Invisible monkeys in the jungle

Our wonderful south Sulawesi government hosts took us to the jungle today.  It doesn’t get much better than an offer like this for me!  I was in Makassar 7 days wondering what was in the green hills on the horizon.  We visited the site of a future Botanic Gardens in Tompobulu in the Maros region…

Fruit Salad Sulawesi style

If you were making a fruit salad in Sulawesi right now it would have jeruk (a pale mild mandarin), mangosteen and longans, dragonfruit (fruit of a cactus), snakefruit (a palm fruit), soursop and jicama (root of a pea family vine). Today I had jeruk & snakefruit at breakfast. Snakefruit is sour/sweet not quite like anything…

Toko Bunga (garden centres) of Makassar

There’s a street in Makassar (jalan danau tanjung bunga) that is lined with many, many plant nurseries. Many almost hang over the adjacent lake on platforms. Popular plants are Norfolk Island pines & cycads. I am fairly sure I haven’t seen a native plant yet in urban Makassar (disclaimer palms are not my forte &…

Makassar’s alleyway (lorong) gardens

Today I visited the Lorong Gardens of Makassar.  The lorongs are poorer areas of the city with narrow (one way) streets (actually some are walkways). The project uses plants to beautify the alleyways and inspire pride, care & custodianship by the residents. It’s was so heart-warming to see local government in partnership with a community to…

Sulawesi (home) Gardens

Nothing like travelling to remind you that the love of plants and gardening is a universal thing. No matter where I’ve travelled people tuck plants in pots where they have no ground, or cultivate land with crops or beautiful gardens. This morning I wandered around some streets in Makassar to check them out.  It seems…

The realm of Hasanudin, Makassar

Botanic gardens are international networks and, at least us little players, help each other out when we can. People who work in gardens rock up at my work often & it’s great to show them round & learn what we have in common, what’s different & what can we learn from each other. So I…

Happy 200th birthday!

This year Geneva Botanic Garden celebrates its 200th birthday. I ate some of the cake because the BGCI congress was timed especially to join in celebrating this wonderful milestone. That’s the cake that looks like a small fire.   The gardens has decided to tell the story of these 200 years in such a neat…

Gardening with Nature

I was invited by Richard V. Piacentini of the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA to present in a session at BGCI today called “When Less Bad is Not Good Enough Anymore: Lessons and Leading for a Regenerative World”. Richard has been awarded numerous environmental awards and is an honour to be…

Somewhere in the French Alps

You know when someone drives you somewhere and you realise you chatted to them rather than looking where you were going?  So today I went into the French Alps on a field trip.  Luckily my phone records where photos are taken so it seems I went to the base of Aiguille de Loriaz in the Vallorcine…

Research on Show

Today I presented at the Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) congress in Geneva in the session How can botanic gardens use their scientific expertise to help solve the “big issues”? I used our approach to water sensitive design at Auckland Botanic Gardens and how this demonstrates the role of botanic gardens translating research into practice in…