Gardening Journal

  • Why Have a Cottage Garden?

    Today’s cottage garden has an ancient heritage, and despite the vast changes the passing centuries have brought to our daily life, the cottage garden style is still alive and well, and instantly recognizable. But why have one? Here are seven good reasons to allow some old-fashioned charm and beauty into your natural surroundings.
  • Notes on Growing Hollyhocks

    Hollyhocks are flowering biennial or short-lived perennial plants typically grown in cottage gardens. Read more about how we grow these classic favourites.
  • The Peculiar Climate of Ballarat

    We Ballaratians have always copped our fair share of banter from outsiders when it comes to the weather, and sometimes we may even be guilty of a little complaining about it ourselves! Relative to the rest of Australia, the sentiment may well be justified – Ballarat has a mean annual temperature sitting at just 12.3˚C, colder than any other major Australian city, and colder even than Wellington, Paris, or New York. Here is a look at some other parts of the world that share a climate similar to Ballarat, with consideration given to a variety of factors, including seasonal and annual temperature and rainfall, latitude, altitude, wind speed, and sunshine hours.

  • The Wonderful World of Buddlejas

    Native to many highland regions of the world, this sweet-scented ornamental shrub is tolerant of a wide range of soil types and growing conditions, and is a rewarding plant for beginners and enthusiasts alike.
  • The Marvel of Peru, the Four O'clock Flower

    First cultivated by the Aztecs, and introduced into Europe in 1525, this was one of the earliest plants to be brought back from the New World by the Spanish. But why was it called 'mirabilis', or 'marvel'?
  • Is it frost-hardy?

    As warm and sunny as our country can be, much of Australia is nevertheless prone to regular frosts during the colder months. Here are some of our favourite plants that will happily overwinter without dying of cold.
  • The Story of the Hollyhock in Australia

    Year after year, we enjoy seeing our garden adorned with delightful hollyhocks - one of the oldest and most well-known cultivated flowers in the world, and an obvious favourite of ours. A brief look at the hollyhock's ups and downs in Australia, and how the world nearly lost this special plant.