Phil’s watermelon frame

If you’re looking for a fun project to try over the Aussie summer, then I want to share an idea I’ve been experimenting with… and I’ve got to say, I’ve been busting to tell you about it, because it’s absolutely brilliant. I’m trialling a special method for growing watermelons in small spaces. If you’ve ever grown them before, you know that watermelon vines need a fair bit of ground space to wander and ramble about…space that I just don’t have in my garden. So I’ve decided to build a frame on which to train the vines up off the ground and keep them contained. Continue reading


Well, this entry might be called ‘Paths’, but it could just as easily have been ‘Vision’, ‘Inspiration’, or ‘Design’. I certainly have a vision for this new garden. It’s divided into two areas lengthwise – the lower section along the southern fence line, and the upper two thirds. Continue reading

The High Line of New York City

New York is a city that fires the imagination. This is probably because of NY’s reputation as one of the most cutting-edge cities in the world. Creativity and culture ooze out of the pores of every slab of concrete and brick, so much so that you feel the city could blow itself apart at any moment. Continue reading

Stephanotis floribunda

The south-west of Western Australia experienced a wetter and cooler spring than normal but in the first week of December, suddenly summer was upon us with a few days with temperatures in the high 30s. This was the cue for the Stephanotis seedpods which I had laid on the ground about a year ago to burst open. Continue reading

This squirrel a friend of yours?

Here in the north east and maybe in other parts of the world, a lot of gardeners seem to be in a constant battle with squirrels. I don’t take that view, although I’ve squirrel-proofed the bird feeders because while I didn’t mind the squirrels helping themselves to seed, I found out how fast they can empty feeders, and the seed is not cheap. Continue reading

Yummy autumn raspberries

I planted raspberries in early spring and picked my first berry about a month ago. Since then the supply has steadily increased, more than I ever imagined, especially as they were labelled ‘Autumn Fruiting Raspberries’ … maybe we will get another harvest then too? Continue reading


For those of you who aren’t ginger flower fanatics, I thought I might introduce you to a group of flowers which are members of the ‘ginger’ family, which, I might add, is huge – a lot of genera and hundreds of species, scattered all over the world. The ones I am thinking of today are the Costus. Continue reading

Return of the radish

I remember as a kid growing up in the 70s, radishes where a hugely popular veg to grow and eat. It must have been something to do with their wonderful colour and shape. They seemed to tie in so well with 70s décor and wallpaper, and looked a treat when served at a party alongside devilled eggs and cocktail onions. They were one of the first vegetables I took notice of in peoples backyard patches… such tidy little packages with their short bunching leaves on top of those bright red globes. Every parent encouraged you to pick and eat them… too peppery for my liking at the time I’m afraid, but now I love them and I love to grow them. Continue reading

R.I.P. Henry

Well, Henry’s gone. I guess he’d had a good innings. No one seems to know how old he was. Despite several close shaves over the last 8 years, somehow he always seemed to pull through. But an unscheduled amputation in the spring brought things to a head and his days were numbered. Continue reading

North Head Sanctuary

If you live in Sydney, have you ever heard of the North Head Sanctuary? Until last weekend, neither had I. Last Saturday, Tony and I thought we’d go for a drive in our old convertible in that brief opportunity between showers. (Hasn’t this been the coolest, wettest start to summer you can remember?) We stopped off for a coffee in Manly and then decided to continue on to North Head, thinking we’d go to the national park. Continue reading