If you’d like to discover the Magic of Australian Native Plants then GROW WHAT WHERE will make your Plant Selection Simple and Easy so you Can’t Go Wrong .


Grow-What-WhereWhen I first came across the gardening book “Grow What Where” it was at a very opportune time. We’d just bought a new house that had a garden that was in dire need of renovation and being new to gardening I was in desperate need of a good reference book so I could get my plant selection correct right from the start.

Therefore my first port of call was the local public library and in particular I was looking for books to do with Australian Native Plants. I’d already formed an interest is Australian Natives and after I discovered “Grow What Where” I think it just cemented my love for them. It was packed full of descriptions of hundreds if not thousands of Australian Natives that included where best to plant them and which plants were best suited to your climate.

In fact as I renovated our new garden I took many trips to the library to borrow the book as I’d tried many different sources to try and purchase it but unfortunately it was out of print. Over the years though I always kept an eye out for it in second hand book shops but never had any success in locating it. This really amazed me as I often wondered why a book that was this good had managed to go out of print?

Anyway it’s funny how things sometimes happen, as I’d long given up searching for it but one day while casually browsing through a local book store I came across it again but the amazing thing was, it wasn’t quite the same book I remembered. The title was still “Grow What Where” but it was a newer version (3rd edition) which had been revised, added to and it even now had a CD-ROM included.

I couldn’t believe it, I’d been searching for this book for nearly 10 years and then when I wasn’t expecting it, there it was. Therefore, guess what I did, I purchased a copy and I never looked back. But why is “Grow What Where” just so good? Well basically the best way to answer that is to just tell you what’s in it and how you can use it but before I do can I just say this.

Some gardeners have a very narrow idea on the range of Australian Native Plants and quite often forget that Australia is a country with wide and varied climates. Climates that range from Alpine areas that are covered in snow for part of the year, to hot searing deserts where plants have to withstand temperatures as high as 50 C (122 F) to Tropical Rainforests that receive over 3,000 mm (120 inches) of rainfall each year.

Therefore all these areas and all parts in between all have Australian Native Flora that has adapted to these areas and the great part is that much of this flora can be grown in your very own garden. So basically it doesn’t matter where in the world you live there is a range of very unique and diverse Australian Native Plants that are especially suited to your climate and garden conditions.

So what’s in “Grow What Where” and how do you use it?

Firstly there is a list of over 3,000 Australian Native Plants which includes species, hybrids and cultivars. It includes over 500 genus’ of plants, some endemic only to Australia and some that are more commonly know in other parts of the world as well.

It includes all the commonly known plants such as Banksia, Grevillea, Eucalytus, Acacia, Callistemon and Melaleuca and it also covers Australian plants not often associated as being Native to Australia such as Clematis, Hibiscus, Lotus, Pelargonium, Pittosporum, Rhododendron, Senna and so on.

So how does the book work?

Firstly there are 100 plant classifications;

1    Ground Covers
2    Rockery Plants
3    Cottage Plants
4    Tufties
5    Fence Screening
6    Hedges
7    Windbreaks
8    Fire Retarding
9    Quick Growing
10    Beginners’ Plants
11    Humus-rich Soils
12    Heavy and Clay Soils
13    Sandy Soils
14    Soil Binding
15    Sand Binding‑
16    Layering Plants
17    Suckering Plants
18    Wet Winter, Dry Summer
19    Bogs and Ponds
20    Water Absorbing
21    Temporary Inundation
22    Sunny Moist Conditions
23    Shady Moist Conditions
24    Shady Dry Conditions
25    Dry Conditions
26    Very Dry Conditions
27    Front-line Coastal
28    Second-line Coastal
29    Moderately Lime Tolerant
30    Very Lime Tolerant
31    Frost Tolerant
32    Usually Frost Tolerant
33    Frost Tender
34    Spring Flowering
35    Summer Flowering
36    Autumn Flowering
37    Winter Flowering
38    Long flowering
39    Cut Flowers
40    Floral Art
41    White Flowers
42    Blue Flowers
43    Yellow Flowers
44    Green Flowers
45    Mauve Flowers
46    Pink Flowers
47    Purple Flowers
48    Orange Flowers
49    Red Flowers
50    Other Showy Flowers
51    Perfumed Flowers
52    Aromatic Foliage
53    Silver Foliage
54    Variegated Foliage
55    Darkly Contrasting Foliage
56    Deciduous Trees
57    Container Plants
58    Bonsai Plants
59    Miniature Plants
60    Indoor Plants
61    Hanging Basket Plants
62    Cascading Plants
63    Weeping Trees and Shrubs
64    Climbers
65    Bird Attracting, Honeyeaters
66    Bird Attracting, Insect Eaters
67    Bird Attracting, Seed Eaters
68    Butterfly Attracting
69    Pricklier
70    Berries
71    Specimen Trees and Shrubs
72     Often Grafted
73    Shade Trees
74    Interesting and Attractive Foliage
75    Interesting Buds or Fruit
76    Interesting Trunks
77    Annuals
78    Perennials
79    Grasses
80    Lilies and Related Genera
81    Succulents
82    Palms
83    Conifers
84    Carnivorous Plants
85    Hardy Ferns
86    Firewood Trees
87    Coppice Trees
88    Farm Shelter Trees
89    Gully Erosion Control
90    Salt soil Tolerant
91    Fodder Plants
92    Street Trees
93    Smog Tolerant
94    Rampant Growers
95    Poisonous or Irritating Plants
96    Drain Clogging
97    Branch Dropping
98    Snow Tolerant
99    Montane Plants
100     Rainforest Plants

Each of the above classifications have their own chapter that has an explanation as to the meaning plus a comprehensive list of plants that are best suited for the particular classification.

So you can see if you have a particular requirement for a plant such as Alkaline soil or if you’d like a plant that flowers in the summer then this will make your selection really easy.

Also each plant in these lists is further classified as to it’s expected size such as;

s – small shrub up to 1m tall

m – medium shrub 1-2m tall

l – large shrub over 2m tall

st – small tree up to 6m tall

mt – medium tree 6-12m tall

lt – large tree over 12m tall

lc – light climber

mc – medium climber

vc – vigorous climber

Then at the end of the book there is a list of all of the 3000 + plants listed with a list of numbers that represent the classifications that are applicable to each individual plant.

Therefore if you’re interested in growing say, a Banksia Ericafolia and want to find out if it’s suited to your area you can look it up and discover the following;

Banksia Ericafolia FP l 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 32, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 48, 51, 57, 58, 65, 66, 67, 71, 75, 90, 99

F = Full Sun for most of the day. P = Partial Sun, some overhead cover and morning sun.

l = large shrub over 2m tall

and then  the numbers represent;
5    Fence Screening, 6    Hedges, 7    Windbreaks, 9    Quick Growing, 10    Beginners’ Plants, 12    Heavy and Clay Soils, 13    Sandy Soils, 21    Temporary Inundation, 23    Shady Moist Conditions, 25    Dry Conditions, 27    Front-line Coastal, 29    Moderately Lime Tolerant, 32    Usually Frost Tolerant, 36    Autumn Flowering, 37    Winter Flowering, 38    Long flowering, 39    Cut Flowers, 40    Floral Art, 48    Orange Flowers, 57    Container Plants, 58    Bonsai Plants, 65    Bird Attracting, Honeyeaters, 66    Bird Attracting, Insect Eaters, 67    Bird Attracting, Seed Eaters, 71    Specimen Trees and Shrubs, 75    Interesting Buds or Fruit, 90    Salt soil Tolerant, 99    Montane Plants

Therefore you can see how you can use “Grow What Where”  in two ways. Either as a means to find the right plant for a particular position or to decide whether a particular plant is suited to a particular position.

So you can see just how easy it is to use this fantastic book but just in case it’s not easy enough the authors of “Grow What Where” have added a CD-ROM so you can just use your computer to make your selection even quicker. Plus the CD-ROM  has an additional 60 lists that cover climate and extra plants size details.

Then you can easily formulate a list of plants you’re looking for on your computer, print them off and then head of to your local nursery to see what you can find them.

So you can see this book is really easy to use and it might just introduce you to a whole new range of versatile, easy to grow plants you’ve never considered using before. I think it’s a fantastic book as it’s certainly saved me a few times from planting the wrong plant in the wrong position.

If you’d like to find out more about GROW WHAT WHERE then please follow the link.

Grow What Where

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Survival Garden

The Survival Garden – A New Way to Grow Your Very Own Healthy and Nutritious, Low Maintenance Home Grown Food.

Recently I came across a website called Survival Food Plants, which I must say, I found to be totally fascinating.

You see this is a term that I must admit I wasn’t completely familiar with but nevertheless it seemed pretty self explanatory, so I Googled the name and soon discovered it had several meanings which can be used in different contexts.

Firstly, Survival Food Plants is a term commonly used when lost

in the wilderness or remote areas. It refers to plants that are indigenous to a particular area that are obviously edible and can be used to survive on until help arrives.

On this particular website, they were used in a different context all together. This site was about Survival Gardening and Brett Campbell, the author, described these plants as ones that can be grown in your home garden.

They are plants that are firstly edible, are perennial, have a long or repeated harvest and best of all require a minimum amount of care.

Now I must admit, it was this last piece of criteria that really got

my interest as one of the main reasons why I like to garden Drought Tolerant Plants is for the very fact that most are very much “low maintenance”.

Therefore to find a group of edible plants that can be grown like the more typical varieties of fruit and vegetables, that we commonly find in western type vegie patches, that are easy to grow and low maintenance, certainly got my attention straight away.

So what exactly are the qualities of this group of plants and how can they be beneficial to the home vegie gardener?

Well for starters most of the plants listed are drought tolerant, require minimal fertilizers, are highly nutritious, are mostly pest resistant and can be used effec

tively as companion plants for more conventional vegetables to help to keep the bugs away and keep your other plants happy and healthy.

Therefore all in all, this was a very informative website. There’s so much more information there that I could possibly cover in this short post. So if you’re at all interested in discovering how to build a Survival Garden and how to grow Survival Plants in your home garden then go and take a look.

Growing Survival Food Plants in a Survival Garden is well worth the visit.



Survival Garden Info

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Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne at the 2011 Chelsea Flower Show

The Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne will present “The Australian Garden” to be featured at the 2011 Chelsea Flower. Unique and endangered plant species native to Australia will be the feature. The garden, designed by award-winning landscape designer Jim Fogarty, has been allocated a prestigious Main Avenue site.

The “The Australian Garden”, which will appear at Chelsea and is sponsored by Macquarie Group, is based on the multi award-winning Australian Garden at the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne which is a division of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne in Victoria.

The second and final stage of the 18-hectare Australian Garden at Cranbourne will open in 2012, offering visitors from all over the world the chance to immerse themselves in the stories, colours, textures, sounds and scents of Australia.

“The Australian Garden” to appear at Chelsea tells the story of the metaphorical journey of water through Australia’s arid outback eastward to the urbanised coast. The dry riverbed path, outback flowering plants, saltpan and waterhole represent the arid outback. Water appears, bubbling up from the artesian basin, and flows along the water feature in the culturally-significant shape of a hunting boomerang to the coast. The water then re-appears as a cascade down the rusted steel gorge wall, and finally disappears into underground aquifers to begin the journey again.

The Chelsea Show Garden gives a snapshot of the diversity of Australia’s flora and offers the chance to see some Australian native plants that are rarely seen outside of Australia. Jim Fogarty, the designer, is no stranger to Chelsea, having received a Silver-Gilt medal at the 2004 RHS Chelsea Flower Show for his “Australian Inspiration” garden.

All plants displayed, including the turf, are Australian native plants and have been sourced from specialist nurseries in Spain and Sicily through renowned UK plant managers Crocus, with the assistance of Kelways Nurseries.

The Show Garden will feature over 2,000 Australian native plants, including a number of species not commonly seen at Chelsea, such as the iconic Queensland Bottle Tree (Brachychiton rupestris); 25 varieties of Grevillea, including the intriguingly-named Grevillea ‘Spiderman’; and the distinctive Firewheel Tree (Stenocarpus sinuatus).

The extensive plant list also includes a selection of rare and threatened species, some of which have previously been sent to the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew as part of the Millennium Seed Bank Project, including:

• Spinning Gum (Eucalyptus perriniana)
• Fragrant Saltbush (Rhagodia parabolica)
• Hairy Darling-pea (Swainsona greyana)

The dedicated and passionate team behind the Australian Garden entry is led by Dr Philip Moors, Director and Chief Executive of the Royal Botanic Gardens and a qualified ecologist with over 30 years’ experience. Dr Moors has worked closely with Jim Fogarty to create a vibrant Show Garden that will cement the Australian Garden as an essential part of any visit to Australia.

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