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Yarrow

Yarrow isn’t just a pretty flower. Learn how to grow it and about its medicinal, permaculture and companion planting benefits in this plant profile.

Hyssop

Hyssop is an aromatic and edible, herbaceous perennial that belongs to the mint family. It’s used in perfume and has medicinal properties.
A photo of a variety of herbs interplanted in one bed

What is companion planting?

  • K. M. Wade 
  • 5 min read
Companion planting is a special type of polyculture where different species are interplanted for the benefit of all.
What is permaculture: Photos of a chicken in a mobile run, edible flowers, bees on a flowering edible plant and an insect hotel are combined in one image to symbolise how all those things can be combined to produce a productive and resilient agricultural system

What is permaculture?

  • K. M. Wade 
  • 3 min read
Permaculture is about productive and resilient systems inspired by natural ecosystems. The idea is to work with nature rather than trying to tame, control or subvert it.
Yellow flower from the sunflower family

What is a plant family?

  • K. M. Wade 
  • 3 min read
A plant family is a collection of closely related plants that share a set of common characteristics. Learn why they’re important in this short article
A tractor sprays many rows of crops with a pesticide - a text overlay says ‘are pesticides dangerous?’

Are pesticides really dangerous?

There is a lot of conflicting information about whether or not pesticides are dangerous so it is no surprise that I get asked this question fairly frequently. I’d love to give a yes or no answer but the truth is, it varies depending on the pesticide in question and how you define ‘dangerous’. If you’ve ever wondered whether pesticides are dangerous, the following information should give you the information you need to answer the question for the specific pesticides you’re interested in.

 

A hose spraying water with a text overlay that says ‘when should you water your garden?’

When should you water your garden?

  • K. M. Wade 
  • 12 min read

 

All gardeners want to ensure their plants get the water they need but many of us worry about whether we have the optimal irrigation schedule. The best frequency at which you should water your garden is fairly uncontroversial, though it does depend on the plants you are growing and what stage they are at so it can be quite complicated to figure out. The time of day at which you should water your garden however, is a hotly contested topic and experienced gardeners often wonder this almost as frequently as beginner gardeners. I advocate for watering in the morning and I think you’ll agree that my reasoning and advice is sound.

The unexpected consequences of pruning

On 3 October 2017, scientists published an interesting article in the journal Ecology titled ‘molecular constraints on resistance-tolerance trade-offs’. This is a bit of a mouthful but basically, the study looks at the mechanisms some plants use to cope with the negative effects of being pruned or munched on by wildlife, namely resistance and tolerance, and they found something rather surprising that could, in the future, increase agricultural yields and reduce reliance on pesticides.

Five things to learn from Floriade 2017

  • K. M. Wade 
  • 8 min read

For those of you who don’t know, Floriade is a peak spring flower show in Australia. Unfortunately, because it’s focussed almost exclusively on bulbs, it tends to be pretty much the same every year. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to be gleaned from a visit; or a review from someone who has checked it out. So, whether or not you’ve had the opportunity to visit Floriade, here are five things you can learn from the event:

Benalla’s Botanical Gardens a Treat for Weary Travellers

  • K. M. Wade 
  • 4 min read

If you find yourself near Benalla (in Victoria, Australia), perhaps driving down the Hume Highway on your way to another engagement, I’d highly recommend a short detour to visit Benalla. The bustling country town has a street art exhibition on that’s drawing visitors but for a weary traveller, it’s the botanical gardens that I’d recommend – read on to find out why. If you’re not likely to be able to visit Benalla any time soon, have a scroll through this post anyway and enjoy the pictures – you might just find the inspiration you need for your next garden project.