Christmas tree – Oh Christmas Tree!

Walking through Observatory Gate at Melbourne Gardens in early December I passed one of my favourite native Christmas Trees – Bursaria spinosa. It was absolutely laden with tiny pearly white buds and on the verge of bursting into flower. Bursaria spinosa has a swag of common names depending on the Australian State you live in: Australian blackthorn, mock orange, native box, sweet bursaria and Christmas bush in honour of its star-white flowers and sweet perfume that scents the Victorian bush at Christmas time. Continue reading

Book review: ‘Celebrate the Seasons’

Celebrate the Seasons: garden memoirs from New England‘ written by Liz Chappell and photographed by Kim Woods Rabbidge is a delight, with lessons for all climate types. Here is a resilient Australian gardener who will charm and gently educate you. And make you realise (in the nicest possible way) that those tough challenges you face in your garden are pretty easy really.★★★★½ Continue reading

Why do we have plant pests?

Around about now your garden should be teeming with insects. Luckily, most insects are not harmful to us or our plants but some of your garden visitors will be pests. Why do some insects become pests? There are several reasons! Continue reading

Glyphosate unlikely to be carcinogenic says EU

The EU and the European Food Safety Authority have completed a review of glyphosate, a commonly used herbicide, and have concluded that it is “unlikely that this substance is carcinogenic, a direct contradiction to the World Health Organisation’s “probable carcinogenic” assessment earlier this year. So which do we believe? Continue reading

The abandoned garden that stole my heart

Here in Europe, History grows in every flower and every tree. Imagine that at Versailles, some trees were planted in 1783 by Marie Antoinette. The remnants of historical heritage are everywhere: houses, castles, churches and chapels. These abandoned places still carry the imprint of their past inhabitants. Continue reading

The many faces of Benjamin Fig

The Benjamin fig (Ficus benjamina) is one of my favourite plants. Before I knew what it was, I’d have many moments where I’d walk into a new place and think, “Oh, it’s that tree again!” It was just about everywhere and in a variety of settings – in waiting rooms, gardens, doorways; plonked near my desk at work. Continue reading

Romantic perennial garden a florist’s dream

I knew from the outset that this garden in the beachside suburb of St Kilda, completed earlier this year, would be an exciting project to work on. As a company, the most satisfying jobs are where we’re involved in every step, starting with the design but continuing on through the construction and planting of the garden, and then also the follow-up garden maintenance. Continue reading

Ludwigsburg: one of the world’s best pumpkin festivals

When I was growing up the only pumpkin we ate was the Ironbark, which required the strength of an iron woman (or man) and a sharp axe to cut it up. Usually it was baked with meat and potatoes, until tender and delicious but sometimes it was boiled then mashed with butter and a dash of nutmeg. The shape and toughness of the Ironbark made it difficult and time consuming to peel so it was often baked with the skin on. The cooked flesh could then be scraped away from the skin but to be honest I liked the nutty taste of the skin and happily devoured it all. Continue reading