Many years ago, I saw an indoor plant in Hawaii they called a purple shrimp plant. Do you know what it might be and is it available here? It had patterned leaves and multi-coloured flowers.
Early spring is the time to hang parasitic wasp (Encarsia formosa) cards up in new plantings of tomatoes and eggplant to protect these vegetables
from white fly.
These insects are 2-4 mm in length, pear-shaped and often covered with white waxy filaments that give a fluffy appearance, as though they are covered with
We like to buy our vegetable seeds from trusted mail order seed companies, this way we get a considerable range of varieties for a lifetime of experimentation
and flavour. Here are our favourites.
Robin Powell reports from behind enemy lines on the fascinating, infuriating fruit fly.
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.
Want the best-ever roast potatoes? Simple, delicious and deeply comforting the humble roast spud is a must-have in the cook’s bag of tricks. Here are a
few of our favourite versions.
Check roses, citrus, cherry and peach carefully when you water, looking for clusters of small insects hiding under leaves or on new growth: aphids.
Given the chance those annoying little suckers bothering your flower buds now can become an infestation later. But if you get in early enough you
can manage the problem without using any chamicals, just a few little backyard-buddies. Its time to get out there and evict your unwanted tennants!
Regretting not spraying against bindii in winter? Bindii (Soliva pterosperma) is a low-growing annual herb with leaves like a carrot top. It produces
a single flower at its centre that matures into a prickly seedpod that sticks in bare feet.
This native bee is found in every part of Australia except Tasmania. It gets its name from the iridescent blue or white bands around its abdomen.
Humid, still conditions are the perfect breeding ground for botrytis, a fungus that affects plant tissue.
Bronze orange bugs are nasty pests that suck sap from young shoots, fruit and flowers of citrus trees.
Female moths, which can be recognised by their mottled brown colour, lay their eggs under leaves. When the larvae hatch, the brown-striped caterpillars
tunnel into stems.
Bulging citrus stems indicate the presence of citrus gall moth, which lays its eggs in the bark at the ends of citrus branches.
A silvery trail on foliage is the telltale sign of this pest. Eggs were laid in the leaf by the moth last year and the trail is the hatched insect eating
its way out. Further in their lifecycle leaf miners curl the leaves completely in on themselves, and pupate into small moths. These are active at night,
so are rarely seen.
Cup moths are so-called due to the cup-shaped cocoon they attach to the tree branches, or surrounding leaf litter, of eucalypts, brush box and pittosporum.
They are also known to attack apples, apricots and cherries.
This is a fairly new disease (Coleosporium domingense syn C. plumeriae) in Australia. It is believed to have arrived from Florida in an infected
frangipani cutting 15 years ago.
This is the king of the autumn caterpillars, a voracious eater that grows into a sizeable creature up to 7cm longwith large spots along its body and a
white-tipped spine at the end. It feeds on tender foliage, and can decimate a patch of impatiens or sweet potato in a couple of days.
Despite their name, Azalea lace bugs are also enemies of rhododendrons. Their attack is evidenced by widespread silvery mottling and sticky, brown patches
on the underside of leaves. It’s best to spray now, at the beginning of the growing season.
These voracious caterpillars can destroy a clump of clivias or other lilies in record time.
When plants are low in magnesium, they move what they have from the old leaves to feed the new. Consequently older leaves begin to yellow from the sides
to the centre.
Peach leaf curl is a parasitic fungus that causes new leaves on peaches and nectarines to become disfigured.
Powdery mildew is a widespread fungus that is carried by the wind. It multiplies rapidly in high humidity so thrives in overcrowded garden beds where the
air circulation is poor.
Thrips suck and rasp at flower petals causing discolouration.
These two insects feed under the azalea leaves, causing a mottled discolouration on the topside of the leaves.
Scale insects are some of the most common garden pests around. They attract other pests and suck the vigour from your plants, but they are easy to control
and even easier to prevent.
Here's what's happening in the garden world this winter.
Peter Gilmore’s delicious ‘fettuccini’ uses golden squash as both noodle and sauce in a
dish that’s much easier than it looks.
Frost-sensitive plants such as hibiscus, frangipani, passionfruit, citrus, deciduous fruit trees, and some vegetables can be adversely affected by frost.
It's easy to be seduced by the colour, forms and perfumes of roses, but not as easy to successfully grow them.
Here Mez Woodward shows us how to plant your bare-rooted rose.
In this edited extract from A Tree in the House, self-taught florist Annabelle Hickson shares her key tip for arranging flowers beautifully.
When I was a child all our neighbours and friends had a large tub - generally an old enamel washing machine tub - buried close to the vegetable garden. This
was the ‘brew’ tub. Ingredients for the brew - compost, manures and seaweed - were widely discussed and benefits widely acclaimed. And it turns out these gardeners
were onto something!
Plants clipped into balls add form and structure to the garden, and beautifully balance wilder, looser planting. The repetition
of shapes develops rhythm which holds the garden together, while the contrast with other shrub shapes adds variety and interest.
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