Thanks for the rain!

March was beautiful with a blessed 140mm of rainfall in Mudgee. Temperatures remain fairly warm and my garden has shown its gratitude in April. Some summer-flowering plants are staging a last hurrah, even as the elm leaves are turning yellow and the usual autumn flowerings begin. Following my last blog post, my gorgeous single white…

Mademoiselle and the white camellia

The legendary French fashion designer Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, born in 1883, open her first clothes shop in 1910. In the 1920s, she launched her first perfume, and later, the “Chanel suit” and the “little black dress”. Almost 50 years since her death, Chanel remains a style immortal, known for simple, sophisticated outfits, paired with great accessories. …

Rylstone Show- a vibrant harvest celebration

Country towns large and small, all over Australia, celebrate nature’s bounty and skilful husbandry as summer draws to a close, continuing an ancient tradition which connects societies around the globe. Gardeners young and old exhibit home grown produce, flowers, arts, crafts and cooking, hoping to win a blue ribbon. People throng and linger around long…

Floral Abundance at Newcastle Regional Art Gallery

Being a garden fanatic I’m liable to find fascinating and delightful things wherever I travel. So it was in Newcastle recently, when my sister urged me to see the exhibition showing at Newcastle Region Art Gallery, titled “FLORIBUNDA: from the collection”. Margaret Olley’s vivid cornflowers and marigolds. What a treat it was! A whole exhibition…

Mountain garden commemorates loss, endurance and humanity

In the heart of the tropical rainforest in the wild, beautiful and treacherous Macpherson Range in south-east Queensland, there is a garden. Its plantings of exotics are subtle and modest, almost hidden among the lush plants of the native jungle. The Green Mountains Garden commemorates tragic and remarkable events that occurred 82 years ago today….

Found objects find new life in creatives’ garden

Scattered throughout Margaret and Con’s free-spirited garden in the rainforest-clad hills near Mullumbimby are countless quirky, odd and lovely objects. Most have been found in nature, or in second hand shops and garage sales. Here are some of my favourites. This rusted yet still elegant enamel jug is perfect for growing succulents- succulents and rusted…

A free-spirited garden

In rugged country outside Mullumbimby in northern NSW, is a garden that I’ve been regularly visiting for the last 25 years. Margaret and Con live here surrounded by rainforest. Cascading creeks and waterfalls rush down the mountainside, all around their property. What I love about Margaret and Con’s garden is that it’s almost not a…

Meadow in the metropolis

A vast and gorgeous meadow of summer flowers has sprung up in the Sydney CBD! It’s in the Royal Botanic Gardens. The meadow was full of people. Small children were running along the winding pathways with bright, colourful zinnias, cosmos and marigolds, towering overhead. Others found their own beauty complemented by the lovely scene. Insects…

Gulgong Telegraph Station- history, luxury and roses

In 1872 the telegraph line, providing state of the art communication, linked Gulgong (in central western New South Wales) to the outside world. Gulgong was thriving, with massive gold production- in August 1871 the Gulgong Guardian reported that 10,000 ounces of gold (that’s worth about 17 million dollars at today’s gold price) had been sent…

Jewels of the north

The north coast is bursting with life, and the plants seem to be jumping out of the ground and racing to grow as fast as they can.