WORDS & PHOTOS: Karin Holzknecht
If you're anything like us, you can't resist a terrarium. Ever since 1827, when Nathaniel Ward accidentally discovered that plants could survive in covered jars, the world has embraced the terrarium for its ability to keep plants alive in much less friendly climes (including air-conditioned houses!).
So a whole hopeful bunch of us rocked up to Burnley Nursery for the Horticultured terrarium workshop with glass containers that just screamed 'put plants in me!' With the assistance of Burnley nursery technician Sascha, terrarium nut and living art expert, we were all soon assembling tiny enclosed gardens.
The key to a great terrarium are the layers of growing medium, starting with a sprinkling of horticultural charcoal, then a layer of horticultural sand, and a thicker layer of potting mix. And add plants! Sascha gave us a hot tip that Peperomia spp. are particularly good in terrariums.
With some hard work and determination we created some absolute beauties.
We're very proud of our efforts. The cool thing about these terrariums are that, once we get the balance right, they act as closed systems - meaning you never have to feed or water them again!
Are you jealous yet? Well, follow us on Facebook or sign up as a member, and you'll be the first to hear about the next terrarium workshop - the first one went so well we're planning to hold another one soon! We'll keep you posted.
WORDS & PHOTOS: Julianna Rozek
Spring is here, the weather is beaut, and we have a garden that needs tending- what a brilliant combination. On Saturday, also Burnley Open Day, Horticultured gathered for the first of many weekend working bees. The main task of the day was to clear the eastern edge and plant a perennial edible border of artichokes, rhubarb and alpine strawberries.
We started with a lawn and lots of hope. It was quite a formidable task, but many hands, forks and shovels make light work.
The kikuyu, clover and other assorted hard-to-kill weeds we removed will be used in an upcoming hot compost workshop. Unlike cold composting, this should produce enough heat to render the seeds and runners dead.
We inherited artichokes, rhubarb and alpine strawberries with the gardens. However, they all needed dividing and the artichokes were being out-competed by weeds.
Arranging the artichokes in a border will demonstrate that edibles can be pretty too. Although at the moment it all looks like a sea of mulch…
All three species have survived utter neglect and no irrigation over summer for a couple of years. With a bit of care they should thrive. We’re pretty excited, so watch this space!
We also weeded the flower border planted a couple of months ago. There’s lots of buds, and with the sunshine and warmth finally kicking in they are taking off. And we began a rosemary hedge, using leftover stock from the nursery. A future task will be propagating cuttings from the existing rosemary bush and finishing it.
There is also heaps of fennel growing, so if anyone likes fennel…feel free to take it. Please. There is too much.
The day was extremely satisfying and provided a welcome distraction from assignments. Thank you to all that made it, and especially Brett and Bridey our community gardens officers.
WORDS: Peter Lee, PHOTOS: Courtesy of Unimelb Science Student News
Horticultured held an awesome early spring herb planting workshop at the Parkville MUC Garden today, as part of the University of Melbourne's Science Festival.
From 12–2pm, we had two massive groups turn up for the herb planting workshops, around forty people altogether. The sessions were overbooked and hugely popular. Participants were treated to a demo planting of a mini herb garden, and then given a pot to play around with to try transplanting seedlings. At the end they could take home their very own herb starter garden!
With the hard sowing work done by Horticultured members in May, the seedlings looked great and after a rapid-fire lesson, the workshop groups were off and planting.
We had a great selection of herbs available and covered a few bases for most users. Workshop participants were given pamphlets describing the herbs and their culinary uses. Parsley, marjoram and chives were popular, and the Zataar also gained lots of interest, so we foresee there will be middle-eastern cooking nights coming up! Catnip was also a favourite.
Thanks to Pete, Julianna and Bec for running the workshop and giving great propagating advice!
If you missed out, don't worry, there are more great events on for Science Festival, check out the program here.
P.S. There's going to be an amazing panel on Greening Cities for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation at Burnley. Maybe we'll see you there!
Read all about it: MUC Garden and Burnley Student Association share updates on their activities.