Grey days are beautiful too

The poignant beauty of the last of the season’s roses captured my heart this morning as I walked out into the misty rain. Some roses last longer than others as winter sets in, ageing gracefully through cold and frost. Their stems grow long as they seek out the receding sunlight. Their fragrant blooms bow their…

Small gardens enliven streets old and new

A Sunday morning walk through the back streets from Tighes Hill to Newcastle Harbour proved to be a shot in the arm for this slightly jaded blogger. As infatuated as I am with gardening west of the Great Dividing Range, the small inner-suburban and harbourside gardens of my old home town, Newcastle, hit me for…

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…

It’s bulb planting time

If you want gorgeous spring-flowering bulbs, you have a few more weeks to prepare your garden. Four months or so from now, your winter-ravaged garden will be bursting with colour and fragrance from freesias, jonquils, ranunculus, hyacinths, gladioli. Maybe even tulips. In the dappled shade of your deciduous trees you will find grape hyacinths, cyclamen,…

Farewell to an artist gardener

Who showed you the magic of gardens? Did someone encourage you to bury your nose in a rose and deeply inhale its fragrance, to taste droplets of nectar oozing from a spike of Grevillea flowers? To set the purple and red blossoms of a Fuchsia magellanica dancing like tiny ballerinas? To gently brush, with small fingertips, the furry sepals of an Iceland poppy bud about…