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Plants have charisma too

US President Barack Obama has it. Frank Sinatra had it. Oprah has built a fortune on it.

Charisma. It’s a quality that’s difficult to define but easy to spot. Read more

Book review: Garden by Jennifer Stackhouse

The title of Jennifer Stackhouse’s latest book Garden is simple, yet bold. It doesn’t bother fussing with possessive pronouns like ‘my’ or ‘your’. There are no fripperies like ‘in the’ or ‘caring for your’. It’s just plain Garden, noun or verb, you choose. Read more

It’s a tree, stupid

I sometimes stumble across a scientific paper that really surprises me. Not in a “wow, that’s a novel experimental design” kind of way. But one that surprises me enough to justify an image of a zebra. Read more

Gifting, re-gifting and treachery

Dear Geeky, I was invited to a housewarming party recently but didn’t have time to buy a present. So, I let myself into my neighbour’s house while she was away on holiday and ‘borrowed’ one of her houseplants to gift.

The thing is, my neighbour’s due back tomorrow and I haven’t had a chance to replace her plant. What should I do? Read more

Lettuce was once vegie Viagra

Lettuce. What do you think of? Limp, soggy, salad? If you’re feeling a little kinder, maybe crispy, crunchy, refreshing? Chances are that virile, sex machine or aphrodisiac don’t make it high on the list. Read more

It’s not stealing is it?

Dear Geeky, On my daily walk, I often take clippings from other people’s front yards. Not too many, mind. Just the odd healthy looking specimen poking through the front fence.

But this week, I spied a rare plant just out of arm’s reach next to a neighbour’s front door. So, I tiptoed into her front yard, snipped off a piece of stalk and high-tailed it out of there before anyone saw me. Read more

Do gardenias need Epsom salts?

If you type ‘gardenias’ and ‘Epsom salts’ into Google, you’ll find a range of gardeners keen to share their love affair with this cheap and available plant tonic. Read more