Queensland Minister ‘Greys’ Grey Water

Here’s an open letter I wrote to the Hon. Craig Wallace, Qld Minister for Water: Dear Minister, Re: Media Release: ‘Greywater guide gives green tips for Queensland Gardeners’, 26.4.08. A copy of your media release was forwarded to me from the office of Queensland Conservation. I urge you to withdraw this publication before you mislead…

Bellis On The BBC’s Radio 4

An interview will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 next week discussing the water saving aspects of ‘Bellis’. Jeff is particularly pleased as Radio 4 is the home of such favourite cultural icons as the Shipping Forecast and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy…Yes, he can be quite strange at times. The Sunparched Country website…

Level 6 Watering Restrictions

The Queensland government, and the Water Commission in particular, continue as the state’s arch water wasters… People who grow food at home are not exempt from watering restrictions. Some of us do this to save money so we can repay our mortgages.

Open Day

Last weekend we opened our place as part of the Australian Open Garden Scheme. I chose August to open because that’s when our Phillip Island Hibiscus hedge, Hibiscus insularis, is in flower. Well, in the end it didn’t because the recent frost set it back a fortnight. I also chose this time because right now,…

A Close Shave With Frost During Ongoing Drought: Winter 2007

“What a lot of weather we’re having,” was something my Great Aunt Florence, a one-time Land Army girl, and someone as softly spoken as Lady Bracknell (of ‘The Importance of Being Ernest’) used to say. And we have had a lot of interesting, weather-related events. In the Murray-Darling, irrigated horticulture usually provides 40% of Australia’s fresh…

In Production Today

We currently have an abundance of crops in production today in our 400 square metre back garden. SE Queensland’s dams are just over 80% empty, but we’ve got sufficient recycled water to garden satisfactorily in winter. And using our own recycled water means that we can still use a hose. The coffee has produced its…

Investing In Water Security

Level Five watering restrictions came into force in Brisbane this week. On average, each person in Brisbane uses about 198 litres of water per day. Brisbane City Council wants to reduce this to approximately 140 litres of water per day. This target will be hard to achieve as we are entering our long, dry season…

Qld’s Leadership Crisis Fuels Water Emergency

Residents in SE Qld have every right to be frightened about the likelihood that they will run out of drinking water early in 2008 if we don’t get sufficient rain. The drought is as real as Climate Change but our greatest crisis is that of leadership. Here’s one example in an edited extract from ABC…

Brisbane’s Water Emergency Worsens

Shortly following revelations that our Water Commission has increased its own water consumption, the same organisation today announced that it wants personal water consumption to be reduced from the current 180 litres per day to 140 litres per day. Our personal daily water consumption at ‘Bellis’ has remained stable at about 116.66 litres since last…

Wetting Agents – Are You Buying Trouble?

Water repellant soils can be improved a number of ways so that they absorb and retain water more effectively, prolonging the benefits of watering and rainfall. Well-composted, well dug soils that are appropriately mulched may completely dry out, but they’re rarely water-repellant. Healthy soil biology is an important and overlooked aspect. It’s important for soil…