In a trial in subtropical Brisbane, I found that Queensland arrowroot (Canna edulis) requires 1/5th of the water to produce twice the biomass of comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum).
Fly, my pretties! Natural biosecurity for your brassicas. Stand by your cabbages, and give nature a nudge.
Certain cabbage caterpillars are so voracious, they can wipe out a cabbage crop almost overnight, too fast even for some organic remedies to help. What to do? Nudge nature into action and let her take the anxiety out of raising brilliant brassicas. Garden allies Earlier this week as I was clearing my winter cabbages, I…
Gardening Together As A Family: People, Plants, Place, Community.
In recent years, families who garden together have become the most prominent visitors to my annual Open Day. It’s delightful seeing these gardening families, because that was how I started life: in an English family that gardened and holidayed together. Planning, harvesting, saving seed, cooking, bottling, gathering materials for gardening were activities we did together.
Father’s Day 2014: Concerning Seaweed And Quadratic Equations
This is a fictional letter. My father, John, who had been living for some years with Alzheimer’s, died shortly after I emigrated to Australia. My sister and I looked after Dad at home for several years until he required full time professional care. During the period when his mind was failing, remembering our family and things…
Cocoyam Recipes – Winter Open Day At Bellis, 2014
If you attended this winter open day, congratulations, you were part of gardening history. A record breaking number of guests – 3,229 – visited Brisbane’s thrifty sustainable house and garden. And what a jolly, generous, patient and enthusiastic bunch you proved to be. The very best Queensland has to offer. Best of all, there were…
Want A Rainforest Garden? Then Plant Dry, Not Wet…
Once established, dry rainforest species survive longer, hotter, drier spells and erratic rainfall better than wet rainforest.
Succulents: Chlorophyll With Character
My first flower memory is of a cactus. I was about three years old and peering up into a huge, red Epiphyllum flower. It sprouted from an old, much-loved plant belonging to my Grandmother. My sister still grows a cutting from the plant Nan acquired during the Great Depression (around 1929). It’s been in my…
Open Day At Bellis, August 2014
FULL DETAILS SEE: http://www.opengarden.org.au Leave Brisbane’s suburbs behind as you visit 813 square metres of rural Wynnum. Check out my award-winning, thrifty sustainable garden: blue bananas, stingless bees, home grown bath sponges, and turf mostly mowed by guinea pigs. See how a decade of organic gardening has converted uncompromising acid sulphate soil into a wonderful,…
In Production Today: June 2014
Today a cool change has arrived, a reminder that June weather is supposed to be about winter, not the continuation of autumn as it has been. Will there be another winter?
Interest in conservation and sustainability has never been stronger in Gladstone. Ecofest, an annual event marking World Environment Day, has grown up. It’s now one of Australia’s leading environmental events for sharing information, celebrating conservation initiatives, Australian technology and pooling resources.
In Production Today, May 2014
May 2014 was the 351st consecutive month of above average global temperatures. Or put another way, any gardener under 30 years old will never have experienced normal growing conditions. This month’s weather has been surprisingly sunny, dry and so warm my ‘Java Blue’ and ‘Pisang Ceylan’ bananas and Sugar palm – tropical plants – are…
Stingless Bees: Factory Farming With A Future
Sugarbag bees are fun. Young kids are always surprised to discover some Australian bees are both tiny and without a sting. Once they understand these bees are safe company, they can’t resist taking a closer look and become absorbed by the antics of these industrious mini-bees.