Garden Clinic Blog

Keep in touch with what we're doing, there's always something going on. Our team has been busy gathering interesting, helpful and exciting stories for you to enjoy. Seasonal inspiration from our garden to yours.

Meet: Jeremy Critchley, nurseryman

Meet: Jeremy Critchley, nurseryman

Jeremy Critchley’s Green Gallery Nursery developed a focus on indoor plants once he moved into an apartment and wanted something different.

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Great Dixter

Great Dixter

Is this old place England’s most exciting contemporary garden?

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2020 Diamond Membership

2020 Diamond Membership

2020 Diamond Membership – a brand new level of membership and let me tell you, it’s the best one yet.

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Delicous: brownie

Delicous: brownie

Not as heavy as a traditional brownie, but with a satisfying double-choc hit and bonus health food scores from its secret (almost indetectable) vegetable content, this is a great, year-round treat. In summer serve chilled, straight from the fridge.

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How to: create the perfect pergola

How to: create the perfect pergola

Shade, privacy and a place to show off fabulous plants - who doesn’t want a pergola!

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Cucumbers

Cucumbers

Cool as a cucumber is the taste of summer.

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Old Wesley Dale

Old Wesley Dale

Deb and Scott Wilson make garden magic in Tasmania's stunning Meander Valley.

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Beating the French at their own game

Beating the French at their own game

Is Tasmania the new Provence when it comes to producing the world's best lavender? Sacrebleu!

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Philip Johnson's Garden, Olinda

Philip Johnson's Garden, Olinda

Landscape designer Philip Johnson’s passion is to connect people with nature. In this extract from his new book Connected: the sustainable landscapes of Philip Johnson, he explains how that connection is deepened and refined at his home in Olinda, and creates a billabong to die for!

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Secret Garden

Secret Garden

Secret Gardens is one of Sydney’s most successful garden businesses – designing, constructing and maintaining beautiful gardens across the city. In this extract from a new book featuring 19 of the company’s finest gardens, founder Matt Cantwell explains how a garden can balance privacy with views out - and into - the garden.

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How to: grow an Australian lawn

How to: grow an Australian lawn

A patch of native grass, or a whole lawn of it, will help preserve our beautiful Christmas beetles. Linda Ross tells how it’s done.

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How to: cook with wattleseed

How to: cook with wattleseed

It’s said that there is a wattle in flower somewhere in Australia every day of the year. Not all of the seed of these 1000-odd species are edible, indeed some a slightly toxic, but there is evidence that aborigines ate the seeds from at least 120 of them. Wattleseed has a unique fragrance and flavour – mocha-chocolateyy, smoky and nutty all at once.

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Plants I love: Jerilderie Red

Plants I love: Jerilderie Red

The chance cross between an Illawarra flame tree and a kurrajong is a tree that should be better known and more widely grown.

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Meet: Philip Johnson, landscape designer

Meet: Philip Johnson, landscape designer

Sustainable landscape designer Philip Johnson generated rare garden-related headlines when his ‘Trailfinders Australian Garden’ took out the Best in Show award at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2013. What happened next?

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How to: create a water wonderland

How to: create a water wonderland

You don’t need a big space to have your own water feature: a sunny spot on a balcony or in a courtyard will do. You can use any container, as long as it hasn’t had chemicals in it that would kill the fish. Isla made her water feature in a half wine barrel. Here’s how.

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How to: make fruit ice-blocks

How to: make fruit ice-blocks

When it’s sweltering outside and the kids need some cool relief, homemade fruity ice-blocks are the answer. When they’ve been demolished, ask the children to help make a new batch, ready for the next hot afternoon.

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How to: have garden fun with kids

How to: have garden fun with kids

‘Be back by dark’ tends not to be a phrase we associate with childhood these days, but given the chance, children still relish an opportunity to play outside. Kate Neale and her co-author, daughter Leelu, have plenty of ideas to help parents, grandparents and carers have summer fun in the garden with kids.

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Meet: Brigitte Eckardt, Rose Grower, Green E Roses

Meet: Brigitte Eckardt, Rose Grower, Green E Roses

Need some advice on roses? Meet a walking rose encyclopedia!

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How to: decorate with water lilies

How to: decorate with water lilies

Waterlilies are shy until the mercury hits 30, and then they unfold into beautiful blooms. We grow them in large bowls and pots, and pick them to decorate the table through summer.

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Kitchen Garden Summer

Kitchen Garden Summer

Summer brings the vegetable patch’s peak of production. The heat of the sun powers growth, but threatens disaster too. Rise with the birds for early deep watering, and let your mantra be mulch, mulch, mulch.

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How to: save your garden when off on holidays

How to: save your garden when off on holidays

We’re all going on a summer holiday - and the garden is staying behind! But with a little forward planning your garden can be just as lovely when you return as it was before you left.

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Dry Spell Garden: Bondi

Dry Spell Garden: Bondi

Bondi is known for its beach, babes and bikinis, and not for its gardens. But this is where I find one of Australia’s most imaginative pocket-sized spaces. Generously spirited and full of dry-spell ideas to bring your garden to life.

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In the Subtropical Garden: December

In the Subtropical Garden: December

Hot and steamy with the odd torrential downpour is the order of business for the subtropical garden. Our resident tropical garden expert Arno King has the lowdown on what’s happening this December in the subtropical garden.

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Meet Justine Smith, Rhipsalis grower

Meet Justine Smith, Rhipsalis grower

Justine Smith’s beautifully grown rhipsalis flew off the tables at Collectors’ Plant Fair this year. Don’t worry if you missed out - she’s now supplying Flower Power with these hairy hanging delights under the Jungle Cactus label.

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The New Upside of Gardening

The New Upside of Gardening

The show gardens at Singapore's first-ever Horticulture Show earlier this year blurred the boundary between the natural and built environment and introduced us to a whole new place to garden - the ceiling!

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Garden Trip: Singapore

Garden Trip: Singapore

The Singapore stopover might once have been about shopping, but now it’s about gardens. Add these destinations to your itinerary.

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Hanging Around

Hanging Around

Cool green curtains dripping delicate leaves from fine stems are mesmerising. Reversing the trend of growing upward to the light, plants that grow down, and hang around are jewels for gardeners.

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How to: create a dazzling basket

How to: create a dazzling basket

No one does a hanging basket of summer flowers quite like the English, and, inspired by a recent trip, we’re determined to give it a good shake this summer. We’ve included here some favourite basket-happy plants with the right cascading habit - and some options for really hot spots. The thing is to design an arrangement like a posy, with a mix of textures and colours. Have fun, be bold, try something new, and toss it all at the end of the season.

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Know your: balcony flowers

Know your: balcony flowers

Add some summer dazzle to a sunny balcony with these pot-loving beauties.

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In my Kitchen Garden: Bangalow NSW

In my Kitchen Garden: Bangalow NSW

In the Kitchen Garden series that shares the knowledge and experience of food growers around the country, Kate Neale dishes the dirt on her top summer growing tips and her favourite new harvest.

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Agapanthus

Agapanthus

The sparkling blue and white flowers of agapanthus cool the summer garden, and new colours are a real thrill.

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Robin's Garden

Robin's Garden

My garden is largely a tropical holiday filled with luxurious foliages and a fruit salad of orange, hot pink, red and gold flowers. A sprinkling of blue grounds that hot colour in a garden bed that sweeps around an oval lake of lawn. In summer the best thing to do is find a seat in the shade and soak it up.

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Hydrangea

Hydrangea

The soft clouds of hydrangea flowers are a promise of summer. Let’s take a closer look at growing these plants year-round.

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How to: cook spinach pie

How to: cook spinach pie

In Greece local cooks prefer to make their spanokopita (spinach pie) with the mix of wild greens known as horta.

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Chelsea: Graham Ross' Survival Tips

Chelsea: Graham Ross' Survival Tips

Graham Ross shares his best tips to make the most out of the Chelsea flower show in this survival guide.

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Star of the season: Agastache

Star of the season: Agastache

These easy-care, minty-fresh flowery fillers offer reliable and long-lasting summer colour.

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Chelsea magic

Chelsea magic

Chelsea is a magical garden world as full of dreams and emotion as it of of sheer hard work and skill.

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Garden festival planner: Chelsea Flower show

Garden festival planner: Chelsea Flower show

Chelsea is the prize bloom of the world's garden shows, and the reputation is well-deserved. Here Robin Powell shares her observations on what has been another breath-taking Chelsea Flower Show.

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Great Aussie ideas

Great Aussie ideas

One of the great delights of leading tours for Ross Garden Tours around Australia and the world is picking up great ideas. Here are a few from this year's travels.

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Potted: Kangaroo Paw

Potted: Kangaroo Paw

These furry, iconic Australian flowers are a great addition to a potted garden, especially the smaller varieties.

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Star of the season: Dwarf Banksia

Star of the season: Dwarf Banksia

Dwarf Banksias prove that no space doesn’t mean no impact.

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Meet Kath Gadd

Meet Kath Gadd

Kath Gadd’s company is Mallee Design, a garden design business that uses only Australian plants, and does a neat sideline in beautiful, spun copper birdbaths.

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A love of colour

A love of colour

Heather Cant is known locally as the Rose Lady. Find out why in this extract from ‘Beyond the Garden Gate: private gardens of the Southern Highlands’.

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The new rose garden

The new rose garden

Roses mix it up at Wisley, blooming brilliantly with a range of other flowering plants.

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Libby’s Armenian Nutmeg Cake

Libby’s Armenian Nutmeg Cake

Simple and delicious, Libby's Armenian Nutmeg cake, with a nice cup of tea, is the perfect treat after a hard spring morning's garden.

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We love: A Dollop of Clotted Cream

We love: A Dollop of Clotted Cream

Opening pale pink then fading to soft coffee cream ‘Cafe au Lait’ is a celebrity-status dahlia. The multi-petalled blooms are up to 25 cm across and there may be 40 on a plant at once, so strong support is essential.

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Meet: Anne Ruston, rose garden owner

Meet: Anne Ruston, rose garden owner

Anne Ruston is a South Australian senator, but for rose lovers the really important job she holds is as owner of Ruston Roses, a horticultural icon in South Australia, established by her uncle David. Robin Powell walked though the garden with her.

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La Vie En Rose

La Vie En Rose

The charms of French country living inspired Marian Somes to create her own version at her beautiful garden Picardy in the Gippsland hills. How did she do it? Here she shares four underlying elements of the French country garden.

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Know your: Hedging plants

Know your: Hedging plants

Inspired to get hedging? Choosing the right plant for your hedging plan is critical. Look for a height range and maintenance regime that suits your needs, as well as plants that will do well given the soil and position you can offer. Here are a handful of the hedging plants we think should be on your shortlist.

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A lesson in clipped hedges

A lesson in clipped hedges

A hedge is many things. It can define areas of the garden; shield you from the curiosity of passersby; block ugly intrusions into your view; protect your privacy; offer favourite plants a green backdrop against which to dazzle; or simply give your garden a nestling sense of enclosure and cosy comfort. Here Graham Ross answers the most-asked questions on hedge cultivation and care.

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