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Cuttings from the Garden World

Open house

Remember how many bugs died on the car windscreen when you were a kid? The clean windscreens of today are a grim reminder of declining insect populations. One way to help reverse the trend is to make your garden insect-friendly. Lay off the chemicals and invite insect guests to make a home in your garden. We like Mr Fothergill’s Bee and Insect House kits. The eco-friendly kits come with a sachet of pollinator-friendly flower seeds, so bees and other insects have access to both food and shelter.


Admire - and buy!

Find green, lime, pink and peach clivias at the Clivia Society of NSW Spring Show. Seed, seedlings and flowering plants will be available and there’ll be acenterpiece of hundreds of blooms showcasing the latest in clivia breeding. Guest speakers will give tutorials on care and cultivation, breeding and hybridisation. Saturday September 14, 9am-4pm and Sunday September 15, 9am - 3pm, Thornleigh Community Centre.




GC Plant of the year

‘Mystic Spires Blue’ is one of the chart-topping performers from the Trial Gardens at The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney (find the full Top 40 list at It’s one of our favourites too: a condensed and better-behaved form of the legendary Salvia 'Indigo Spires' which has been hugely popular for many years; and it only grows to 50-70cm so won’t take over the garden. It also attracts beautiful monarch butterflies. RBG’s Jimmy Turner told us the plant was routinely smothered in happy monarchs. Read more about attracting butterflies on page 56 or listen to Linda’s podcast at And keep an eye out for our Christmas hamper this year, featuring ‘Mystic Spires Blue’.





We think gardening is the perfect antidote to the stresses of life in the 21st century and have spent the past 39 years proclaiming time in the garden as good for mind, body and soul. October is mental health month and we’ll be checking in with our Garden Clinic Club members face-to-face at a free event, sharing plants and making connections. It’s a great opportunity to snag a free plant, have a chat over a cuppa, learn from our expert propagators, and connect with other garden-lovers. There are no stupid questions and all levels of gardeners are welcome. Join us on Cuttings and Cake Day, Saturday October 26. Find out more on the website.




Vale Densey Clyne

For more than four decades the inimitable Densey Clyne wrote about and photographed insects, spiders and all things natural. Here many publications were authoritative, readable and beautifully illustrated. She was the recipient of a plethora of awards from the likes of the Royal Zoological Society, National Geographic Society, BBC and many others. Densey recently died, at the age of 96. Her vast body of work lets us all into the secret world of insects and spiders in the garden.





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Author: Graham Ross