Growing Australian Plants In London

When the Guardian published a few shots of Australian plants that can be grown in Britain, I had a flashback to my Australian-effect front garden in London.

Autumn Open Day at Bellis

Every time I open my garden there is something to celebrate about organic gardening and seed saving.

In Flower Today

Brisbane‘s subtropical winter comes to a happy, floriferous end in mid-August. Today there’s around a hundred different plants flowering, two weeks before Australia’s official first day of spring.

New Botanical Stamps Uploaded

I’ve just posted a few more stamps and first day covers into my botanical stamps gallery. I’m pleased to now include some on food security as well as other classic themes, including conservation, garden plants, fossils and Australiana… Jerry Coleby-Williams 1st November 2012

First Flowering: Pandanus cookii

This summer my fifteen year old specimen of Pandanus cookii flowered. It was collected from Cape York by Yuruga Nursery in the Atherton Tableland, where I bought it. Like all Pandanus, they are intolerant of frost and grow best in sub-coastal gardens in full sunshine in an open position with excellent drainage. I watered my…

Seeking Sansevierias

Having to give away my collection of croton cultivars during Brisbane’s ongoing drought made sense at the time. But I do enjoy collecting plants, so I’ve decided to collect drought-resistant Sansevieria instead. Pictured is Sansevieria suffruticosa subsp. longituba from Kenya, which grows 15 – 20cm high. This plant produces flowers on spikes up to 30cm…

Darwinia polychroma

I’ve finally found the original slide I took when I discovered this new species of Darwinia (Myrtaceae) whilst in Western Australia on the Thornton-Smith Scholarship in 1982. Each year the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew funds a botanical expedition for one of its students on completion of the Kew course. I spent six months travelling, collecting…

Botanical Stamps

A selection collected by my parents, grandfather and me. One way for a child to learn about plants and places…and a bit of botanical latin too. There’s just one from my grandfather’s collection: Cattleya skinneri, an orchid. Stamps of his era hadn’t tapped into the profitable collectors’ market. There are more from my father’s collection…