A RED DRAGON IN THE GARDEN – PERSICARIA

A RED DRAGON IN THE GARDEN - PERSICARIA

Some of the small, immature leaves at the bottom of the stems are quite beautiful. Providing shade and a little cover for birds around the birdbaths. It is very dangerous to let a dragon run amok in your garden, and I must say that this is definitely

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THE VERY BEST SWEETS, INCLUDING AN AUSSIE HERO

THE VERY BEST SWEETS, INCLUDING  AN AUSSIE HERO

When my husband Rob and I were living in England we used to buy boxes of special fudge, made by The Toffee Shop at Penrith, in the Lake District. We actually bought it at Fortnum and Mason in London. It was packaged for the charity The Princes

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JOHN OSBORNE, TASMANIA’S ‘MR PINEAPPLE’

JOHN OSBORNE, TASMANIA'S  'MR PINEAPPLE'

In 1938 the Tasmanian newspaper The Mercury published the following, circa 1840s portrait of Mr John Osborne, one of the State’s pioneering horticulturalists. It’s impossible to make out from the reproduction, but he is holding….a pineapple! Osborne was born in Staffordshire England, on Christmas Day 1804. He

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DELICATE DIANELLA – A VERSATILE AUSSIE NATIVE

DELICATE DIANELLA - A VERSATILE AUSSIE NATIVE

I so love picking flowers in my Blackheath garden, but I rather regret gathering native dianella from the woodland areas. It looks so much better ‘en place’. The name of course derives from Diana, goddess of the woods. Its tiny blue flowers are quite complex, with their

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A MEMOIR OF FALL IN RHODE ISLAND

A MEMOIR OF FALL IN RHODE ISLAND

This is a short guest post from my New England friend Jeanne Verity. She writes so beautifully about the United States I dreamed of as a child in 1950’s Tasmania. Aah, America, here was a place where autumn was ‘fall’ and where ripening pumpkins heralded Halloween, a

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GOODBYE TO MR WHEELER – A FINE OLD CAMELLIA

GOODBYE TO MR WHEELER - A FINE OLD CAMELLIA

The Camellia japonica R.T. Wheeler is very hardy and produces enormous, variegated blooms. I have picked so many to fill various containers So why on earth would I want to banish it? Well, in my Blackheath garden the camellia was growing between two red blooming trees, just

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HOUNSLOW AT BLACKHEATH

HOUNSLOW AT BLACKHEATH

When it was announced that there was to be a new cafe in the Collier Arcade at Blackheath my associate Editor Des and I were very excited. We love to do a little writing over a working lunch. It’s a lot quieter in the arcade than out

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PHILMA RICHARDS; A TASMANIAN MEMOIR

PHILMA RICHARDS; A TASMANIAN MEMOIR

There is something so special about childhood friends, especially if you grew up in the country. Our nearest neighours in 1950s Tasmania were the Richards family. Cheryl and Michael were almost the same age as me and my sister Robbie. We lived on adjoining dairy farms at

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EDITOR DES OF BLACKHEATH, KOALA CRUSADER.

EDITOR DES OF BLACKHEATH, KOALA CRUSADER.

Hello. Did you know that Australia’s dear little koala had a very bad time during the bush fires earlier this year? Well they can’t run very fast, so that was a problem. I was in Sydney the other day and people were protesting about it all. I

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INSECT HOTEL – ROOM AT THE BLACKHEATH INN

INSECT HOTEL - ROOM AT THE  BLACKHEATH INN

In the spirit of increasing biodiversity, my partner and I bought a little insect hotel for our Blue Mountains garden. Perfectionist owner-builder Rob decided to seal the back panel with Bondcrete and add a waterproof membrane to the pitched roof. Well, we do get a lot of

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