July is a good month in the temperate zones for checking out your deciduous trees for any damaged branches, insect attack or moulds.
Ben Newell's love of native plants led him to design a relaxing boutique garden for this year's Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. Over to you Ben.....
The nitty gritty
Our lil motley crew met doing Swinburne's Diploma of Landscape design in Wantirna and jumped at the chance to participate in this year's Melbourne Internataional Flower and Garden Show (MIFGS) Avenue of Achievable Gardens.
Growing up on a Dairy and Beef farm between Rosedale and Maffra in East Gippsland, I was connected with the land at a very early age. Rehabilitating the creek that flowed through our property was my earliest encounter into gardening for the environment and I guess that is where my passion for the environment and animals developed.
After 14 years of getting my garden well established after we built our house, I decided it was time for a bit of a rethink and refresh. The bones of my garden were sound; all the trees had grown to create a summer shade, winter sun experience. Fruit trees give us abundant harvests all year round and layers of bushes and vegies fill up the spaces underneath.
Image source: Photobucket
If you are thinking of planting corn this spring for summer goodness, you could look to the Native American Indian custom of planting corn with climbing beans and pumpkin (or any member of the squash family) and get some yummy extras. This is tried and true companion planting and eating!
A beneficial hoverfly feeding and resting on a marigold
Our fruit and veges are attacked by white fly, aphids, carrot fly, cabbage butterflies, slugs and snails and get fungal infections like moulds. It can be frustrating, but help is at hand in our natural world!