The run into spring is on

✦ The noise on the nursery. Another Garden chat with Chook, from Greenbourne Nursery.


August is the month that leads us into that fantastic warmer weather that sees the nursery fill with both quality stock and quality people.


As we prepare for the increased volume of traffic through the yard, it is reassuring to know that we have a strong team of experts here that have a great diversity of knowledge that stems from a wealth of different experiences and interests.


Having a range of different plant and horticultural specialists on the nursery really allows us to provide detailed information to our customers on most of the issues. We all know each other’s strengths and are able to bounce questions and thoughts off each other.


Finally however, and I do mention it quite a lot, we wouldn’t be as good as we are here if it wasn’t for our customers. Honestly, we learn all the time from their results and experiences. That is why horticulture is so dynamic, you will always continue to learn and improve your knowledge, be it from books, experiences or people.



Ornamental Plant Recommendation…

‘Jolly Joker Leucadendron’ (Leucadendron laureolum x salignum)


There have been some professional breeding programs in operation to make an amazing range of Leucadendron’s available. While the flower form on its own is spectacular we now have the added benefit of spectacular foliage displays when the flowers are unavailable. The variety ‘Jolly Joker’ will grow to approximately 2 metres with a width of about 1.5 metres.

Like most plants in the Proteaceae family it is a very efficient user of water and is classed as a low water user. It does really well in those low maintenance garden beds where there is good drainage. Over the recent wet Autumn period that we experienced here on Australia’s east cost we noticed that the plants that were situated on raised and sloped beds did exceptionally well. These plants thrive in warm, full sun environments.


Jolly Joker will flower heavily from early Autumn right through into Winter. The flowers that are produced are great long term cut flowers that hold well in a vase and also dry very well. They are a favourite with florists everywhere. As mentioned, during the periods when the flowers are not available the variegated foliage of the plant will stand out in any garden bed. So, if you have a nice sunny spot in a garden bed with good drainage grab a Jolly Joker at your local nursery today.


Culinary Herb Recommendation…

‘Kaffir Lime’ (Citrus hystrix)


As a kid I remember the only herbs in Nan’s garden were parsley and more parsley. Gone are the days of our simple Australian diets of meat and three veg every night of the week. Don’t get me wrong, I have great memories of and still yearn for those meals for comfort, however we now have developed such a diverse cuisine that we are spoilt for choice. And with that choice comes a whole host of different spices and herbs that need to be available to create these meals.

The kaffir lime has now become a staple in most herb gardens, particularly for those people who love the interesting flavours that the Asian style meals deliver. The large, glossy, double lobed leaves are used to impart a delicious flavour into meals. Like all citrus plants they will grow best in full sun. They thrive in rich, fertile soils with good drainage. Citrus plants are very hungry and do best when regularly fertilised over the warmer months.


The Kaffir lime can be fertilised slightly different to other citrus. While the Kaffir lime does produce fruit, it is best to encourage extra foliage development by feeding the plant high nitrogen fertilisers. The Kaffir lime will grow up to approximately 4 meters in the ground. It also does really well in a pot with a good durable potting mix. It has become a very popular plant that is normally available all year round in good nurseries.


Fruit tree recommendation…

‘Kalamata Olive’ (Olea europaea)



Olive trees are beautiful specimen trees in gardens. Their beautiful grey foliage and strong trunks give them majestic character. They will grow in places where other trees will fail and will thrive on neglect. A fact that not all people are aware of is that all olive trees produce both green and black fruit. The green fruit is immature, whereas the black olives are at full ripeness.

The Kalamata variety is a very popular variety used all over the world. It is dominantly used as a black olive and used for pickling rather than oil extraction. This is why it is such a good variety for the home gardener as extracting oil from the olives can be quite a process for the novice, whereas pickling olives is an uncomplicated job.


The Kalamata trees produce a nice large olive that is quite plump and fleshy with only a moderate seed in the centre. Olive trees grow great in well drained soils that don’t get heavy with water. They grow exceptionally well on heavily sloped areas where the excess water can run off. There aren’t many pests and diseases that will really bother your olive tree, meaning you will be the main beneficiary of the wonderful fruit it will produce for you. The pickling process becomes quite a simple task when you get into regular habits, and the harvest from just one mature tree will be more than enough for a small family. A tree every garden should have.