GAR­DEN­ING WITH DEBBI

Myrtleford Times - - North East Regional Extra -

IF you have an in­ter­est in grow­ing Aus­tralian na­tive plants, then “The Aus­tralian na­tive gar­den - a prac­ti­cal guide” writ­ten by An­gus Ste­wart and AB Bishop is a must read.

An­gus is cred­ited as be­ing Australia’s lead­ing na­tive plant ex­pert hav­ing spent a life­time work­ing with and breed­ing Aus­tralian plants.

He is a pre­sen­ter on ABC TV’s Gar­den­ing Australia, while AB Bishop is a hor­ti­cul­tur­ist and re­searcher for the same pro­gram.

As An­gus states, “Na­tive plants have come of age, and they are now re­garded as a main­stream part of our ur­ban land­scape.

“Once I had cho­sen hor­ti­cul­ture as my ca­reer path, I de­cided to fo­cus on cre­at­ing more Aus­tralian plant cul­ti­vars that would be as re­li­able in the gar­den as their ex­otic cousins.”

The book fea­tures prac­ti­cal ad­vice on all as­pects of grow­ing Aus­tralian na­tive plants in the home gar­den.

It has in­for­ma­tion on se­lect­ing the right plants for your cli­mate, in­cor­po­rat­ing na­tive va­ri­eties into an ex­ist­ing gar­den and plant­ing to at­tract wildlife into your gar­den.

There is de­tailed ad­vice on grow­ing bush foods and cre­at­ing drought tol­er­ant and fire re­sis­tant gar­dens.

It shows how to plan and cre­ate a thriv­ing gar­den with prac­ti­cal tips on dif­fer­ent gar­den styles, de­sign, lay­out and struc­ture.

It cov­ers soil re­quire­ments, plant­ing tech­niques, prop­a­ga­tion and main­te­nance.

There is also a section on iden­ti­fy­ing pest and dis­eases and tech­niques to con­trol them.

With nearly 300 pages, there are many beau­ti­ful glossy pho­to­graphs of plants and over 50 pages fea­tur­ing es­tab­lished gar­dens with a range of land­scape styles that can be adapted to any gar­den.

It has a com­pre­hen­sive list of na­tive plant cul­ti­vars, with pho­to­graphs and in­for­ma­tion about each plant, in­clud­ing growth habits and re­quire­ments, flow­er­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics, and frost and salt tol­er­ance.

There is also a state by state list of na­tive plant nurs­eries, in­clud­ing ones of­fer­ing mail or­der.

This book of­fers a wealth of knowl­edge and ad­vice, and high­lights the beauty and ver­sa­til­ity of Australia’s amaz­ing na­tive plants.

Thanks to the Wan­garatta Li­brary for the loan of this book to re­view.

Happy gar­den­ing.

WITH DEBBI GIB­SON, HOR­TI­CUL­TUR­AL­IST

NA­TIVE: Gre­vil­lea ‘Dorothy Gor­don’ is a large new aus­tralian shrub which bears mauve blooms for most of the year to at­tract honey eaters, birds and pos­sums. Flow­ers are use­ful for flo­ral ar­range­ments.

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