Melbourne Flower Show 2018 – analysis & trends

I again made my annual trip to Melbourne for the Melbourne Flower and Garden Show 2018. As I’m a horticultural out-of-towner and a landscape/garden design specialist, I spend most of my time studying and analysing the big show gardens (as well as the boutique and student gardens). So what were this year’s standouts, disappointments and trends? Continue reading

We all need places to inspire us…

Whatever your daily trek, we all need places to inspire us. Places that ask us to pause, breathe deep, and rediscover our connections. Nature leads me to that place of discovery. And, a direct inspiration for my work. It’s the patterns, patterns of interconnection, that most interest me. Continue reading

How to find and use cheap landscaping stone

With its unique natural beauty, stone is a favourite of gardeners everywhere. Whether used as steps, paving, retaining walls or buildings, this most original and durable of landscaping materials settles into its surroundings, ageing gracefully with a natural patina that appeals to our primitive aesthetic instincts in the same way as do forests and oceans. Continue reading

Melbourne Flower Show matters – or does it?

In late March 2017 I, and many of Australia’s horticultural media, landscape designers, landscapers, horticulturists and garden lovers, made our annual pilgrimage of to the autumn Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (MIFGS). With nine big display gardens, five boutique gardens and 12 small student-built achievable gardens on show, I was eager to see what was on offer at MIFGS in 2017 and who had won what. Continue reading

Review: ‘She Sheds – a room of your own’

If I hadn’t read the introduction to this book by the author, Erika Kotite, I would have been disappointed with its contents. To me a shed has something to do with gardening rather than just being a building in a garden. Erika explains that a ‘she shed’ is a woman’s private space to escape the pressures of everyday life, a place to relax or undertake creative pursuits. Continue reading

Giving two rooms their view

It rains a lot in the west of Scotland. It’s often too soggy to be out in the garden, so it’s important to have something attractive to look at from inside the house. We spend most of our indoor time in our kitchen and adjoining living room/dining room, which are both west-facing. Continue reading

Review: ‘Dream Gardens’ on ABC TV

When I first heard that someone was going to make a new Australian TV show about gardening, I was amazed. Then excited. Then cynicism started to creep in. Would it be another quickie makeover show? A dumbed-down ‘reality’ show filled with manufactured drama? Then I heard Michael McCoy was the presenter and I breathed a great sigh of relief because I knew he wouldn’t have anything to do with either of those. Continue reading