In Flower This Mid-winter’s Day At Bellis, Brisbane

For Brisbane to skip one winter is forgivable, but to skip two winters in a row seems somewhat careless. May was the hottest month on Earth since records began. June 2014 is the 352nd consecutive month of above average global temperatures.

Ecofest, Gladstone

Interest in conservation and sustainability has never been stronger in Gladstone. Ecofest, an annual event marking World Environment Day, has grown up. It’s now one of Australia’s leading environmental events for sharing information, celebrating conservation initiatives, Australian technology and pooling resources.

Stingless Bees: Factory Farming With A Future

Sugarbag bees are fun. Young kids are always surprised to discover some Australian bees are both tiny and without a sting. Once they understand these bees are safe company, they can’t resist taking a closer look and become absorbed by the antics of these industrious mini-bees.

In Production Today, March 2014

The most widespread recorded drought in Queensland’s history has meant most of my gardening effort continues to be spent on watering and soil improvement. At least I’m able to keep fruit trees productive and perennials alive. Beds which would normally be filled with seasonal annuals can remain dug, mulched and bare until useful rain arrives. But…

Favourite Flying Fox Food Trees: What To Plant

  Flying-foxes are flying gardeners, they sustain forests along eastern and northern Australia, pollinating native trees in national parks and reserves that have become separated or isolated by settlement. Flying foxes also spread tree seed, helping to landscape vast areas of Australia. Many forest-dwelling threatened species depend on these ‘batty’ forests to provide them with food…

Love Cycads

Q: “What’s a cycad?” A: “Just over 300 species of cycad survive, many are only known as fossils. Think Tolkein, think Middle Earth, think  dinosaur food. Wonderful plants, the kind you want to have with you always.”

Morwell Fire: “My Garden Is Covered In Ash”

By mid-February 2014, a garden near Morwell, Victoria, was covered by ash from a coal mine fire which started on 9th February, setting the Hazelwood open cut coal mine alight. The coal mine fire ended up burning for weeks, causing serious health effects for local residents and a ‘high probability’ that eleven deaths resulted from the…

Concerning Australia’s Batty Forests And Convict Lettuce

I’d like to start my Australia Day speech by acknowledging the Bundjalung people, Beaudesert’s original landscape gardeners. I’d also like to thank Woolworth’s who have been supporting Australia Day for thirteen years. I am lucky. I seem to have made a career out of doing what I love. I am a freelance curator, broadcaster and gardener. I…

In Production Today – December

It’s hot and humid and, despite hail, my crop of ‘Manning Pride’ corn is ready to pick. It’s amazing how robust this heritage corn can be considering the force of the hailstorm. The plants are standing 3.25m high, each carrying up to three cobs, 30cm long. It’s highly productive. Gardeners can thank the Bega Valley…

Every Gardener A Scientist

Any Australian can load their photos of native plants and animals on iNaturalist and ask for sightings to be identified by experts.

Paronella Park: Queensland’s Juicy Jungle Garden

  Paronella Park, near Innisfail, is the legacy created by Jose Paronella, a prodigiously productive person. Born in Catalonia, Spain, and trained as a pastry chef, Jose emigrated to Australia in 1913. He started as a sugarcane-cutter, then worked at improving sugarcane farms before investing his savings and energy into creating Parronella.