This book and its theme are timely and poignant. We won’t stop waging wars. Some parts of the globe have long histories of it with competition for resources, land, water, trade and souls. Dwindling water supplies suggest more will come. We also won’t stop gardening – for food, shelter, beauty, solace – and this book is revealing on why. What gardening does for us – something that seems worth pondering and talking-up, as peace-fostering.
For one raised and used to living in cooler, moister climes, living in Sydney can bring on ‘conifer-depletion syndrome’. Continue reading
Gardens in the Monaro area of southern NSW need to be resilient and tolerant of droughts, frosts and snow. Here is the story of three gardens. Continue reading
While holidaying in Vietnam in 2010, I spent a couple of days helping out at the Da Nang Social Support Centre. This centre caters for people that are unable to look after themselves because of bad health, they are too young, or too old, or just too poor.
Islands are Nature’s kitchen and the Hawaiian Islands, sitting in splendid isolation in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, are the perfect place to see where evolution has cooked up a smorgasbord. When the first humans arrived on the islands around 400 AD there were already thousands of plant and animal creations.
A fall in the family means I’ve had broken bones on my mind lately. This particular break (my mother’s broken shoulder) is going to need the best medical science has to offer to make it better but in days gone by, people often turned to the garden for a remedy.
Is the Hampton Court Flower Show on your bucket list? If not, here’s at least five reasons why it should be.
The Gardener, a documentary which reflects on the meaning of gardening and its impact on our lives, opened in selected Australian cinemas from October 11.
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.
In order to create exciting gardens for young children, you need to put yourself in their shoes. It’s a sad fact of life that most of us lose, bit by bit, connection with the direct sensory world of our childhood.
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.
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.
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.