Monday, December 4, 2023


Anigozanthos ‘Masquerade’ (Image supplied by Angus Stewart)

Cultivating an appetite for native plants

By Gabrielle Stannus

How to select native cultivars for use in a suburban garden in Sunbury, Melbourne, close to an environmentally sensitive landscape? I spoke with ‘fellow’ Tasmanian and well-known plant breeder, Angus Stewart, for his advice.

Entering a client’s front garden recently, I may have been forgiven for thinking that I had arrived in South Africa.… Continue reading

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Sunflowers performed well at Deprat Gardens for some metals (Image: University of Newcastle)

Plants to the rescue – cleaning up contaminated sites

By Karen Smith

Delprat Garden, a phytoremediation garden overlooking the site that was once Newcastle’s steel works, was awarded a gold accolade in the architectural design category at the 2023 Australia Good Design Awards and is providing a model for large scale restoration of degraded industrial sites.Continue reading

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A winged fire ant queen preparing to fly to her mate and begin a new colony. Photo by Johnny N. Dell, BugwoodWiki
Nursery Papers

Nursery Papers – Watch out for red imported fire ands

Summary: The red imported fire ant eradication program has been tackling Queensland’s fire ant infestation since 2001, but recent reports show infestation areas have grown from 40,000 hectares to more than 750,000 hectares over the past 22 years.

Of Australia’s invasive ant species, fire ants pose the most serious threat to our biosecurity status because they move and colonise quickly, and have significant environmental, social and economic impacts.… Continue reading

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Aussie Flat Bush™ Rhagodia ‘SAB01’ PBR
Plant Palette

Aussie Flat Bush™ Rhagodia ‘SAB01’ PBR: Resilience meets beauty

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Australia’s native flora with the Aussie Flat Bush™ Rhagodia spinescens, a low-growing, compact shrub with fine blue foliage.

Found throughout mainland Australia, Aussie Flat Bush™ Rhagodia has adapted to both inland and coastal situations, demonstrating its versatility.… Continue reading

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Blue Horizon™ Eremophila glabra ‘EREM1’ PBR
Plant Palette

Unleashing the magic of nature with Blue Horizon™ Eremophila glabra ‘EREM1’ PBR

Presenting the marvel of Blue Horizon™ Eremophila glabra prostrate, a game-changer in the world of gardening and landscaping. This plant isn’t just a pretty face; it’s a hardy, adaptable ground cover that transforms ordinary landscapes into extraordinary vistas.

Blue Horizon™ Eremophila, with its denser ground cover form and fewer gaps, offers a lush carpet of blue-grey foliage that adds a touch of serene beauty to gardens.… Continue reading

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Preserving Coventry’s heritage apple varieties (Image: Coventry University)

Creating a community tree nursery from an abandoned allotment

A 50-year old find at an abandoned allotment sees Coventry University researchers create a community tree nursery. The unexpected discovery in Coventry, England,  has led to a project looking to preserve the city’s trees.

Coventry University researchers Liz Trenchard and Sam Green came across apple trees growing at the abandoned allotment site while walking around Charterhouse Park.… Continue reading

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Typical antlion pit (Images supplied by Denis Crawford)
Pest and Diseases

Some insects are tool users

By Denis Crawford

Most people are familiar with mammals and birds that use tools, but they may not be aware that some insects also use tools.

I first became aware of animals using tools through the work of Jane Goodall in Africa during the 1960s.… Continue reading

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Cottonwood flower (Hibiscus tiliaceus) (Image: Dan Austin)
International Plant Propagation Society

Rethinking the humble hedge

By Dan Austin

In Australia, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to the plants available for our gardens. Garden centres offer up a myriad of options for just about any purpose, but the popularity of a handful of favourites still leads to some species being overused and causing a sense of horticultural déjà vu when travelling around the country.Continue reading

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Business File

Are you in a rut running your business?

By John Corban

For several months you may have felt that everything at work is tough, whether its winning work, trying to find a new employee, managing team members or managing cash-flow, your energy is flat and you feel you and your business is in a rut.… Continue reading

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Shapes and colours in mass planting cannot be overlooked (Image: Patrick Regnault)

Let your creativity flow when exploring mass planting

By Patrick Regnault

Mass planting has been used to great effect over a long period of time, sometimes with flair. There are inconveniences with mass planting such as lack of diversity and monotony. Both can be overcome if we use layers and let our creativity flow.Continue reading

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Capers (Image: fedelacarrera1 Pixabay)
Plant Nutrition

Capparis – what am I eating?

By Clive Larkman

If you look up the word ‘Caper’ you will get a reference to a silly activity or dance-like movement, neither of which really points towards the tart little garnish we eat with cheese, pasta and whatever else we can imagine.… Continue reading

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Omeo Storks-bill seeds photographed in the National Seed Bank (Image: John Fitz Gerald)
Botanic Gardens

The Rare Bloom Project – building horticultural knowledge for conservation

By Zoe Knapp and Amelia Stevens

The Rare Bloom Project™ is a three-year program delivered through a partnership between Botanica by Air Wick and the World Wide Fund for Nature Australia (WWF) in collaboration with the Australian Seed Bank Partnership (ASBP). It aims to improve conservation outcomes for 120 Australian native wildflowers from fire-affected areas through seed banking, germination research and restoration.Continue reading

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The University of Adelaide's Waite Arboretum provides an invaluable resource to better understand which trees can survive in Adelaide's changing climate as the trees planted there are not watered after establishment (Image: The University of Adelaide)

Future trees and climate change – how not to lose our cool

By Gabrielle Stannus

With a PhD in the impacts of climate on vegetation and trees and a Diploma of Arboriculture, University of Adelaide Adjunct Lecturer, Dr Stefan Caddy-Retalic is well placed to speak on the impact of climate change on our urban trees.Continue reading

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Station Creel Tree Farm display
Industry Event

Industry comes together at Queensland’s Green Expo

By Karen Smith

The Nursery & Garden Industry Queensland (NGIQ) Green Expo was recently held at the Gold Coast Turf Club, showcasing greenlife displays which included everything from potted colour to advanced trees and everything in between.

All under the one roof, visitors have the opportunity to speak direct with suppliers, growers and allied traders.… Continue reading

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General guidelines for successful tree planting: (a) 75mm watering basin around the trunk, (b) 75mm of mulch, clear of the trunk and beyond the edge of the hole overlapping the undisturbed soil, (c) backfill with site soil (based on Craul 1992, drawn by K. Smith, Metropolitan Trees Handbook, 2003
Advanced TRees

Giving trees their best start: It’s worth it

By John Fitzsimmons

The benefits of trees in our landscapes and streetscapes are many, widely published, and should be widely recognised and accepted. Monetary valuations of mature urban trees (2022 estimated values) can range up to $220,000 each, and annual maintenance costs, depending on management programs, can be $150/year or more for decades of benefit.Continue reading

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Plastic pot collection bin

Advancing horticulture through closed-loop recycling and product innovation

The Plastic Smart Program, a joint venture between Garden City Plastics (GCP), Norwood Industries, and Polymer Processors, is driving innovation, sustainability, and growth in the Australian horticulture sector. This collaborative effort aims to establish an innovative infrastructure that enables the industry and its communities to consume and reuse plastic in a sustainable way.… Continue reading

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Bio-retention swale testing, Area 2, after three years

Decade-long research identifies suitable plants for wet conditions

By Todd Layt

Evaluation of survivability of different landscape plants in various wet feet conditions.

Waterlogging has become a significant horticultural topic, particularly as our industry observed Australia enduring three years of exceptional wet conditions, including record floods. In a recent decade-long Australian study, researchers examined the impact of urbanisation and altered land use on ecosystems, particularly related to weather extremes, plant waterlogging, and increased flooding.… Continue reading

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Something to suit everyone

Like a good wine, Altra Nursery gets better with age

By Karen Smith

This immaculate boutique nursery in Sydney’s South has managed to stay afloat when other nursery businesses in the area have disappeared through the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), the rising number of big box stores, the last El Nino, and the COVID19 Pandemic.Continue reading

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Ten pathways in amenity horticulture – Part 1

By Daniel Fuller

Amenity horticulture is more than just mowing, pruning plants, and spraying weeds. You can move from one sector of this industry to another to keep things fresh. Let’s look into ten pathways you can take in amenity horticulture, from production to maintenance and beyond.Continue reading

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