Aug 282016
 


September is a fantastic time to be alive for us gardeners! The chill is almost gone from the mornings, and the afternoons are getting longer. Blossoms are bursting and you can smell spring in the air wherever you go. If you have been hibernating through winter now is the time to get out and into it. Read on for some fabulous September gardening advice for your area.

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Aug 282016
 
Red bok choy

Red bok choy

You may have heard how eating red/purple/blue fruit can improve your health. Most focus has been on cherries, black grapes (and, therefore, red wine) and a range of berries. Health benefits have been ascribed to the antioxidant properties of the anthocyanin pigments that they contain. But let’s not forget that there are also many other fruit and veggies that contain anthocyanins and other health-promoting pigments such as betacyanins and carotenes and that many are easy to grow.
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Aug 282016
 
Buddliea

Buddliea

Plants evolved over millions of years with other living creatures. This association has resulted in plants developing defences for their survival that include poisons in plant parts that help resist damage from creatures that would feed on them. This protects the plant and allows normal growth, flowering and seeding to occur so that it can reproduce itself.  While these poisonous qualities are good for plants, they are not so good for us if we are not aware of which plants are dangerous and know how to handle them appropriately. Continue reading »

Aug 282016
 

Not all flies are bad!  We are used to being concerned when we see a blowfly, thinking it carries disease, or being annoyed by those pesky common bush flies.  But actually, they’re all just doing their jobs.  However, there are quite a few flies that are little more appealing than the common bush or blowfly and which are welcome visitors to sustainable gardens. Continue reading »

Jul 272016
 


Cool clear nights, frosty mornings and plenty of rain can only mean one thing, it is August. Travelling around my home town I have already seen the first spring blossom and the jonquils are splashing the dull browns and greys with colour. Here are some top gardening tips for your place in the month of August.

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Jul 272016
 

katewallgate850The vegetable garden is a flop, the drought tolerant plants turned up toes as soon as the summer rain came so I planted plants that like water, and my husband ripped out my favourite native shrub because it had thorns. It sounds like exactly the opposite of sustainable gardening doesn’t it?

If my garden doesn’t exactly fit the mould, what claims can I make to being a sustainable gardener?

Kate Wall tells us about her gardening journey, revealing to us that there is more than one way of creating a sustainable garden. Continue reading »

Jul 272016
 

burnleygreenIf we live in city suburbs we are now used to seeing old houses in established gardens being pulled down to make way for new large houses, dual occupancies or apartment blocks built with very little garden and few trees. Maybe we sigh and wonder what the world is coming to, but there are some moves in the opposite direction. Vision 202020, started in 2013, is an attempt to increase green space in Australia’s cities by 20% by 2020 to future-proof them so they can cope with a warming climate and pressures of modern living. Continue reading »

Jun 272016
 


When you look outside this time of year the last thing you feel like doing is standing out in the cold, wet and windy weather, especially if you live in the cooler areas. Don’t let this put you off. There is so much to do in the garden and a lot more to do in the garden shed. Get off the couch and put on the thermals, the beanie, a coat and your gumboots and warm yourself up with some winter garden love.

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Jun 272016
 

raisedbedscrop
Just beginning to garden on an empty piece of land?  Or making over an existing one? It can be confusing if you consult magazines or websites to know where to start since many, even SGA’s, have articles on single topics without an indication of which are more important. Phil Mackie and Gwen Kestrel give us tips on what to focus on right from the start.

They each garden in different climates and with very different plants. They’re co-workers for an online company, but they bonded over shared hobbies, including gardening. They believe that sustainable gardening without the use of pesticides and chemical fertilisers should be the goal of all gardeners.  Although their gardening backgrounds are different, their crops vary, the pests and diseases that threaten their crops vary, they’ve found strategies that are absolutely true for each of them to have the healthiest garden possible. Continue reading »

Jun 272016
 

trees
In the 1980’s, mentioning that plants could communicate or that they might be intelligent used to draw the response “Are you crazy?” when this was then proposed by scientists.  Perhaps this reply derived from “hippy” suggestions that we should talk to our plants to make them grow better.  But now there is solid evidence the plants can, indeed, respond to information in the rest of the world, respond to those messages in a variety of ways including sending messages to each other. The idea is emerging that the plant kingdom is a complex society in which members share information and subsequently respond, in a way similar to we do in human society, but using different languages1. Some scientists, therefore, suggest that plants possess intelligence2. Continue reading »

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