The hunt for red wreath flowers…a WA treasure

The roads around Western Australia are lit up in August with the dazzling colours of the wildflowers so it’s no surprise that travellers are drawn from all over the country to see some of the most unique flora in the world. I’m a typical West Aussie who tends just to pop up to Kings Park in spring to take a look at the spectacular display gardens laden with wildflowers but this year, with the news that the season was better than ever, I felt the urge to head north to hunt for the elusive wreath flower, Leschenaultia macrantha. Continue reading

How to grow peanuts

Peanuts, also called groundnuts, have the highest protein of any fruit or vegetable, and they’re high in fibre and also free of cholesterol. Although they aren’t real nuts at all. Peanuts are the fruit of a legume, meaning they’re in the pea and bean family and they’re annuals so the plant only lasts one season. It’s surprisingly easy to grow peanuts in tropical through to warm temperate climates, and even in pots, so give it try! Continue reading

Calling all sculptors!

Ken Unsworth: Harlequin's Shuttle

Ken Unsworth: Harlequin’s Shuttle

Worldwide call to artists and sculptors! Scenic World in the NSW Blue Mountains, is looking for international works for its April-May 2015 season, with submissions by 20 October 2014. Works are exhibited in a unique, Jurassic-like rainforest environment on the valley floor. Continue reading

My garden at Australian Garden Show Sydney

Last year I ventured up to the Australian Garden Show, Sydney on opening day to see what it was like and to throw some support behind my officemate and friend Phillip Withers, as I had watched him bust himself to have a garden in the ‘Inspirational Garden’ category. This year I am not only venturing up for support. I will be presenting an Inspirational Garden alongside my officemate Phillip Withers, Myles Baldwin, Andrew Fisher Tomlin, Peta Donaldson, Adrian Swain, Christopher Owen and Northern Sydney Institute TAFE. Continue reading

Review: Launceston Horticultural Society

I’ll declare an interest in The Launceston Horticultural Society – A History, from the start. I’ve long awaited this book and am chuffed it’s out after much gainful labour. It tracks our oldest continuous horticultural society (1838+) which continues. I gave advice on its editing, helped with the glossary and some of the field trips that went into it ‘ground-truthing’ what remains of a series of remarkable gentlemen (descendants and successors of both genders). While the topic sounds local in range or interest, in fact it’s far broader. Continue reading

Singapore Garden Festival Gold winners

The Singapore Garden Festival is in full swing and there are some amazing gardens to see. This biennial festival is big, with about 300,000 visitors (roughly twice that of the Chelsea Flower Show) showing the huge popularity of gardening in tropical Asia, even in places where most people can only dream of having their own garden. Continue reading

Australian landscape design awards 2014

AILDM, the Australian Institute of Landscape Designers and Managers, has announced its annual awards for residential and commercial landscape design, plantscape and landscape management. AILDM always puts together a great awards night with impressive projects on display, inspiring discussion, and plenty of laughter. Continue reading

How to maintain dry subtropical plants

Dry subtropical plants are well suited to Sydney’s climate however many people tend to shy away from planting them as they don’t fit into any particular box when it comes to maintaining them. With the correct soil conditions and climate this versatile group of plants are on the lower end of the maintenance scale. They just need a more delicate hand and a slightly different approach to other perennials and shrubs.  Continue reading