Garden news & events

It’s the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture AGM tonight in Auckland, followed by the (free public) Banks Memorial Lecture given by Dr Mike Wilcox on Auckland’s Remarkable Urban Forest. Details from the Events page or follow the links.

Warwick and Sue Forge, who organise the biennial Landscape Design Conference in Melbourne are this year again leading tours to South America – Colombia (for the first time), Peru, Chile, Brazil and Argentina.

The Colombia Tour (including coffee plantations) starts on September 4, Peru (In the Footsteps of the Incas) on September 13 and the Gardens of Paradise tour starts in Chile on September 22, also taking in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Iguassu and Buenos Aires (Argentina). This last tour includes many key gardens, such as those of Juan Grimm and Roberto Burle Marx, several in private ownership.

Tour itineraries and further information from Warwick Forge in Australia, you can also phone 03 9804 8915. More information is available from the website.

Garden tours are also a speciality of the Botanica travel company. The lovely Judy Horton of Yates Australia also works a tour guide for Botanica.

Legionnaire’s disease can and does happen to home gardeners – it is at best a nasty illness, at worst a fatal one. What causes it and how can we be on guard against it? There are at least 50 different types of the Legionella bacteria, only one of which is found in water systems, while another is linked to inhalation of particles from potting mix and garden soil. Read NGIA advice and information here.

There is now a national Legionella Working Group, prompted in part by a Fair Go item about warnings and information (or lack of)  about the disease in garden centres.

Why are hydrangeas also known as hortensias? Some answers are offered on this charming blog post.

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