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…

Forget summer, I’m going straight to autumn!

I’m completely “over” this summer. Most of my veggies and herbs are dead, and the rest are barely in survival mode. Many of my flowering shrubs are burned off and spoiled. People all over town are resorting to strange looking structures to try to save their plants. Constructions saving favourite plants from fierce summer heat….

Survive this summer!

My summer survival plan is to stay indoors when the mercury climbs above 35C. If we get temperatures like February 2017, it’s going to be crunch time for some of my plants, but I plan to give them the best chance I can. And I’ll look after myself as well. My secret weapons? Mulch and books. I’m going to have to act…

Top Tomato Tips

Would you like to be eating heirloom tomatoes like these, rather than the supermarket “Gourmets” in your summer salads? Supermarket tomatoes are hybrids bred for efficient machine harvesting and long-distance shipping. They contain an introduced slow ripening gene which prevents full development of the natural sugars which are a major component of a tomato’s flavour. Don’t get me wrong. Supermarket…

My Big Gardening Weekend

There was a lot happening in my dream garden last (long) weekend. Soil chemistry, pest control, plant rescue, seed selection for my next project, and photographing the hardy survivors of our extreme Winter and my neglect. On top of that, confirmation that hard work I put in last Spring, has paid off. Some tried and true favourites- diosma, salvia, bromeliads-…

Dreaming of a white garden…

Have you heard about “moon” gardens, in which white flowers reflect the moonlight, and night-scented varieties add to the sensory delight? I don’t know how many moon gardens actually exist- maybe they’re the unicorns of the garden world. Certainly their close relative, the white garden, is beloved by gardeners everywhere. The white garden at Sissinghurst Castle in…