In the years of the 15th C before France was consolidated as a nation by a succession of kings the country was ruled and contested by several Royal houses vying for supremacy among them those based in Naples, Provence, Aragon, Savoy, Sicily and Anjou. Between them they parlayed and sought alliances with bigger powers, particularly the Holy Roman Empire and the Papal State. Continue reading
Recently your Branch Head was honoured to lead a small party of keen gardeners and garden-lovers to Montpellier in the south of France, almost but not quite on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. A highlight of the tour was a visit to the Jardin Antique Méditerranéen at Balaruc-le-Bains on the bay Etang de Thau. The garden is intended to replicate the mood and reality of a colonial Roman garden of some 2000 years ago. Continue reading
A phone rings. It is answered.
G’day Trev. You are ‘the’ Trevor Nottle aren’t you Trev?
Well Trev, have I got a deal for you. Can you meet me at the airport coffee bar so I can tell you about it?
Who are you?
Sorry, Trev, mate, should have said. I’m Tom from Gotta Go Travel but every one calls me Gabby because I talk so much. Just call me Gabby Trev. Yeah, I’ll be coming through Adelaide next Thursday morning could we meet I have an idea to discuss with you.
‘What is wrong with my lemon tree?’ This question, along with the one about possums, is the reason why TV garden programmes changed from being about plants to being about make-overs and landscaping. Sponsors and advertisers, producers and presenters got sick of the same questions week in and week out, so the format was changed to stop the questions being asked. Continue reading
Like big game stalking, finding a publisher requires great logistics, backup, research, the right stalking gear, good beaters, a degree of bravado, a keen eye for an opportunity to get in that tranquilliser shot and a guide who keeps in the background while you take the front line. Continue reading
The first stirrings come as a friend tells you that your garden is so interesting that you really ought to write about it. And by Golly, they are right. You have 25 years experience as a keen gardener. Your reputation as a knowledgeable plants-person has grown over time, and your garden has been filmed by the well-known garden show presenter who was once a professional wrestler. So it is time to take the next step; to move beyond the garden gate and take your place under the sun. Continue reading
Will my garden get in the media? Probably not. Why would you want it to? Let me tell you what this frequently involves. This is a warts and all account, a personal exposé of graft and cheating. No sex changed hands at any time during this episode. Bad Luck. Continue reading