Growing mussaenda

Mussaendas, often known as Bangkok Roses, are popular throughout the tropics and subtropics of the world. Over the warmer, wetter months of the year they grow strongly and provide quite a show in gardens, particularly in northern Australia. You can spot them at a distance, the shrubs being covered with showy white or pink flowers which at times obscure the leaves. Continue reading

Fashionable Brown

Capability Brown designed Petworth House (pic Bob Franklin)

Capability Brown designed Petworth House (pic Bob Franklin)

Brown’s back in fashion with Moscow leading the way. Capability Brown’s enduring landscape design influence is unmistakable worldwide. The 18th century garden designer was master of the English landscape style, the approach now being adopted for the redevelopment of Gorky Park in Moscow. Continue reading

Perfect patch of green

Know of a school or sports area in need of a green makeover? Landcare Australia with Turf Australia have launched the Junior Landcare Perfect Patch of Green program to refresh, rebuild, or revive 15 grounds across Australia with natural turf. Continue reading

How to make a water feature

Water features are always an interesting and attractive addition to your garden. They are easy to set up once you have chosen the pot that suits you and your garden. Don’t worry if the pot has holes in it as they can easily be filled with waterproof filler. Obviously you must have a large enough clay pot that will keep the water cool enough during the hot summer so the fish do not boil. My smallest pot contains about 150 litres of water. Continue reading

New York native garden

NYBG native garden

An american native plant garden has opened at The New York Botanical Garden. The new garden, described as cutting-edge and the most contemporary garden created at NYBG, was designed by Oehme van Sweden, leading landscape architects in the New American Garden style. Continue reading

Meeting of the minds

The joint IPPS/NGIV conference recently wrapped up in Melbourne. Four days of talks, networking, tours and education has been the focus for approximately 200 industry representatives. For the first time the International Plant Propagators Society and the Nursery and Garden Industry of Victoria provided a variety of opportunities for their members under the one roof. Continue reading

Chelsea aftermath

Gnome at Chelsea Flower Show 2013

Gnome at Chelsea Flower Show 2013

More disgruntlement at Chelsea as head show garden assessor threatens to resign in frustration over the “unacceptable” behaviour of fellow judges. Continue reading

Top vegies for shady gardens

Many of us picture the perfect vegetable garden in full sun. Fair enough; most vegies perform at their best when they are exposed to around ‘six hours full sun a day’. If you’ve got a small backyard that is surrounded by buildings and trees, it’s difficult to find a spot that gets six hours, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be enjoying a fresh home harvest. Continue reading

How to take a cutting

My general impression of taking cuttings has always been that to make it work you had to cut a bit off a plant, stick it in water on a windowsill until it grew roots and then chuck it in a pot. Except that never, EVER worked for me (except with succulents, which you have to be seriously trying to sabotage for them not to grow). So I decided that growing things from cuttings is a skill that only magicians can do, and every time I wanted a cutting from a plant I got my personal magician (Grandma) to do it for me. My Grandma is 84, and I am 25. I decided it was high time I learnt how to do this myself. Plus, who doesn’t love FREE PLANTS. Continue reading

Hang ’em high herb garden

In winter it’s nice to have herbs at the front door so that it’s not necessary to venture out into the cold. In the past I’ve grown the basic herbs (thyme, parsley, oregano, chives) in a hanging basket but recently saw a herb Verti Garden that was just beautiful. What a feature to have at the front door! It was mounted outside the offices of BallStraathof (Kirchhoffs Seeds) and I asked Kathy Varney, how she did it. Continue reading