Tuesday digest

If you’re plannng a visit to Europe, better put northern Italy’s Trauttmansdorff Castle gardens on your list – it has just won the International Garden of the Year award at the Garden Tourism Conference in Canada. The garden, in Merano, opened for the season at the end of March.

Other awards given out may help if you’re planning garden visits in Canada and the US.

Skirret anyone? Or how about scorzonera? Here’s a small picture gallery of “nostalgia” veges being grown in Britain.

Thoughts on what was hot and what wasn’t at the recent Melbourne Flower Show, courtesy of GardenDrum blogger Catherine Stewart.

Environmentalists – and those charged with thinking about the environment and where it intersects with human habitation – are waking up to the idea of using plants to decontaminate former industrial sites. Read more here.

The Daily Telegraph in Britain is proclaiming that dahlias are back in fashion. Have to admit that I’ve gone from disliking them intensely (a “nana” flower) to having a couple in my garden, mixed in with other things. Bit disappointed to find that a tuber I’d bought from a garden centre was not the colour shown on the label when it came into flower so that one will be finding a new home.

In February NZ Post issued a set of native fern stamps featuring hen and chicken, kidney, Colenso’s hard, umbrella and silver ferns. Click on “issue information” to read a little about each fern.

On April 23 Australia Post is issuing a set of stamps to celebrate five of its botanic gardens – the Royal Botanic Gardens in Cranbourne near Melbourne (363ha), the Hobart Botanical Gardens (the world’s only Subantarctic plant house), the Darwin Botanic Gardens, the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden (Mt Tomah) and the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra (growing about a third of Australia’s native plants).

Sadly, although two New Zealand botanic gardens are celebrating their 150th anniversaries this year (Dunedin and Christchurch), NZ Post does not appear to be following suit.

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