Wildflowers of the Dolomites Part 2

Like any good narrative, the best walks also have a certain rhythm and structure. There’s a gradual introduction, rising to a climax, followed by a resolution. This is obvious when hiking in mountains or high country, where you ascend to a breathtaking lookout at the summit, before descending back to more gentle landscapes. For this reason, hiking purists may shun chairlifts or roads but, for me and Geoff, Continue reading

Spring dry-deciduous trees

Spring in Sydney means many of our favourite trees, like jacaranda and flame tree are losing their leaves and others like bauhinia, poinciana and silky oak are also starting their major spring leaf drop as they become semi-deciduous. What is it about ex-Gondwanan continents that makes our plants adapt by becoming deciduous in spring, rather than autumn, like most European and North American plants? And why do we persist with growing winter-deciduous spring flowering trees that struggle in our east-coast warm, dry springs? Continue reading

Tulip fields of Holland

The tulip fields of Holland Photo Phileppa Doyle

GardenDrum reader Phileppa Doyle has shared her photo of the amazing tulip fields of Holland. Better start planning your early 2014 garden trip!

New Callistemon ‘Slim’

Love the look of this new bottlebrush Callistemon ‘Slim’ from Ozbreed. As I saw recently at the the Australian Garden Cranbourne, there are so many ways to use new Australian plant cultivars that we haven’t really yet explored.

Are these plants now illegal?

Brugmansia hedge. Design Alistair Hay

Acacia, Brugmansia, cactus, morning glory and passionfruit. Are these plants now illegal in NSW? New legislation passed by the NSW Parliament to ban all synthetic drugs could have unintended side effects for anyone growing a plant deemed to contain a psychoactive drug. Continue reading

September time of year

It’s mid September in New England – almost the Fall Equinox – the gardens are very dry and we’ve had several nights in the 40′s. We missed the frosts of the southern coast. Ornamental grasses, shrub roses, hydrangeas, summer annuals, and sedum are the stars of the late summer landscape.
Highlights in my garden include the ‘Sweet Autumn’ clematis (Clematis paniculata), emerging asters, red berries on winterberry holly, and the gradual foliage color change to burgundy in the viburnum, laceleaf Japanese maple, and others. Continue reading

A spring of dry dust, scent and colour

Can I smell it, or is it just in my head, please let it be…..Nope, should have known it’s only the neighbour’s sprinkler system that is sending up that particular scent of water on dust. Yip, it’s spring in southern Africa. When I think about spring in the movies, it’s cherry blossoms, butterflies and picnics in between the yellow buttercups, but this is Africa, so nothing is that simple. Spring time over here is quite the opposite of how the movies portray it. Continue reading

Garden World Festival gardens

The stunning show gardens that were created for the 2013 Garden World Spring Festival can still be seen at Garden World, one of South Africa’s destination garden centres, until the end March 2014. The gardens have grown nicely during spring, and will mature more over the next few months – definitely worth seeing if you have not been there yet! Continue reading