Recording past and present gardens

Queen Victoria and her family were the first members of royalty to have their entire life span recorded via photography. On a recent visit to the Getty Centre in Los Angeles, I was delighted to come across an exhibition on the evolution of photography that skilfully combined the technical development with a visual record of the royal family who had embraced this medium with a passion. Continue reading

A relationship between nature & gardens

On a recent walk through bushland on the Central Coast of New South Wales, I contemplated the relationship between nature and gardens. I always feel relaxed when I am in the bush. All my worries disappear; I breathe in the fresh air, absorb the green vegetation all around me and feel more alive than ever. Wouldn’t it be great if we could bottle up that feeling and take it home with us? Continue reading

How to prune a flowering gum

The red flowering gum (Corymbia ficifolia) is one of the world’s most spectacular trees when in full bloom and in recent times the development of more compact cultivars that are propagated vegetatively (usually by grafting) has made this an even more popular choice as a feature tree for the garden. Continue reading

A well-designed entry garden

A well-designed entry garden welcomes you, your family, and guests daily. It’s the place you trek through on car or foot to gather the mail and perhaps the newspaper. It’s the first place you see when you return home and also the last place as you travel to work, school, or wherever. Its beauty can cheer, soothe, delight, and relax you. Continue reading

Spiny leaf insects are great pets

Being an animal lover we have a range of animals at our place – dog, cat, chickens, fish and our latest additions which are 3 spiny leaf insects. Coming across them for sale on good old Gumtree classifieds, they soon turned into an unusual Christmas gift for our two sons. Continue reading

Ticks can cause allergy to red meat

another-tick-picDid you know that tick bites can cause an allergy to red meat called Mammalian Meat Allergy? This fascinating short vid from ABC’s Catalyst science program explains how MMA is caused and also the definitive way to remove ticks – FREEZE don’t TWEEZE. Continue reading

Last Sunday’s rain and shine

Last Sunday was challenging – in different ways. I awoke to thick cloud, lowering skies and welcome rain that had begun falling overnight. By around 10am the gauge showed 27 ml. How lucky is that, in mid-February? And at this time, how unusual for inner Melbourne! Continue reading

Design courtyard views that take you outside

I’m lucky I’m so in love with the work I do. I get to meet many interesting people and see many interesting houses. I use the word ‘houses’ as I feel a house only becomes a home once you turn it into a people-focussed environment, and making that sort of environment involves bringing in lots of plants. Then what started as just a house turns into a place where you feel like you can come home and find somewhere you belong, filled with peace and calm. A place that isn’t just about function, but connects with human emotions too. Continue reading