Pond life without mozzies or water-waste

Creating an open body of water has been transformative for my garden. Within months of installing a pond, frogs, dragonflies, birds and water boatmen all turned-up to use the precious resource. Here, I share my strategies for creating a wildlife friendly pond, without blowing the water budget or creating a mozzie problem. In the scheme … More Pond life without mozzies or water-waste

Living mulch: waterwise, firewise and seriously good looking

Mulching the garden to cut-back on water-use is enshrined in garden lore. Protecting the soil from direct sunlight prevents it from getting hot and so reduces evaporation of precious soil moisture. Nothing beats a thick layer of Lucerne or Pea Straw in a veggie garden to keep the soil cool and moist in summer. And … More Living mulch: waterwise, firewise and seriously good looking

Gardens for wildlife

If you’d like to nudge your garden in a wildlife friendly direction, here’s some inspiration and ideas about what you can do to invite more wildlife into your garden. Examples are from Central Victoria but the gardening principles apply to gardens everywhere. View pdf online. Print a booklet on A4 paper (set your printer options to A4 … More Gardens for wildlife

5 reasons to love wattles in your garden

Wattles are the cornerstone of any thriving, beautiful and wildlife friendly garden. You may hear people malign wattles, voicing myths about them all being short-lived, scraggly and a trigger to hay fever. But if you understand the benefits of wattles and the attributes of different species, you will likely embrace what they bring to your … More 5 reasons to love wattles in your garden

3 years & thriving

To see Julianna Hurley’s Castlemaine garden is to be inspired to work with your local soils, plants and climate. In only three years, Julianna transformed an ordinary lawn into an oasis for her family and native wildlife. This beautiful bush-garden was low-cost to build and thrives throughout the year with minimal watering and effort. Julianna … More 3 years & thriving

Plant a community

There’s no doubt that rainfall shapes all wild plant communities. Drive west across Victoria, from wet forests in the Alps to arid Mallee in the State’s north-west, and you witness dramatic changes in the height, leafiness and composition of vegetation. Whether you look in a National Park or a weedy abandoned urban block, you will … More Plant a community

Art and ecology of design

Garden design is an art different to all others, because nature is its raw material. Painters and sculptors can create work that is a permanent expression of their creative imagination, with potential to be admired for centuries. It is tempting to pursue permanence in garden design. Many great designers do, through hard-landscaping and tight control of … More Art and ecology of design