Newsletter #23 March 2016- new website, China tour details and more….


New Look For My Website

I’ve been hard at work on bringing my site up to date so that it will work well with smaller devices and adding some new content. It has taken a couple of months, but now you’ll be able to take your smart phone or tablet out and about and have all my plant and gardening information at your fingertips. The search page for the plant database has had a bit of a remake too, with buttons and sliders for your search terms. You can look using one or many terms to find exactly the right plant for your garden or landscaping job. Try it now!

China Tour May 2016- In the Footsteps of the Great Plant Hunters- Tour of Yunnan


I’ll be leading a fascinating plant lovers tour organised by Opulent Journeys. It starts in Kunming, the capital and the largest city of Yunnan province, known as the ‘City of Eternal Spring’, due to its favourable climatic conditions. The Kunming Botanical Gardens are an ideal introduction to the tour, as they hold a vast collection of plants native to Yunnan …

Read more.


This 18 day tour is run by Opulent Tours and will run from the 11th to the 28th of May.

For those who are looking for a tour that combines ecotourism with experiencing unique local cultures and their gardens, this one will definitely fit the bill. The tour will be following in the footsteps of a host of famous English plant collectors who, in the late 19th and early 20th century, visited Yunnan province in Southwest China. George Forrest, Kingdon Ward, Delavy and Joseph Rock were among the many who found it difficult to stay away from these parts. They collected a bounty of roots, seeds and cuttings of hundreds of plants which went onto become mainstays of English and indeed worldwide gardens.

If you are interested, check out more on Opulent Tours site, where you can find a detailed itinerary, photo gallery and a number to arrange you booking. Go now!


Native Australian plant job list for March

• Curl grubs can play havoc by eating the roots of a wide range of species. Check for them by scratching around the roots of any sick plants. Treat with beneficial nematodes or a registered insecticide
• Watch for the larvae of white cedar moth, which will defoliate trees around this time of year. Place a hessian sack around the base of the tree and ……..

Read more.


Australian Plant Society Talk

For anyone interested in native plants who wants to learn more, there is a group that is hard to beat. The Australian Plant Society is a non profit community organisation with branches all round the country, so people can get advice about plants for their local area. They run regular meetings and have informative newsletters. There are also study groups for particular plants, so if there is a native plant that really takes your fancy, you can join up to learn from some great experts. Find you local Australian Plant Society Group and get involved!

I recently did a talk for the South East NSW group on how Australian gardens are changing. Our native plants are now becoming more mainstream, in no small part due to great new plant selections. Often these are directed towards our increasingly smaller gardens in our urban areas, as larger trees and shrubs are finding less of a place. New compact and colourful cultivars of Callistemons, Banksias, Acacias and waratahs mean we can still have our bushland plants, our wildlife can still have the food and shelter they provide, and we can have beautiful gardens. Plants like Tristaniopsis ‘Burgundy Blush’ and Callistemon All Aglow can replace photinia hedging, Australian edible plants like native mint and midgen berries can be grown for the kitchen, colourful flowering plants like everlasting daisies, Scaevolas and kangaroo paws can fill our pots for decoration. We can even have living native Christmas trees with Adenanthos cultivars and the Wollemi pine. I encouraged them to get out and experiment, so get to your local branch of the Australian Plant Society and share in the wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm for your own native plant fun!

Read more……