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: Anita Rayner

Meet: Anita Rayner

The gardens at Vaucluse House are one of Sydney’s historic horticultural treasures. Anita Rayner fell in love with them at first sight; now she runs them.

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Our Kitchen Garden

Our Kitchen Garden

There’s inspiration here to help expand your vegetable repertoire- in the garden and on the plate.

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Recipe: Pasta with asparagus and peas

Recipe: Pasta with asparagus and peas

Quite simply this is spring's freshest flavours on a plate!

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Meet Peter Hey, clivia breeder and grower of rare plants

Meet Peter Hey, clivia breeder and grower of rare plants

Peter is presently President of the Clivia Society of New South Wales, helping to organise the upcoming Spring Show Sept 14-15. You can also find him and his amazing clivias at The Plant Lovers Fair and Collectors’ Plant Fair each year with his specialist nursery Cliveas and Rare Things.

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How to: garden under trees

How to: garden under trees

Growing plants beneath established trees can be challenging. There’s no direct light, roots take up space and water, the soil becomes dry and compacted, and to compound the problem, the tree roots sucks up the available nutrition, leaving precious little behind.

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In the Garden: Cruden Farm

In the Garden: Cruden Farm

Dame Elisabeth Murdoch’s much-loved garden is on the brink of its big show as spring begins.Head gardener Mitch Burns takes us behind the scenes.

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Star of the season: Clivia

Star of the season: Clivia

The trumpet flowers of this indestructible plant put them top of the list for dry areas, dry pots and under trees. Let’s take a closer look.

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Garden Road Trip: Southern Highlands

Garden Road Trip: Southern Highlands

Some of the best Australian gardens lie in the rolling hills of the Southern Highlands. Rolling green fields, white picket fences, smoking chimneys and trees bursting into new leave as spring colours the landscape; many of the gardens here open regularly through the spring and autumn seasons. We spoke to horticulturist and local Carolyn Dwyer to share her favourites.

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How to: Grow summer annuals

How to: Grow summer annuals

For decorating fun in the garden nothing beats a few punnets of annuals. These plants only last a season, but they generously colour gardens, courtyards and balconies during their brief life. Whether it’s a patchwork of blossom you want, or a ribbon of colour along a border, something to fill a gap, a dramatic hanging basket, a fringe of trim in front of shrubs, or simply a pot brimming with flowers, annuals offer the answer.

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Meet Keith and Maureene Smith

Meet Keith and Maureene Smith

Cancer fundraisers and plant propagators

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How to: Attract butterflies

How to: Attract butterflies

When I think about things that spark joy I think butterflies. The singular most joyous event in my garden is the appearance of a butterfly:fluttering wings of the prettiest colours; a quick flit across the garden, up and down, looping the loops, surfing the air like a wave of light. Each sighting makes me feel so good I often ponder how I can attract more butterflies into my garden at Frog Hollow. This is what I’ve learnt so far.

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Delicious: Strawberry and rhubarb jam

Delicious: Strawberry and rhubarb jam

Rhubarb and strawberries are perfect partners – in pies, crumbles, and in this jam. Here Robin Powell shares her Strawberry and rhubarb jam recipe with us.

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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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Thinking Gardens

Thinking Gardens

Betty Maloney was a pioneer of bush gardening whose advice on finding serenity in the garden is as relevant now as it was half a century ago.

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Eat Your Greens

Eat Your Greens

We are in love with this simple mixed greens dish. A quick and tasty weekday meal to up our green intake - best when picked fresh from the veggie patch. It’s a taste sensation.

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Garden Road Trip: Rydal

Garden Road Trip: Rydal

Hosts of golden daffodils dance in the wind when the tiny village of Rydal, just east of Lithgow, celebrates the Daffodils at Rydal festival. Robin Powell takes you there.

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In our garden: Wildwood

In our garden: Wildwood

A cool-climate garden of five acres gives Sue and Wayne Tapping room to grow the beauties they love. Here they share what’s keeping them busy this spring


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Know your: Spring Blossom

Know your: Spring Blossom

Get to know your spring blossoms now before they disappear for another year.

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Garden Pea Risotto

Garden Pea Risotto

One of my favourite gardens in Victoria is Picardy, a romantic French provincial style garden in the picturesque hills of Neerim. Marian and Bryce Somes had always been Francophiles - mad for French food, in love with the language - but it was a trip to France to celebrate a significant birthday year in 1986 that confirmed a passion for French style.

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Visit Boongala Native Gardens

Visit Boongala Native Gardens

An inspiring native garden rings bells for Linda Ross and to the sound of birdsong she changes her tune about the best plants to create pretty gardens.

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Know your: Wildflowers

Know your: Wildflowers

Get to know our small native flowering plants, says native plant expert Nola Parry, and you’ll have a pretty new palette with which to paint romantic native gardens that are full of flower. Australia is blessed with an amazing range of small flowering plants. Yet some gardeners never get beyond a familiarity with gum trees, bottlebrush, paper barks, grevilleas and a few other large plants.

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Zap My Pests & Weeds OCP Pack

Zap My Pests & Weeds OCP Pack

Join or renew your membership this week and you will receive ECO Oil, Hydrate & Fungicide and OCP Slasher. And to celebrate upcoming Springtime, included is a gorgeous potted Garvinea courtesy of Majestic Young Plants.

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Make a broad bean custard

Make a broad bean custard

The broad bean’s short and sweet season is celebrated by Italian home cooks and chefs. In this recipe, Sydney restaurateur, Lucio Galletto turns the humble bean into something really special - a broad bean custard.

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Best crops for small pots

Best crops for small pots

Even the smallest balcony plots can produce crops from an interesting range of small-fruited, ‘patio’-sized vegetables. Linda Ross shares tips on making it work.

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Small space: big ideas

Small space: big ideas

Courtyard and balcony gardens are less forgiving than suburban gardens. A big garden can ramble a bit, drawing you past a bit of a dead patch with the lure of the something great glimpsed just around the corner. But in a small garden everything is on show, all the time.

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How to: declutter your balcony

How to: declutter your balcony

As obsessive plant collectors we can’t help bringing home interesting plants from friends and fellow plant-lovers. Our enthusiasm had resulted in an unlovely clutter of pots. Something had to be done. Here are our tips for turning Plant Lovers’ Clutter into a pleasing display.

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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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Brussels sprouts: 3 ways

Brussels sprouts: 3 ways

Need new delicious ways to serve Brussels sprouts? We’ve got 3 simple ways that will wow the crowd.

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Handy guide: Magnolias

Handy guide: Magnolias

Deciduous magnolias thrill us in winter with cup-shaped blooms on bare grey stems.

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How to: arrange flowers

How to: arrange flowers

If I could print Constance Spry's 1953 book How to Do the Flowers here in full, I would. It is not a big book, but it is a thoughtful one, and full of very good information. It is this book that first got me thinking about ‘arranging’ flowers, as opposed to simply plonking them in a vase.

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Meet Mark Jury, magnolia breeder

Meet Mark Jury, magnolia breeder

If there’s a stunning deciduous magnolia in your garden with enormous cup-shaped blooms and rich colour, chances are it was bred by New Zealand plantsman, Mark Jury.

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Magic Magnolia Mulch

Magic Magnolia Mulch

Magnolia not happy? Try a Magic Magnolia Mulch. Sandra's special recipe does magical things to sulking magnolias!

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I love a star magnolia

I love a star magnolia

Magnolias can languish in their formative years, but perseverance will be rewarded. Here Graham discusses his favourite magnolia's story.

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Roasted cauliflower salad

Roasted cauliflower salad

Match our cauliflower salad with roast chicken or barbecued lamb. My Nanna never served cauliflower that wasn’t boiled and drowned in a thick white sauce.

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Cauliflower soup

Cauliflower soup

Got an abundance of cauliflower?Give this delicious soup a go. Perfect for a cool winter's night

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Know your: Roses for warm areas

Know your: Roses for warm areas

Some of the best performing roses for warm climates are old favourites -and we mean old. Search out these hardy centurions for fragrance, generosity and trouble-free beauty.

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Relaxed style: Marcia Hosking

Relaxed style: Marcia Hosking

Sydney-based designer Marcia Hosking gave a holiday vibe to this compact garden.

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Meet: Pat and Bill Rhodin, Tulip Tops gardeners

Meet: Pat and Bill Rhodin, Tulip Tops gardeners

Meet Pat and Bill Rhodin, Tulip Tops gardeners. They work hard all year to make this garden's spring display something memorable

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Red Earth Bulb's Lilium 2019 Collection

Red Earth Bulb's Lilium 2019 Collection

Add a splash of summer colour to your garden with Garden and Oriental Lilies. Each bulb produces 30-40 flowers per stem and just keeps on giving every single year. Our friend Tim Drewitt from Red Earth Bulbs has Liliums going at unbelievable prices. Drum roll please.

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Lemon and yoghurt cake

Lemon and yoghurt cake

Back in 2015 we declared it the Year of the Cake with this mouth-watering recipe.

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It's time to plant Liliums

It's time to plant Liliums

For wow factor in the summer garden it’s hard to go past lilies, and a new bunch of liliums is now opening bold big blooms across the country.

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How to: create an orchid tree

How to: create an orchid tree

Inspired by a trip to Singapore and the gorgeous Gardens of the Bay, Graham decided to create an orchid tree.

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Know Your Orchids

Know Your Orchids

The orchid family is so extensive, and so wonderful in the garden. Here we introduce just the essential exotics for your garden. The exciting native orchids we’ll save for another day.

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How to: reflower a moth orchid

How to: reflower a moth orchid

One of our most-asked questions to the Garden Clinic helpline and to radio is about caring for moth orchids so they flower again. Here are our top tips.

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Handy Guide: Orchids

Handy Guide: Orchids

Orchids are found in every corner of the planet and come from the biggest family of cultivated plants on earth: 30,000 wild species. There are twice as many orchid species as there are species of birds! Orchids have had a 200-year journey from the tropical jungles to become the nation's most popular houseplant.

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Federal Gov authority to de-register common home-garden insecticides containing Chlorpyrifos

Federal Gov authority to de-register common home-garden insecticides containing Chlorpyrifos

A special gazette published by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) last month detailed the proposal to cancel the registrations of the 27 chemical products containing the active ingredient chlorpyrifos

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How to: Grow tomatoes

How to: Grow tomatoes

For home-grown tomato tragics like Linda late winter doesn’t signal a time to ramp up the gym membership and line up a fake tan. Rather she is busy germinating heirloom tomatoes seeds. Whether you are joining her in growing from seed, or skipping that step with seedlings from the nursery, here are her top tips for growing a great feed of tomatoes this summer.

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5 steps to starting a veggie patch from scratch

5 steps to starting a veggie patch from scratch

Ever wanted to grow your own veggies but never knew where to start? Here are five steps to consider when starting a patch from scratch.

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How to make Power Soil

How to make Power Soil

Give the warm season vegetable patch a big boost before seedlings go in. Use our Power Soil recipe and get ready for take-off!

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How to make a veggie stock

How to make a veggie stock

If you planted out root vegetables in early autumn you’ll be harvesting them now. While roots make great side dishes for whatever you’re cooking for dinner, your home-grown produce also makes the best stock.

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