Catherine Stewart

About Catherine Stewart

Award-winning garden journalist, blogger and photographer; writer for garden magazines and co-author of ‘Waterwise Gardening'; landscape designer turned landscape design judge; selector for Open Gardens Australia; compulsive networker and lover of generally putting fingers in lots of pies. Particularly mud pies. Creator, curator and editor of GardenDrum. Sydney, NSW.

a-fig-at-the-gate-2 Book Review: ‘A Fig at the Gate’

‘A Fig at the Gate’ by Kate Llewellyn
‏Allen and Unwin 2014, RRP $29.99AUD, ‏ISBN 9781760110888
‏’The joys of friendship, gardening and the gaining of wisdom

‏This is a lovely book. It can shock at times too, with a brutal reality or painful memory that surfaces because of the author’s current circumstances. It reads like a diary but one that’s been reworked to give more depth and texture. Either that, or Kate Llewellyn is a lot more articulate, poetic and downright eloquent than I ever am in my private thoughts. Continue reading

Fabric-Deakinlock-garden-Fresh-Gardens-at-Chelsea-2014 Designing fresh and pretty gardens

I rather like a ‘girly’ garden. Fresh. Pretty. Flowers. Stuff. (Even pink). I rarely admit to it as, design-wise, such a garden always seems to be deeply unfashionable, even condescendingly referred to as ‘twee’. Which is a pity as more potential gardeners might engage with the whole notion of growing things if they felt comfortable giving them a decorative and pretty home. Continue reading

front yard graves SPOOKY-OOKY!


 I use to rail against Halloween but now I love it. I’ve realised it’s the only time that pedestrians – and particularly kids – can now claim the streets as their own.  Continue reading

Helen Young and Catherine Stewart talk all about organic matter OMG! Organic Matter Guidance

Helen Young and I talked all about organic matter at the recent Australian Garden Show Sydney. For those who didn’t get to see/hear us, (and those who were too enthralled to take notes) here’s a text version of our talk. It’s a long blog post (we talked for about 30 minutes) but that’s what it takes for even an introduction to this essential gardening topic as we cover the why, what, which, when, how, of organic matter in the garden, and some important cautions about using too much or when you shouldn’t use it at all. Continue reading

AGSS 2014 Best in Show Inspiration Gardens: Sydney show 2014

The eight Inspiration Gardens at the recent Australian Garden Show Sydney showcased lots of ideas for small to medium sized gardens, both in the way they used space and levels but also in materials, colours, textures and planting combinations. I liked them all in different ways. Some were spacious and serene, others energetic and colourful and the others settled in somewhere between. Continue reading

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Review: 2014 Australian Garden Show Sydney

The 2014 Australian Garden Show Sydney (AGSS) was a good show. Perhaps I’m partisan as I judged, gave talks, and several GardenDrum authors built display gardens. But putting that aside, I think it was a good show with lots of sound fundamentals, although it’s still got things it should change, or fix, to move to the next level. Continue reading