Good soil- who needs it?

Do you love brilliant wildflowers? Right now, you’ll find them thriving in the sandy, nutrient-poor soils derived from the Hawkesbury Sandstone, the bedrock on which Sydney is built. It’s the infertility of the soil that’s responsible for striking and unique plant forms which are quintessentially Australian. Thousands of visitors flock to the National Parks north…

Let there be flowers, and fragrance!

When Spring arrives, my heart leaps. Suddenly I’m aware of bees, and perfume in the air. Blossom trees are everywhere- an avenue of white-flowered Manchurian pears on Church Street; pink prunus scattered all over town. But whilst all this is happening, one of mother nature’s megastars is putting on a stunning show of its own, in gardens all over Mudgee….

An elegant transformation

Overlooking a waterway in the historic Newcastle suburb Tighes Hill,  The Watershed is a contemporary house complemented by a garden which announces its creators’ love of the natural environment in all its forms. In just 3 years, an almost-bare block has been transformed into a haven for people, birds and animals. This garden integrates beauty, elegance, restraint and…

Gardens of forgotten dreams

In creating a garden, a dreamer sends a message to the future. In the careful selection of plants, cultivation of the earth and the nurturing of precious seeds and cuttings, the gardener commits something of herself, to make her dream real, and to make a gift of her dream to those who come after her. There were dreams aplenty when the gold rush town of Hill…

Bright jewels in the winter garden

Just when it seems winter is never going to end, mother nature lifts my spirits with the blossoming of the hellebore, or winter rose, in lovely shades of pink, purple, lemon yellow, green, magenta and almost black. These entice me back into the garden, and the ravages of winter fade into insignificance. Without cold conditions, there would be no hellebores! In Mudgee…

Encounter the bizarre

Keep your children close, if you dare to visit the cactus and succulent garden at the Hunter Region Botanic Gardens. After exploring familiar territory (the impressive displays of Australian native and exotic plants), crossing the threshold into this garden, feels like stumbling onto the surface of a somewhat scary planet. Grotesque life forms, and danger, are lurking everywhere. My visual sense is…

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…

Searching for rare plants, and finding an expert

In the depths of winter, no-one wants me to photograph their garden, and my mind is on preparing for spring. I need amazing plants- so it’s time for a road trip to Perennialle Plants Nursery in Canowindra. They specialise in rare, frost- and drought- resistant perennials and shrubs. Just what I need! A sweet scent greets…

Winter is beautiful!

Here at Mudgee, winter definitely arrived on the first of June. I woke that morning to an icy wonderland, and we’ve had many frosts since then. My roses continued to bloom, through the winter solstice, warming the chilly air with a radiant orange-pink display, their tender petals delicately edged in frost. They’ve met their match…

Garden Dreaming

Hello, and welcome to my first blog post! I’m on a journey to create my own dream garden, to learn how other people create their dream gardens, and, hopefully, to inspire a new generation of gardeners along the way. For as long as I can remember, I’ve believed that one day I’ll have a wonderful garden. Early childhood visits to…