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admin | Category: What Causes Ed 2016 | 31.01.2014
Irene Stone Pearce is a potter and sculptor who combined these passions to shape her home and garden.
Copyright Restrictions: This fact sheet is for private and domestic information purposes only. Links to sites that may interest you, including botanical gardens, private gardens, and gardening societies in your state. Comprehensive information on what to grow and how to grow it, plus great gardens, design ideas and stories from the show. SERIES 22 Episode 38JANE EDMANSON: I'm in Montmorency, one of Melbourne's outer northern suburbs. SERIES 26 Episode 11A landscaper makes the most of Sydney's sandstone with his own gardenUp a set of stairs leading to a house in a quintessentially Sydney street is a quintessentially Sydney bloke - an old friend of Costa's, landscaper Michael Bates.His own garden is a labour of love.
SERIES 26 Episode 07Tino meets a gardener creating dinki-di bonsaiTino's visiting Will Fletcher, who's spent the last 18 years honing his skills in the art of bonsai - but there's something that sets his apart."These are all native plants, Tino.
SERIES 25 Episode 12Angus visits a garden designed to attract local wildlife"This area of remnant bushland in Sydney's Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is not only a beautiful place to be," says Angus, "it's also home to a bevy of native plants and a whole series of iconic species of native fauna as well. SERIES 22 Episode 25TINO CARNEVALE: It's always good to get viewer's feedback and questions. When she bought a 450 square metre block in the Adelaide Hills town of Mount Barker, it was a steeply sloping horse paddock, with a massive 50 thousand gallon concrete water tank buried in the centre. It may not be copied, reproduced, sold or used for any other purpose without the express permission of the ABC.
I specialise in Tasmanian natives because there's over 1000 species of Tasmanian plants - plenty to work with - and the small leaves and the small flowers are a very nice scale for a bonsai plant.""I'm trying to create the impression of a tiny tree that you might see in the wild. Now we got an email from Danielle Mason who's got a backyard with a bunch of fruit trees that need a bit of rejuvenation.G'day Danielle. Irene needed to start her life over again when she was in her mid-fifties and she needed a home.
I think about what I'm going to do to tinker with it and adjust - it's one of the great pleasures - and then I just go off to work.""There are so many typically Sydney elements about this place," says Costa. The designs that I work to are designs that look like Australian plants, in my case - rather than a Japanese plant.""Here's an example of a native bonsai. Habitats become fragmented and that presents long term problems for the survival of many species. But some residents around the Ku-ring-gai area - like Chris Hayward - are working hard to re-establish habitat in their gardens to encourage the animals back to areas they've been pushed out of."The bush is part of Chris' backyard. After removing 20 truckloads of soil to expose the tank an urgent landscaping rescue was needed.
Irene quickly used rocks and built retaining walls.The water that came off the roof was diverted into creek beds and the lower levels were made into garden rooms.
The rule is, there is no rules - just arrange the textural compositions to please what I think looks good," Michael says."My wife loves flowers, so the camellia hedge was a must, but for me, it's all about the textures, so we've got rainforest trees (Water Gum, Tristaniopsis laurina 'Luscious'), Alliaceous (members of the onion family) subtropicals, Alcantareas (Bromeliads). Irene named her garden ‘Tickletank’ because people are “tickled pink” when they see it, and I can see why.
Ordinarily I wouldn't go for Cordylines because I don't really like their colour, but it works with the surrounding plants like the 'Rubra' Alcantarea and the Ctenanthe (Ctenanthe 'Grey Star').

I've got 21 different gum trees and there's beauty in the differences in their trunks, there's beauty in the colour of the leaves, there's beauty in the gumnuts. To get an 'old' look, I broke it and split it down the middle, creating a dead spar and a 'blaze' of damaged tissue, just to give that feeling of age." Normally gardeners aim for clean cuts, but the appearance of age is prized in bonsai cultivation. But what’s remarkable is that every centimetre has been lovingly created by Irene with features at every turn.The entrance, or front door, of the house has two columns, which were the inlet and outlet pipes of the tank.
It's about the permanent things - not the flowers that just come and go.""The whole composition - all of these textures - are what I look at when I get up in the morning and I put my shoes on and I stand up there and I look down on this.
We've got the swamp wallabies, we have a lyrebird that comes - we've got a pair but I've never seen the female - but I've seen him and we hear him calling. CHRISTINE LISTER: It's a hobby I've had for 25 - 30 years - virtually as soon as I got here, so many of them I've been collecting over that period of time and I like the way that you can split them up and you get new ones coming from old and then watching them flower, so I just see orchids as part of my family, if you like. That's the joy of this place.""I also like to do pot clusters - they're all the fashion at the moment. We have lots of kookaburras that come and visit us."Chris and her family may have only been living here for five months, but in that time, she's been able to photograph many of the creatures that drop by for a visit. It goes under the step and its tail disappears into the garden around the other side of the house,” Irene said.Irene has managed the water run off by diverting the many downpipes to transform an area into a little creek.
At the moment, I'm using Parthenocissus sikkimensis and the Burmese Honeysuckle (Lonicera hildebrandiana) to hide the drainpipe, a fern and the succulent. If it was pruned to a smaller scale it would look disproportionate - whereas a small scale would be ideal for a smaller-leafed plant like a Melaleuca. We were married in front of a Grevillea robusta in 1978 and I planted this one soon after he was diagnosed with Melanoma and it just reminds me so much of him.Gardens are essentially about hope and the future and beauty. We're really mixing it up and if we tire of them - move them somewhere else."Costa says Michael has great skills when it comes to planting combinations, but is also a good problem solver. Along the side of the house he needed a path from one level to another, but rather than lay stepping stones on the ground he raises them so they become a floating walkway. There are big old remnant gum trees which are perfect habitat for all sorts of birds to live in and perch and look down into the garden, so what's missing now is down below.
She has taken the spokes out and woven them with bailing twine, from hay bales, willow and a few sticks.
Chris has planted a very fast-growing wattle (Sydney Golden Wattle, Acacia longifolia) and that'll get up to about two or three metres high. It feels a bit awkward, but it's very important for the tree and it will stop it from bruising. You wire a branch to a particular shape and three months later, it will die, but they are a plant that I'd love to get the hang of bonsaiing because they are Australia's iconic tree."He says he's inspired by the natural landscape.
Now try and get as close to this collar as you can without cutting into it, but don't leave a stub off the end like some of these because that's what'll happen - it'll start to die back and the tree'll be open for infestation. She's also planted things like Banksia spinulosa, the Hairpin Banksia, which produces copious amounts of nectar for things like honeyeaters and wattle birds.""Down at ground level," says Angus, "it's really important to have things like native grasses - Kangaroo Grass or Themeda triandra, dianellas, flax lilies, lomandras and matt rushes, which not only provide shelter for smaller birds but again are food sources. Even when she does her pruning the bigger wood is chopped up and the sticks are used for kindling and for her fire pit. You go to a mountain especially - or a coastal area where you might have a windswept tree like this Tea Tree over here - and you get a striking sculptural form and you think, 'Oh that's really nice.

The shelter is vital for things like the little wrens and finches that need protection from any predators that might be around, so part of the Habitat Steppingstone's concept is that you supply water."Chris has ensured a variety of water sources. I'd like to be able to go home and recreate that.'He continues, "With this tree, I'm trying to get a windswept appearance, so the trunk was very dramatic, but the foliage was quite static and I've got it wired to try and get it to bend - to look like it's been on a rocky outcrop in the Roaring Forties!
The wires say on for six to nine months - when I take them off, the tree should be set in that position."Will has also created a showcase garden to demonstrate the way bonsai techniques can be used in landscaping. You can take in the garden, the water feature's there, the birds are singing - living the dream.
It's constantly there - a supply for the wallabies or whatever animal comes up at night or during the day to drink," she says. So what about this one with the new growth?TINO CARNEVALE: Well with these ones, these are the growths - this one we're going to keep, but we're going to thin it out.
The hilly garden also features a number of other terraces - but his favourite place is "My secret spot. In fact, Ralph the local brush turkey dropped by during filming to see what all the fuss was about! Now when selecting it, what you'll find is, when cutting new wood, is that you have nodes - these are the bud bits - and then the internodes are the bit in between. Irene’s grandchildren love the garden because every time they come there is something different. You get up here, you're above it all, you've got the cliff at the back, you can see what's going on. He usually removes about half the roots, which is manageable since he's also removing at least half the foliage.He also looks for a lower branch to turn into a dead spar, keeping the foliage at the top of the tree.
She also allows many of the plants to self seed and so doesn’t spend a lot of money on plants.
Sometimes when we're entertaining, I just come up here and just watch what's happening.""My life's mission is to lure people from inside, out into the garden. This involves stripping the bark and roughly breaking off the branch."What a great form of artistic expression," says Tino, "and it uses so many horticultural practices that it's a really good way of honing your skills! The aim is to keep on open vase shape and then I thin the new growth on each major branch, leaving sufficient to produce fruit, but not so much that the tree will get weighed down.Cutting through some of the thicker limbs can be really hard work with secateurs.
It’s a reflection of Irene’s artistic passion combined with her energy and tenacity to transform a site full of challenges into a magical home and garden. But that should do it.Now start cutting through the top and you'll notice, once the weight comes down, this will compress down. So why are we taking this large limb off?TINO CARNEVALE: It's so we can thin this whole bit out with one simple cut, leaving all of this space for the rest of the fruit to come up. Do you feel confident now when it comes to your pruning?DANIELLE MASON: Yeah, yeah I do actually.

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