The Temple of Flora, that opened this Spring in the superb 1864 arts and crafts cottage at Heronswood, the historic house and garden overlooking Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay on the Mornington Peninsula, is a celebration of plant life and beauty, and, yes, sex. The three metre high resin sculpture by artist Kate Rohde that forms […]Read more "A new Temple of Flora – an ornament crime?"
Lilacs are one of my favourite flowers. The wonderfully fragrant flowers borne at the ends of branches contrast perfectly with the glossy, dark-green heart-shaped leaves. While widely available lilacs are often considered rather old-fashioned – associated more with older gardens than modern, at least in Australia.Read more "Lilac time"
In Adelaide, the Botanic Gardens are part of our lives. We’re introduced to the beautiful gardens in prams, brought in as toddlers to explore, join pre-school visits and school excursions, court in the Gardens, marry in the Gardens, introduce our own children to the Gardens and celebrate anniversaries and milestones here. As we age, perhaps we explore the Gardens more deeply to reveal other sides of its character, introduce our grandchildren, and eventually our children or friends bring us here. The Gardens are as much a gallery of memories as a gallery of plants.Read more "Controlled patience – beauty & truth"
As a botanist working in a botanic garden I’m fortunate to have access to flowers year round with, as an example close to my office, the outrageous displays of aloes in Adelaide Botanic Garden beginning in mid-winter. Nevertheless Spring’s a time for celebration, not simply for the promise of warmer weather, but for the abundance of Spring flowers.Read more "… you start liking flowers"
My little boy thinks fungi are really cool. I’m not sure if it’s because you can eat them, or because you can’t eat them (deadly poisons with no cure are worth paying attention to), or because they’re generally overlooked, or because, intrinsically, they’re really interesting.Read more "We don’t scare easy. We’re mycologists."
While the drying racks at Marrawah Kelp Pty Ltd might qualify as a contemporary art installation, their purpose is commercial – here the cast kelp, washed up on local beaches, is collected, dried and prepared for NatraSol products utilised for stock and plant feed supplements.Read more "Last chance to see?"
“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” Matthew 2: 10-11 KJV.Read more "Gold, Frankincense And Myrrh – the Botany of Christmas"
The success of maize (or corn) cultivation since the Columbian Exchange is remarkable; Michael Pollan wryly observes that we are “processed corn, walking”.Read more "Greenspace: Children of the corn"
The Australia Register of Significant Trees incorporates trees on scientific, social, historic and aesthetic grounds and provides an online nomination process; and proposals for new candidates are welcomed by the Trust.Read more "Greenspace: The fifth element – seeing the trees for themselves"
“Botanically, hops, Humulus lupulus, are exceptional. Hops are dioecious – with separate male and female plants; only the latter produce the catkins (‘hop cones’) that are utilised in brewing.”Read more "Greenspace: More Beer and Civilisation"