An invincible summer

The National Gallery of Victoria’s cheerful exhibition of crocheted, felted and knitted flowers, mounted on recycled bicycle wheels, reminds stoic Melbournians that, in the depths of winter, spring and all its beauty is just around the corner. The “Winter Garden” exhibitionĀ  in Federation Square’s Fracture Gallery art space, features a series of 63 colourful floral…

Peony perfection

The western world first learned about peonies from Marco Polo, who described them as “roses the size of cabbages”. I fell in love with these flowers when I saw them up close for the first time, in my daughter-in-law’s bridal bouquet. I want to grow some in my Mudgee garden. Knowing nothing about peonies, I…

Drought and roses: always on my mind

Where I live (Mudgee, central western New South Wales, Australia), it’s time to plant bare rooted roses. We’re struggling through a 1 in 100 year drought so conditions aren’t ideal. (To read about the drought and how you can help our farmers, have a look at 200 Bales, a grass-roots initiative of some wonderful Mudgee…

Turn left at the calendulas

If you’re planning a visit to Mudgee, don’t expect traffic lights. On Church and Market Streets the silver buds on the Manchurian Pears slowly swell allĀ  through the winter months. In August they will explode with beautiful white blossoms. The small garden at the War Memorial clock tower is planted every year with purple pansies….

Blue Moon ticks lots of boxes

I’ve finally solved the mystery of the rose, planted by the previous owner of my house, that stands out from the crowd thanks to its divine fragrance. Until today I didn’t know its name. But now I do, thanks to my local gardening facebook group “All things gardening- Mudgee, Kandos and Rylstone”: it’s Blue Moon….

Thank you, Constance

Do you love lavish floral arrangements bursting with colour and natural vitality? If you do, then you must thank Constance Spry. Constance Spry was a hugely influential British floral designer in the 1920’s to 1950’s. She made her reputation by putting wild flowers and twigs from hedgerows into the windows of a Bond Street jeweller’s….

12 Top Tips for productive veggie gardens

Plant catalogues! They have magical powers that force me to get my credit card out and order enough seed varieties to plant out my yard and all the neighbours’ as well! Sadly though, remorse usually arrives a few months later as I survey my underwhelming results, having overcommitted and failed to plan for the best…

Pumpkins in the infinity room

Yayoi Kusama is a contemporary Japanese artist famous for her installations and sculptures featuring repetitive dots, pumpkins, and mirrors. Born in 1929, Yayoi Kusama studied painting in Kyoto before moving to New York in 1958. She knew no one, and faced sexism, racism, and lack of recognition, despite creating some of the most pioneering artworks…

Rug up, get out there, no excuses!

Even if the plants don’t need too much watering, the bird baths regularly need filling in our dry winter climate. So my plan of action is, rug up, get out there, no excuses! There are plenty of sweet sights and surprises to be found, even in the coldest months of the year, and I’ve included…

Autumn charms in Mudgee’s parks and gardens

Mudgee’s public parks and gardens play a huge role in giving the town its character and attractiveness. They provide recreation, beautification, inspiration and information, thanks to our local Council’s gardening team. There are two main parks close to the town centre- Lawson Park, which runs along the banks of the Cudgegong River, and Robertson Park…