gardening

gardening May 20, 2017

Reviving a garden for winter

My garden is currently not so much a sight for sore eyes as it is one for the lens of a garden reality show. The entire thing is a makeover “before” picture that sustains only chickweed, and possibly a family of rats. If the landscape militia from...

gardening December 24, 2016

Flowers for summer

There never was a minister for employment truly loyal to the garden. If there were, we’d all have won the right to horticultural leave by now. This time would be taken nowhere near the Australian summer sun, whose heat does...

gardening October 31, 2015

Waterwise tips to beat this summer’s killer heat

Gardening in the Australian summer is an unhindered pleasure whose sun radiates in our hearts even as it brings to life the scent of cupped and erogenous blooms. Our borders are full with promise and our memories with the...

gardening June 4, 2016

El Niño, La Niña and flowering annuals

There is little that is more troubling than the glory of the daphne at number 10. Not even neoliberalism bothers me so deeply as that bush. Iris, the best gardener in the street, and possibly the climate zone, kept its lobed...

gardening August 8, 2015

Growing raspberries, strawberries and berries

The strawberry, you will be reminded by its professional admirers, is not even a berry. Neither, for that matter, is the raspberry, the boysenberry or any of the quite delicious, mildly decorative edibles I will shortly exhort...

gardening March 21, 2015

War of the weeds

There are just two sorts of people who will tell you that gardening is peaceful. These are (a) those who never held a trowel, and (b) heiresses who do not so much garden as tell the groundsman to be a dear and pop that...

gardening January 31, 2015

Singing the praises of kale and cauli, baby

If there were a Department of Comedic References, it would confirm that jokes involving kale ceased to be funny through overuse months ago. But try telling this to Iris at number 10, the street’s best gardener and foremost...

gardening November 29, 2014

Lies, damned lies and exotics

Iris at number 10 may be, now and until her death by topiary, the street’s, and probably the electorate’s, best gardener. But she is not terribly good at telling the truth. Then again, all gardeners hedge around their...

gardening October 25, 2014

Herb your enthusiasm

If the production of homemade fertiliser is the hard smack of gardening, then herb cultivation is its gateway drug. My neighbour and the street’s greenest thumb, Iris, knows this and that is why she, an inveterate pusher, has...

gardening September 20, 2014

A time to kill those pesky garden pests

Just like the life that engenders it, gardening is difficult, sometimes smelly and founded on a bedrock of lies. We would not live and certainly not give life to difficult delphiniums if we told ourselves the truth. Life...

gardening August 23, 2014

Enjoy the fruits of tomato-growing labour

Whoever said that tomatoes tenderly grown from seed Taste So Much Better Than the Shop Kind has never had their hands in dirt. This is a terrible falsehood that not only ignores the efforts of the nation’s better boutique...