary uses;aniseed myrtle (Syzygium anisatum),for its aniseed flavoured foliage andcinnamon myrtle (Backhousia4WattleThis slicedDavidson’splum showsits brightred fleshGrowingmyrtifolia), for its sweet, spicy scentedfoliage. The leaves of any of these plantscan be used fresh or dried. When usingthem dried, grind them up with a mortarOther great bushtucker plantsOther bush tucker plants that canbe grown in home gardens aremacadamia nut, aniseed myrtle,hibiscus rosella, warrigal greens, nativemint, cinnamon myrtle, Burdekin plum,native ginger, peanut tree, wattles,bush tomato, pigface, midyum berry,blue quandong, bunya nut, lemonaspen, brown plum pine, desert lime,dianella lily, mountain pepper.Finger limesMost of theseshrubs and treesbear edible pink,red or purpleberries that canbe made intoa sauce, jamor jelly. I havefound Syzygiumluehmannii andS. oleosum arebest for this.The seeds of our nativefloral emblem can beused in cooking. Theflowers can also beadded to pikelet orpancake mixture for adelightful, ‘Australian’ twist.and pestle. This way they can be addedto recipes without having to be strainedoff later. If using them fresh, the foliagereleases flavour more readily if infused inhot water first. Lemon myrtle leaves canbe picked straight off the bush and putin a cup of boiling water for a refreshingtea. Add a slice lemon or a teaspoon ofhoney.Roseleaf raspberry(Rubus rosiflorus)There are several species of nativeraspberries and some are tastier thanothers. Also known as the Athertonraspberry, I should point out that Rubusrosiflorus should not be expected toroseleaf raspberrycarry the same intense flavourof European raspberries. Nonethe less, the roseleaf raspberryis edible and sweet. I havefound it is best for makingjams. It is a favourite amongstchildren, especially when fullyripe. Chickens are also partialto the odd raspberry or two.The Roseleaf raspberry is asuckering shrub up to 1.5mtall. If undisturbed, it will onlysucker in its direct location.If the roots are disturbed ordug up anywhere nearby,you may find unwantedplants popping up from rootsuckers. If this is a concern toyou, it will happily grow andfruit in a large tub. Give it fullsun to part shade. Nativeto Australia’s east coast,Rubus rosiflorus has beautiful,delicate white flowersseveral times per year; thebright red fruit then follows.Other native raspberries ofinterest are Rubus moorei,Rubus fraxinifolius and Rubusmoluccanus.Finger Lime(Citrus australasica)The finger lime is one of manylimes native to Australia. It isfound naturally on rainforestedges and grows to around4-6m in height. The bush isextremely prickly, so it’s agood intruder deterrent whenplanted close to windowsor as a boundary hedge —but avoid planting it nearwalkways or children’s playareas. All native limes prefer afree draining soil with a slightlyacidic pH of around 5.5 to 6.5.If drainage is a problem, thefinger lime will happily growin a large container. The juiceof the finger lime is held insidehundreds of tiny round, cellularstructures inside the fruit. Thesetiny balls become pressurisedwhen the fruit is ripe, at whichpoint they will spill out of thefruit if it is cut open. The fleshand skin of the finger lime isstrong in flavour. The flesh isvery refreshing when usedin fresh juices, punches oreven a glass of champagne.The fruit looks like caviarballs and is very attractivebobbing around in the glass.This flesh is commonly palegreen in colour but there isalso a named cultivar called‘Rainforest Pearl’ that hasexquisite, pale pink flesh.Finger lime can be used insauces, jams, marmalades,savoury salads, and Thaicuisine — just about anythingyou would use traditional limesfor, and more. It is excellentas a garnish and makes afantastic accompaniment tofish and poultry dishes. Othernative limes of interest are theround lime (C. australis) anddesert lime (C. glauca).D. jerseyana species fromnorthern New South Walesis also popular and is said tohave particularly good fruit.Davidson’s plum has darkpurple, almost black skin andcontains a vibrant, cerisered flesh. Although basicallypleasant-tasting, these plumscan cause some ratherinteresting screwed up facialexpressions when eaten rawstraight off the tree, due totheir rather tart and acidicflesh. Most people prefer tocook Davidson’s plums intoa sauce that can be used insavoury or sweet dishes, orpreserve them in the form of atasty jam, jelly or wine.The Davidson’s plum, whichsadly is becoming scarce inYou will need.its native habitats, is a slendertree, growing around 6-8m tall.The frond-like leaves are hairyand somewhat prickly andthe new growth is a brilliantpink. Davidson’s plum preferswarmer climate zones butwill tolerate cooler regions ifprotected from frost. The fruitappears in large clusters thathang down the tree afterthe delicate mauve flowershave blossomed in summer.They then ripen throughoutthe autumn and winter.Being a native rainforest tree,the Davidson’s plum is bestgrown in a sheltered, partshaded position in the gardenwith ample moisture andprotection from damagingwinds.Davidson’s Plum(Davidsonia pruriens var. pruriens)There are several species ofDavidson’s plum.Davidsonia pruriens var.pruriens from northern NewSouth Wales and northQueensland rainforests isthe best-known species. TheTo make grevillea flowersinto a delicious cordialTake a cup of grevillea flowers and steep in two cups of hotwater until cool, remove flowers, add the juice of half a lemonand chill to serve. Because of their high levels of nectar, theAboriginies used to suck the flowers as a sweet treat.Look out for our yummy lemon myrtle barramundi recipe on page 23!5

gardenia ‘My Love’brunfelsiaby Noel BurdetteFragrantmake goodshrubsJasmine sambac(Jasmine nitidum)This white flowering beauty is something of a well-keptsecret. This low shrub has all the virtues of true jasmines,including a sweet fragrance. Its multiple clusters of doublewhite flowers resemble miniature camellias or roses.The blooms appear sporadicallythroughout the year and permeatethe air with their sweet fragrance.Although often sold as aclimber, this plant is better keptas a small, rounded shrubwith regular tip pruning.An undemanding plant, itenjoys full sun or light shade,making it a good choicefor planting under large trees.Varieties such as GrandDuke of Tuscany andChinese Emperor havefully double blooms witha pinkish tint. The lesserknown ‘ChineseEmpress’ has semi Up to 70cm talldouble, equally Warm temperate to subtropicalperfumed blooms.climates (Sydney & north)This is a small growingplant, 60-70cm tall FFullull ssunun ttoo llightight sshadehadewhich suits pots and Neutral soilsmall garden spaces Water&mulchtokeepevenly moistsuch as courtyards, patiosor balconies. Drought tolerant once established6scentsAromatherapists can’t beall wrong when they tell usfragrance can relieve stress,promote good health and createa sense of general well-being.With this selection of beautiful, yethardy fragrant shrubs, it’s easy tobring that extra level of delight toour gardens. Plant a few todayand give your garden a breath ofsweet air.Brunfelsia (Brunfelsia latifolia)aThis is a medium shrub that flowers fromlate winter to early summersummer. Also knownas Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow, it bearsmasses of deep violet-coloured bloomsthat fade with age to lavender andthen white, giving a three toned effect.Growing about 2 metres high, it can besoftly pruned into a dome shape or usedas a flowering hedge or screen. The softperfume, most potent in the morning andmid to late afternoon,afternoon is reminiscentremofviolets and roses.roses Very dependependablendable andllong-lived,g li d it iis affectedff t d bbyy ffefewew ppestst ordiseases. Brunfelsia is decidudiseasesdeciduous in cooccoolerzones butb t burstsb t intoi t lifelif withith renewedrenewedvigour in the spring. In coolercareas, itcan flower later and oftenoftten repeat flowersthrough summer.summerport wine magnolia Up to 3m tall Prefers good drainage but toleratesdrought and heavy, moisture retentivesoils. Subtropical to temperate (deciduousin cooler areas). Dislikes frost. Full sun to part shade. Water regularly until established, thennon-reliant on additional watering.Magnolia figoOnce formally known as Michelia figo,Magnolia figo is an amazing shrub,now officially regarded and groupedbotanically as a magnolia. Magnoliafigo flowers from mid winter to earlyspring with delightful, cream to buff pinkflowers that have a rich, fruity fragrance.Because of this, the Magnolia figo iscommonly named the ‘banana bush’or ‘Port wine magnolia’. It producesmaroon-coloured, miniature magnolialike blooms and is great for hedges andscreens. The flowers are borne insidethe plant, so are unlikely to be removedwith pruning. Although it doesn’t haveas highly visible flowers as some ofits relatives, the fragrance of just onebush in flower can pervade an entirecourtyard or small garden in an eveningor early morning. Other great cultivars ofmichelia (magnolia) include M ‘Coco’,M. ‘Bubbles’, M. ‘Mixed up Miss’ and thelesser known M. Yunnanensis, M. Albaor M. Champaca. All of these varietiesproduce larger, more prominent bloomsthan M. figo and the flowers have adistinctive, pearlescent quality. M. Albaand M. Champaca can grow into smalltrees (up to 5 metres) and producelarge flowers in white and golden yellow,respectively. These plants are not asfragrant as M. Figo, but are equallyappealing and eye-catching.magnolia ‘Bubbles’magnolia ‘Coco’ Up to 6m tall (depending on the cultivar) Subtropical to cool temperate zones Full sun to light shade position Acidic soil Water evenly, keep moist yet welldrained.Gardenias (Gardenia jasminoides)These creamy white, deliciously fragrantflowers are ever-popular. Many newforms are available including double,semi-double, single, golden-flowered andground cover varieties, all of which carrythat al