Paul Urquhart

About Paul Urquhart

Author of several books including The New Native Garden and Small by Design; freelance garden and travel writer; in a past life was Editor of Your Garden and gardening editor of several Australian lifestyle magazines.

Plant Lovers Fair at Kariong

Looking for something special for your garden? Finding it hard to find a particular plant that you’ve always wanted? The solution is just around the corner. The Plant Lovers Fair is a fantastic annual local event catering to keen gardeners on the Central Coast of NSW and beyond. Continue reading

Auckland Garden DesignFest Nov 2013

I think I’m over garden shows and display gardens. There, I’ve said it. Fortunately there is a new alternative.

When I attend garden shows, it’s mainly for the display gardens. I must say, I have enjoyed them, but when all is said and done, they are little more than a sugar hit, not very lasting. I’m not alone it seems. To fill the void, some enterprising and generous garden luminaries have invented the “garden fest”, a realistic alternative to the sometimes shallow world of display gardens. Continue reading

The floating barge gardens of London

Twice a year, a unique barge community of barge gardens floating on the Thames is opened to the public to raise money for charity. Known as the Downings Road Moorings or Garden Barge Square, the gardens can be viewed from the shore or river anytime but for a close-up view, you’ll need to visit on an open day. These occur annually in May and June, once for the National Garden Scheme (during the Chelsea weekend in May) and again in June for the London Open Squares weekend. Continue reading

Burle Marx’s other gardens

Many of the gardens designed by Burle Marx have been demolished or languish under neglect but many are lovingly maintained. A few we can visit quite easily, more though are hard to see unless on an organised tour. Of the four I mention here, only the first is freely open to the public. Continue reading

Roberto Burle Marx’s private Sitio

Roberto Burle Marx single-handedly changed the face of tropical garden design while introducing to the world a host of amazing indigenous Brazilian plants hitherto ignored by Brazilians. In the process became an international figure. It’s intriguing to delve into his soul as an artist and plantsman to find out why his impact was so gargantuan. Continue reading

Chelsea 2012 review & retrospective

Sometimes it is hard to crystallise your thoughts about an event especially when there is so much visual white noise around. I found that after visiting Chelsea 2012. I have attended three Chelseas now, each separated by a period of 2 years and each time I try to distil the essence of the show in terms of trends. Continue reading

Review – Floriade, Venlo

I’ve observed some divided opinion as to whether Floriade is triumph or tragedy and lots of misapprehension about what it really is. There is a Floriade back-story that hasn’t been fully explained and some explanation may help. Floriade is essentially a trade show. It’s not meant to be a floral Disneyland or Keukenhof on steroids as some of the publicity surrounding the event might suggest. Overhyping has led to some over expectation and disappointment among punters so let’s turn our minds to what it really is and what it does well. Continue reading