We hosted a live online chat with Charlie after the premiere of Selling Houses Australia S3. For those who missed it, here is the transcript. Enjoy!
Kshorty: Hi Charlie - we need your help, we live in Brisbane and would like to plant some natives in our front garden similar to the ones you planted out the front. What do you recommend?
Charlie Albone: Kangaroo paws look great but are not so great with humidity, try Grevillieas and acacias
bunkybunny: Good job as always Charlie. We have a 1/4 acre block and have recently excavated about 600mm of soil to prepare a deck (down to clay). Is there anything we should be putting on the clay prior to decking (weed mat, blue metal etc)
Charlie Albone: The deck should shade out most of the weeds but some matting may help ....perhaps try some ground covers or ferns.
Anne: Hi Charlie! I hope you enjoyed your time in Tingira Heights! Anyhow, are entertainment areas a cost effective way to improve a yard?
Charlie Albone: Most buyers expect them now and need them to visualize themselves in a garden so i say go for it!
jason: Hey Charlie. We live in a decked courtyard and looking at modernising it somewhat with features (water) and maximising privacy. We have a crawling plant on one of the fences and should remove it but it does add some green to a boring courtyard. Any ideas, particular plants
Charlie Albone: Look at installing a green wall .....www.greenwallaustralia.com.au they are amazing and space saving.
Geffro: how would you cool down a pool area that has tiles around the pool and aluminium fencing?
Charlie Albone: Perhaps you could paint the fence in a non-reflective colour and add as many plants as possible in pots if you have to.
scot56: Hi Charlie, I need some mega fast growing plants to screen out my neighbours kids trampoline, which is bang up against my back wall. Or any other suggestions? I really need to go 3 mtrs high, and the area is paved??? Any ideas? Thanks!
Charlie Albone: Try Acacia frimbriata, but make sure you keep tip pruning it to maintain a bushy habit
Kshorty: We had shrub pulled out of our garden last week how long should we wait until we re-plant?
Charlie Albone: You don't have to wait any time at all just make sure you improve the soil with compost before planting.
cjemc: Hi Charlie Can you let me know what plants you used in pots around the pool. I am looking for something that wont drop leaves but is substantial.
Charlie Albone: The blueberry ash was the tall tree which is evergreen and won't get too big in a pot.
Jetaime: Hi Charlie. We are looking at replacing an area of the garden which is currently an overgrown palm forest with a kind of zen water garden. We'd like to use natives - what would you suggest that would continue to attract the birds?
Charlie Albone: The best bird attractors are the grevilleas. Go for flowers over form to attract birds.
Lauren: We have an established hedge of lavender where two plants int he middle have just died! What do you suggest we can plant to fill it quickly?
Charlie Albone: I would keep with Lavender, try and find some advanced ones.
Anne: We would love to put an entertainment area infront of a retaining wall, that has drainage issues... do you have any ideas on what we could use? Are shade sails a reasonable shelter?
Charlie Albone: Firstly you need to fix the drainage problem so you don't spend money ripping up a new area in a couple of years time, I personally do not like the look of a shade sail and in the rain they can leak a bit
bunkybunny: We have hedged Llelandi pines (about 3m) around the front and side of our house (cnr block). Is there any height restrictions, and what would be appropriate height?
Charlie Albone: They can be hedged to any height you like but have a think about any views you may be disrupting or they may be posioned by neighbours!!
Megan: Hi Charlie - our front yard gets full afternoon sun. Nothing much survives it. Can you suggest some hardy plants that can survive full sun and look good?
Charlie Albone: What about succulents? They look fantastic and need little maintenance.
Megan: I noticed that when you remove pebbles on Selling Houses, I notice you use wood chip - is this the best type of mulch? What is the best type of woodchip to use?
Charlie Albone: I like wood chip as it breaks down and slowly helps to feed the plants (although not completely), go for a medium chip size and steer clear of the coloured stuff.
Jetaime: We need to replace a long treated pine retaining wall in the near future. What materials would you suggest to use to create a more modern look?
Charlie Albone: Rendered brick work looks the most modern but is expensive, a square sleeper looks better than a round and it much cheaper than rendered bricks.
Janpath: I have a big weed problem as our house is right in front of a big empty ground full of weeds and the seeds keep on growing in my front yard. I keep on using weedmats. Is this a good idea or is there a better way to manage weeds.
Charlie Albone: I would spend some time removing the problem, this can be done by spraying with a weed killer or using a steam gun, then try to keep on top of the problem and prevent the seeds from drifting in
bunkybunny: Our neighbour’s wild rose and green climber has destroyed our party fence. We are about to get a new fence but want to know how can we control the overgrowth from our side apart from trimming?
Charlie Albone: There is not much you can do apart from trim to the boundry line, perhaps a chat with the neighbour may lead to reducing it from their side
Melanie: Hi Charlie, i was wondering what is the best way to get rid and keep away wandering jew.......We rake it out but it keeps coming back. Thanks.
Charlie Albone: Continual spraying with herbicide works but takes a long time, i sometimes add a dash of washing up liquid and soluble fertiliser as the washing liquid helps break down the surface wax on the leaf and the fertiliser speeds the whole process up, check with the manufacturer first though.
Janpath: Hi Charlie, We love the show and your wonderful transformations.Do you remove/cover the utilities like cloths lines, bins etc as we never see them? Is the old Hills hoist gone out of style?
Charlie Albone: They just tend to look bad for open houses so the go in and out a bit during the sale!
Melanie: Sorry to be a pest but we have a really bad Bamboo problem. I never realised how invasive and fast growing it is. What's the best way to get rid of that.. We live in the Blue Mountains and it's everywhere or should we just MOVE!!!!!
Charlie Albone: MOVE!! Ha ha .... cut it low down and spray the stub with herbicide .... this has to be done within 20 seconds of cutting or its useless, good luck!
cozza: Hi Charlie. Got a small backyard (about 3x8)on a slope devoid of grass coz there's a big tree next door getting all the nutrients out of the soil. Any ideas other than poison the thing???
Charlie Albone: Have you thought about using shade loving plants? Or perhaps decking a flat area? Make sure lots of compost goes into the soil to help water holding and nutrient hold capabilities.