A living sculpture for the cockatoos

We created a living botanic sculpture, in the form of a grove of allocasuarinas, for the black cockatoos. Planting the living scupture 20 years ago We planted 56 Allocasuarina torulosa (Forest Oak) in a ’wheel‘ formation with 8 ‘spokes’. The Forest Oak attracts the Red-tailed black cockatoo as this is their preferred food source tree. … Continued

Australian brush-turkey: unwelcome guest or ecosystem engineer?

Many east coast city dwellers may wonder whether the Australian brush-turkey is an unwelcome guest or an ecosystem engineer. But the very thing that annoys people may be an ecological blessing. Read on… Introduction If you asked a suburban resident of many parts of Sydney, Brisbane, Newcastle, the Gold Coast, Byron Bay or any other … Continued

Beautiful banksias for your east coast garden

Love beautiful banksias, but no room in your east coast garden for the iconic Banksia integrifolia, Coast Banksia? It can grow to 15 metres Well, never fear. New cultivars of dwarf banksias are increasingly coming onto the market to delight all gardeners, particularly those on the east coast! Over the past thirty years, many low-growing … Continued

Centennial Parklands – an oasis in the heart of Sydney

Centennial Parklands is an oasis in the heart of Sydney. Located in the eastern suburbs, it acts as the ‘lungs’ of Sydney. Standing on Gadigal land, it was originally a swamp. Early colonialists set aside the land for a water source and then as a public park. It opened in 1888. Centennial Park is known … Continued

Creating a native cottage garden

Have you ever wondered how to go about creating a cottage garden with native plants? The idea of a cosy cottage garden, with herbaceous borders of annuals and perennials against a backdrop of shrubs and (maybe) a small tree or two, has always been popular. Nowadays smaller gardens continue to make this style popular. In … Continued

Creation of a successful habitat garden

Showcasing the natural environment was the creation of a successful habitat garden. This is the Keith Moore Habitat Garden in Huskisson. Volunteers from the Australian Plants Society NSW supported the project. Where it is located The Keith Moore Habitat Garden is located at the Lady Denman Heritage Complex, Huskisson, New South Wales on the shores … Continued

Diversity AND uniformity

As I contemplate my 20 year old native garden, I realise that it is now a mix of both diversity AND uniformity. However, there is a strong bias towards allowing the garden to revert to its natural bush state – entropy is alive and well. Conception of the garden I started my native garden about … Continued

Growing ferns in pots, for extra tranquility

Ian Cox recently shared his success in growing ferns in pots. He has a large informal garden in the northwest of Sydney, which follows a walkabout garden style. Yet on one side of the house, he has created a shady porch, with a pond and many ferns. However, over the last year or so, he’s … Continued

John Elton’s garden: a floral extravaganza

John Elton’s garden, Corymbia, in Kiama is a floral extravaganza. On two acres on the south coast of NSW just below Coolangatta Mountain, he has planted thousands of native plants. He has experimented extensively with design, colour and creating standards. John volunteers at Illawarra Grevillea Park and is an expert propagator and plantsman. Here is … Continued

My small native courtyard

As a result of building works, I needed to redesign my small native courtyard in Sydney’s northern suburbs. The courtyard is located between the front of my house and a pitched roof carport. Here is my design thinking and approach.  Site constraints and size My design thinking for my native courtyardd The outcome of the courtyard … Continued

Stunning native rooftop garden

Imagine a rooftop garden full of stunning native plants, blowing in the breeze – it’s magic! Commitment to sustainability Back in 2019, the Mirvac team, Didi Stigter and Victoria Stiles, invited several of us to visit the first indigenous rooftop farm and other cultural gardens at the recently developed South Eveleigh precinct. The rooftop garden … Continued

Stunning NSW South Coast gardens

A group of native plant enthusiasts from Canberra visited a number of stunning NSW South Coast gardens. Here is a rundown of the itinerary and the gardens visited. Starting at Guerilla Bay Members of the Canberra Garden Design Study Group and the Australian Native Plants Society Canberra group met together in Batemans Bay, Burrewarra Point … Continued

Where eagles drift – Part 1 – 2008

This article is part of a two part series – this one was written in 2008 and the second in 2024. See Part 2 for the 2024 update here. Our property ‘Eagles Drift’ is situated in the Upper Hunter Valley at the junction of the Goulburn and Krui Rivers. When my husband and I moved … Continued

Where eagles drift – Part 2 – 2024

This article is part of a two part series – the first written in 2008 is Part 1 and the second is this one, written in 2024. See Part 1 here. Here we are in 2024.   So many years have passed since I felt spurred on to write an article for ‘Garden Design Study Group’.   … Continued