Instant city garden oasis

Garden designer Robert Boyle’s client had dreams of a very private city garden, only to discover the adjoining property, which they had just purchased to create their back-garden oasis, would be overlooked and dominated by a large development on a neighbour’s property.

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Naples Botanical Garden

Horticulture can be an undisciplined craft—the lack of set rules sometimes gives rise to brilliance, sometimes not. Those with unbridled enthusiasm for plants tend to chafe under the restraint of design while designers often complain that gardeners are messing things up. Fortunately, horticulture and design partnered to make the Naples Botanical Garden garden a true joy.

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Hawaii: from lava fields to lush forests

Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on a volcanic hot spot, the Hawaiian Islands are engine rooms of geological evolution and a plant lover’s paradise. But there is little overt celebration of these natural wonders, which primarily serve as backdrops to a tropical paradise holiday or, in our case, a transpacific wedding.

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Sweet pea breeding

Developing a new plant variety can take a long time. The packets of sweet peas I am going to plant in my garden represent a lifetime’s work for one plant breeder. Dr Keith Hammett has been breeding better sweet peas for more than 60 years – initially in England and for the past 50 years in his adopted home New Zealand.

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Rydal daffodils

The small village of Rydal nearly 1000 metres above sea level has the ideal climate for growing daffodils and like its namesake in England where William Wordsworth lived for a time and wrote about daffodils, Rydal New South Wales can present a host of golden daffodils.

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Going potty

When the weather’s cold, days are short and the soil is wet, there’s little incentive to get out into the garden. Winter needn’t be dull downtime however if the garden includes some large containers arranged in a sunny spot.

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Art in the landscape in Provence

I have quite a fondness for the south of France, even when the days are cold, crisp, and still. Perhaps in Provence the lavender in the heat can no longer tickle the nose, but the shimmering autumn colour can dazzle the eye as you drive through the rolling hills.

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The rise of the Instagram gardener

What has the world come to that we are reducing everything to a series of words pre-empted by a hash tag? #gardening #pot plants #indoors  #foliage . Whatever the less social media savvy might think, social media is very much part of the modern world. It’s here to stay and is influencing and shaping modern gardening in a positive way.

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