Upper North Shore Sydney Australia

Capsicum and Chillies

Solanaceae’ family Capsicum annuum Small bushy plant about 40cm high Plant As with all food crops disease spreads much more slowly if organic carbon levels are high. This is due to increased soil microbial activity that favours more beneficial fungi and bacteria that help to suppress pathogenic organisms, as well…


FAMILY: Asteraceae BOTANICAL NAME: Smallanthus sonchifolius (formerly Polymnia sonchifolia) COMMON NAMES: Yacon, Peruvian ground apple, Bolivian sunroot, llacon, groundpear, pear of the earth. It is comparable to the white fleshed tuber Jicama /Climbing Yam Bean – Pachyrhizus erosus. Yacon is native to South America and is a hardy, attractive herbaceous…

Herb Robert

Geranium Robertianum F. Geraniaceae Favourite Growing Conditions Herb Robert prefers a shady damp woodland environment. It grows from tropical Cairns in the north to cool temperate Tasmania in the south of Australia. Planting The plant has shallow, weak roots and prefers shady damp conditions and can be grown in containers….

Antechinus (c) Peter Ridgeway

Restoring Native Wildlife

Did you know that in the last 200 years western Sydney has lost 20% of its native animal species? In the same period it has lost only two of its native plant species representing only 0.1% of its diversity. Fauna ecosystem services are vital to bushland health but our native…


Composting Counts

Composting transforms your kitchen scraps into a beautiful fertiliser and mulch for your garden.  In an ideal world you would turn the compost to get enough oxygen to complete the transformation. However the following system creates beautiful compost without the arduous and smelly job of turning the heap. In a…

sydney funnel web

Are You Sharing Your Garden with a Funnel-web Spider?

It is a bit disconcerting for a Kiwi, who grew up in New Zealand with no poisonous spiders apart from the very rare Katipo, to be now living in the bush side by side with one of the most venomous spiders in the world. We recently found a male Funnel-web…

male brush turkey on mound


Brush-turkeys are becoming a part of the suburban landscape in many areas of Sydney, maybe due to the success of the fox baiting program. These cheeky megapodes with the distinctive red head, and blue-black plumage and bright yellow throat wattle in mature males, can wreck havoc in a carefully manicured…


Overcoming Light Limitations

Perhaps there is a shady place in your house or garden where you would like to grow plants. Here are some tips to create brightness and increase warmth in a shady area like a courtyard or side path.

Spring Planting of Dwarf (Grafted) Fruit Trees

I know that taking the time to plant your trees correctly is insurance that their optimum health and productivity is obtained. After deciding on the best planting site my next step is to find out each fruit tree’s particular needs to ensure compatibility. Considerations include; sunlight hours for fruit set, minimum space requirements, wind tolerance, soil type and water needs.

Fruit Tree Decisions

When deciding on what fruit trees and where and how you will plant and harvest them consider these points. Many fruit trees can grow very large and their roots can travel upto 3 – 5 times the height of the tree seeking water and nutrients and become damaged if you dig around them.