Super Rooftop on Better Homes & Gardens


Garden Lovers, of all the gardens I’ve made its not often I can show you one that just seems to give more every year.

Ian & Noelene Dawes Cremorne rooftop is the exception…. and do you know, you can see Better Homes & Gardens presenter Jason Hodges show how easy this unirrigated space, made from exciting DGN succulent and water storing plants is roaring away this winter. Hope you can tune in for ideas in your own garden.

Better Homes & Gardens, 7pm Channel 7, Fri 24th July  

Winter fire 

Cremorne rooftop                                                                                                                                                    

Bromeliads Beauteous

Bromeliad gardening…. Enn Zud Style !

Maureen Green has made a living masterpiece in the charmingly tiny hamlet of Maungakaramea, north of Auckland on the way to Whangarei in New Zealand’s Northland.

Here, at the end of a long jewel encrusted driveway, is a bromeliad mother lode. But this is not an artless “pizza garden”, with taste free gobs of colour indescriminately daubed from patch to patch. Oh no, THIS comes from a master eye that sees everything, from the tiniest ruby edged margin to the full visual weight of truly magnificent hero plants.

Maureen's lateral thinking brain sees opportunity in this
Maureen’s lateral thinking brain sees opportunity in the exposed underneath surface of this fallen tree crown, transformed into a mini city of epiphytic delights
Maureen's Magic Tank
Maureen’s Magic Water Tank

Such is the creative agility of the horticultural mind; if your large tree falls with all epiphytic occupants catapulted to far flung garden parts, make the unsuspecting into a  magical Tillandsia Water Tank…… Maureen has.

Especially rich in vrisea, neoregelia, aechmea & their interspecific crosses and hybrids, together with myriad tillandsia, nidularium, billbergia and canistropsis  don’t let Greens Bromeliads unassuming street sign deceive you …. GO DOWN THAT LONG DRIVE and you will be rewarded.     

Infront of the "magical tank"
In-front of the “magical tank”

Greens Bromeliads 0011 64 9 432 3759 Tangihua Road, Maungakaramea, Whangarei

Pod + Pod

hakea 1
hakea 1

Scanning the excellent  Garden Drum by Catherine Stewart this week, I came across some rather good work by artist Julie Hickson show casing her impressive  Pod + Pod range inspired by Sydney’s Northern Beaches where she lives. So impressed, that I just had to take advantage of the oh so easy on line point of sale available from the web site. Perfect for coastal themed house & gardens and especially in association with “warm winter” micro climate growing conditions that allow many to cheat like hell with planting that would otherwise be at the difficult end of its range once cooler June/July nights are with us.

After an admiring glance across the Botanical & Coastal examples of Julie’s fine work, you can then join her mailing list from the bottom of the News page for Studio Open Days, markets and events like the Pittwater Artists Trail.  

Designer RBG Sydney Planting for Your Garden

Exciting Designer Planting that are good garden “doers” for your home garden
THIS Wednesday 11th March 2.30pm-4.30pm at

RBG Sydney Growing Friends Nursery

(next to Maiden Theatre & Herbarium on Mrs Macquaries Road).


Now this day is especially for the trade to increase awareness of the possibility of having plants grown under contract, why shouldn’t YOU benefit also …? Sales to home owners for their gardens also welcome !!  Production Grower Greg Lamont and I can answer questions you may have on these new plants I’ve helped select, that focus on benefits for use as well as their ornamental virtues as shown on the link above.

Near non-transparent from ground level, excellent fence concealer
Hibiscus insularis, near non-transparent from ground level, excellent fence concealer

So if you’re searching for something special for that difficult spot or just always on the look out for good garden plants, why not add something special from the Royal Botanic Gardens to your home garden ..

Exceptional Plants, new to RBG Growing Friends Plant SALE

Hibiscus boryanus
Hibiscus boryanus


Wednesday 11th March, 2.30 till 4pm

Dear Plant Lovers,

Click on the above link to reveal a recent expansion on RBG Growing Friends SALE listing, at the very peak of this lush high summer for exceptional plants for your garden. These are species I’ve recently been helping to release more availability to you at this exciting point of sale. Hope to see you there, where I’l be explaining more on how these durable and beautiful plants could be just the right one for that difficult location or to add extra sparkle as feature to your home garden. Sydney  Growing Friends Nursery, Mrs Macquaries Road adjacent to the Herbarium & The Maiden Theatre

CCPLF ’14 Coastal Planting Cornucopia

Plant Hunters EXTREME at CCPLF’13 last year, be early !!…my Coastal Planting talk from 1pm Sat with Mark Paul

Central Coast Plant Lovers Fair ’14 ….

Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th September, Kariong Mountains Primary School 9am to 4pm THIS WEEKEND !
Kariong, Central Coast, NSW

Such a FREE Speakers line up !! Both days of THIS weekend …
I’ll be doing a 2 hander on Coastal Gardening with Mark Paul on his Greenwalls from 1pm on Saturday.

Don’t join just to hear us, get there early for all the fabulous planting on offer, much of it you simply won’t see again until next year’s Fair !

Costa & me Give Good Rooftop…

The week before last, ABC Gardening Australia host Costa Giorgiadis (thanks huge Costa…) met me on this rather nice Cremorne Rooftop, to extol the virtues of dry sub-tropical gardening.

Joined by proud owners Noelene & Ian Dawes, (thanks huge-er Noelene & Ian…) it was a fun shoot as you can see on the attached link and I like to think much of the planting would adapt to so called “difficult locations” around your own garden, where harsh radiation, fast drainage and a high impact appearance are required with year round interest sans irrigation and not much maintenance.

And thanks huge also to the talents and flawless eye of Master Maintainer Glenice Buck, without whom this space wouldn’t be nearly so appealing.

Have a quick look if you missed it…

Paradisus No. 6 “The Sea-changer”.

Beginning again …. Paradisus No. 6 “The Sea-changer”.

Having spent all my 52 years on this planet in a Sydney setting in one way or another, the time has come to leave the confines of city life and embrace fresh surf air and sandy top soil beneath the sheltered but open sky conditions of my new plot at Forresters Beach (between Bateau Bay and Wambaral Lagoon) here at Spoon Bay on the Central Coast.

All that remains of Paradisus No. 5 the “Inner City Jewel Box Court” are these few pots. Three weekends of frantic pot ups have now passed in saving anything flicked out in haste before the move. After a bit of current house surgery, my roving eye now lands speculatively in regular spots around this new 725ish square meters ….. and ideas are beginning to form …

Watch this space dear reader, so you can check in on how this unsuspecting block morphs into a better life … beyond its wildest dreams !

MOOHAARRRR (said while rubbing hands together).

Greenwall Inspirations & ABC 702 Small Gardens tomorrow!

“After visiting Peter Nixon and Ian McMaugh’s gardens on Open Gardens Australia we were inspired to create two vertical gardens in our inner-city Sydney courtyard. Recycled window security grilles were attached to wooden walls with turnbuckles and doorstops to give stability and clearance. In this courtyard with a northerly aspect Bromeliads and orchids are thriving and their verdant growth has created an eye-catching focal point.”

– Judy Ellis local Darlington resident

Just loved this… and did you know I’ll be talking further TOMORROW (SATURDAY 28th June) sometime between 8.45 and 9.30am with ABC 702 radio announcer Simon Marnie on Weekends, about how to make the most of a little. If that’s all the garden you’ve got, well, make the most of it !! Hope you’ll join me.