Citrus: Avoiding The ‘Danger Zone’ To Achieve Abundance

Trish & Malcolm have finally solved their citrus fruit drop problem. Autumn is an important season for citrus maintenance, especially if they’re growing in areas with summer rainfall. This is because heavy rainfall leaches nutrients through the soil and citrus are really quick to show they’ve got deficiencies. For a quick nutrient fix: To four…

Towards International Women’s Day

I’ve just found a snippet I wrote for the Staff Newsletter at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney in 1998… ‘The Other Sex – Towards International Women’s Day’ Despite the amount of gardening and botanical research carried out by women, their roles and influences are not shared in recorded history as well as the efforts of…

When A Gardener Considers Moving To Queensland

Sandy, a ‘Bellis’ blog reader, is buying a 5 acre property in the Samford Valley, north west of Brisbane… “I must say I was impressed by your patience in establishing the drainage and improving the soil. I may be organic, but I’m also impatient and that’s been my downfall in the little suburban garden we’ve…

Review ‘Eat Your Garden’, By Leonie Shanahan

Review: ‘Eat your garden’, by Leonie Shanahan; Publisher: PI Productions Photography; ISBN 9780975217764; 2010. “If they (children) grow it, they will eat it”. Schools are where Australia’s gardening culture is most rapidly developing, and this is thanks to children. Why? They are generally more keenly aware of 21st century global environmental issues than many adults…

Sloppy ABC Reporting Could Harm Threatened Species

Letter to the editor, ABC News on line: “Regarding ‘Unwelcome bats just won’t beat it’, mere sensational reporting isn’t journalism. This report is misleading, and factually incorrect. The presence of starving, and stressed flying foxes outside their normal range is currently a result of famine in their natural range.

Grow Local: The 21st Century Food Garden

We’ve had a wonderful autumn here in Brisbane. Warm, sunny, moist and unusually calm weather has given me excellent growing conditions. For the first autumn since moving to Queensland in 2003, this gardener has hardly had to worry about watering: the Chinese celery is particularly fine, and my Greater Celandine is flourishing in conditions equivalent…

How Do I Prevent My Garden From Spreading Mosquito-Borne Diseases?

Is gardening fashion fanning ill health? Cairns City Council has increased on-the-spot fines for homeowners found to have mosquitoes breeding on their property to $400. John Pilspanen, of Queensland Health, says the disease will keep spreading until everyone takes the necessary precautions. Queensland Health is concerned about the increasing infection rate of the current dengue…

King Tides Now – Commoners By 2050

Rising sea levels have major implications for coastal gardens. Yesterday’s king tide gave us the perfect opportunity to see what will be commonplace by 2050. One corner of the world that is experiencing greater than average sea level rises is north eastern Australia. Even if all greenhouse gas emissions ceased immediately, oceans respond very slowly….

Polar Connection

“Dear Residents of Bellis, I just discovered your web site and blogs yesterday. I’ve enjoyed making myself homesick reading them. I thought you might get a kick out of getting fan mail from the unlikely South Pole. I grew up on a dairy farm in the Fassifern Valley outside of Brisbane. I dream of moving…

AEF Still Spells FAKE

Don Burke is a well known Australian celebrity who blends public relations with gardening. He’s made his name through commercial gardening shows selling product. Since the demise of Burke’s Backyard TV show, Burke’s started selling ideas, encouraging us to destroy our last native forests so the rich can get richer. “I think Gunns are desperate…

The First Day Of Crematoria

The first koel of summer has called, the first mosquito has bitten and the first dust storm has sprinkled Brisbane red ochre. While I’m out there watering, counting every drop as it falls onto the crisped ground, thunderstorm clouds are full of promise yet lacking in rain. It’s the first day of crematoria, south east…