Category Archive: Books

Jamie Durie releases new book ’100 Gardens’.

By James Wall.

Last Thursday night my wife and I were fortunate enough to attend a book launch of Jamie Durie‘s new book 100 Gardens. It was organised by Beaumaris Books and took place at True South brewery in Black Rock.

The book is basically colour photographs of 100 gardens that Jamie has designed. There is just a one paragraph description of each garden and these are to be found at the back of the book. You might think that this is a book without much substance, but you must consider that the photos are large and of high quality. From these photos you can gain quite a bit of insight as to the materials used and the craftsmenship of the gardens.

The types of materials and plants used are also of interest to those of us mere mortals who spend odd weekends trying to reach our never ending destination that Durie has already reached at least 100 times.

Jamie took us on a journey through the book, explaining the inspiration and ideas behind each project, beginning with his pad in LA with a bedroom that opens out to a vertical garden walled courtyard sublimley paved in bluey grey, with 2  pod chairs hanging from a pergola. Truely idyllic and such a perfect example of Jamie’s mantra of bringing the outside in.

There was also mention of Paul Bangay and the opportunity and encouragement he gave to Jamie early on.  Also of note was the desire to use sustainable materials and waterwise plants. An example of this was garden 60 at the Sydney Botanic Gardens where he designed curved weathering steel structures surrounded by cacti and succulents, including the stunning barrel cacti.

During question time, a lady asked what to plant in a ‘dreaded’ south facing garden near the coast.  Although Durie failed to mention a plant she could use, he did suggest she either raise or lower part of the garden to create a little protected zone to plant plants in. I thought this was good advice as I do believe you can create ‘micro’ cliamtes. Our winter southerlies would hit this garden hard, so any protection would be of benefit.

James, Jamie and Milli at Black Rock

 

If anything, this book doesn’t so much just highlight the designs and ideas of Durie, but showcases the wonderful work done by the landscapers, pavers, carpenters and other ‘tradies’ who have taken the ideas of a designer, and turned them into reality…… and lets not fail to forget not only the wholesale growers, but the people who source those plants from their various locations.

As a matter of fact even I have sourced some plants for Jaimie – some tassel ferns that he used for a display at The Melbourne Exibition Centre. On reminding him of this he thanked me, and enthusiastically said, “I Love Tassel Ferns”.

One of the tassel ferns we supplied.

Hydroponics Made Easy – the Autopot System.

New Book Release: Hydroponics Made Easy, by Jim Fah.

By James Wall.

Jim Fah is a legend here at Gardenworld. He is the inventor of a very special system called Autopot. This system has a smart valve that ensures singular plants in their individual containers dictate when they get their supply of water according to their needs.

Jim has spent well over 20 years developing and improving his system. The system is being used commercially around the world, including Malaysia where they grow these bright yellow melons (Kuning Jati) in no growing media at all. Each crop takes 65 days and they are producing 2.5 tonnes of fruit a week.


Another project included a wall of plants along the Flemington Racecourse horse track. At one stage more than 1000 Purple Craze petunias were being watered from one pump. My experiences with planting our spreading petunias around here at Gardenworld has been a maintenance free system that ensures months of spectacular blooms. It is something we are famous for over summer, and because the flowers don’t get wet by this system, they last for many months longer than an overhead watering system.

Jim has also had to contend with copy cats, including a trusted former distributor who has even copied the Autopot name. Sure there are patents and potential legal avenues, but this can come at a great cost. Jim is focussing on developing the technology further, so the copy cats will never be up with the latest design.

It is with pleasure that I have just received a copy of Jim’s latest book. It is called Hydroponics Made Easy. It is actually the 3rd edition of his original book, but the 2nd edition came out over ten years ago, and a lot a developments have been made since then. As well as providing plenty of information about the Autopot System, you will also learn a lot about Hydroponics in general. There is also an interesting chapter on starting plants from seeds and cuttings.

The colourful book is 111 pages and is on sale for just $15 at both the nursery and the Hydroponics shop here at Gardenworld. It is also available online from gardenshop.com.au with a $6.95 freight charge Australia wide.

What I like about this book is that you get an honest appraisal from the author of his own system as well as a wealth of information of tried and true fertiliser requirements of various crops. Following the instructions of this book, both backyard growers and commercial producers should have bumper crops of quality fruit and vegetables.

 

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