Vertical gardening

vertical wall1vertigal-garden4

How cool are these vertical gardens? I’ve recently set up my own vertical garden using these felt-like pocket gardens. You can plant anything you like in them – herbs, strawberries, flowering annuals or leafy plants. 

How are your sunflowers doing?


I was too late planting my sunflowers this year, but next year I plan to be on time. I’ve written it in my diary. And I really want to plant something like this. Unfortunately, these images were taken overseas. We used to be able to get colours like this here, but I’m not sure they’re readily available any more.

The sunflower at the top is something like ‘Ms Mars’ or ‘Strawberry Blonde’ though the one shown here looks a little more purple.

The echinaceas in the bottom image look stunning too – though I don’t know what this variety is either.

I have purple flower envy right now.

Auckland Garden DesignFest + giveaway


Are you going to the Auckland Garden DesignFest this year? It promises to be a goody, with 20 gardens on show on 14th and 15th November, 2015.

The festival is jointly organised by the Rotary Club of Newmarket and the Garden Design Society of New Zealand, (GDSNZ) and this will be the third time the biennial charity event has taken place.

Joining Chelsea Flower Show Silver Medalist Xanthe White and TV and radio gardening personality Tony Murrell at the DesignFest are talented New Zealand designers Trish Bartleet, Nigel Cameron, Trudy Crerar, Barbara Garrett, Joanna Hamilton, Phillip Millar, Bryan McDonald, Sue and Colin McLean, the design duo of Mark Read and Richard Neville, Murray Reid, Robin Shafer and Karen Wealleans.

Proceeds from the festival will go to Ronald McDonald House, Garden to Table and children’s charities supported by the Rotary Club of Newmarket Charitable Trust.

For more information and updates about the Auckland Garden DesignFest visit or follow them on Facebook.

But wait!

I have 1 double pass to give away to one lucky person.

For your chance to win, simply CLICK HERE TO EMAIL ME and I’ll pop you in the draw. Competition closes on 26th September at 12 noon.

Photos: Top garden designed by Sue and Colin McLean; Middle garden designed by Craig Steiner and Barbara Garrett; Bottom garden designed by Xanthe White.

Relax in style

backyard chair in terraced garden

Well, I wouldn’t mind this in my own backyard. A whopping big comfy chair surrounded by lush green ground cover. Shown here is a “cascade of terraces” at a New York city apartment. Which goes to show, even city-dwellers can enjoy the outdoor life. The blurb for this award-winning design says: “A view of the first floor garden reading nook from the upper terraces reveals a texturally rich and diverse material palette.” Lovely.

Photo from Garden Design.

Chelsea Flower Show 2012

Chelsea Flower Show 2012
Chelsea Flower Show 2012Chelsea Flower Show 2012Chelsea Flower Show 2012Chelsea Flower Show 2012Chelsea Flower Show 2012
Was anyone lucky enough to visit this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, held from May 22-26? I wasn’t, but I’ve been trawling the internet to find images from the winning gardens. There seems to be a resurgence of topiary, with all sorts of plants being used, from buxus to taxus (yew) to ilex (holly). There were all manner of clipped shapes, including lollipops, cumulus-like clouds and pyramids. There was quite a bit of bling too in the form of sculptures and art.

If you want to see more, check out these sites:

Studio G (top two images come from here)
Shoot Gardening (the next two photos come from here)
The Telegraph (bottom two)

Melbourne Flower Show

Melbourne International Flower And Garden Show

Who’s going to this year’s Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show? If you’re heading across the Tasman, we’d love to see your photos! The show is held each year at the Carlton Gardens, right in the heart of Melbourne. This year it’s on from March 28th to April 1st, so there’s still plenty of time to get your tickets and plane ride sorted. It’s a brilliant show too – lots of fabulous landscape designs, floral designs and great garden inspiration. The only bummer is you can’t bring it all back on the plane with you.

Humble garden design

Bunting in the garden

Bunting in the garden. How very cute! Image comes from here.

Roses over arches

Rose 'Pink Dawn'

No room for growing roses in your garden? Take a leaf out of this gardener’s book and grow them upwards. An arching arbour is the perfect means for growing roses vertically. Position it to straddle a path or entranceway for a romantic look.

The climbing rose grown here is ‘New Dawn’.  Photo from Veranda

New Garden DesignFest

Lookie here! There’s a brand new garden festival in town. The Garden Design Society of New Zealand and Newmarket Rotary have joined forces to present the inaugural Auckland Garden DesignFest, which takes place 19-20 November, 2011. The festival showcases 24 gardens around Auckland, all professionally designed, and many of which have never been open to the public before. The designers will be on hand in the gardens to chat to visitors. Proceeds go to three great charities: KidsCan, CanTeen and Ronald McDonald House Auckland. Here’s a sneak peak at some of the gardens.

Tickets can be pre-purchased for $40 (entry to all gardens) from Palmers garden stores in Auckland, or online at iticket for a small fee. Or it’s $5 to enter a single garden at the gate. Tickets can also be purchased at the event for $50. There’s a full-day bus tour option too, for $120. The bus tour includes lunch plus guided commentary and a bonus visit to Highwic House at the end of the day – complete with a tour of the house and a glass of wine.

For more information, go to the Auckland Garden DesignFest website.

Herb garden ideas

Short on space? Grow your herbs in baskets, or utilise that awkward slope with a retaining wall garden. Large-space gardeners might as well go the whole hog.

Images: herb baskets from House to Home; retaining wall garden designed by Jamie Durie and featured here; Martha Stewart’s herb garden; and the lovely Lopez Island Kitchen Gardens.