Article and photos by Penny Woodward

Large yellow flower of elecampane

Elecampane flower


Exuberant elecampane

Elecampane Inula heleniun is a herbaceous perennial with very large leaves that grows from big fleshy roots. In late spring, a sturdy flower stalk grows to over 2 m with golden daisy flowers about 7 cm across.  I love this plant for its exuberant, vigorous growth and big cheerful flowers. Read more

Coffee in the garden

Article and photos by Penny Woodward

SnailsUsually when someone suggests coffee in the garden, they mean a cup of good strong brewed coffee in a lovely quiet spot in the garden. Bliss. But not me. Don’t get me wrong, I love my coffee, but when I talk about coffee and gardens I’m referring to its many other uses, from controlling snails to adding nutrients to the soil.

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Stephanie’s Kitchen Garden Foundation

By Gail Thomas

Stephanie Alexander in a kitchen garden

Stephanie Alexander in a kitchen garden

Founder Stephanie Alexander wants to spread the word that applications to join the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden National Program are now open.

”We are actively looking for more schools and want them to know how flexible the program has become,” enthuses Stephanie.

“The program is affordable and flexible and you don’t have to start with a fully productive garden or a state-of-the-art kitchen. I think many principals get overloaded with information and it all seems too hard, and yet there is not a single teacher I can think of who is not blown away by the reality when they visit a school that is participating.”

The program has been embraced all around the country with 297 schools Australia-wide and around 35,000 children already enthusiastically getting their hands dirty and learning how to grow, harvest, prepare and share fresh, seasonal food.

For further information go to the Kitchen Garden Foundation



By Gail Thomas

Medlars ready to pick

Medlars ready to pick in autumn

Medlars (Mespilus germanica) have been cultivated for centuries and are an extremely ornamental and useful hardy tree native to the south-east Europe and the eastern part of Turkey.

Single white, sometimes pink flushed unscented flowers in late spring and vibrant russet reddish-brown foliage in late autumn add to the eye appeal of the round flattened tan fruit with its indented calyx and crown of pointed sepal remnants. Fruit matures to a dark brown in late autumn to early winter. Read more

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