Melbourne Flower & Garden Show 2016 – trophies, trends and titbits

As a show, the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (MIFGS) 2016 felt a little quieter than previous years but there were still many fine gardens. I like to stand back first for a while to get an overall impression, then examine each part of the garden more closely. Although good gardens have strong overall design qualities, they are always supported by interesting detail that’s not immediately obvious, but definitely adds to the sum of the parts. Continue reading

How to kangaroo-proof your garden

When I bought my block on top of the Lake George escarpment near Bungendore, NSW, in 2007, a friend said “you’ll never grow a garden here!” He had a point – too cold, too hot, too windy, too dry … and then there’s that ‘Bywong clay’. And, as it turned out, there was also more than a handful of kangaroos.  Continue reading

High intensity and demanding New York still has places of peace

New York. The swathes of concrete and glass; the vast canyons formed by major streets cutting through the highest of tall towers. This is where dogs and cats are declawed to deal with life inside apartments and population density is amongst the highest in the world, yet there are still pockets of green delight scattered throughout the neighbourhoods of Manhattan. A place where the concept of community gardens took hold decades ago and where small green spaces deliver maximum clout. On our recent trip we revisited favourite places and discovered others.
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How to grow and use licorice

Today I’m talking with herb specialist Ian Hemphill of Herbies Spices about growing that very tasty plant, licorice (or liquorice if you are in the UK). Forget the sticky black confectionary licorice – you can make your own sweet treats like licorice icecream and even chewable sticks from your own home-grown plant. Continue reading

Palm Springs style in a window pop-up garden

I think that if we want to get new people excited about gardens and gardening, as designers we need to take a garden to where they are, rather than expecting they’re going to come looking for us. So instead of designing and building a Melbourne show garden this year, the team and I decided to do something a little different. Working with our interior funk sisters over at Melbourne’s interior design retail heaven, The Family Love Tree in Prahran, we’ve taken their shop window to the next level. Continue reading