How to make an entrance garden

A wonderful garden, when first viewed, can be greatly enhanced by what the visitor first sees. An important matter when choosing the garden entrance is what the house looks like. Does it have a particular architectural style or character? If the house is formal, a structured entrance may be more appropriate. If the house is stone, probably the fence should be of the same material. A weatherboard house will probably be better complemented by a picket fence. Continue reading



 I use to rail against Halloween but now I love it. I’ve realised it’s the only time that pedestrians – and particularly kids – can now claim the streets as their own.  Continue reading

Hip workwear for hard working women

Growing up on a farm in the Otway Ranges Victoria, I knew I wanted to work outdoors. After a stint of helping mum in her gorgeous garden and doing a year 10 horticulture project designing a friend’s garden and growing the plants, I was hooked. I applied for uni but also for a gardening apprenticeship. It was exciting working as a gardener in inner city Melbourne and it seemed a way better option than studying at university. I’m a hands-on person and learn best on the job and not in the classroom, so an apprenticeship made perfect sense to me and I deferred my course, never to look back. Continue reading

How to grow and use Iresine

I have found that pet shops can be great places to find interesting garden plants. I’m referring to the plants being sold in the aquarium section – for these plants are not necessary water plants at all, and in fact many will gradually deteriorate if grown continuously submerged. While searching through some aquariums yesterday, my score was Iresine diffusa ‘Lindenii’, a plant for which I have been searching quite some time. Continue reading

Urban design can combat heat stress

Urban heat buildup in Sydney

Researchers predict that summer temperatures in Melbourne could peak at over 48ºC (119ºF) by 2020, causing a wave of heat-related deaths, especially where people have to be outside, like waiting for public transport. How can smart urban design save the day? Continue reading

The Art of Botanical Illustration

From 25 October to 9 November 2014, the Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne are holding their 12th biennial exhibition of recent works, called The Art of Botanical Illustration, at Domain House in Dallas Brooks Drive just down from the Herbarium. It is open from 10am to 4pm during the week and till 6pm on weekends and you get in for a gold coin donation. It must be about the best value around! Continue reading

Gardening World Cup, Japan 2014

Once again a collaboration of countries all flocked to Nagasaki, Japan to compete and participate in the annual Gardening World Cup. There were 3 categories this year: show gardens, with chosen designs representing UK, France, Japan, Singapore, Italy, Morocco and Canada. The second category was the small courtyard gardens, all done by Japanese entries. The third category was the large feature gardens, which are not judged but there to enhance the show Continue reading