Category Archives: Gardening Special Features

Arbours, gazebos, shade houses, hot houses, bench seats and garden special features.

Using micro climates

It’s important to realise that plants rely heavily on humidity. Their roots draw water and nutrients up from the soil to the leaves. Evaporation of the water at the leaves, creates the suction for more water to be drawn up from the roots. If it’s humid, the water evaporation rate drops and the plant gets […]

Fertility and the NPK group – Phosphorus

Phosphorus is usually associated with root growth. Plants grown in soils deficient in Phosphorus are usually stunted. Adding phosphate fertilisers to new plants is a common practise that produces rapid lush growth, however it does not increase the final yield in many cases. For this reason grazier farmers add superphosphate (or super as it is […]

Soil – Simple testing – the dry test

To test your soil for structure: the dry test dig a small area and remove any plant material. Turn it over and water it lightly tonight. Tomorrow about midday, dig down until it feels moist. Remove a fist full and squeeze it together in your hand.It should stay in a clump, not ooze out between […]


We have set up our paths and retaining walls, the next step is to create your gardens. Whether it’s a vege garden, seed bed or established shrubs and trees, the major factor in their survival is the soil itself. Get the soil right now and you will reap the rewards for many years to come, […]

Permanent garden borders

Layering lawn grasses send runners underground that sprout up to form the lawn. These runners can easily pass under borders for gardens.  They will generally not travel more than a metre under ground without sending sprouts upwards to get find light, so they are usually contained by a path. Fortunately these runners will not usually […]

Lawn – think ahead.

Without getting too scientific, from a gardener’s point of view, there are basically two types of lawn grasses: Layering grasses – these grasses spread by sending runners out in all directions. These runners will drop roots down and send shoots upwards, seeking light. Because the runners are underground, they are more resistant to heat, making […]

Concrete – calculating the amount to buy

This can be quite scary to the novice but it’s really quite simple. Here in Australia and New Zealand, we use the metric system (and when you compare the two methods, you’ll see why!) It’s much easier to calculate in cubic metres. In the USA, you’ll use the imperial Cubic Yards system to order concrete. […]

Retaining walls and garden beds

We have our paths laid now. Let’s move on to the next step in landscaping our block – the gardens and retaining walls. Raised beds make a great show and are not as backbreaking to tend and there’s a range of materials to create the retaining walls to hold back the soil. You can spend […]

Concrete mixes for different jobs

I had a comment from a reader who has a problem with a pond. They concreted a hole in the ground to create a garden pond. The concrete is not cracked anywhere but it won’t hold water. When they fill it the water level slowly drops and the surrounding ground seems moist. The reason the […]

Dowelling concrete to reduce movement

Often we need to add to existing concrete work. I might be a step next to the garden shed or section of broken path you removed and are replacing. Over the drier months, the ground dries and shrinks and during the wetter months it moistens and expands. We see cracks appearing in houses as the […]