Julie Thomson

About Julie Thomson

Journalist, writer, editor, television and book publicist, formerly with ABC Gardening Australia, passionate gardener, soil improver, digger, mulcher, living in acreage splendour near Sunshine Coast, Queensland. Subscribes to the Cicero edict: "I have a garden and a library, so have everything I need." Read my full blog at Julie's Garden Grapevine

A purple patch

I thought our jacaranda tree in the front garden was gorgeous before it rained last night. The downpour has stripped much of the intense purple blossom from the limbs and covered the ground below in a thick, almost iridescent carpet. Now it is truly a vision. It dazzles me every time I look out the window. I daresay even a painter would have trouble reproducing this colour. Continue reading

A moving story

WHERE do gardens go when their owners die or move house? Where does the love and energy that went into planning, building and nurturing it all end up? Does it stay in the soil or live on in the plants themselves? Is it “our” garden by geographic location, or by the trees, shrubs and flowers that thrive under our prudent watch – so when we depart, stewardship transfers completely, obliterating what went before? Continue reading

Strawberry Fields Forever (not)

Humbling experience last week when a commercial strawberry grower in the neighbourhood invited us to come and pick our hearts out for a morning before he destroyed his crop. The strawberry harvest has been a bumper this year, so there’s a glut, hence low prices make them uneconomical for our neighbour to pick and send to market. All that planting, tending, watering, watching, growing and blooming – for nothing. Continue reading

What’s the buzz

It goes without saying that someone like me, who blogs about gardening, gets a buzz out of working in the soil, growing things and being among plants. Therein lies the rub. On walks around my garden early mornings this week, there was a noticeable lack of buzz – that is, bees. Continue reading

Ticked off

I AM one for laying out the welcome mat to all and sundry in the garden. All creatures great and small are free to drop in and wander – even the munchers and nibblers, provided they leave alone a decent amount for me to enjoy. The birds are increasing in number and volume at the dawn chorus. Is their birdcall joy at the new day? Or as Anna Funder asked in her marvellous novel  All That I Am, a check to see who has made it through the night? But some recent intruders have really got under my skin – literally – so I issue a warning about them to the unsuspecting. But be alert not alarmed. Continue reading

Holus bolus. Or holusscolia? No….

Chinese whispers, that funny thing that happens when information is distorted when passed from one recipient to another, and another, was at play this week at the garden club meeting. One of the bench competition shrub entries drew particular admiration from members, being a string of scarlet and tangerine blooms on long spines. Continue reading