Mantis Mealtime

Hedge Grasshopper,  Valanga irregularis Brown Praying Mantis, Archimantis latistyla Observed whilst pruning native raspberries last Friday morning.The mantis ate the grasshopper’s thorax and abdomen but left the gut intact…nice to see biological control in action.

Investing In Water Security

Level Five watering restrictions came into force in Brisbane this week. On average, each person in Brisbane uses about 198 litres of water per day. Brisbane City Council wants to reduce this to approximately 140 litres of water per day. This target will be hard to achieve as we are entering our long, dry season…

On The Price Of Bananas

Do you buy imported Chiquita bananas? Bananas are so easy to grow organically at home we only really need buy Australian farmed bananas when our own plants are out of season. Chiquita bananas have made gardening headlines before: it’s a soulless, ruthless multinational which until today I only associated with their blatant disregard for the…

Qld’s Leadership Crisis Fuels Water Emergency

Residents in SE Qld have every right to be frightened about the likelihood that they will run out of drinking water early in 2008 if we don’t get sufficient rain. The drought is as real as Climate Change but our greatest crisis is that of leadership. Here’s one example in an edited extract from ABC…

Brisbane’s Water Emergency Worsens

Shortly following revelations that our Water Commission has increased its own water consumption, the same organisation today announced that it wants personal water consumption to be reduced from the current 180 litres per day to 140 litres per day. Our personal daily water consumption at ‘Bellis’ has remained stable at about 116.66 litres since last…

Sprouts Awards And The Safer Solutions Project

The second SPROUTS Awards was held at The Point Pre-school, Oyster Bay, Sydney on Wednesday 28th February. The SPROUTS Awards highlight examples of sustainable early childhood services. The winning entry was The Point Pre-school and the award was made for their holistic approach to environmental projects at the centre. The kids, teachers and their Director,…

Wetting Agents – Are You Buying Trouble?

Water repellant soils can be improved a number of ways so that they absorb and retain water more effectively, prolonging the benefits of watering and rainfall. Well-composted, well dug soils that are appropriately mulched may completely dry out, but they’re rarely water-repellant. Healthy soil biology is an important and overlooked aspect. It’s important for soil…

Dead Pretty

Visiting Toowong Cemetery, Brisbane, was well worthwhile. The Victorian landscape influence is strong: tall evergreen trees line the older roads, beautiful floral stonework – ivy leaves, fruiting grapes and Madonna lilies are easy to find.

Celebrating Three Years Of Drought

Planted in September 2004 the plants in our front garden were watered for six weeks to establish them. Apart from the hedge and two potted plants, the garden hasn’t been watered since.

A Blot On The Landscape

In many ways SE Qld is Australia’s garden centre, propagating and supplying landscapers and nurseries throughout SE Australia. Despite this, many good nursery businesses in this region are suffering during the drought. Lost custom and level 5 watering restrictions are putting reputable people out of work, and businesses are closing down. Imagine you’re a professional…

Environmental Heroes Honoured

From the Federal government’s Australian honours website: Name: CUNDALL, Peter Award: Member of the Order of Australia Date granted: 26 January 2007 State: Tas Suburb: Rosevears Citation: For service to the environment, particularly the protection of wilderness areas in Tasmania, and to horticulture as a presenter of gardening programs on television and radio.