How to grow roses: advice from a very relaxed expert

Tanya Scott is very relaxed. It’s a baking February afternoon, at the end of a nightmare summer. It’s the kind of day on which most gardeners would become hysterical if a stranger with a camera asked to have a look around. Tanya, however, welcomes me, and gives me a guided tour before letting me loose…

fire days

There are times when gardening becomes a luxury, when the forces of nature remind us that our understanding of our domestic environment, is tenuous at best. This past week has been such a time. Our scorching, drought-stricken summer has, predictably, delivered an onslaught of bushfires in the central west. For at least a week, my…

How to grow Sweet Peas

Named for their fragrance and pretty pastel colours, Sweet Peas found their way into our gardens (and our hearts) over 300 years ago. Today, there’s a vast range of flower colours available, including deep velvety shades of blue and maroon, crimson-and-white streaked, and ruffled floral forms. They are an excellent cut flower, easy to grow,…

Plants for winter drama (updated)

If you see winter gardens as drab and lifeless, you may need to adjust your thinking (or your garden!). In the still, quiet wintery world, evergreen foliage, bark and seed pods become as interesting as flowers are in spring. The colour palette changes to a more subtle beauty. Winter hardening burnishes the browns, silvers and…