In the late 1970’s, I had the great fortune of working at Avery Hill Nursery and Winter Garden. My first full time job was at the premier horticultural estate in south east London. To my knowledge, Avery Hill Winter Garden was the last place in SE London where school children could taste fresh sugarcane, pineapple or bananas, or smell the fragrant blossom of frangipani.
Category: Heritage Gardens
Winter Gardening In Temperate Australia
The culture of winter gardening evolved in Europe, a response to their long, gloomy winters. By contrast, Australian winters are briefer, sunnier and filled with interest – if you know what to do. What is a European winter garden? What can an Australian gardener in a temperate zone do to keep their garden filled with interest? What can food growers grow during the coldest season?
Spring Follows Winter. But Can You Set Your Calendar By That?
“This gardener wonders if the Carnival of Flowers date will alter in order to keep up with changing climate?
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.