Kowhai flowering in spring

There’s a large kowhai tree in my Tasmanian garden. Judging from early photographs of the garden, it is at least 50 years old and may be older. Right now it’s covered in clusters of large yellow pea-shaped flowers that are filled with nectar. As it flowers it discards leaves, which makes the flowering even more spectacular. Continue reading

Exotic Garden at Le Jardin Secret in Marrakech

‘Le Jardin Secret Open Air Museum’ in Marrakech’s massive medina is the restored riad of the last sultan of Morocco. It has two courtyards; the larger is the Islamic Garden, a paradise garden in reinstated cruciform layout and replanted in keeping with the tradition of Islamic gardens. The other is the Exotic Garden – more intimate with complex planting. This smaller one fired my imagination, so I’ll write about it here. Continue reading

Annual poppies and friends

Many different poppies spring up in gardens each year. Poppies and their relatives are annual or short-lived perennial plants that produce masses of long-lived seed. Some poppies are weedy, but most are desirable ornamental flowers. Poppies even contribute to the Australian economy. The opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) is an important agricultural crop in Tasmania and of growing importance on the mainland as well. This is one poppy that is illegal to grow in Australian gardens. Continue reading

Care for a black walnut?

“Care for a black walnut?” I’ve got plenty, with plenty still to come. I also have a nifty nut collector made by the folks at Garden Weasel. What a treat to discover a yard device that requires no engine and makes no noise, that is so simply designed and yet works beautifully. Continue reading

Blue flowers for warm climates

The colour we use in our gardens, be that foliage or flowers, is highly personal but is also key to creating the mood of the garden. We see soft pinks and whites as romantic, reds and yellows as vibrant, and blues and purples as relaxing. Continue reading