Botanical Bliss
Noel Burdette




As gardeners, our infatuation for plants and gardens is often difficult to express in words.

The mysterious allure of textured foliage; a particular shade of colour on an exotic bloom; or a fragrance that permeates the senses – evoking such strong responses from our psyche that the only way to share this love is to create a garden.

These are exactly the reasons why Noel Burdette visited Belle Rive and spoke to garden owners Lindsay Gerchow and Yves ‘Danny’ Daniel.

Situated on the elevated and sun-drenched slopes of Buderim on the Sunshine Coast, Belle Rive has become more than just a creation for its owners. It is a place where they indulge in their love for collecting and growing unusual species of plants from the four corners of the globe.

In 1990 a block was purchased along with a basic garden layout. In no time Lindsay had assisted in the design of the new home to be built on the site, and both he and Danny were in full swing with the layout of the new garden even before the first foundation was laid.

From a 6 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty Eight
Vriesea ospinae ‘Tiger Tim’.
A hybrid of Neoregelia ‘Macho’ crossed with N. ‘Tiger’ planted with blue foliaged succulent.
Chuwar Garden - Australiana

Paul Plant

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Twenty years ago, a large sloping block of land with little existing on it, but with massive potential, was just what two keen gardeners were looking for. Pam and Tony Tazelaar moved from a small inner city home to the 1.25 acre site to create a garden together which reflects their enjoyment of gardening. Editor Paul Plant spent a morning with Pam & Tony to explore this garden.

Images Paul Plant & Pam Tazelaar.

With farming parents, Pam gives credit to her father who fostered an early interest in gardening. Fond memories of being eight years of age and working beside her father still resonate – her dad working, digging along garden edges, and Pam following with sheep sheers in hand, clipping the low plants. It was this clipping and weeding from an early age that has blossomed into a passion for plants and the garden.

This is a garden that has been developed by working parents with growing children. The garden has gone through stages of development as the
needs of the family have changed. The result is a garden that displays a sense of being lived in, enjoyed and used – not a show garden. This is this garden’s strength.

From an 5 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty Eight
Inspired by gardens across Australia.
The gully is criss-crossed with pathways.
Garden Design
Arno King




We have all visited gardens that we simply love. We get home and become disappointed with our own garden and wonder where to start. Landscape architect Arno King looks at some of the aspects that make a great garden work and the lessons we can learn for our own gardens.

Some gardens work. Every part seems to be just right and the composition as a whole simply sings. Views from each vantage point have depth and provide interest to attract the eye. The plants and landscape materials complement one another and seem appropriate for the setting. What is it about these gardens that works and how can you take what you have learned from them and improve your own garden?

Often there are a few simple things that seem to be the secret to success.

  • Topics covered in this article are:
  • Get out and about
  • Tell the story
  • The wow factor
  • K.I.S.S.
  • Create the picture
  • The bold, the beautiful and the supporting cast
  • Getting it down on paper
From a 6 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty Eight
Quirky sculpture in Moshlo’s Garden, Brisbane.
Water is the feature in this garden designed by Ted McGuire.
Paving becomes a feature in Noel Burdette’s garden, Ipswich.

Paul Plant

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Flowering plants provide valued colour in the winter garden. While southern gardeners are huddling around the fireplace, the dry sunny days in the tropics and subtropics are ideal for relaxing and entertaining friends and family. Winter days are some of the best times to enjoy the garden and dombeyas provide plenty of interest. Editor Paul Plant takes a brief look at these winter flowering beauties.

Once classified in the same family as our native Bottle Trees (Brachychiton species), Sterculiaceae, the genus of Dombeya now resides in the Malvaceae family along with the common Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis).
There are believed to be some 255 to 350 species in the genus Dombeya. They are native to Africa and Madagascar where the climatic conditions can vary from warm temperate climates, to both humid and dry tropical and subtropical conditions. There is a species suitable for most of these climates.

Species presented are:

Dombeya burgessiae
(syn. Dombeya calantha, D. mastersii, D. nyasica, D. rosea)
Pink Wild Pear, Pink Dombeya

Dombeya cacuminum
Strawberry Snowball Tree, Winter’s Joy Tree

Dombeya ianthotricha
Red Climbing Dombeya

Dombeya tiliacea
(syn. Dombeya natalensis, Xeropetalum tiliaceum)
Forest Wild Pear, Cape Wedding Flower, Little Dog Rose

Dombeya x cayeuxii
(D. burgessiae x D. wallichii)
Mexican Rosetree, Pink Snowball


From a 4 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty Eight

Dombeya cacuminum
Dombeya ianthotricha
Dombeya x cayeuxii
Fashionable Ferns


Ferns have gone through periods of immense popularity and then of general disinterest from the public. There was the fern craze at the turn of the 20th century and another wave of popularity in the 1970s. With such diverse growth habits, a wide assortment of frond patterns and a huge cornucopia of variations due to cultivar selection, this group of plants is heading to be the next ‘green’ trend.

Although there are around 10,000 species of ferns across the globe, some 400 species being native to Australia, only a small percentage are widely grown in home gardens. Images in this article represent only a small selection of ferns worth considering for your garden, remembering to always select the plant suitable to your climate and situation.

In nature, ferns inhabit a wide range of habitats, from desert-like situations to aquatics submersed in rivers, from steaming equatorial rainforests to subantarctic tundras. Obviously there is a fern for almost every garden situation.


From a 4 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty Eight

Cyathea cooperi – Tree Fern
Pteris argyraea – Silver Brake
Marian Hammond



The below item complements this article read in the current issue:

To read Marian’s list of 10 of the best small trees for gardens:




Trees on small blocks can contribute to a multi-layered garden design, introducing sun and shade patterns and diversifying the plant palette in the home garden. Garden designer and arborist Marian Hammond takes a look at some small trees for the garden and the many factors that need to be considered prior to selection and placement.

Most ‘switched on’ home owners are well aware of the environmental benefits tree planting can provide. Trees are an important element to any garden and there are trees suited to even the tiniest of blocks. Where the garden is small it is even more important to do some careful planning
to ensure that the most suitable species is chosen and it is placed in an appropriate spot.

There is a wide range of trees available and some popular and readily available species are discussed below.

Marian introduces a simple 7 point checklist and also discusses structural problems.


From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty Eight
Bull Bay (Magnolia grandiflora)
Golden Penda (Xanthostemon chrysanthus ‘Fairhill Gold’).
Water Plants



Following on from issue 26 we now look at some grass-like and rush-like plants that can grace the edges of pond and bogs, and may be grown in pots semi-immersed within the pond. Images Nola Fenech, Wallis Creek Watergarden.

Species featured are:

  • Dwarf Weeping Japanese Rush
  • Dwarf Papyrus
  • Variegated Rush
  • Zebra Grass
  • Variegated Gardeners’ Garters
  • Candy Stripe Rush
From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty Eight
Phalaris arundinacea ‘Variegata’




Few topics stir up as much passion as the topic of weeds. People around the world can be divided regarding what is and what is not a weed in their location. To some people common wild plants are edibles and part of their culinary heritage, while other people regard those plants as weeds. Many people regard overgrown areas in the city as great wildlife habitats, and these may include rare or endangered species, whilst others regard them as plots covered in weeds...and of course plants native to Australia can be weeds overseas, and in many cases even within Australia, both in gardens and in natural areas.

In many regards, a weed is a plant growing where it is not wanted. They can originate from imported pastoral crops; vegetables and fruit trees which have gone feral; hitchhikers with other plants or contaminants of seeds and agricultural machinery; plants purposely introduced by government departments to ‘enhance’ the beauty of the bush; native plants relocated to new areas; and occasionally, ornamental, medicinal or edible plants which have found the local climate to their liking.


From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty Eight
Inch Plant (Callisia fragans) is an ornamental plant in some landscapes but ‘not wanted’ in others.
Cocos Palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana)
Blue Morning Glory (Ipomoea indica)
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