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

How to grow and use caraway

Caraway is used to flavour a whole lot of food that we eat, like havarti cheese, rye bread, sauerkraut and caraway seed cake in Britain. What may surprise you is that the roots can be cooked as a vegetable like parsnips or carrots and also that the leaves are sometimes eaten as herbs, either raw, dried, or cooked, just like you would with parsley. Continue reading

Outing weeds

After a deluge of early summer rain my garden has exploded with growth. The vegies look as if they are on steroids and so do the roses. Unfortunately, so do the weeds, which are making a takeover bid for the entire garden. Urgent action is needed to stop them in their tracks. Continue reading

Tulip crazy at Canberra’s Floriade

Spring flowers are still blossoming in my Sydney garden and that season’s cool breezes are hanging on too. However it feels like THE BIG HOT will hit any day now. So I’d like to say a proper goodbye to Spring this year by sharing my trip to Floriade in Canberra this year.  Continue reading

Kowhai flowering in spring

There’s a large kowhai tree in my Tasmanian garden. Judging from early photographs of the garden, it is at least 50 years old and may be older. Right now it’s covered in clusters of large yellow pea-shaped flowers that are filled with nectar. As it flowers it discards leaves, which makes the flowering even more spectacular. Continue reading

Annual poppies and friends

Many different poppies spring up in gardens each year. Poppies and their relatives are annual or short-lived perennial plants that produce masses of long-lived seed. Some poppies are weedy, but most are desirable ornamental flowers. Poppies even contribute to the Australian economy. The opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) is an important agricultural crop in Tasmania and of growing importance on the mainland as well. This is one poppy that is illegal to grow in Australian gardens. Continue reading

Care for a black walnut?

“Care for a black walnut?” I’ve got plenty, with plenty still to come. I also have a nifty nut collector made by the folks at Garden Weasel. What a treat to discover a yard device that requires no engine and makes no noise, that is so simply designed and yet works beautifully. Continue reading

Blue flowers for warm climates

The colour we use in our gardens, be that foliage or flowers, is highly personal but is also key to creating the mood of the garden. We see soft pinks and whites as romantic, reds and yellows as vibrant, and blues and purples as relaxing. Continue reading