Here at Grow it Local, we're massive fans of lush gardening books, they're chock full of inspiration and tips on how we can get our own patches looking even better. The only thing better than a new gardening book, is one written by your friend, and our friend Jac Semmler has just published an enormous and sumptuous tome to beauty, flowers and gardening called "Super Bloom".
If you want to learn more about flowers, growing for beauty, expression in the garden or just plants in general, then you need a copy of this book!
The team caught up with Jac earlier to pick her brain about life and growing, here's what she had to say...
WHEN DID YOU OFFICIALLY BECOME A CRAZY PLANT LADY?
I think it has always been in my blood. I grew up on a farm to a family of plants women and always had an affinity with plants. It is such a privilege to now have a world and vocation shaped by them. I still feel these generations of plants women in my hands as I garden. Don’t all gardeners have a little of the plant crazy in there somewhere!
YOU'VE JUST RELEASED AN ENORMOUS TOME CALLED 'SUPER BLOOM', A FIELD GUIDE TO FLOWERS FOR EVERY GARDENER, HOW WOULD YOU LIKE PEOPLE TO USE THIS BOOK?
It's like a cooks companion for flowers. Perfect to encourage anyone into the garden with all kinds of information on how to get started and permission to cultivate your own personal garden. It is a manifesto of maximum plants for maximum beauty, filled to the brim with illustrations and Sarah Pannell’s luminescent photography. A reference you can browse through this summer or have as a friend in your potting shed for ideas and inspiration.
WHY IS GARDENING IMPORTANT TO YOU?
There is so much good that comes from gardening, it is so good for us and for the plant and for our communities. There is a sense of wonder, curiosity and connection that tending plants nurtures within us. I feel my whole self when I garden and know I am not alone. There are so many gardeners experiencing these special moments of wonder in the garden. The simple experiences can be quite transformative.
WHEN YOU'RE APPROACHING A NEW GARDEN, WHAT'S THE FIRST THING YOU PLANT?
Annual flowers (flowers that come and go in a couple of seasons) are always my go to. They give so much to a garden and so quick to flower. They are a perfect first step while you observe and get to know your garden better and make other plans from these observations.
IF YOU COULD GIVE NEW OR ASPIRING GARDENERS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Just start and keep going! It is ok not to get it right the first time. It is true of everyone that gardens. We all start on this gardening journey with plenty of ups and downs along the way. I still kill the occasional plant accidentally - we all do as we text and trial. I think of gardening as something that is gloriously progressive. You practice and learn as you go. Best to get going then and get your hands in the dirt!
WE'RE IN LATE SPRING, WHAT'S HAPPENING IN YOUR GARDEN AT THE MOMENT?
So much! It is raring at the moment with so many poppies, sweet peas, paper daisies and other Australian plants flowering and so many about to come as the season warms. This time of year always feels like it has a special momentum after the cooler winter where suddenly everything is growing in leap and bounds. I swear you can see it grow before your very eyes.
FOOD OR FLOWERS?
Food AND Flowers - how can you choose only one, they are the perfect compliment for one another. Flowers bring in pollinators and other beneficial insects while feeding our souls with beauty and food feeds our stomachs with produce fresh from the garden.
SEEDS OR SEEDLINGS?
I LOVE growing from seed. There is such a wonder in being involved with the whole life cycle of a plant from seed to plant to bloom to again save and sow the seed. Seeds really do have a magic to them.
COMPOST OR WORM FARM?
I do love a compost pile, such a great way of recycling all the garden matter and returning it to the soil. Worm farms are so fascinating too tand the castings incredible to make seed raising mix with.
IF YOU COULD VISIT ANY GARDEN IN THE WORLD, AT ANY TIME IN HISTORY WHAT WOULD IT BE?
The Paradise gardens of the Middle East and northern Africa have so much romantic appeal. I have been lucky to visit some and have found them so evocative. The geometric and soulful nature, the selection of fragrant and fruiting plants. To see them in their wonder would be incredible.
IF YOU COULD SPEND A DAY IN THE GARDEN WITH ANYONE, FROM ANY TIME IN HISTORY, WHO WOULD IT BE?
Beth Chatto - an incredible plantswoman who championed resilient plants. I have read her books and it would be amazing to spend a day in the garden with her.
WHERE CAN PEOPLE GET A COPY OF YOUR N EW BOOK?
The book is available in all great book stores and signed copies from my website here.