Keeping a promise….

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Malahide Castle gardens

Malahide Castle and its gardens, north of Dublin city in County Dublin, are a very worthwhile visit for at least three reasons. The first is the historic Malahide Castle itself, owned continuously for about 800 years by the Talbot family. The lands and harbour of Malahide were granted to founder Richard Talbot by Henry II in return for his part played in the Anglo- Norman invasion of Ireland.

Continue reading

Olive Pink: A life in flowers

“Neither Art nor Science are very materially remunerative professions but very soul-satisfying both.”  OLIVE PINK TO WILLIAM CROWTHER, 1935.  A fiercely independent woman ahead of her time, Olive Pink is best known for her staunch support of the Aboriginal People of Central Australia, which is illustrated in this edited extract of the book Olive Pink: Artist, Activist and Gardener

Continue reading

Hidden gem of Ku-ring-gai: Seven Little Australians Park

“Before you fairly start this story, I should like to give you just a word of warning. If you imagine you are going to read of model children…you had better lay down the book immediately…Not one of the seven is really good, for the excellent reason that Australian children never are…There is a lurking sparkle of joyousness and rebellion and mischief in nature here, and therefore in children”. Ethel Turner, Seven Little Australians

Continue reading

Water in the garden

Water in the garden has a long history, as long as gardens themselves. Any history of gardens and gardening will show that the Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Chinese, Roman, Japanese, Persian, Mughal, Aztec, French, Italian, Dutch and Spanish gardens all featured water prominently in their designs.

 

Continue reading