Lingering scent: fragrant plants in our tropical garden

The evening ambiance was typical for late October in the The Wet Tropics of Northern Australia . There had been a light rainshower earlier which left the garden with a dewy presence. The pathways and adjacent bitumen road were steaming with that spirit-like mist that wafts around languidly. The atmosphere was now warm and moisture laden. A perfect vector for the perfumery of the Tropical Garden. Continue reading

TV and film used to promote healthy eating?

James Bond and bananaCould James Bond peel a banana as sexily as he orders a martini? ERMA, the US Entertainment Resource and Marketing Association is working with the Produce Marketing Association to get more fresh fruit and vegetable into our daily diet of TV shows, movies and online content. Continue reading

New Zealand’s treasure chest of native plants for hedges

It is very obvious that many of the selections of hedge plants introduced into New Zealand over the years have become environmental disasters – gorse, privet, acmena, and berberis to name just a few. And there are others, like Buxus, which I’m sure you all love. But it has a dreadful smell, the smell of cat’s piss after rain. It also gets rust, a lovely rust which makes it go nice and red, but people keep planting it and it dies off and they plant another lot. Continue reading

A new business, a new garden, a new beginning

I have had an exceptional couple of months, between working on Nurai Island in Abu Dhabi, speaking at the International Plants Expo Middle East and most importantly, deciding to set up my own company again. It’s been, to say the least, hectic but, in saying that, I have never felt so positive in my life. Continue reading

Listening to the locals: a new garden for The Cellar Door

I, like many, enjoy more than anything to take a break from a routine and embrace a new destination. By going and putting yourself in someone else’s shoes for a few days or weeks, it opens your eyes and you realise that there is more to life than just the day to day. There is nothing better than finding out what a place is really about; its history, its food and drink, its culture and its beauty. Continue reading

Grannes: Australian garden design for dry climates

Every so often, serendipitous encounters come along that challenge my thinking about plants and gardens. I recently had such an experience on a horticultural trip to The Grampians in Victoria. I was on assignment at the Pomonal Wildflower Show, an annual event that brings local plant enthusiasts from the area together to display the best native plant specimens from their gardens. All sorts of amazing people turn up to exchange wisdom about what, how and why they grow the native plants they do. 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