Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Author: John Fitzsimmons

Cordon-trained pears can yield well (Image: John Fitzsimmons)
Pollination

Pollination – realising the potential

By John Fitzsimmons

Growing food at home has been trending in recent times. Many who started out with easily grown herbs and vegetables have advanced to perennial crops including fruit trees. However, the full reward from this step could be limited if pollination is not considered.Continue reading

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Quality, consistency and uniformity can be enhanced with new technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) (Image: John Fitzsimmons)
Greenhouse Robotics

Greenhouses, AI and robots:

Time to adjust our thinking.

By John Fitzsimmons

Reviewing recent developments in horticulture, and in particular in greenhouse production, is a regular process for growers and specialist media. But with the rapid emergence and development of technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), sensory capabilities and robotics, it is time to look beyond hardware and even services and consider more holistically what our growing business needs and wants are.Continue reading

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Attendance at the Landscape Show was significantly up on last year’s event (Image: The Victorian Master Landscapers)
Industry Event

Innovation and sustainability at The Landscape Show

By John Fitzsimmons

2023 saw Landscaping Victoria Master Landscaper’s (LVML) Landscape Show move from Caulfield to Sandown Park. The event’s following continued to grow and moved with it. While many attendees use the show as an opportunity to touch base with existing suppliers, our focus this year was drawn to a number of new products introduced to the industry.Continue reading

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Garden Inspiration Group 2023 (Image: John Fitzsimmons)
Industry Event

Garden Inspiration Group’s returns face-to-face big time

By John Fitzsimmons

After pandemic interruptions since 2020, Garden Inspirations Group’s GIG 2023 returned to its obviously popular face-to-face format recently with a big attendance of independent garden centre people and some newly recognised retail ‘champions’.

As it turned out, there were more than 165 acceptances for attendance at GIG 2023 – a record!… Continue reading

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The system allows ingress of irrigation water to growing media and includes a clip system to prevent wind dislodgement and loss (Image: DeeWeed)
AdvertorialPropagation

Pot developments top and bottom

By John Fitzsimmons

Advances in tools and processes don’t always have to be as radical as reinventing the wheel. Sometimes just building a better mousetrap serves us well. In our production nurseries the plastic pot is ubiquitous, but some simple smart thinking, especially in the detail, is also delivering benefits.Continue reading

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Architectural landmark – the Tropicarium at University of Tübingen Botanic Garden
Botanic Gardens

Old gardens underpin new science

Words and images supplied By John Fitzsimmons

Botanic gardens are museums of living plants where botanists and horticulturists work together. Understandably, many of the world’s oldest and most respected botanic gardens began in association with places of learning – universities, churches, and under the patronage of wealthy benefactors.Continue reading

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Fuchsia ‘Parliament’ with its pretty double flowers (Image: Weald View Gardens)
Fuchsia

Appealing and popular any way you say it

By John Fitzsimmons

One of the most perennially popular garden plant genus worldwide has a name that is just as widely mis-pronounced, mostly by English speakers. However, that doesn’t seem to affect its widespread and continuing appeal.

Fuchsias are among the most universally popular and instantly recognised garden plants.… Continue reading

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Espalier can screen out less desirable backgrounds, create new vistas and ‘rooms’ in the landscape (Image: Merrywood Plants)
Fruit Trees

Fruit trees – versatile and perennially popular

By John Fitzsimmons

Fruit trees are a perennially popular category and now is the time to finalise orders for mid-year deliveries.

“Edibles” has been a highly active and growing category over recent years and shows little sign of slowing down. While the focus has been heavily on annuals, within that group is a sub-category that is perennially popular – fruit trees.… Continue reading

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Imagine concurrent light transmission and power generation for the greenhouse. It could be possible with new nano coating technology (Image: John Fitzsimmons)
Greenhouse

Transparent solar cells: Growing power

By John Fitzsimmons

Depending on location, energy usage can be the second largest operational expense in commercial greenhouse crop cultivation, and despite greenhouses providing the controlled environments needed for innovative research, they can be energy intensive and expensive to light, heat and cool.Continue reading

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Accessories for small gardens, balconies and window boxes
Retail

Euro retail notes

By John Fitzsimmons

A recent visit to the greenlife centre of a German ‘big box’ retail chain yielded some innovative ideas and longstanding classics for Aussie greenlife retailers to consider.

A simple clip-on handle made fruit trees in pots so easy and inviting to simply ‘pick up and take away’ without manually wrangling heavy pots onto trolleys.… Continue reading

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Ginkgo biloba 'Lemonlime Spire' (Image: PMA)
Industry Event

Landscape Show a one-stop show for innovation, new players and networking

By John Fitzsimmons

Melbourne’s Caulfield Racecourse recently hosted the 5th Landscape Show, a unique trade-focussed event in Australia that has certainly hit a sweet spot with landscape suppliers, designers and tradies.

Despite the high demand calling people to work sites, and a challenging Melbourne winter, the landscape sector, exhibitors and visitors, really seem to have embraced this event and the Caulfield indoor-outdoor site works well.… Continue reading

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Good automation is a progression and as an enterprise grows, new elements should integrate well with earlier modules
Equipment

Automation: The future needed now

By John Fitzsimmons

Recent times have brought the future forward, sharpened our focus and made knowing where to look, a lot more obvious.

Recent episodes of economic upheaval mostly associated with a pandemic and international conflict, plus extreme weather events evidencing the trends in climate change, have increased the urgency and relevance of many personal and business decisions.… Continue reading

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Functional, low management requirements and innovative urban massed succulent planting
Mass Planting

Mass planting and groundcover trends – a challenge for industry?

By John Fitzsimmons

In any pursuit, templates can be a valuable aid to consistency and uniformity. The landscape industry is no different. Yet success can become its own worst enemy, especially when formulae become cliches and stifle innovation and creativity, and when cookie-cutter ideas no longer meet current and future challenges.Continue reading

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Indoor displays out of the winter weather were popular at the Landscape Show
Landscape

Great timing for Landscaping Show

Report by John Fitzsimmons –

Given the challenges of the last two years, organisations like Landscaping Victoria Master Landscapers (LVML) must have been sweating on ultimately delivering The Landscape Show 2021 at Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne recently. As it happened though, all organisers, sponsors, exhibitors and attendees fortuitously found a window ahead of the (yet another) COVID-19 lockdown and some extreme winter weather events.Continue reading

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Landscape

Closer focus on the macro view Part II

By John Fitzsimmons –

Last issue painted the big landscape picture from the 2021 Australian Landscape Conference, leaving several rich understoreys of ideas to be conveyed in this report.

Several topics could be grouped under the subject of ‘plant selection’ and issues like using the words ‘management’ or ‘care’ in design submissions, instead of ‘maintenance’ with its connotations of a cost to be minimised rather than an investment in the ultimate health, value, benefit, utility, longevity and success of the gardens designed and implemented.… Continue reading

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City of Sydney’s ‘Living Colour’ streetscapes
Colour

Be alive with colour!

At the time of writing most of us are still living under the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, positive messages are getting through. Many are hoping and planning for an improving trend heading to year’s end. It’s therefore also understandable that such positivity is reflected in lightness, brightness and colour.Continue reading

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There was ample opportunity for networking
Landscape

Adaptability of landscapes – A conference with a macro view Part I

By John Fitzsimmons –

Since 1989 The Australian Landscape Conference has sought to inspire, provoke thought and discussion, and take the art and practise of landscaping to amazing places, wherever or whatever they may be. Through a pandemic and a change of ownership, the biennial-ish event recently re-emerged in Melbourne, generating a positive response in-person and online from upwards of 700 participants around the world, and presentations from Japan, Sweden, the UK and USA and, of course, Australia.Continue reading

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Photo courtesy PAC ElsnerWesthoff Calibrachoa Chameleon Cherry Banana
Industry Event

Horticultural trials show positive ways forward post-COVID19

By John Fitzsimmons

At the end of one of the most challenging and chequered years in memory, NGIV (Nursery & Garden Industry Victoria) and top breeders and growers proudly presented the 2020 Australian Horticultural Trials. The event provided industry with an ‘umbrella-brand’ to showcase innovations in container and bedding plants plus indoor and outdoor plants, complemented by opportunities for promotional and networking opportunities for the trade.Continue reading

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