Student gardens at MIFGS (the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show) are always a highlight for me. Designed by institute and uni students, hopefully before the conventions of the landscape industry and client expectations stifle some of their creative juices, it’s always a pleasure to wander down the Avenue of Achievable Gardens. It’s also good to see Debco continuing to be a major sponsor of this area (along with NGIV and Lysaght) as these are our stars of the future. Continue reading
“RECTILINEAR” he said. “Maybe you haven’t noticed but the basic premise of a welded mesh gabion wall is that it’s made from rectilinear components”.
“Yes, but what if they were all curved?”, I persisted. “Wouldn’t that look amazing? All those chunky textures but in lovely circles and sinuous curves…..?” Continue reading
The California drought deepens, with state reservoirs holding only 1 year of water and the Sierra Nevada snow melt at 5% of normal levels. And despite calls by Governor Jerry Brown for Californians to reduce their water consumption, in southern areas in February it INCREASED! Continue reading
I’ve written before about why I didn’t think the Best in Show award at the recent 2015 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show went to the most deserving garden. And of course, as several commenters have pointed out, it immediately begs the question – if I disagree with the judges choice, which garden would I have chosen, and why? Continue reading
Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens is gearing up for its 200th birthday next year and it’s going to be HUGE. Think everything from flower-shaped fireworks on NYE through to an artwork to rival Christo’s wrapping of Little Bay on to a new horticultural display centre opening in June 2016. Yes, the old Tropical Centre is about to bite the dust. Continue reading
‘Quietude’, a design collaboration, won Best in Show at the 2015 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. But was it really the best?
It’s not common for designers to work together on a show garden and especially for it to also win a Gold Medal and Best in Show. Lisa Ellis (Lisa Elilis Gardens) and Mark Browning (Cycas Landscape Design) came together to create ‘Quietude‘, with Mark taking on the hard landscaping, and Lisa using her magic on the planting design. Where the dividing line was in the overall design, I’m not sure. Continue reading
The devastation of Sydney’s tree canopy lumbers on with hundreds of trees being felled every month because of flawed State laws. The tree clearing is supposed to mitigate bushfire risk but is usually more about not wanting leaf litter mess, misplaced fear, and creating views. The property above removed 10 trees and adjoining properties removed a further 15 trees. Continue reading
As we left the internationally acclaimed Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart, Tasmania, Tony said “Well that’s 2 hours of my life I’ll never get back“. What went wrong? I’d arrived at MONA with high expectations (in truth, more than he had) and recommendations from friends who had loved their visit. But I think that MONA has some serious flaws, starting with site layout, signage and landscape design. Continue reading
Can watering plants with water that’s been microwave-boiled, then cooled, kill them? I was recently alerted to this silly myth doing the rounds on the internet when explaining to a young acquaintance why I prefer to microwave-cook my vegies. So it seems it’s still duping people with its apparent ‘scientific’ evidence, so here’s a bit of my own debunking. Continue reading
What do you do with a tiny courtyard that’s only a few paces in each direction? Although there’s every reason to despair that you can have something that is truly useful as well as gorgeous, when you put the design in the hands of a professional, it’s quite amazing what wonders can be achieved. Here I’m profiling 3 very different solutions to tiny, walled spaces in Sydney, London, and Perth. Continue reading
I first started gardening a few decades ago now, but there are seven pieces of gardening advice that stick with me, every day. They keep me going when problems seem insurmountable, they remind me of going back to basics when things go wrong, they help me understand exactly what I’m growing and they keep me enjoying my garden. Now I’m going to share them – and reveal the some of the sages who gave them to me. Continue reading
Singapore Botanic Gardens drips orchids. Almost literally, as they hang from trees, spill from rocks and dance among colourful foliage. Everywhere you look, there’s another spectacular display, with every flower at its peak. Continue reading
The hidden Design Festival wowed Sydney last April, and it’s on again this 14-15 March 2015, with tickets now on sale. Continue reading