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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA How soil drainage works: it’s not what you think

‘Good drainage’ or ‘well-drained’ soil is used to described the favoured growing conditions of about 80% of what you want to plant in your garden. But do you know really know how soil drainage works, so you can get that fabled ‘good drainage’? Drainage myths and half-truths have been repeated for years by gardeners and even experts. The trouble is that water in soils just doesn’t behave in the way that intuitively you’d think that it should. Continue reading

Rachel Parker Soden 'Lust' HCPFS 2014 Hampton Court Palace Flower Show Preview

The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (HCPFS) starts tomorrow, 8 July. So what can show goers expect this year? Will it be Chelsea’s purple flowers and intermingled planting all over again? The Hampton Court show has developed a reputation for greater innovation and experimentation over the past decade, and its environmental emphasis is clear. Continue reading

Film: Rediscovering the Country

Screen shot 2014-07-06 at 9.05.08 PM

Overrun by vine and tree in tangled, useless profusion…” says the voiceover, as a huge wrecking ball and chain drags through virgin bush, obliterating everything in its path. It’s a shocking opening for the new film ‘Rediscovering the Country‘, but the following 30 minutes shows how forest destruction can be turned around in any country. ‘Analogue forestry’ was developed in Sri Lanka but its principles can be applied anywhere, with farmers and local communities working together to transform degraded rural landscapes into biodiverse and commercially valuable plantings. Continue reading

The view on to Noelle and Ian's rooftop courtyard Noelene & Ian’s rooftop

Looking out into Noelene and Ian’s rooftop garden makes me want to move in with them. Designed by Peter Nixon of Paradisus, a man who really knows his plants, this raised bed garden is finely worked symphony of colour, form and texture. Continue reading

Dead-plant-in-pots-Photo-vetcw3-e1404043925891 7 ways to NOT kill your plants

I’ve killed hundreds of plants. If I had bought and killed as many small animals as I have plants I would have long ago been arrested and rightly condemned as a butcher and murderer. I’ve done them all – death by neglect, death by maltreatment, death by misunderstanding and even death by capricious change of mind. Continue reading