Sunday digest

Thomas Woltz, who spoke at the Garden and Landscape Design conference in Auckland in 2009, has won the George Malcom Supreme Award from the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects (plus two other awards) for his work on Nick’s Head Station (Orongo Station) in Poverty Bay.

Thomas Woltz, pictured in 2009, during a conference break.

Thomas is a partner in Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects, an American firm. Read a recent profile of Thomas here.

The project had earlier won a New York American Society of Landscape Architects Honour Award. Read more about the work at Nick’s Head Station here.

I was at the Auckland conference and impressed by everything I heard Thomas say. His designs are extraordinarily thoughtful.

An edible garden around a major sports venue – what a cracker of an idea. The home of the San Francisco Giants (a baseball team, I looked it up) will next northern spring have a new garden around it, full of tomatoes, scallopini, lettuce, silverbeet and bok choy. The story and an idea of the design are here.

Hmm, the Cake-tin, Eden Park, the new Dunedin stadium, Baypark … all ripe for a garden or three.

Ron Finley is genuine agent of change in South Central Los Angeles, one of the city’s poorer areas. He decided to turn his street verge (owned by the council but which he’s responsible for maintaining) into a food garden – and got a warrant for it! He fought City Hall and won. Here is a TED video about his thoughts on why growing food is so important for the impoverished and the use of vacant public land (10mins46sec).

Waiting for the Daughter to do the scary rides at Disneyland last month had an upside – I got to have a close look at some of the gardens. Our first stop was Tomorrowland so she could scratch a 14-year-old itch and ride Space Mountain (she was too short all those years ago).

Outside, I stopped gazing and started looking – lettuces, low hedges of rosemary, Asian greens, chillies and, hey, aren’t those pomegranates? Other fruiting trees in the area included mango, guava, persimmon, date palm, fig, avocado and babaco (star fruit). The olives had been sprayed, so a staffer informed me, so they didn’t fruit, too messy.

Chilli peppers in Tomorrowland, hedged in by rosemary. Photo: Sandra Simpson

In fact, all the gardens in Disneyland and Californialand were amazing – impeccably kept, full of colour and lush. And they do all the work when the park’s closed. Read more about the gardens here (choose an area on the left-hand menu).

Aren’t the magnolias looking magnificent just now? On her blog Abbie Jury tells the story of red magnolias – one that is, she says, a New Zealand story and a Jury family story.

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