TV’s green-thumbed guru Costa Georgiadis will reveal what “wowed” him, during filming at the Parliament House’s private gardens, in a program to be aired next year.
Georgiadis from the ABC’s “Gardening Australia” program says: “I knew that there were wonderful courtyards at Parliament House but as a public citizen you don’t get the opportunity to explore these areas behind the closed doors.
“Heading down these gun-barrel corridors of the building, you don’t know whether you’re heading north, south, east or west and then, ‘boof’, you hit these courtyards, which just open up on the side of a corridor, and you think ‘wow’ – a green peaceful paradise with bursts of colours.”
Georgiadis had a private tour through the 17 different gardens and found they were designed with a mixture of native plants to represent Australia, as well as exotic plants and water features. He says he understands why Parliament House has created spaces where stressed politicians can go when they’re under the pump.
Head gardener Paul Janssens showed Georgiadis how the gardeners battle bug infestation using a natural method developed by the CSIRO, which avoids the use of any pesticides.
Janssens says: “We use bugs to fight bugs. We use predatory insects like Cryptolaemus to control infestation on roses and other bushes, as well as Nematodes, tiny worm-like creatures that act like microscopic missiles to seek out their insect targets, safe from most predators or poisons.
“This non-chemical method is being credited with saving a million hectares of pine forest in Australia and a million hectares of apple trees in China from insect pests.”
Guided tours of Parliament House gardens take place in autumn and in spring during “Floriade”.