The terete Vanda

Terete Vandas are a group of orchids renowned for their ease of culture in tropical and warm subtropical gardens. Rather than needing coddling in protected shade houses, these orchids thrive in the full summer sun with plenty of air circulation and do particularly well where warm, wet, humid summers are the norm.  Continue reading

USA 2012 drought

The worst in 50 years ‘flash drought‘ affecting over 53% of the USA is likely to persist, with hotter and drier weather until fall.

(photo Bloomberg News)

Designing small gardens

Trying to put all your garden needs and loves into one small space is no easy task. As a designer, I found that everyone’s wish lists remain pretty constant, regardless of the size of the backyard/block/allotment/yard we were looking at. Places to eat, cook and entertain, places for play and sanctuary, places to grow vegies and flowers, plus all the standard utilities of clothes drying and storage for bins, tools and bikes. Continue reading

Jonquils and ninepins

If there is a cheerier, tougher and more reliable flower than the standard yellow jonquil, I have yet to find it. They flower when nothing else much is around. They brighten up the smallest darkest spot. They bring light and colour, and they smell divine. Continue reading

Frosty morning

Frost damage on ornamentals is bad, frost damage on vegetables is devastating. Last week’s frosts were so severe that icicles had formed on the timber surrounding each of my vegetable beds, and the edges of most plants were frilled with icy crystals. Continue reading

Ginger bred men of Queensland

Perhaps I was destined to live in Queensland for its warm hospitality in hosting a rather large family. A family that is often responsible for sweet things. A family that gave me spice to my life. A family that brought a beer to the world without a headache the following day. It was fair to say that my first love was a gingerbread woman. Continue reading