Alison Aplin

About Alison Aplin

Alison is a passionate, multi award winning sustainable landscape designer, Horticulturist and arborist. She has been the owner and designer of 2 Ecotourism gardens that have both won significant awards. Her writing is based on knowledge, empirical learning which is essential to sustainable ethic, and a questioning mind leading to much research. Her articles are often controversial - with a disclaimer that she is responsible for the written matter, and not Garden Drum. A deeply caring person about the natural environment, Alison's writing endeavours to explain why sustainable landscapes are so important. Without people like her, they will be lost and gardens will become merely concrete

Dalvui – a garden of inspiration

My husband David and I decided to visit the Dalvui garden in Noorat recently, open as part of Open Gardens Australia. What a wonderful treat it was for us both. Covering nearly 8 acres, the garden is nestled in the southern foothills of Mt Noorat. In 1898 Wiliam Guilfoyle was commissioned to advise on the layout and planning of the garden. Continue reading

Plants for shade in temperate Australia

Before considering what plants to grow, we need to look at the growing conditions. You need to ask yourself a few questions, like is the area shady all year or is the shade caused by a deciduous tree? If you answer when the tree is dormant, will there be access to winter sun for the north [southern hemishpere]. This significantly opens the range of plants that can be used. I personally find that if the shade from the tree is dappled or less during summer, then most plants will manage in this aspect, except of course those plants that demand full sun. Continue reading

Acacia cognata and cultivars

As a dedicated plant lover, what I look for first with any plant is its foliage and how it would work in the garden. The plant Acacia cognata is one that seems to fit in well almost anywhere – as either a formal plant or in mixed planting. Continue reading

Roses – why some perform better

Have you ever wondered why some people’s roses appear to do better than others’? It may have absolutely nothing to do with the regular fertiliser regime, the amount of water, how you prune them, whether you summer prune them and so on. It may be purely the fact that they are on different rootstocks. Continue reading

Water gardens

I feel certain that my love of water stems from the fact that my star sign is Pisces, with my birthday being on the cusp with Aquarius. My moon sign is also Aquarius. Both have water in their makeup with the fish and the water bearer. So my love of water becomes transferred to the need for water in my gardens. Continue reading

Trees for streets

I live in a small township in SW Victoria with a population of about 500 people. It is a long, narrow town with hills to our north and the sea to the south. The town girdles the Princes Continue reading

Foliage first – Agonis

There are certain plants that really have the wow factor. One of these plant groups is the Agonis family. They are of the Myrtaceae family, the plant group prone to myrtle rust. I have been informed that this fungus has indeed been found in this plant group, but this doesn’t stop me from purchasing them. Continue reading