Angus Stewart

About Angus Stewart

Gardening Australia TV presenter, author of 'Creating an Australian Garden', 'Australian Plants for Year-round Colour' and 'Let's Propagate', garden travel guide, native plant specialist and breeder. Central Coast, NSW. Find out lots more about native plants at Gardening with Angus.

Celebrating the kangaroo paw at Cranbourne Gardens

After 35 years breeding and growing kangaroo paws I was delighted to be invited by Rodger Elliot on behalf of the Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne to help plan and be involved with a unique event titled the Kangaroo Paw Celebration. The event is a month-long exploration of the Kangaroo Paw family, Haemodoraceae that also includes the cottonheads (Conostylis species) and blood roots (Haemodorum species) amongst others. Continue reading

A small piece of Australia at California’s Taft-Ojai Gardens

On a trip to California earlier this year I had the good fortune to meet a very interesting Australian expatriate plant lover and horticulturist called Jo O’Connell. She has established an excellent niche nursery called Australian Native Plants at Casitas Springs near Santa Barbara, in order to grow a range of Australian plants. These are currently in hot demand as a result of the severe drought in California. Continue reading

The remarkable genus Camellia

For many gardeners around the world, the word camellia conjures up images of a reliable shrub that produces gorgeous autumn and winter displays of pink, red and white flowers or sometimes combinations thereof. These flowers come in a range of interesting flower types from the simple ‘wild’ types to the multi-petalled  ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ double types. The glossy dark green foliage also makes a wonderful backdrop in the garden as a stage for displays of other flowering plants. Continue reading

In-ground worm farms for the time-poor gardener

How do you find the time to maintain a compost heap when you don’t even have the time to do the fun stuff in your garden? This is an increasing situation I am seeing with gardeners in urban areas. There is also a lack of space for the traditional compost heap. I commonly see people throwing their kitchen scraps in the general rubbish bin and the reason always given is that composting is just too hard and too much work. Continue reading

Grannes: Australian garden design for dry climates

Every so often, serendipitous encounters come along that challenge my thinking about plants and gardens. I recently had such an experience on a horticultural trip to The Grampians in Victoria. I was on assignment at the Pomonal Wildflower Show, an annual event that brings local plant enthusiasts from the area together to display the best native plant specimens from their gardens. All sorts of amazing people turn up to exchange wisdom about what, how and why they grow the native plants they do. Continue reading

How to create an Australian wildflower meadow

The classic picture postcard from Western Australia is a carpet of everlasting daisies stretching to the horizon in one of the natural world’s most spectacular wild gardens. But is this something that you should try at home?? Well, judging by the results I have seen over the years at two of Australia’s premier Botanic Gardens, the answer is an emphatic yes. The annual displays at Kings Park Botanic Gardens in Perth, and The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mt Annan, NSW are a testimony to the fact that an Australian wildflower meadow is eminently achievable in cultivation. Continue reading

Barangaroo Point Park: a gamble with nature

The Barangaroo project on Sydney Harbour has already attracted a huge amount of publicity, a great deal of it negative. The mention of the name conjures images of a shiny multi-storey casino for high rolling overseas gamblers. However, this has unfortunately overshadowed (yes I did go there) the amazing landscape project that has been created that will extend the public’s access to the Sydney Harbour foreshore adjacent to the western side of the Harbour Bridge. Continue reading

Goodbye Callistemon, and hello Melaleuca

I will find it hard to get used to saying Melaleuca as the new name for some of my favourite Australian plants such as ‘Captain Cook’, ‘Endeavour’ and ‘King’s Park Special’. But this is what it might come to if the botanical and horticultural world accepts a concerted push in the world of Australian botany to merge the genus Callistemon with its close relative Melaleuca. Continue reading

How to choose and grow kangaroo paws

I don’t have much luck with kangaroo paws!” As a breeder of kangaroo paw varieties for the last 30 years I have heard this statement far too often from Australian gardeners. Having been responsible for a number of the new cultivars available, I would like to give you my perspective on how to choose the right kangaroo paw for your own garden. Continue reading

Gardens of southern Italy & the Amalfi Coast

I have had the pleasure of leading a number of garden tours through some of the great gardens of Europe, but if pressed to nominate a favourite region, it would have to be the area of Italy from Rome south to the Amalfi Coast near Naples. Aside from the spectacular views from most of the gardens there, there is a surprising range of plants from sub-tropical species to all sorts of plants that thrive in temperate regions. Add in the rather hedonistic culture of the locals for the evening hours, and you have all the ingredients for a very memorable trip. 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