What a summer we are having in London! The thermometer has sat in the high twenties for nearly a month now and there is no sign of rain. As an expat Australian working at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, I’m enjoying the warmth after the bleak cold and snow of February – the only downside is that the Gardens could really do with a big drink.
I was recently lucky enough to sit with Richard Barley the Director of Horticulture, Learning and Operations at Royal Botanic Garden Kew, in amongst the plantings of the new Great Broad Walk Border at the end of its first summer. We talked about the history of this part of Kew, the development and design of the new borders, the plants that stop people in their tracks, seasonal succession planting and also the new pedestrian path surfaces now being used at Kew. Continue reading
Have you ever seen the beautiful Grevillea leucopteris? We have it growing far from its home in Western Australia on the northern side of Howson Hill in the Australian Garden at Cranbourne. When in flower it has large trusses of cream-white flowers arching over the surrounding garden – just magnificent. The Herbarium in Western Australia knows this beauty by the common name White Plume Grevillea. It is however more often known by another common name ‘Old Socks’ – as to some people these otherwise beautiful flowers have a very unpleasant smell indeed. Continue reading
In the borough of Queens in New York City, overlooked by the flyways of JFK airport, is one of the Big Apples best kept secrets, the beautiful horticultural gem of Queens Botanical Gardens (QBG). Continue reading
On 23 March 2016 the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (RBGV) celebrated National Eucalypt Day with our partners at the Bjarne K Dahl Trust (Dahl Trust) by launching a new trail at Cranbourne Gardens Eucalypts for your home garden. This trail uses plant labels, signage and QR codes, linked to deeper web content and video, to highlight 40 small eucalypts that are terrific for Melbourne home gardens such as the beautiful Eucalyptus cosmophylla. The trail contains a wealth of information about how to: select, plant and care for a small gum tree that would be ideal for your home garden. Continue reading
On the edge of Eastern Lawn at Melbourne Gardens there is a Queensland Bottle Tree, Brachychiton rupestris. It is reasonably short in stature with a broad swelling at the base of its trunk, literally bottle shaped, a pachycaul with a very thick trunk when compared to its height. Continue reading
Walking through Observatory Gate at Melbourne Gardens in early December I passed one of my favourite native Christmas Trees – Bursaria spinosa. It was absolutely laden with tiny pearly white buds and on the verge of bursting into flower. Bursaria spinosa has a swag of common names depending on the Australian State you live in: Australian blackthorn, mock orange, native box, sweet bursaria and Christmas bush in honour of its star-white flowers and sweet perfume that scents the Victorian bush at Christmas time. Continue reading