Remembering Turfculture At The Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney

Vale, John Morgan of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney: greenkeeper, gardener, ranger, friend since 1992. I’m reminiscing about the Turfculture team, a vital service, where John Morgan began his career in my department. Together, from 1992 to 2003, our team transitioned the lawns from conventional horticultural management to almost organic standards. When I moved to Brisbane,…

Bunya: Prehistoric Plant, Ancient Australian Food Tradition

“Young Australians need to be educated about what a Bunya tree looks like, what the sound of snapping cones and breaking branches sound like, and to avoid lingering underneath them in high summer. When I was at primary school, we had a Bunya in the schoolyard. We knew what to do, how to harvest them, and no one was ever hurt.”

Hippeastrum: Somewhere Over The Rainbow

If ever there was a plant perfectly suited to the sets of the Wizard of Oz, it’s Hippeastrum. These flamboyant flowers are dead easy to grow and  Australia is fortunate to have the likes of Mick Maguire, a dedicated hybridist and grower.

Cathedral Fig Walk with Redcliffe Tree Society

Today I joined the recently formed Redcliffe Tree Society beside Moreton Bay. We met at Prince Edward Parade to admire the ‘Cathedral Fig Walk’ of native fig trees (Ficus benjamina) planted over half a century ago by (now former) Redcliffe council.

Do Sydney’s Botanic Gardens Need Redeveloping?

Instead of asking the staff at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, The Guardian asks assorted architects for their take on the controversial plan to redesign one of Sydney’s most cherished and tranquil landmarks…

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…

Gardener’s Escape: Tour Thailand And Singapore With Jerry Coleby-Williams

  From paddy to plate, a special escape for gardeners: Tour Thailand and Singapore, from 23rd September to 3rd October 2014. Join sustainable gardener Jerry Coleby-Williams and experience the best tropical gardens, plant collections, markets, botanical landscapes, temples, palaces and other cultural destinations in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, and Singapore.

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…

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.

Gardens Of Remembrance

Flora Mortis: Chittagong Commonwealth War Grave A selection of photographs taken when I was guided around by my friend Tanbir, in Bangladesh, July 2011.