Tim Prunes Finger! - Dec 16, 2011

Dear gardening friends

I have just almost chopped off my finger trimming the bottom branches off a Christmas tree with a saw. Kenny rushed inside to get me some band aids and detol. Kenny is our first aid officer so he gets paid extra every week. When he came back he just handed me the band aids and walked off. Kenny may be hard pressed getting a job in the hospital.

As I am sitting here writing this a beautiful perfume is wafting in through the open door. A couple of months ago we moved the Gardenia florida that had been on our front veranda for 20 years into the shade house. The plant must love this new shaded position because it has at least 200 white perfumed flowers out today. It also has hundreds of buds still to open. After we moved it into the shade house we mulched the soil with 20mms of cow manure. This fed the plant but it also makes the potting mix hold more water. The leaves have gone bright green and shiny and it just looks so healthy.

If you have gardenias at home check them now to make sure they don’t have Mealy Bug. This white bug feeds off the plant and can make your Gardenias get really sick.

Gardenias also get attacked by scale insects on the stems and the back of leaves. Both these insects can cause the leaves to get covered by black mould (Sooty mould). Spray your plant with Pestoil to control these insects without harming you.

My favourite café in Camden has put a lock on the toilet door so now you have to get a key from the counter. This infuriates me having to ask for a key to use a toilet.

The key has got to have germs on it and did the last person who used it wash their hands?

I am telling you this story because I am happy for you to use our toilet even if you don’t buy any plants. I have been renovating our toilet this week with a fresh coat of paint and new lighting. It used to be so dark and scary the mozzies would suck you dry in 2 minutes.

We have been very busy this week because people are buying plants as gifts again. This is great news for us but it also means that the Macarthur area is going to be greener. Indoor plants have made a come back too. Scientists have discovered that indoor plants remove dangerous toxins from the air within your house. They are natural air fresheners that really work. Our Peace Lily’s make great gifts because they are covered in lovely white flowers and the plants are almost death proof. When the leaves start to droop water them, it’s that simple.

I am being interviewed by Linda Ross on 2GB as a Christmas special. Linda and Graham Ross present the Garden Clinic on 2GB every Saturday and Sunday from 6am to 9am. I am sure to have a rant so have a listen before the rellies turn up.

Simon usually eats 4 hams over the Christmas season. This year he hasn’t even bought one. Perhaps the thought of eating Pigs friends has done this.

I am eating home grown beetroot picked fresh from the garden. I just cut the leaves off, wash the bulb and then micro wave it in a glass bowl. They taste sensational cut up in a salad. I am also eating home grown Spanish onions. Tomatoes are just starting to colour up. The cooler weather has slowed them down. Caterpillars are eating my Chinese cabbage. I will have to spray these with Yates Success. It kills caterpillars without killing you.

They may be boring but how good does Agapanthus look right now? I took a photo of the Agapanthus and Jacarandas in flower in blaxland rd Campbelltown. This is such a good look. If you have Agapanthus with distorted leaves they are being attacked by Mealy Bug. It’s hard to get Pestoil into the leaves so use a systemic spray like Confidor instead.

Come and see us if you need help in the garden.

Happy gardening