Noelene & Ian’s rooftop

Looking out into Noelene and Ian’s rooftop garden makes me want to move in with them. Designed by Peter Nixon of Paradisus, a man who really knows his plants, this raised bed garden is finely worked symphony of colour, form and texture. Continue reading

7 ways to NOT kill your plants

I’ve killed hundreds of plants. If I had bought and killed as many small animals as I have plants I would have long ago been arrested and rightly condemned as a butcher and murderer. I’ve done them all – death by neglect, death by maltreatment, death by misunderstanding and even death by capricious change of mind. Continue reading

Red hot pokers strike a pose

I must say I’m really enjoying the red-hot pokers flowering in my garden at the moment. Red-hot pokers or Kniphofia to give them their genus name, live up to their common name by sending up blazing torches of red and yellow flowers just when the garden needs a winter warm up. Continue reading

How to design a paved labyrinth

Sometimes as a designer, a dream job drops into your lap! That happened recently with creating a labyrinth space for a client. I have always wanted to install a labyrinth and had designed one for a previous client but because of cost, the job fell through. For that client, I went on to do a fabulous installation of waterfalls, ponds, and terraces, but the labyrinth was not to be. Here finally, was my chance to design and install a labyrinth! Continue reading

Neonicotinoid-free plants – buyer BEWARE!

I generally try to avoid writing a lot about the same issue for fear of boring people to death or seeming like a nutter who can’t stop ranting about one thing or another. In the case of neonicotinoid pesticides, though, I’ve received so many calls and emails on this topic since I started writing about it a few months back, (see my previous post) I feel like updates are wanted and needed. So I’m going to go with that feeling and tell you more about what I’ve learned lately in hopes that this will help answer some questions you may have now that you’ve likely learned more about this issue too. Continue reading

Save Melbourne’s elms as a citizen forester

Melbourne is famous for its English elms (Ulmus procera) and is really lucky compared to Europe and America as we still have them intact. It is one of the few places in the world you can still see avenues and stands of these magnificent trees, which were once common across the UK, Europe, and northern America but are now limited in those countries to a handful of remnant and isolated trees due to Dutch Elm Disease. Continue reading

Hellebores are winter wonders

A joy for gardeners on still winter days is the slow emergence of the flowers of that jewel of the winter garden, the Hellebore. In contrast to the rapid flowering of many spring and summer flowering plants, Hellebores exhibit a determined longevity and individual plants can be in flower for several weeks – a blessing for gardeners in the depths of winter. Continue reading

How to prune ground covers & grassy plants

Unless it’s an annual, pruning is eventually required for all landscape plants. Many new landscape plants have been bred for less pruning, but with modern equipment should we really be pruning less or more? What are the best techniques and equipment for shrubs, grasses and groundcovers? Pruning trees is far more technical, so that’s a story for another day. Continue reading