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10.06.2014 admin
SERIES 23 Episode 26Sophie drops in on a friend who shares a deep love of plants.Sophie's friend Robyn Powell loves plants. 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. Every now and then we come across a garden which is so remarkable, so outstanding and so beautiful that we have to share it with you. Jane meets Gardener of the Year Finalist, Karen Meeuwissen Karen Meeuwissen is a gardening addict who lives in the Yarra Valley just outside Melbourne. Geelong loves a good veggie bed and a common question we get asked is whether or not it’s safe to use Treated Pine.
The CSIRO say the potential ingestion of arsenic from CCA treated timber is within tolerable limits. As you can see, while the risks seem to be low, there is conflicting information out there and some calls for caution. You probably want to paint the outside of the bed to match your home so take a little bit of additional time to paint the inside of the bed as well. Another way to protect the soil from making contact with the treated pine is to line the bed with builder’s plastic. Pine is a durable building material and is popular because it’s generally more cost effective than other timbers. This is where treatment comes in handy because it gives Pine qualities that are usually only available with hardier timbers like redwood, but at a fraction of the cost. Ecowood is another arsenic-free Treated Pine that uses a different treatment method from ACQ.
If you have any questions about your Geelong veggie bed project and timber types please get in contact with us via our enquiry form or give our friendly team a call on 5278 9464. It may not be copied, reproduced, sold or used for any other purpose without the express permission of the ABC. This is because there has been a lot of discussion around the safety of standard Treated Pine (CCA Treated Pine) due to the use of arsenic in the treatment process. However this trace amount is said to be an organic, non-toxic form and in any case is largely removed by peeling the vegetable. Therefore they believe the timber can be used around veggie gardens if you take some precautions.


So if you are concerned about risks, we recommend taking a couple of simple precautions as you build your veggie bed so that you can have peace of mind when eating your home-grown veggies. Use an exterior grade paint as that will help prevent the Treated Pine from making direct contact with the soil. A thick waterproof plastic lining is a surefire way to isolate the treated pine from the soil and can be done as the only precaution or in addition to painting if you’re super concerned. This is largely because it’s relatively fast growing and through managed plantations, can be a sustainable alternative to old growth timbers.
In fact it’s strongly recommended that you never use un-treated Pine in outdoor situations as it usually has a very limited lifespan.
Sophie often drops in on Robyn to chat about all things gardening.Something Old, Something NewWhen Sophie visits, she takes a look around Robyn's garden to see what's growing. It’s an old fashioned or "proper garden” in Tasmania's rich, lush Derwent Valley, surrounded by hop fields.
It's crammed with traditional perennial borders, roses galore and exotic trees and shrubs and has a wonderful feeling of tranquility.The garden is owned by Brenda and Ian Triffitt.
Brenda says the garden was designed from the heart rather than the head - the ideas just evolved. It's covered in small orange-red flowers and Robyn points out the leaves are bigger than the normal Teucrium variety that's grown.
Brenda says that spring is a busy time, and also the end of autumn when we're cutting down. It's a great plant for hedging and Sophie admires the way Robyn has used the plant to form a flowing wave shape. But mostly we look at it as pleasure not work.When the Triffits first arrived at Rosedown there was virtually nothing in the garden except a Golden Delicious apple tree, which is still there and laden with fruit.
Robyn confesses that it is the result of lazy gardening - a straight hedge would mean putting up lines to get the straight edges whereas this way means she can do it how she likes.Sophie enjoys the opportunity to look at new and exciting plants that Robyn has growing.
I wait for it every year - sadly, she died this year, but I will always remember her with the trees and plants she's given me. Last November they were frosted and cut back hard and it means the flower heads are much bigger. The reason for the pink colour is that a nearby old wall is full of lime mortar, and that means that the soil has become alkaline. Phlomis chrysophylla) has little yellow hairs covering the stems and leaves that give the foliage a golden look.Before Sophie moved from her home and garden five years ago, Robyn took some cuttings of the special plants and she has grown them on. The Osmarea burkwoodii (Osmanthus x burkwoodii) have grown well and are ready to be put in the ground.


The rose, ‘Ramona’, is a lovely deep pink and it almost matches perfectly with the flowering peach, ‘Versicolor’ with its three colours. Robyn doesn't add any organic matter to the soil as the garden has fairly heavy clay so any extra moisture is avoided.There's also the Chinese Quince - Chaenomeles sinesis to plant.
Some branches have got a single pink that really just picks up the colour of the rose,” she says. It's one of Sophie's favourites as it something to look at any time of the year - hot-pink flowers in spring, autumn colour, quince-like fruit and then bark that exfoliates.As they are planting in the transitional part of the garden - the section between the more structured garden to the natural scrub, Robyn gathers some leaf litter from the area to help blend the plants in to their surroundings. The great thing about these is that in the winter they completely die down and spring up again year after blooming year.
Talking about trees, this Kilmarnock Willow Salix caprea ‘Kilmarnock’ has got a bad habit of sprouting from the top.It’s the same with almost every one of the grafted weeping trees.
With its more extensive branching habit, it is also less prone to wind damage than other tree dahlias.This one has branched out a little too far however and Robyn is keen to give it a hard cut.
It's too good an opportunity for Sophie to pass up and she asks if Robyn could spare her a cutting.Tree Dahlia cuttings are placed horizontally - like a dog bone - and shoot out along the nodes on the sides. Just saw the suckers off and remove any of the dead stuff.Ian and Brenda say that some people like playing bowls “but we love gardening, and I think you learn a lot through gardening. She's also built the pathways – some of which are grass, others are gravel, and others bluestone.
These are great because the walkways provide opportunities to explore the many different areas of plantings.An exciting new area of the garden was a horse paddock last April.
Originating in Mexico where they get summer rain, they'll also need a drink in the warmer months.Sophie's leaves Robyn's garden satisfied, and heads off to get her Tree Dahlia cuttings started. Karen says she had always wanted to do some double borders and liked the idea of a gravel garden.“I had an idea in my mind that I wanted steps to go up the hill, and then I started collecting the stones and building them. I'm really happy with the steps.”“The double borders are planted with complimentary and contrasting colours. The colour combinations are sometimes a little startling, but I just love them because they're vibrant and work with the combination of the spiky plants,” she says.The Furcraea is beautiful. I like making things.”Because you like making things and you've done it beautifully in this garden - it really is a beautiful garden. Congratulations - you are one of the finalists of the Gardener of the Year and I'd like to present you with a wonderful trowel.



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