Selling Houses Australia gardening guru Charlie Albone hit the web to answer all your gardening and landscaping questions. If you missed it, here’s the transcript.
LifeStyle: Hi everyone, hope you enjoyed the show. Charlie is online now so send through your gardening and landscaping questions.
Nerida10: Our house has been on the market for 4 months. We live on 5 acres. How important is it to have the paddocks cleared, as ours have cobblers pegs up to my neck?
Charlie Albone: I would make sure the paddocks are as clear as possible to make it look as manageable as possible.
Vivienne: Hi charlie, just watched the show, fantastic but could you tell me what you used on the walls? Tthey said concrete tung and groove panel however when I google it I cant find it…
Charlie Albone: It was a James Hardy fibre cement board
garden novice: Charlie – I want to increase screening and privacy around my garden. I have a 1.8metre fence down the side and would like to have around 2.5 metre privacy all around. I would like to use bamboo as the garden is largely tropical living near the beach. What do you suggest?
Charlie Albone: Bamboo is a great screen and it makes a vertical accent that takes up little ground space... make sure you go for a clumping bamboo and not a running one.
Tracy: Hi Charlie - love the show - what was the little building at the front?
Charlie Albone: It was the old tuck shop from the community centre days ... we made it storage as the budget got tight by the time we got to it!
Kate: Hi Charlie, what plants survive with little sunlight?
Charlie Albone: Walking Iris looks very lush in little sunlight and look at peace lillies - sensation is a great variety.
Kate: Hi Charlie, love the show, can you tell us what the Oxley backyard was "really" like because it looked crazy!
Charlie Albone: It was mental!!!! John was a great guy would loved his garden and I felt terrible ripping it to pieces!
Kate: Hi Charlie, are you married?
Charlie Albone: Yes thanks ...last October.
James: Bad luck Kate
Nat8: Hey Charlie, just wanted to say this is the best series yet and I absoloutley love your work. Do you only work for selling houses? Or do you still get hired privately for fixing regular backyards?
Charlie Albone: I still do private work take a look at my website www.inspiredexteriors.com.au
LEONIE: Hi Charlie! What is your favourite thing about being on the show?
Charlie Albone: Travelling ... Port Douglas is a great place to work.
Kate: Hi Charlie, what has been your favourite and your hardest Selling Houses projects yet and why?
Charlie Albone: Favourite was Berowra Waters ... yet to be aired ....hardest Chatswood that was a real tip!
fiona: Hi... can you give me advice about what type of tradesman/professional is the best to get advice about how to fix our yard to make our house more sellable? We have bad soil and can not grow anything, just weeds - lots of uneven pavers, a short rock retaining wall that some of the rocks are falling off and at the rear is a large dirt wall which weeds grow on…
Charlie Albone: Look for a landscape designer or a landscape contractor at A.i.l.d.m or L.C.A.
fiona: did they end up selling the port douglas property?
Charlie Albone: Not yet but the market is so tough up there.
Jedi: Hi Charlie.. what's your garden like?
Charlie Albone: I grow a hell of a lot of veggies and have green walls all the way around the perimeter, there is also a few cosy entertaining / dining areas and I’m about to put in a huge pond to replace all the lawn.
Mark: Hi Charlie, Iive in an apartment which has a balcony with very little direct sunlight. I still want to make an impact.. What plants do you recommend I use?
Charlie Albone: Look at Spathiphyllum 'Sensation' - huge impact for low light levels.
Jedi: Hi Charlie.. what are your tips for achieving the best lawn on the block?
Charlie Albone: Constant water and fertiliser ..... be rid of it I say!
partyprincess_jess: Hi Charlie, how can you improve the look of an above ground pool?
Charlie Albone: Tough one .... screening with plants will soften it where as timber or bamboo screening will make it stand out more
James: Charlie are there any climbing plants that can get by on around four hours sunlight a day?
Charlie Albone: Hoya or Stepanhotis
Susan: Hi Charlie, my flatmate is a plant serial killer. Her latest victim is a new guinea impatiens, it sits on the balcony and gets regular drownings, Any tips to stop the killings?
Charlie Albone: Try Succulents?
Mark: Hi Charlie, love the show. What's the house you're most proud of so far?
Charlie Albone: My own!!!! No the Berowra Waters one coming up looked great when I left it!
Kerryn24: Hi Charlie, Selling Houses Australia is my favourite show. How long does it take to film one episode?
Charlie Albone: Andrew does one week and we do three days make over
Steven: Hi Charlie, love the show. But, I just have to ask where you get Buffalo at $4.50sq meter when here in the West they are asking $10.50. Any suggestions for a cheaper alternative?
Charlie Albone: In Port Douglas! Try Kikuyu it’s cheap but it grows like wild fire
Mark: Charlie, do you and Shaynna really work that much harder than Andrew?? ;) seems like it.
Charlie Albone: YES!!!
Jacqui52: Hi charlie, have bought a house with a garden challenge, house in elevated position with land around house sloping away at 40 degree angle, also in southern end of QLD, any ideas on planting and landscaping?
Charlie Albone: Lots of levels: Decks, retaining walls, cut and fill!
fiona: Where’s the best spot to grow veggies? Sun/shade?
Charlie Albone: As much sun as you can give them.
Melscott: Hi charlie, love the show, how many episodes left in this series? Will there be another? I sure hope so!
Charlie Albone: There is 10 all up ... not sure about another yet
Kimi2: Hey Charlie. Random plant question....My brother has been tending to a gorgeous Japanese Peace Lilly for months now and he can't get it to flower? Is there any secret?
Charlie Albone: Treat it badly so it stresses out and then it will flower
Mark: Have you travelled much Charlie? Which country has the best gardens?
Charlie Albone: Yes I have luckily and I love the gardens of the U.S and Europe
Tracy: Don’t you like lawn?
Charlie Albone: Hate the stuff ... way too much effort!
Ralph4: Hey Charlie mate, love your work. Any tips to get rid of snails.. feel a bit bad about stepping on them..
Charlie Albone: Set beer traps (I mean it too) - google them.
fiona: Where do you get the trades people from on the show? Do you get cheap labour?
Charlie Albone: We try to use the locals were possible
partyprincess_jess: Could you build a deck around an above ground pool with stairs or would that look crap?
Charlie Albone: Could look OK but plant around that too
Kerryn24: Great episode, why do you think the house did not sell?
Charlie Albone: Shocking market ... nothing was selling.
James: Coming from the UK and moving to Australia, I found the change of climate a challenge when it comes to growing veggies. Any tips?
Charlie Albone: Make sure you have good air flow around the plants .. humidity is a killer.
Tracy: How did you get recruited to the show originally?
Charlie Albone: Through the design association A.L.D.I.M.
Joanne23: How on earth do they arrange all the tradesmen and labourers to do a whole house makeover in just one week?
Charlie Albone: Filming is just one week there is also a two week prep stage
Kerryn24: Hi Charlie, I'd like to start a veggie garden, any tips? Also which veggies are easiest to grow?
Charlie Albone: Lots of sun and lots of water ..... try lettuce and rocket, stuff you use every day
MrsH: Hi Charlie, love the show! Do the home owners get much/any input in the changes you make?
Charlie Albone: Luckily not
Ralph4: Any good websites for DIY plant/garden design? Trying to redesign my garden all by myself... not going so well.
Charlie Albone: Have you thought about having a consultation with a landscape designer?
fiona: we are in QLD with hot summers, won't the veggies wilt with lots of sun
Charlie Albone: They should be OK… at least six hours of sun for a good crop
Vikki21: Do you, Andrew and Shaynna really get on as well as it appears on TV?
Charlie Albone: Yes, it’s sickening, we are good friends
fiona: Is working with Andrew annoying – I find English people annoying
Charlie Albone: Me too
Susan: Are you happy to settle in Australia or are you planning to move back to the UK?
Charlie Albone: I love Australia and I have lived here longer than I have ever lived in the UK, so I think I'm staying.
fiona: If lawns are too much work, what are nice looking alternatives?
Charlie Albone: I'm changing mine over for a massive pond! Dicondra works well too
Kerryn24: Hi Charlie, what can I plant in my garden that will grow quickly and give instant colour. My daughter is getting married here at the end of the year? I'm in Dural, NSW.
Charlie Albone: Pandorea climber grows really quickly and has a great flower
Tracy: Do you get a hard time from the owners on the show or do they generally help / support you?
Charlie Albone: A bit of both really
Melscott: Don't know about the pond idea, a constantly wet labrador and 3-year-old doesn't sound easier than mowing once a week
fiona: does andrew spend much time here or in england?
Charlie Albone: He lives on the Gold Coast
partyprincess_jess: Just saw on inspired exteriors that you did a landscape job in Grays Point. Did you like the shire?
Charlie Albone: Love the Shire!
Kerryn24: Hey Charlie, how can I build a deck on a budget?
Charlie Albone: Tough really .... use only treated pine
fiona: do you ever think shaynna's interiors are ugly?
Charlie Albone: Why? Do you?
fiona: They're OK, but not very practical a lot of white furniture, so if you moved in and put your own stuff wouldn't look as good
Kerryn24: Hi Charlie, great show! Do you think much of organic gardening and farming?
Charlie Albone: Yes, my garden is all organic, but with Selling Houses it’s not really in the design brief
Kerryn24: Can you tell me what I can do to my bare back yard, I don't really have a green thumb. Where should I start?
Charlie Albone: Have a chat with a landscape designer or contractor
fiona: Do you do much work on the show or do the tradies do all the work and you just hold a couple of shovels and smile for the cameras?
Charlie Albone: I wish! I thought a TV job would be crazy but I’m still doing the work and have the rough hands to prove it
James: Most punters on the show spend a bit of money then seem to want to add thousands to the asking price. Does this annoy you or do you let Winter worry about that?
Charlie Albone: I leave that to Winty ... but it is annoying, like they want money instead of shifting the house
Susan: Have you always wanted to be a gardener or have you ever tried to pursue any other career options?
Charlie Albone: I though about being a fireman but I’m petrified of heights
SimoneBee: Ever thought about developing your own show on landscaping? You'd get a bigger budget!
Charlie Albone: I would love to .... write to the LifeStyle Channel and give the idea some support!
Vikki21: What is an "organic" garden?
Charlie Albone: Basically it means no chemicals or pesticides on the plants so the garden is as natural as possible
fiona: does Andrew still do his real estate shows in the UK?
Charlie Albone: No
Vikki21: I have what appears to be borers in some tall Budleas - should I try to treat them or should I just get rid of the plants?
Charlie Albone: If buddlejia is tal it’s probably old, I would cut it down hard to about three feet and let it sprout again .... trow away the borer infected wood
fiona: How do you keep bugs on the plants without pesticides?
Charlie Albone: You keep them off with natural methods
partyprincess_jess: Do you watch Relocation Relocation Charlie? It’s my fave after Selling Houses!
Charlie Albone: Yeah it’s a goodie that one ... I reckon Kirsty and Phil are getting it on!
Jeremy: Hey Charlie, how does this whole program work? Because I thought this episode was really well researched... is there someone that does this? Or does the team switch it up on the fly?
Charlie Albone: Yes Jeremy you are a good researcher!
fiona: How do you get your house on the show?
Charlie Albone: Apply through the LifeStyle website
delilahblue: Would be great to see yours, Shaynna’s and Andrew’s gardens!
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