Friday, December 23, 2011

Why are plants in botanic gardens so healthy compared to mine?

One of the things that I can't reiterate enough to the home gardener is the importance of using mulch.

When we visit a botanic garden and marvel at the health and vigour of the plants there, we often wonder what it is that they do that makes them so healthy in comparison to our home garden.  Is it a special kind of chemical fertiliser?  Do they use a brand of pesticide that you've not tried?  Is it that they water a lot more than you do?

In truth, the answer to those questions is generally no.  Most botanic gardens work as closely with nature as they can, which means avoiding chemicals.  They also try to avoid watering whenever possible, because on such a large scale the costs do not bare thinking of.

So, what is the secret?

Simple: mulch.

Next time you visit a botanic garden, or indeed any kind of organised garden (check out those at Melbourne, Healesville and Werribee zoo's too!), take time to have a look underneath the plants and ask a guide about their mulch.

Mulch your home garden and soon it will be as healthy as the best botanic garden around :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Plant for the Planet

This month, the UN's Billion Tree Campaign, which was patronised by Wangari Maathai (founder of the Green Belt Movement) and Prince Albert II of Monaco, was placed into the hands of the Plant for the Planet Children's Initiative.

Some sceptics thought that this was the UN effectively dumping a project that was no longer getting publicity, but I want to say now that those sceptics were wrong.

Very wrong.

Plant for the Planet