Keran BarrettIt was Nanny Jackson, my maternal grandmother who taught me how to plant bulbs. She helped me clean up an old wrought-iron stand, fill it with potting mix and then plant daffodils. Placed within view of what was then the kitchen window, it bloomed with joy (or was that me?) and this was just one of many shared experiences with my Nan that shaped my childhood.

She used to lament apparently, that my Mum “hadn’t a green finger in her whole body”.  Nanny must have been clapping her hands in delight when many, many years later my Mum studied horticulture for her own pleasure at an RHS college; she was in her late 50’s.

I was also a late bloomer getting into horticulture. It wasn’t until I moved to Australia in my late 20’s that I lived on a wholesale plant nursery. Heaven! There I learnt first hand how to load trucks, get on the road and visit retail nurseries, unload stock at Flemingon Markets and install irrigation systems. Wandering around the peaceful 5 acre wholesale nursery once the gates had closed for the day is a feeling that has never left me. It was that experience that lead me to get qualified as a horticulturist so I could work more firmly within the industry.

Since then my time has been spent in a variety of roles – working in retail nurseries, writing for a variety of gardening magazines and books, as well as leading garden tours overseas. Garden shows are hard work as I’ve found out over the past couple of years, having been invovled with the Australian Garden Show Sydney in 2013 and the Horticultural & Gardening Festival in Melbourne in 2015. And there is still room for a spring show in Melbourne if the right venue and content mix is used.

About The Gardening Magazine

With the demise of so many gardening magazines, garden columns, and TV shows, as a garden writer, it’s time to get creative about where to have hubs of information. We are fortunate to still have magazines like Your Garden, Better Homes and Gardens, Gardening Australia and Earth Garden, with ‘newer’ titles such as subTropical Gardening providing advice and information. Rather than being in competition, I feel we’re all trying to support and keep thriving, an industry of horticultural business as well as giving support to anyone wanting to learn how to pot up a plant for a balcony, design a whole garden and anything in between.

This site is designed to be repository for articles, ideas, sources of information and a resource for finding where to buy gardening products, books, and importantly, plants.


Nanny Jackson - going out, not dressed for gardening...!

My wish is for an appreciation of plants and gardens to continue through generations with grandparents and parents sharing knowledge or at least enthusiasm for learning. Even if you don’t have a garden, there are garden owners who open their gates to the public at various times throughout the year, as well as local events around the country and overseas. And one of your best sources of knowledge is at your local garden centre or nursery where you can seek advice from qualified horticulturists.

The Gardening Magazine is a blend of traditional gardening for gardeners, alongside a new generation of city dwellers and time-starved would-be gardeners. It will grow, be pruned and expand. Suggestions welcome.


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