Drought and roses: always on my mind

Where I live (Mudgee, central western New South Wales, Australia), it’s time to plant bare rooted roses. We’re struggling through a 1 in 100 year drought so conditions aren’t ideal. (To read about the drought and how you can help our farmers, have a look at 200 Bales, a grass-roots initiative of some wonderful Mudgee…

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…

Colour-filled garden in a rocky mountain hideaway

A surprisingly vibrant garden sits high on the rocky slope of Mount Knowles, surrounded by the tough eucalypt and cypress forest perfectly adapted to survive Mudgee’s hot, dry climate. Vicki’s and Arthur’s bright, colourful garden on their property, Avlac Hills, is an oasis in a landscape dominated by the subtle greys, greens and browns of…

A garden with heart and soul- revisited

I’m re-posting this story, first published almost a year ago, in celebration of a beautiful Mudgee garden and its inspired creators, who have their own fascinating stories to tell. Read on, and enjoy! *** An Australian who led the way for women in broadcasting in America, and her American husband, who reported several major historic…

Ready, set, roses! A winter garden project

Life’s too short to delay planting a rose garden! Now is the perfect time to lay the groundwork- no excuses! Mudgee has the perfect climate for these tough, hardy botanical superstars. Here, anyone can have a display of colourful, fragrant blooms come spring-time.     This glorious rose in my garden blooms profusely from spring…

A joyful garden

On their 400 acre property “Avlac Hills”, extending from the summit of Mount Knowles, and down its western flank above Melrose Road, Vicki and Arthur’s joyful garden, carved out of raw, rocky terrain, speaks volumes about their passion and flair for gardening. They’ve lived here for ten years- for the first three occupying a large…

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…

A garden with heart and soul

An Australian who led the way for women in broadcasting in America, and her American husband, who reported several major historic events of the twentieth century, have spent the last 17 years living in Mudgee and creating their dream garden. In 2001, with family bonds tugging at their heartstrings, Susan Bray and Ed DeLong left their home in Philadelphia and…

Mudgee in the Spring- fragrantissima bellissima!

Mudgee may be famous for its wine and honey, but for me, nothing beats its spectacular gardens. And if your dream garden involves sweet perfumes in the air, you should consider some of the of drought- and frost-tolerant plant types that, right now, are turning on the magic out here in the Central West. Roses…

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-…