International Compost Awareness Week

‘Bellis’, Brisbane’s sustainable house and garden, produces 4 metric tonnes of compost a year. Using low till, ecologically sustainable gardening techniques enables this property to sequester 0.638 metric tonnes of atmospheric CO2 gas each year. Doesn’t sound much, does it?

In Production Today: April 2014

A couple of brief April showers kept the grass green, but below the surface the soil remains dry. It’s ideal weather for propagating Cranberry Hibiscus and Four Seasons Herb, cuttings are rooting within ten days. Although the value of each watering is lasting longer now the days are shorter and the nights cooler, I won’t…

Hibiscus Leaves Helped Save Australian Lives

I’ve just found a letter written years ago in response to an article I wrote about edible members of the Hibiscus family (the Malvaceae). This refers to rosella leaves (Hibiscus sabdariffa), an icon of Australian backyards, and also peasant food or famine food in Bangladesh, Thailand and Burma. Rosella leaves helped Australian prisoners survive the…

Freedom 2014

To me, freedom is access to water – clean rainwater, harvested from my roof, and recycled water generated by my sewage system which I use to grow organic food.

Thrifty, Fertile and Illicit: 4BC Horticultural Intervention

So there I was with Noel Burdette, in the pre-dawn darkness of Brisbane’s Cannon Hill. Groggy but organised, and with only a smartly dressed security guard as a witness, we got stuck in. Long ago we’d decided that the front garden at 4BC Radio, home to the voice of Brisbane’s gardeners, needed a little buffing up….

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.

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.”

In Production Today, February 2014

February used to be Brisbane’s wettest month of the year, but, so far, not a drop of the wet stuff. Like last month, I’ve maintained the garden more or less as it is and I’ve focussed my efforts on preparing vegetable beds for sowing and planting once rain has arrived.

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…