Ready, aim fire! The amazing cannonball tree

Whilst on holiday in Sri Lanka in March 2016 I visited the very impressive Royal Botanic Gardens at Peradeniya, not far from Kandy. The history of the gardens dates back to 1371 however the existing site was chosen in 1821 and it has since undergone several transformations over the decades to now be considered amongst the best botanic gardens in the sub-continental region. Continue reading

How to eat your garden – preserving the harvest

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Plant, Grow, Harvest, Cook. But this is after the Great Zucchini Glut. Anyone who’s grown zucchinis knows what this is and, believe me, it’s not pretty. Baby zucchinis, raw zucchinis, zucchinis fried, julienned into spaghetti, stuffed, in salads, in stir fries, dried into chips. Zucchini Nano Alba, Striata di Trieste, Black Jack. The pea and zucchini soup was actually quite nice, but by then we were so damn sick of them! And although the last plant was – thank God! – pulled up today, horribly, lurking in the spare room, are yet more marrows and spaghetti squash. Continue reading

On gardens, colours…and love

I don’t want to give you the idea that I am a philosopher, but my personal growth is strictly connected with my professional growth. What I learn in my job always has a reflection in my spiritual life. Since I moved to Australia, I have wanted to change the way I have always designed gardens and at the same time my point of view on life. Continue reading

Vera Blakeman returns, with her siblings

Vera Blakeman is back and this time she has an entourage of siblings. You don’t know Vera? Well its time you made her acquaintance, for Vera is a particularly attractive Bougainvillea, however she doesn’t climb, she doesn’t have thorns and, when grown well, she is one of the showiest of plants for the garden. Continue reading

Supporting your garden’s wobbly bits

I once read an article about a gorgeous garden that was accompanied by a photo showing every plant perfectly positioned and well behaved. There was no slouching, leaning, or canoodling. There were no secret smooches between the flirty pink zinnias and that broad shouldered basil. If that garden were a party, they’d be drinking milk and playing bingo. Underneath those high collars and long skirts, those dames were trussed to the hilt. Continue reading