April 6, 2020 Business almost as usual

With Corona Virus on our doorstep we are looking for new ways to operate our business. We have some really exciting projects on the go and we'll continue working on them with me working from my home studio in the garden with Kaiya and Ben operating remotely where possible. None of us know what to expect,

January 8, 2020 Grasses new and old

I'm an aficionado of grasses, I championed them thirty years ago at my nursery in Sydney and have been a fan of them ever since and as with the last post I wrote on lilies I buy new ones and experiment every time I see one I don't have. Some grasses have been wonderful surprises

December 17, 2019 Familiarity

There's something very comforting with the familiarity one receives from a garden - especially a garden that you've lived with for some time, it's a part of you. In my own garden I see things flowering at the same time each year and it reassures me that all is on track and good - at

May 24, 2019 Quiet time

For once I'm having a quiet afternoon in the studio by myself, attending to all the emails I've started and never finished and doing the same thing with invoices - because if they're not sent nobody is ever going to pay them

May 7, 2019 Autumn leaves, flowers, scents and berries

It's a wild messy time of year and I love it! The paths are strewn with fallen leaves, the weeds are growing like there's no tomorrow and the garden surprises me every week with a new appearance - often unscheduled and unexpected. The days have been unseasonably warm with only a few coolish nights and the fireplace

January 7, 2018 Summer Flurry

It seems like nothing is growing - and then all of a sudden it happens. I like to think of the plants in my garden as a room full of people at a lecture; the speaker asks if there are any questions and most of the attendants  stare blankly into space, then one tentative hand

January 7, 2018 Roadside Agave

The time is almost here to say goodbye to the old Agave at my entry gate.  Agave are monocarpic which means they flower once and then die - now the buds have opened and the yellow blooms almost spent this will be it. The leaves which were once so spectacular  are swiftly withering, yellowing and

October 8, 2017 The garden in October 2017

At times I've had an urge to write that was so strong I couldn't hold back - just now is not one of those times. So I've been a bit quiet on the blog, preferring the immediate reward of Instagram where I can post an image and get a response back from a hundred followers within a

May 7, 2017 Cooler days = time to get out in the garden

At last the summer heat is behind us, and after the recent rain the garden couldn't have a broader smile. There's a fat Camellia sasanqua `Yuletide' outside the studio by the driveway and I walk past it many times each day and it's not only it's clear red colour and golden stamens that make please me it's the

January 28, 2017 Another Morning in Paradise

This morning feels like a holiday. Late getting out of bed (6am is late for me) and after feeding dogs, chickens and horses a slow walk around the garden to check out what's happening. The grass is long - too long, but Cathy will get to that later this morning or tomorrow. The garden is

January 14, 2017 Summer Heat

Yesterday the temperature soured to around 44 degrees here. Late afternoon when we headed off in the car to meet friends for dinner the car temperature gauge said 48, which was extraordinarily unpleasant. The heat was no surprise the weather bureau had warned us it was coming and I had the garden watered which as

November 23, 2016 Summer light

  Yesterday was a long hot day, we had just swum in the pool - and there was a slim chance there would be some well deserved rain, I was standing on the verandah cooking sausages on the bbq with Robbie my brother in law and I looked down to the nursery and took the first image, and

November 15, 2016 When imperfection is just perfect

On the sandstone terrace outside my back door is a terracotta pot with a broken handle which was given to me by a friend when she was moving house. There was an Epiphyllum growing in it when I got it - not very beautiful, with blemishes all over it, I left it in the pot just

November 8, 2016 Graveyard rose

Well that's it. My book `Disobedient Gardens' has been launched and it's a strange feeling knowing that many eyes are seeing what I see and `hearing' my words as they're read. As I walked alone through the deserted garden that was full of strangers on Sunday I caught a whiff of cloves and scanned the garden for

November 4, 2016 We’re almost ready for visitors

As the week progresses we're inching toward the big day this coming Sunday 6th November when we open our gates to the public, and launch `Disobedient Gardens' the book I have been writing and working on for almost four years (with extraordinary images by Brigid Arnott). For Cathy and I this day also signifies the

October 18, 2016 Rare African bulbs

With a few wet days the garden has revived. Some plants don’t mind if they never receive a drop – and this is how it is with the blood lily Haemanthus coccineus. Native to South Africa, it receives little water over the summer months. I grow mine in pots which date back to the 1940s and as