Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chronicle 23-12-2014 Contents Tuesday, December 23, 2014 - 6
There's still plenty of time to get someone a Gift Card for Christmas. You can
pick them up in-store or email an eGift Card with a favourite photo, personal
message and a choice of background image at bunnings.com.au/giftcards
Christmas Gift Card
Vertical gardens popular inside and out
Vertical gardening on a major scale, covering substantially sized buildings
is one of the latest trends.
In the garden
It seems you can grow plants almost
anywhere these days.
On window sills and in portable
beds, rooftops: up and down walls --
both inside and out.
Vertical gardening on a major scale,
covering substantially sized buildings,
is one of the latest trends.
Although not the first to promote the
idea, French botanist Patrick Blanc is
the modern innovator of the Green
Wall'', which has been adapted for
multiple use in and outside the home.
On a load-bearing wall or structure,
a metal frame supports a PVC plate
10-millimetre thick on which two
layers of 3-millimetre polyamide felt
are stapled -- the layers, which mimic
cliff-growing mosses, will support the
roots of numerous plants.
The original soaking of the felt by
capillary action, with a nutrient
solution, which is then recycled, has
been refined but the principle remains
Whether in the shape of pots
supported by rings on vertical walls,
tiered blocks or rows of individual pots
laid horizontally, such sites can be
used for ornamental greenery, as
pictured, growing food crops or herbs.
Vertical gardens are ideal for
balconies, units, villas, courtyards and
fences -- in fact anywhere where space
is at a premium. Commercial planters
from garden centres and hardware
stores range in price from just a few
dollars to hundreds for more elaborate
systems depending upon one's needs.
Some of the most popular indoor
plantings include philodendrons and
Philodendron scandens (heart-
leaved philodendron) is a small-leaved
climber -- and one of the easiest of all
to grow. It can be trained upwards or as
a trailer and pinching out growing tips
will make a more bushy plant. Grow
above 13 degrees in bright filtered
Begonias, with a range of decorative
foliage, Begonia rex-cultorum hybrids
for example, need bright light.
The flowering kinds need three to
fours hours of direct sunlight.
Once bearded irises have
finished flowering, spent
stems can be cut back and
over-large clumps dug up and
divided. Trim the foliage into a
fan shape to prevent wind
rock while the roots re-
establish, then replant the
most vigorous of the outer
rhizomes. Ensure at least a
third of the upper surface of
the ''root'' is exposed to the
sun to encourage next
Young salad greens will
stay sweet and tender with
regular watering and liquid
feeds. Save them from wilting
on hot days with a piece of
shadecloth draped over a
frame of short bamboo sticks.
Think carefully about
feeding plants with chemical
fertilisers in hot weather. More
often than not the metabolism
of the plants tends to shut
down during periods of
intense heat, plus carelessly
scattered granules can often
lodge in foliage where it might
well cause superficial
scorching. Better to feed with
compost, mulches and liquid
manures to boost nutrient
levels where necessary.
Trickle fresh water from
the hose into fishponds in the
cool of the day to keep up the
oxygen supply depleted by
rising water temperatures.
Police call for
public to keep
eye on schools
ACT Policing is asking the community
to be its eyes and ears once again as
police conduct Operation School Safe
over the Christmas holidays.
The operation aims to protect
schools and colleges from vandals and
thieves during the season.
Sergeant Jo Cameron said there
would be greater patrols but the
community could help by being the
eyes and ears for police.
"As police we try to be there to
ensure offences do not occur, however
sometimes we are tied up with other
jobs,'' she said.
"We need help from the Canberra
community to report any suspicious
activity around the school that they see
ACT Policing will target criminal
and anti-social behaviour, such as
graffiti, vandalism or trespass, at ACT
schools during the Christmas holidays.
There were 23 property damage and
burglary offences in the 2013-14
summer holidays. This is a decrease
from 48 offences for the same period
During the 2013-14 summer period,
ACT Policing responded to 11
burglaries and 12 property damage
incidents, a decrease overall of 54 per
During holidays, police see an
increase of property offences such as
burglary, graffiti and vandalism at
Contact police operations on
131 444 if you see any suspicious
activity around schools or report
incidents to Crime Stoppers on
1800 333 000 or via
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