This Week’s Guest Blogger is Peter Brown who has recently retired after a lifetime in horticulture

My name is Peter Brown, I live in South Croydon, Victoria, Australia and I have been involved in Horticulture for all my working life. I started my apprenticeship in Gardening and Turf Management in December 1972 when I was 17. I completed my apprenticeship in December 1975. In that time I worked as a Landscape Gardener doing residential and commercial landscaping works and also in a Retail/Wholesale Nursery growing the plants during the week and selling them on Weekends at the retail outlet until 1982. I then applied for and became a trade teacher at Oakleigh Technical School. I commenced my Diploma of Teaching in 1983 where I studied two days a week (Mondays and Tuesdays) at Hawthorn Institute and the other three days I taught at the Technical school teaching all aspects of Horticulture to Nursery, Gardening, Turf and Landscape gardening apprentices. Initially I only taught certificate 2 and 3 in the trade areas as well as I developed a Certificate 2 Horticultural course for people with intellectual disabilities a course which is still running at Holmesglen TAFE, and later I started teaching Diploma subjects as well.

During my time in teaching I have had many roles from Team leader to Head of Department and everything in between. I also branched out from Horticulture in 2000 and started to teach students studying in Conservation and Land Management. I have been involved in the Horticultural Therapy association of Victoria for many years and find this an interesting and essential tool for helping people who have been involved in some sort of accident where we use horticulture as therapy to help them to rehabilitate.

I recently retired from teaching after 38 years and look forward to spending the next phase of my life with my wife in the garden, on the golf course and travelling around Australia.

This Week’s Guest Blogger is Dustin Pope the President of Tree Doctor USA – a team of certified arborists who offer tree and plant care services.

How to keep your trees disease-free?

Keeping your trees and bushes in good health requires severe prevention measures. Tending to insects, pests and illness issues at the beginning is vital to guaranteeing healthy trees across all seasons. By forestalling illness and pest infections before they happen as opposed to figuring out the arrangement later on, you can save many dollars on pesticides and receive the rewards of a noteworthy scene.

Starting off bright and early on managing bug and sickness issues can have a significant effect between lovely, sound greenery scenes and one that is tormented by issues all season, every season. By zeroing in on prevention, rather than responding to illness and bug invasion when it occurs, you can protect your green buddies as well as deflect any financial liability.

Prevention includes various advances, including appropriate checking, plant care, and treatment. It regularly follows a methodology called Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

This smoothed out, biological way to deal with bothering the executives gives more successful outcomes less requirement for destructive synthetics. At last, results are more fruitful and the interaction is more secure for individuals, pets, and the climate. This article talks about the Best Plant Health Care Services to keep your plants and trees in a perfect condition.

Plant Diseases That Require Attention-

The following are probably the most well-known illnesses that plague trees and bushes:

  • Leaf spot sickness – They make spots on the leaves of trees and bushes. Leaf spots can be tanish, tan, or dark and make dull spotting on leaves.

  • Apple scab – This leads apple and crab apple trees to rashly shed their leaves during pre-summer and late-spring. A tree impacted by apple scab will have leaves with brown and dark spots.

  • Dark bunch – This sickness makes a delicate, olive-green matter around the twigs which in the end changes to hard dark bunches when fall comes. Dark bunch regularly contaminates the leafy foods.  This sickness can kill off a tree if treatment is not received.

  • Anthracnose – Sometimes misdiagnosed as oak shrivel, anthracnose makes the leaves foster dry, brown, and smeared spots before they drop. Anthacrose can assault trees and bushes right off the bat in the season.

  • Cytospora infection – This sickness causes discolouration on specific spaces of a tree’s trunk and branches. Normal among trees matured 15 years and more seasoned, cytospora ulcer can turn a tree’s needles to brown and kill its lower branches.

Integrated Pest Management : How does that work?

Integrated Pest Management includes the utilisation of specific techniques in battling irritations and infections. These techniques reliably screen bug populaces for sure fire activity, appropriate plant care works on, establishing nuisance safe plant assortments, and right treatment draws near (depending on the situation). The objective of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is to foster early and long haul counteraction of nuisances and infections. Assuming nuisance populaces are diminished or dispensed with toward the start, they won’t cause monstrous harm in your nursery/yard.

The following steps can ensure that your trees live long and healthy lives. It is better to avail the Best Plant Health Care Services to account for the same.

  • Monitoring-

Monitoring your plants consistently permits you to identify early indications of nuisance invasion when populaces are still low and simple to take out. At this stage, you can intrude on their development before they gain out of influence. For example, distinguishing the presence of mountain pine bugs. The ideal opportunity to screen these vermin is in the cold weather months.

You would realise they’re taking safe houses in a tree when you notice “pitch tubes” on the trunks. In case you see these pitch tubes, remove a piece of bark and check for discoloration of the wood under the bark (somewhat bluish grey). Provided that this is true, you really want to call an arborist to have the tree eliminated. Customary observance of pine trees in winter and quickly eliminating invaded trees keeps the creepy crawlies from harming adjoining trees. That is the reason coordinated checking and moment activity has a tremendous effect in keeping your trees and bushes sound.

  • Appropriate Plant Care Practises-

Insects and pests are controllable just by adhering to good tree and plant care practises.

It is just about as straightforward as keeping up with neatness and keeping your plants and beds all around tended to. This can keep creepy crawlies and irritations under control. Pivoting your yearly harvests to various pieces of the nursery consistently limits specific vermin issues. Tidying up old leaf litter on the foundation of plants is a successful method for warding off risky creepy crawlies. Noticing the ideal opportunity to establish trees and bushes to stay away from the rise of explicit kinds of bugs additionally brings down the danger of plant harm.

It additionally pays to keep your plants all around hydrated consistently. Particularly in the hotter months, as dried out and worried plants are more inclined to harm. If necessary, change the dirt preceding planting and apply natural matter consistently. Put a thick layer of natural mulch to forestall the development of weeds and hold dampness. Take additional consideration of recently established plants, just as trees and bushes that have supported harm.

  • Adhering to proper planting techniques-

The following are some basic plant care practises that helps in preserving their good health :

  1. Plant varieties that can endure pest infections- As a rule, there is a safe assortment reproduced for a well known plant that is helpless to explicit irritations. You may likewise need to pick assortments that are more hearty, energetic, and impervious to numerous nuisances.

  1. Plant the right kind of plants in the right space- Each plant has a dirt, daylight, dampness, temperature, and space prerequisite to accomplish ideal development. Jumbling a plant to an off-base area or conditions will just pressure it and cause the plant to turn into a simple prey for bugs and illnesses.

  1. Consider a wide range of plant variety- When pests/insects like the Mountain Pine Beetle invade your plants, they might possibly annihilate a whole gathering of trees and bushes. This is the reason it’s fundamental to develop numerous sorts of plants, trees, and bushes to guarantee you will have something left assuming the bugs harm your plants. Having different plants in your nursery or yard likewise works on the overall look of your scene.

  • Acknowledge the treatment required-

Before you resort to applying substance medicines like insect sprays, see whether there are “organic controls” accessible. The most widely recognized illustration of organic controls utilised in homes are gainful bugs. They are garden-accommodating bugs like ladybugs, asking mantis, parasitic wasps, and lacewings, that can eat up enormous quantities of bugs in a given time. You might need to dump the pesticides to let the beneficials deal with the bugs.

Assuming utilising natural controls can’t get the job done and more forceful nuisance control measures are required, don’t stop for a second to call a tree bug or tree sickness master. They are furnished with the right devices and skill to analyse an issue and recommend the best and eco-accommodating arrangements.

  • Diagnosis of trees and shrubs-

Assuming you experience issues telling whether or not your trees and bushes are unhealthy, it’s a good thought to call some tree experts.

Some tips to help you keep your trees disease-free

At the point when you realise how to perceive vermin or infection, you’ll regularly observe that you’re ready to distinguish issues while they’re in the beginning phases.

  • Select bug safe varieties

Headways in science and innovation have made it workable for bug safe assortments of many plants to be created. Assuming you need to establish something especially inclined to bug or sickness, it might be a smart thought to choose the vermin resistant variety that is more grounded and more sturdy.

  • Pick the perfect place

Various kinds of plants and trees have various inclinations with regards to soil, dampness, daylight, and the sky’s the limit from there. You must pick the perfect place. Some unacceptable spot might put it under pressure and hold it back from flourishing.

  • Apply medicines when vital

Few out of every odd creepy crawly that you spot in your yard is awful. There are a lot of things like ladybugs, lacewings, and imploring mantids. And more that assist you with keeping your plants and trees solid by eating risky vermin. There is positively an appropriate setting for bug sprays. Be that as it may, assuming you detect these nursery well disposed creepy crawlies, allow them an opportunity to do what they specialise in first.

  • Acquire the specialists

You can do a considerable amount to forestall other invasions and sickness from going to your yard all alone. Be that as it may, there are most certainly times when you’ll have to get the specialists. Tree care experts can assist you with tending to your plant and tree issues while limiting harm.


Arranging your nursery so that you’re planting perfectly located is significant for developing solid plants. Yet all things being equal, irritations and illnesses can scupper your great work. Getting issues early is vital to keeping your nursery bug-and infection free. While you’re watering the plants, watch out for brown, twisted or stained leaves, openings in leaves. Moreover for stems that have kicked the bucket.

Please click on the link below to find out more Tree Doctor USA

This Week’s Guest Blogger is Award Winning Designer and Horticulturist Peter Dowle of Leaf Creative who talks about the importance of gardens to him

My love of plants and gardens began when I lived in New Zealand as a child. I remember going into habitats with tree ferns and subtropical rainforests where you could walk into spaces that were green and they smelt different, felt different. It gave me a real connection with nature.

I also remember cycling through giant redwood forests and being completely in awe of these huge trees.

When I studied horticulture at Pershore College, I began to develop an almost spiritual connection with nature, gardens, and gardening.

A Garden of Quiet Contemplation at 2019 RHS Malvern Spring Festival

A garden space or natural space can be such a source of inspiration. The huge intelligence that is behind a flower, when you look at it in detail, or behind a seed, or a leaf, is the same huge intelligence that you see when you gaze into the sky and see stars or the moon. It’s a reminder that this is just part of a much bigger picture.

Garden design for me is all about providing places and spaces within gardens where people can connect with nature and see that far bigger picture.

My appreciation of what comfort a garden can bring individuals came from studying gardens in Japan and being inspired by the tea gardens and Zen gardens where nature and meditation are strongly connected.

Tree Ferns

It’s something I’ve brought into my garden design by creating spaces for quiet repose, using water and rocks, with areas for yoga or meditation where you are just surrounded by nature.

Even in very small spaces, I think there’s always an opportunity for people to explore an area that grounds you in a bigger picture of the universe.

I feel incredibly blessed to be a gardener, to share some design and my passion for plants. I couldn’t think of a better career.

This Week’s Guest Blogger is Ignacio Silva , Head Gardener at Emmetts Garden who writes about the Robinsonian Wild Garden

The Robinsonian Wild Garden

Ignacio Silva, Head Gardener at Emmetts Garden

Recently, the idea of the ‘wild garden’ has become increasingly popular. Some people associate this idea with informal garden designs and planting schemes which resemble natural scenes: a wildflower meadow, a woodland garden, or a pond surrounded with native vegetation. To others, it suggests gardens which support wildlife, including bees, butterflies and birds, and are managed according to certain ecological principles, such as using the no-dig method and avoiding the use of pesticides. The great popularity of Isabella Tree’s book Wilding (2018), describing a rewilding project in West Sussex, also indicates the widespread concern with the decreasing biodiversity in our gardens. However, rewilding, which involves a conservation approach and aims to restore a space to a more natural state which encourages wildlife diversity, has little to do with the original concept of the wild garden.#

The Rose Garden at Emmetts Garden

The term ‘wild garden’ was coined by William Robinson (1838–1935), an influential gardener and journalist from Ireland. In his book The Wild Garden, published in 1870, he advocated the idea of naturalistic gardening. According to him, the design of these plantings should be dictated by the plants’ habit and their cultural preferences. However, for Robinson, this did not mean letting the garden run wild. Rather, plants should be allowed to develop their natural forms and achieve a natural look, while the role of the gardener was to manage them in order to obtain and maintain this aesthetics. Robinson’s wild garden was carefully designed to imitate nature, and the gardener’s intervention was both pivotal and hidden.

The Rock Garden at Emmetts Garden

Robinson is credited with the introduction of the mixed herbaceous border and large drifts of native hardy perennial plants. However, his concept of the wild garden did not imply the exclusion of exotic plants. Indeed, he encouraged ‘the use of any plant that could be naturalised, including half-hardy perennials and natives from other parts of the world’, in order to create “naturalised” plantings. His ideas about wild gardening also led to a resurgence of the English Cottage Garden. His book Alpine Flowers for Gardens (1870) showed, for the first time, how to use alpine plants in a designed rock garden.

The Rock Garden at Emmetts Garden

The impact of Robinson’s ideas can be seen at Emmetts Garden, a National Trust property on Ide Hill near Sevenoaks, in Kent. Emmetts’ origins date back to the nineteenth century, but its current layout and design is largely due to Frederick Lubbock, who owned it from 1890 until his death in 1927. Lubbock expanded and transformed the Victorian garden, adding the Rose Garden (fig.1), the Rock Garden (figs.2 and 3), the North Garden (figs. 4 and 5), and the South Garden. The design and layout of these additions, particularly the informal planting style, was greatly influenced by Robinson. Although there is no proof that Robinson ever visited Emmetts, he must have been familiar with the garden through correspondence. References to Emmetts, with an image are included in the third edition of Robinson’s Alpine Flowers for the Garden (1903). Robinson’s influence can be traced in the design of the naturalistic Rock Garden, aiming to provide ideal conditions for the growth and display of alpine plants. The South Garden and the North Garden are examples of essentially Robinsonian wild gardens. The South Garden comprises a specimen collection of exotic trees and shrubs underplanted with naturalized bulbs in grass. The North Garden contains specimen shrubs interplanted with bulbs and herbaceous perennials, closely corresponding to Robinson’s guidelines for creating a garden of flowering shrubs. Further, the bog garden, which is associated with the lower pond in the North Garden, appears to have been inspired by Robinson. Finally, the formal Rose Garden terrace echoes, perhaps, Robinson’s paved Rose Garden at Gravetye.

‘Pine Border’ in the North Garden

Gardening has evolved since Robinson’s times. It has moved on from his concern with aesthetics and the plants’ cultural preferences to include aspects such as the interactions between the plants and the planting designs with the wider landscape, the use of plants which are adapted to the specific local conditions (i.e., Beth Chatto’s ‘right plant, right place’), and the creation of wildlife havens. These features take the wild garden to a new level. However, it could be argued that, rather than moving away from the Robinsonian concept, these developments bring gardens closer to it, as Robinson regarded nature as the source of all true garden design.

The North Garden at Emmetts Garden