MIFGS: tiny student gardens with big ideas

Student gardens at MIFGS (the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show) are always a highlight for me. Designed by institute and uni students, hopefully before the conventions of the landscape industry and client expectations stifle some of their creative juices, it’s always a pleasure to wander down the Avenue of Achievable Gardens. It’s also good to see Debco continuing to be a major sponsor of this area (along with NGIV and Lysaght) as these are our stars of the future. Continue reading

A plant with a twist, nearly missed

It’s so easy to miss a quirky flower or fruit in Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens. There is just too much going on. You have to always be on the look out for a fleck of colour here or a odd bauble way up there. Back in early February I discovered this Corkscrew Tree on twitter. It was flowering beside a major path near the Canna Bed, but it wasn’t until I tracked back from a tweet to MelbourneDaily that I realised it was in my own (work) backyard. Continue reading

How to protect soft fruit from millipedes

Ah, the luscious taste of strawberries straight from the garden – YUM! Unless they have a millipede inside: then it’s definitely BLECCCHHH! Millipedes aren’t toxic but they produce a highly irritant fluid when handled – or chewed! – that’s so foul-tasting and -smelling that many chickens won’t touch them, although apparently ducks will. Unfortunately, any duck that eats your millipedes will also eat everything else in your vegie garden! Continue reading

Choosing an Australian climbing plant

With gardens getting smaller and smaller all the time, I am finding that there is increasing interest in climbing plants. These versatile plants can adapt to limited spaces, and are particularly well suited to horizontally-challenged gardeners. Anyone with a fence has an ideal opportunity to fill that vertical space with a climbing plant of some sort. Continue reading

Russell Page garden at NYC’s Frick Collection under threat

Frick Collection garden NYC. Photo Henk van der Eijk

Frick Collection garden NYC. Photo Henk van der Eijk

Russell Page is widely regarded as one of the 20th century’s greatest garden designers. So much so, that there’s new exhibition dedicated to him at the London Garden Museum – The Education of a Gardener: The Life and Work of Russell Page. But just across The Pond, why is the only surviving Russell Page garden in NYC going to be destroyed by its owner, the Frick Collection? Continue reading

How to build a CURVED gabion wall

RECTILINEAR” he said. “Maybe you haven’t noticed but the basic premise of a welded mesh gabion wall is that it’s made from rectilinear components”.
“Yes, but what if they were all curved?”, I persisted. “Wouldn’t that look amazing? All those chunky textures but in lovely circles and sinuous curves…..?” Continue reading

Do you understand what fracking is?

Do you understand what fracking is? I know it’s short for hydraulic fracturing and it’s to do with gas extraction, but since I’ve watched this 5 minute video, I understand the process much more clearly, plus both the potential negative….and short-term positives.