Save your plants from snow damage

While it is true that our New England gardens go dormant in winter (mostly – see Witch Hazel), there are a few reasons to keep an eye out for problems as a result of our damaging weather. Snow and ice can cause significant damage to trees and shrubs, and every winter I learn of broken branches and snapped trunks from clients. Continue reading

A South American plant curiosity

Whilst travelling in South America, we came across this intriguing plant by the name of Llareta – the Spanish name for the Yareta – Azorella compacta. It was highly conspicuous on the rocky and seemingly infertile mountainsides in Peru, Bolivia and Chile. Only growing at high altitudes between 3200 m and 4500 m., the plants are in some cases reputed to be as much as 3000 years old! Continue reading

What’s eating your plants?

Are you plants being eaten – TO THE DEATH? Not by caterpillars and snails, but the furry critter kind that can, by repeated eating, kill even a mature tree or shrub. Whether they’re rabbits, deer, possums or elephants….help other gardeners by sharing your local knowledge in the GardenDrum WORLDWIDE SURVEYWhat’s eating you..and your plants

Subtropical and tropical climbers

Scrambling, twining, creeping vines whichever way you look at them, have always been popular for a multitude of reasons not least as they are usually fast and ‘flower heavy’. The following is by no means the only way they might grow for you, its just an idea on how I’ve worked subtropical and tropical climbers into coastal gardens, usually out of the wind facing winter north (southern hemisphere) or south (northern hemisphere), in pretty good organically enriched soil and with adequate summer water. Continue reading

Winter Festival in my garden

Every year I find magic right in my garden after a snowfall. Saturday’s snow was just the right consistency for creating ‘snow flowers’ that last awhile. A little wet so it lingers and when you shovel, you have to pause. What are ‘snow flowers’ you ask? I learned about this concept in a novel I read years ago. The title and author long forgotten, but the idea that in ancient Japan villagers held an annual ‘Snow Flower Festival’ nestled in my memory like a precious jewel. Continue reading

Turf – the cost effective groundcover

Compared to ground cover plants, pavers and decorative gravels, turf is more cost effective. The recent economic downturn has seen the sale of turf boom. Why? It is the lowest cost choice for home owners and landscapers to cover the ground. Recently, at the International Erosion Control conference on the Gold Coast, an independent economic expert presented a cost analysis of turf compared to other erosion control surfaces. When compared to other ground cover surfaces and other erosion control techniques, turf was the most cost effective alternative based on percentage of cover and effectiveness. This has major implications for the home gardener and general landscaping. Continue reading

La Trobe’s romantic garden – an update

I thought readers would like an update of what the Friends of La Trobe’s Cottage have been up since last time I blogged. Our two major garden projects have finally been completed. The cottage is interpreted to the early 1840s using the George Alexander Gilbert’s painting of View of Jolimont, Melbourne, Port Philip 1843-44 and using that picture we have reinstated the lattice on the front veranda steps and the little veranda outside the dining room window. Continue reading