Connect with us

Your Time Magazine

Learn how to grow your own food and empower your life


Learn how to grow your own food and empower your life

Garden Guru, Phil Dudman speaks to GAIL FORRER about his role at Queensland’s premier garden expo and his passion for a special gardening technique

After the pain and devastation of recent weather events together with the pandemic, there’s a big, joyful Queensland event about to change your attitude.

For Gardening Guru and ABC gardening magazine Horticultural Editor Phil Dudman, this event, known as  Queensland’s Premier Garden Expo held at Nambour showgrounds  has special significance:

“It’s my happy place, ” he says.

After attending the Expo for more than twenty years, Phil is totally qualified to give honest opinions.

“It’s like a gardener’s jamboree – gardeners from all the over the place meet-up,” he enthuses.

“The timing is great too – it’s the start of the gardening year.

“And the show gets you inspired and kicks you into gardening gear – it’s such a joyful space.”

As a resident of Lismore, the town in Northern NSW where floodwaters inundated homes not once, but twice this year, Phil Dudman, now more than ever appreciates the meaning of community spirit and the things that contribute to community recovery. Since the flood, he says he’s felt a level of general anxiety bubbling in the community and believes this comes from the a number of factors including a feeling of disempowerment stemming from things such as the sight of empty food shelves in supermarkets

“That’s makes us think about  food security,” he says

“And gives us a glimpse of how dependant we are on the corporate food system.”

Furthermore, he notes, it shows how vulnerable we are to a break-down of the food supply chain.

Empowerment, he says, comes from growing food locally, whether that be in your background, in a community garden or a unit balcony.

To that end, Phil’s cultivated his passion for organic gardening and growing his own food in his suburban home backyard. After a lifetime of trying various techniques, he is now a fervent proponent for  the ‘no till’ gardening method. This method suggests shovelling into the ground is disruptive rather than conducive to growing plants. On his Instagram account, video and Talk-Back radio shows he explains how to go about it, additionally he hosts hands-on workshops in his backyard where he demonstrates how to boost your gardening skills and increase backyard production through: no-dig techniques, together with how to make compost and raise plants from seeds while managing weeds and pests without using poisons. Importantly, he says, the no-dig method, takes a lot less physical exertion, giving you more time to enjoy the fruits of your labour. The ‘no-dig’ method takes in and accommodates the complexity of soil and its natural environment, at the same time the technique is based on simplicity.

“The no-digging method simply mimics nature,” he explains and goes onto describe how leaving the soil undug, leaves soil organisms to thrive  while promoting a natural balance between soil pests and their predators.

Phil Dudman will be speaking  about gardening techniques and edible plants as part of Australia’s biggest gardening speaker program including favourites Costa Georgiadis, Sophie Thomson Jerry Coleby-Williams, Claire Bickle, Kate Wall and many more at the 2022 Queensland Garden Expo, July  8-10 at the Nambour Showgrounds, Coronation Avenue, Nambour.

 To find out more and buy tickets online, go to:


  • Three-day event from July 8-10
  • 40,000-plus attendees
  • 65% visitation from outside the Sunshine Coast
  • More than 7 hectares of gardening inspiration
  • 360-plus exhibitors and displays, including 55 nurseries
  • 100-plus free lectures and demonstrations
  • 8 live speaker stages
  • 60,000 plants for sale each day



More in People

To Top