Tour Ecuador and Galápagos with Jerry Coleby-Williams

This tour offers two distinctly different adventures rolled into one. Both are biodiversity hot spots and both straddle the equator, yet the Islands of the Tortoises (Galápagos) are – geologically speaking – young and arid, whereas the Republic of the Equator (Ecuador) is mostly older and distinctly wetter with a great variety of climate zones…

Recycled Car Tyres Have No Place In The Garden

Recycling is good, except when it is car tyres being up-cycled in food gardens. Permaculturists often misguidedly include tyres in ‘earth ship’ designs.
 What could possibly go wrong?

My avocado fruit look sick. What to do?

It’s avocado season in Australia and Vietnam. Anthracnose disease can significantly affect the yield and quality of avocado fruit. It’s worst in warm, wet, humid, calm weather. Irritatingly, the symptoms of disease become evident when it’s too late to protect your current crop, but once the fruit are harvested, you should begin a disease control…

Wallum And Kwongan: A Very Australian Paradise

Heathland is a general term for a gardenesque plant community found in parts of Australia where conditions are too tough for forest. In NSW, heathland is associated with sandstone, while Queensland’s Wallum heath (named after the Wallum Banksia, Banksia aemula) occurs on coastal sand. Kwongan is Western Australia’s version of heathland. Kwongan also occurs on various…

Picnic On Lion Rock: Sigiriya, Sri Lanka’s Ancient Garden Palace

“Come as tourists, return as friends” said Sujee, our guide. The summit of Sigiriya was a 1,000 step climb in the western sun, but the reward was stunning views of one of Asia’s oldest landscapes. Also known as Lion Rock, Sigiriya is a fortified palace-garden-complex similar to South America’s 15th century Machu Picchu, only the…

In Production Today: Subtropical Winter

In June I was on a gardeners’ tour of Vietnam, great fun, but I returned to a lot of weeding! This winter has been mild and damp with just two cold snaps so far. Ideal conditions for weeds and watercress are not ideal conditions for snow peas, which prefer it cooler. Drizzle and humidity haven’t…

Organic Win: Nematodes Defeated In Wynnum

Root knot nematodes can be a curse in warm, moist garden soils. Feeding by these minuscule, transparent, work-like creatures inside the root tissue of many crops causes the roots to develop tumour-like growths which retard the flow of water and nutrients through conducting vessels, weakening crops. What to do?

Community Rose Garden Brightens North Burnett

Just under 700 people call Biggenden home. In 1954 this country town, in Queensland’s North Burnett region, 339 km north of Brisbane, established a community rose garden along its main street. It became a symbol of civic pride. Roses do not live forever, and eventually the rose garden needed refurbishing. I was contacted by Council, and…