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.

2016 - views across the Mayfield Water Gardens to the obelisk Review: why I don’t like Mayfield Water Garden

Mayfield, a huge, private, cool-climate garden near Oberon in the NSW Central Tablelands has been described as a “marvellous” garden and its public Water Garden as a “masterpiece” and “magical“. I first saw greater Mayfield in autumn 2010 and wasn’t that keen but thought it might just need some maturation time. However, after revisiting only the Water Garden last weekend with three family members, I’m still not a fan. Continue reading

Celebrate-the-Seasons-by-Liz-Chappell Book review: ‘Celebrate the Seasons’

Celebrate the Seasons: garden memoirs from New England‘ written by Liz Chappell and photographed by Kim Woods Rabbidge is a delight, with lessons for all climate types. Here is a resilient Australian gardener who will charm and gently educate you. And make you realise (in the nicest possible way) that those tough challenges you face in your garden are pretty easy really.★★★★½ Continue reading

Allan Seale I win the Allan Seale Award! But who was Allan Seale?

Last night I won the Allan Seale Media Award 2015 from the Nursery and Garden Industry. It’s a prestigious award and a great honour but, although Allan’s name means a lot to me, I’d like to explain for those who don’t remember him who he was and what he did for gardening way back when. So I did some online research and was amazed to come up with…almost nothing. Continue reading

Bunnings’ blunders and bloopers

hammer over plantBunnings, the Australian juggernaut hardware and greenlife ‘box store’ that has been partly responsible for the demise of a quality independent nursery near you, offers these appalling clangers in its latest spring media release for creating a “zero fuss garden“. Continue reading

Why we must stop mass planting NOW

It’s an emergency. One by one, the toughest garden plants of the past decades are succumbing to newly-discovered, debilitating and often deadly pests and disease. Elm, ash, buxus, roses, horse chestnut, agapanthus, impatiens, clivea, lilly pilly, loropetalum…the list goes on. If you haven’t heard of problems with these plants in your part of the world already, you soon will, as globalisation eventually defeats even the most vigilant biosecurity measures. Continue reading

YEMEN Japan’s rock star plant collector takes it all back

Our gardening stories of the past 150 years are full of Europeans plant hunting in the treasure troves of eastern Asia, including Japan, returning with cherry blossom and exquisite conifers, bamboo and buddleja, and lush cool-climate ferns. In the 21st century, modern-day plant hunter extraordinaire Seijun Nishihata from Japan turns the tables, scouring the world to bring back the wonderful, the wild and the downright weird to his home country, from succulents and epiphytes to full sized trees, including mature bottle trees from Australia. Continue reading