Sky high greens

Rooftop glasshouse Bronx, NYC

Residents of the newly opened Arbor House affordable housing complex in the Bronx, NYC, have a 8000 sqft (743sqm) rooftop greenhouse equipped to grow fresh hydroponic vegetables all year round. Built by Sky Vegetables, the hydroponic closed system recycles all water and unused nutrients and makes fresh vegetables available for the local community.

On the verge of a greener community

With all the doom and gloom of environmental disaster coming at us from every angle, it’s easy to get stuck, feeling like there’s nothing you can do to change the big picture. That’s when it’s time to go back to that old saying… ‘Think globally… Act locally’. If you’re a gardener, you are already making a positive impact on the world, simply by growing plants and nurturing the soil, and if you are growing some of your own food, then there are environmental benefits there too. Continue reading

Witch hazel for early spring flowers

Witch Hazel, or Hamamelis, is a genus of medium-sized shrubs that typically have a vase-like shape and a unique flower that comes outside of the typical season. Today, I have decided to write about them because my Witch Hazel is in full bloom. I first noticed in early February when it showed a little color through our huge snowstorm, but with the following warmer weather it burst out. Continue reading

Kevin the Lemon

Watch Tim talk about the new Kevin the Lemon. No doubt it produces something quite fruity but can it run the country?

Vertical vegetables – and making sturdy garden tripods

It is a truism of gardening that no matter what size our gardens are, we run out of space. The vegetable garden is no exception. Lured by pictures on seed packets, we plant until our gardens burst. A simple solution is to grow upwards. I call it 3D gardening. Adding tripods and other vertical structures to our vegetable gardens maximises space. Vegetables, such as butternut and gem squash, which normally ramble across metres of ground, can easily be trained to grow up tripods. Continue reading

Strong colour contrast

Using strong colour contrasts in the garden is not for the faint-hearted. Most new and beginner gardeners resile from any kind of strong colour, especially the idea of combining them with something as equally vibrant on the other side of the colour wheel. But I would argue that’s EXACTLY what you should be doing if you live in lower latitudes. Continue reading

Raspberry tea makes me a midwife

We are all familiar with the fruit, the Raspberry (Rubus idaeus). What we are perhaps less familiar with is its extraordinary ability to dramatically shorten the average labour period and turn a confident journalist into a quivering wreck of a make-shift mid-wife. Last Friday, my little Claudia entered the world as a budding horticulturist in the back of a Hyundai by the side of the road. Continue reading

Baby’s breath euphorbias

Many new plants get released to the public each year and often they are promoted as doing well ‘throughout Australia”. Of course there are few, if any, plants that will grow in the many climatic zones across the country, and few of these introductions thrive in subtropical and tropical areas which have summer dominant rainfall. A great exception of recent years has been the release of the Baby’s Breath Euphorbia, Euphorbia hypericifolia. It was first introduced to us as the cultivar ’Diamond Frost’ by Proven Winners and has proved to be a real garden winner! Continue reading

Making a pig of yourself!

Everyone knows the large growing Cyclamen persicum that you can buy throughout winter in almost any florist shop or nursery. Many of you have probably been given or bought one to sit on the dining room table and have then watched it slowly die. Any wonder that the genus has a bit of a bad name! Just as well we no longer call them “Sow Bread” as they were centuries ago, or giving them for Mother’s Day could take on a whole new meaning! Continue reading