Cultivating an interest

“So, what did you enjoy most?” I asked my 12-year-old nephew as I drove him to the airport for his flight home. He’d been with us for 10 days on his own (which, I guess, is a long time for a little person), and hanging out with his horticultural uncle meant pretty much everything we did had at least something to do with plants. We camped at Wilson’s Promontory for a week of hiking, looking at plants, swimming, Frisbee and general relaxation. We had a trip to Ballarat to have a look about. We planted some things in the veggie patch at home and sowed seed, all of which he did with a thinly veiled boredom typical of a child on the cusp of adolescence. Throughout the trip I wanted to try and cultivate an interest in plants in him – to plant a seed, as it were – and here is a list of stuff that worked as well as stuff that didn’t. Continue reading

Barangaroo baloney

There’s new info out about Sydney’s Central Barangaroo. Except it’s mostly baloney. I’d usually choose a different word to describe what the December Barangaroo enews says is an “exciting, diverse and active addition” to this huge 3-stage development on the western edge of Sydney’s CBD, but I know certain GardenDrum readers would take me to task for bad language. Continue reading

How to grow bougainvillea

The mere mention of ‘bougainvillea’ can send many gardeners into an immediate state of panic. And fair enough to… I’ve had my fair share of bad experiences and lacerations in dealing with them, mainly in a past life as professional gardening contractor where I’ve been asked to tame yet another bougie gone wild. But it doesn’t have to be this way, because with regular light pruning and training, it’s quite easy to maintain a bougainvillea to the size and shape you want, and when you do you’ll be rewarded with a most colourful and hardy performer. Continue reading

Patagonian paradise – our South American odyssey

We recently returned from an eight-week odyssey to South America – it was one of those ‘bucket list’ things that had been gestating for quite a while. Once the ‘retired’ flag went up, we were off. It’s a sign of satisfaction putting that ‘R’ word in occupation on immigration forms! Concentrating mainly on the west coast, we travelled from Cusco/Machu Picchu as far south as Cape Horn – and this is where the exquisite little plants come in to the story. Continue reading