Granny Plants

by Mark Evans

Gardeners might like to imagine that they are immune to the vagaries of fashion, however plants go in and out of style, just like clothes, and often a garden can be dated by its components. Think of Cortaderia selloana (pampas grass) in the 1970s, Syagrus romanzoffiana (Cocos palm) in the 1980s, Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’ (golden robinia) in the 1990s and the Yucca spp. (yucca) craze from the 2000s. All these plants became incredibly popular … Read more »

The Colours of Christmas

by Mark Evans

Three of the most popular colours associated with Christmas are red, green and white. The origin of this colour combination is said to be derived from the appearance of Ilex aquifolium (English Holly) with its evergreen leaves and white flowers followed by bright red berries. Amidst the European snow, it symbolised hope in the depths of winter and played a role in winter solstice celebrations, predating the spread of Christmas. Unfortunately for us in … Read more »

Bushfire gardening 

by Mark Evans

Plants are the primary source of fuel for a bushfire and, even though all plants burn, the location, arrangement and maintenance of vegetation within a garden has a bigger impact on how a bushfire will spread rather than the flammability of individual plants. The aim of bushfire gardening is to reduce radiant heat, prevent flame contact and minimise ember attack on the house. This can increase the likelihood of the house surviving a bushfire, … Read more »

GYO – Grow your own

Growing your own vegetables is one of the most rewarding forms of gardening as it combines all the pleasures and benefits of gardening with the added satisfaction of producing fresh nutritious food, and October marks the beginning of that time of the year when the widest variety of produce becomes available for planting.

Anyone new to growing vegetables should start small. If you are already a gardener of ornamentals, then just leave aside a little space for … Read more »

Spring Fever

by Mark Evans

Whether you subscribe to the meteorological view that it begins on the first day of the month or to the astronomical view that it begins on the vernal equinox on the 23rd day of the month, September brings us into the season that many consider the beginning of the gardening year, namely spring.

This is our favourite time of the year to get plants into the ground. Planting or re-potting this month means that plants will be ready to get … Read more »

Bare-rooting season

Mark Evans

For thousands of years humans have cultivated shrubs and trees, and dug and distributed them as bare-rooted young plants, often wrapped in damp rags or bound in a damp ball of sawdust. For growers, this is the most economical way to produce and distribute plants, and for buyers it means we get a bigger, better plant for less money. August is the perfect time to plant bare-rooted roses, fruit trees and ornamentals, because with spring … Read more »