Sunday Digest

When I was in Melbourne last year I chose to spend a day in the Royal Botanic Gardens in the central city rather than work out how to get out to Cranbourne and the Australian Garden, but put it on the list of things I really must do one day. Now the second and final stage of this intriguing project has opened. Read all about it here. Follow this link to the garden’s home page.

If you’re in Wellington over the summer you might like to visit the exhibition at the Katherine Mansfield Birthplace in Tinakori Rd. Her Painted Words opened on November 16 and will run to the end of February (open 10am-4pm, Tuesday-Sunday). Artists include Gretchen Albrecht, Gavin Chilcott, Karl Maughan, Séraphine Pick, Philip Trusttum and Ans Westra who have all produced a work inspired by a KM quote about flowers and gardens.

The Garden Party seemed the obvious place to go for a quote, and here it is, from the first paragraph:

“The gardener had been up since dawn, mowing the lawns and sweeping them, until the grass and the flat dark rosettes where the daisy plants had been seemed to shine. As for the roses, you could not help feeling they understood that roses are the only flowers that impress people at garden parties; the only flowers that everybody is certain of knowing. Hundreds, yes, literally hundreds, had come out in a single night; the green bushes bowed down as though they had been visited by archangels.”

Landscape designer Sarah Price (who did some of the “Olympic meadows” in London) has written a useful piece about “naturalistic” plantings, something of a fad in Europe, thanks to the much-admired work of Dutch landscaper Piet Oudolf and English gun Tom Stuart-Smith (who also did some Olympic work).

Sarah’s article includes some useful how-to advice that could be adapted to include some of our native plants.

Tom is interviewed here about his Olympic work and how to create a meadow garden.

Within the Olympic meadows were several themed areas – South African, North American, etc – that were held together by the overall design. Interestingly, this “big picture” design was by two horticultural tutors from Sheffield University. See some pictures of their work here.


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