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 »

Jun 272016
 
Davidsonia pruriens

Davidsonia pruriens

Australia is blessed with thousands of native edible plants, yet not many people know this.

When asked to name any bush foods, most Australians will answer “kangaroo and the witchetty grub”. Yet plants made up the bulk of the traditional Aboriginal diet. Their plant knowledge was extensive and included the whereabouts, relative tastiness, time of harvest of crops of yams, edible roots and flowers, berries, fruits and nuts. They also used the small seeds of native grasses to grind and make into bread.

One fruit, native to the rainforests of Queensland and NSW, is the Davidson’s plum. It was enjoyed by Aboriginal people and is now popular with chefs around the country – particularly for jams, sauces, chutneys and even wine. Continue reading »

May 282016
 

Ok, it’s official, winter is upon us. And while it may seem easier to curl up on the couch with a cup of tea and a good book, it is the perfect time to get amongst it in the patch! There is a sense of hibernation for a lot of us but wherever you are in this nation it’s time to don the boots and get to it. Continue reading »

Green Thumb

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May 282016
 

green thumb3

Do you have a “green thumb” or aspire to one?  Do you think that people who have a “green thumb” have just been born that way?  Jane Ryrie, a keen gardener, gives us a humorous insight in her poem. Continue reading »

May 282016
 
Living and chopped lucerne

Living and chopped lucerne

If you haven’t heard about “chop’n’drop” you can probably work out roughly what it means i.e. when pruning shrubs, trees or pretty much any plant, just leave the prunings on the ground.  Much of the modern writing about this has arisen from within permaculture and has been strongly supportive of this approach.  Let’s examine the pros and cons to work out whether it is right for your garden.  Continue reading »

Apr 272016
 

While the southern parts of Australia have donned winter pyjamas and flannelette sheets, the northern states are still revelling in warm, and mostly sunny autumn days. Regardless of the conditions in your little patch of paradise, there is still loads to do this month. Get set for those produce plants that need the cooler weather to grow. Continue reading »

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