A naked New Year gift

If you’re looking for a New Year gift for the gardener in your life, here’s a little something that might tickle their fancy. Perennial in the UK  (formerly the Gardeners’ Royal Benevolent Society) has released its first Naked Gardeners fund-raising calendar. Continue reading

How to make a dragonfly garden

My dad told all kinds of fantastical stories when I was a kid, and I believed all of them. To this day, I can’t drive past a “Watch For Falling Rock” sign without thinking about the Native American hero named Falling Rock, who disappeared in the desert and was never seen again. If I had kids, I would tell them stories about dragonflies, something about how a magic spell of some sort turned big-eyed, prehistoric beasts into delicate winged creatures that really like water. Continue reading

New movie for 2015 – about a landscape designer!


I can’t believe it. We have a big-budget blockbuster movie about a landscape designer! Starring the gorgeous Kate Winslet as Sabine, it tells the story of a landscape designer chosen to build one of the new gardens at Versailles. With Matthias Schoenaerts as André Le Notre and Alan Rickman as Louis XIV, ‘A Little Chaos‘ will arrive on screens in March 2015. Here’s the trailer…. Continue reading

Garden DesignFest: 2 Robert Boyle gardens

I love my wife. After a very average Saturday hanging around home, and about half an hour before she was due to start work, I suggested we shoot down to Melbourne for the 2014 Garden DesignFest. I have promised that I wouldn’t make these rash proposals anymore as we inevitably pay through the nose for last minute hotel bookings and travel – but we always have fun. “Well let’s decide now in case I have to pack a bag at midnight!” she said, and by 9.00am we were hurtling out of Melbourne airport with our sights set on the Mornington Peninsula. Continue reading

Lessons from Italy’s summer windowboxes

Here in South Australia with its baking summers, container gardening can be challenging. Pots usually require daily watering, especially in exposed positions such as northern windowsills or balconies. Often, they look a bit exhausted, as if they are only just hanging in there… but not so the amazing window boxes and container gardens I saw in Northern Italy’s Dolomites (see my Wildflowers of the Dolomites Part 1 and Part 2) last year. They all looked well-fed, well-watered and bursting with vitality. Continue reading