/
    • This destructive weed could knock 10% off your home's value

      This destructive weed could knock 10% off your home's value A few weeks ago I listened to a British podcast about a fast-spreading invasive plant that is causing huge problems in some parts of the northern hemisphere. The plant that was being talked about is called Japanese Knotweed, and in Scotland and other areas of the UK, people are being denied mortgages as a result of knotweed infestations. This is because this plant can easily spread under walls, pavements and patios, and cause damage to buildings and roads. Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) is causing havoc in the UK Not being familiar with this weed, I Googled ‘Japanese knotweed’ and found pictures of a weed that I’d seen in many home gardens in my state of Victoria, Australia. I thought, that's not a particularly troublesome weed in my experience. It’s a small weed, easily prised out of the ground. What’s the problem? It turns out that in Australia, where I live, the common name ‘Japanese knotweed’ is used to refer to a rather benign plant, Persicaria capitata, (with aliases: knotweed, persicaria, pink-head knotweed, pinkhead knotweed, and pinkhead smartweed). Persicaria capitata can be controlled by hand weeding or foliar spray. This is the 'Japanese knotweed' that we know in Australia (Persicaria capitata) - thankfully a rather benign weed and not to be confused with Fallopia [...]

      Read more

      Is it time to de-clutter your garden? Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard of the Japanese organising expert Marie Kondo and the new decluttering craze she's started with her phenomenally popular book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and TV show. Marie Kondo says that things in your home should "spark joy" for you to earn their place and this is the basis of her KonMari method of tidying your home. This garden is in dire need of decluttering Image: Abundance Flickr - Have Mind Since I've been weeding and tidying gardens for a living, it's been a surprise to me to find that almost everybody's garden has a neglected, forgotten corner. The corner is usually the darkest, furthest corner of the garden and it's where unwanted things just accumulate. They might be garden debris like leaves and twigs, or they might be things that are put there by the family members when they don't know where else to put them. Then again, your garden might be like mine used to be - rubbish anywhere and everywhere - and not restricted to a corner of the garden at all. So, if you've been inspired to declutter your house and garage with the KonMari method, why not consider continuing on with your garden? Remember that over time your eyes might have become accustomed to seeing rubbish in your garden, but visitors will notice. Luckily, your garden will probably [...]

      Read more