Pretty columbines

Aquilegia, commonly known as Columbine, is a very hardy perennial, related to the buttercup. They do best in a cool-winter climate, in partial shade. That describes much of my garden, so I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to plant some. Anyway I’m thrilled with the first flowers on what was a tiny…

A garden that will steal your heart…

Marjie and Ian Livingstone-Blevins’ beautiful, romantic garden with its gorgeous display of iris, stole the hearts of hundreds of visitors at the 2018 Mudgee Garden Spectacular. The house is partially screened in front by a canopy of trees, creating shady atmospheric places. There are verdant underplantings of tender begonias and impatiens, hydrangeas in large pots,…

Stage set for garden drama at Shearstone

Shearstone’s house site and garden, carved out of a steep, rocky hillside north of Mudgee, delighted visitors at the 2018 Mudgee Garden Spectacular a few weeks ago. The site presents challenges and opportunities, and owners Karol and Dallas Lawry have made the most of its unique natural resources of rock and stone. The site has…

Sweet peas at last!

In February I published a post with lots of practical information about growing Sweet Peas. You can see it by clicking on the “Read More” button below, then selecting this link: How to grow Sweet Peas. My garden doesn’t have ideal spots to grow Sweet Peas, but I managed to put in a sneaky garden…

A garden of joys and simple pleasures

The Mudgee Garden Spectacular gave visitors the chance to enjoy the experience of exploring Claire and Greg Toole’s three-acre garden in south Mudgee. Pleasing, simple design gives this garden a sense of space and tranquillity. Understated brick and stone edgings meander along, connecting garden beds and defining broad areas of pebble and wood chip ground…

Metal and stone energise a bright spring garden

Of the hundreds of works on display at Rosby for the 2018 Sculptures in the Garden, the metal and stone pieces captured my imagination most of all. On display last weekend, in one of the Mudgee area’s major annual events, here is a selection of my favourites. “Jumpy”, by Edward Wilson, was full of springtime…

Something’s special about succulents

What drives a perfectly respectable grandmother, homing in on a plant in a perfect stranger’s garden, to sneak “just a leaf” and surreptitiously stash it in her handbag? Why must my friend obsessively trawl through garage sale offerings, searching for rusty old pots and pans, old china teacups? Why would a grown woman give individual…

A garden with heart and soul- revisited

I’m re-posting this story, first published almost a year ago, in celebration of a beautiful Mudgee garden and its inspired creators, who have their own fascinating stories to tell. Read on, and enjoy! *** An Australian who led the way for women in broadcasting in America, and her American husband, who reported several major historic…

Desert Drama at Cranbourne Botanic Gardens

The Australian Garden in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Cranbourne Victoria, turned my ideas of native gardens upside down, with its dazzling evocation of the Australian landscape and plants. Its 360 hectares include heathlands, wetlands and woodlands, providing habitat for native birds, mammals and reptiles, including rare and endangered species. I visited one winter afternoon,…

Much to enjoy in winter at Cloudehill

Cloudehill Garden is located in one of the world’s most outstanding places to garden, the Dandenong Ranges of Victoria. The natural attributes of this region are exceptional. Set at an altitude of 580 metres, Cloudehill has deep volcanic loam soil and 1.25 metres of rainfall per annum. Rain falls most of the year, and there…