The two BG’s of Kyiv

The conference I’ve just attended in Kyiv was a Botanic Garden (BG) for University teaching. Much of it is not publically accessible.  The part of it that captivated me the most were the glasshouses and I’ve mentioned the tropical forest glasshouse already, the others are mostly filled with succulents. Many of the students studying here…

Green Urban Ukraine

Ukrainians value greenery and flowers in their cities. Flowers are sold at almost every corner and instead of window washers dodging rush hour traffic it’s flower sellers. Most cafes have planter boxes and most streets have concrete planter boxes in the centre or edge of paths. 

Fantasy forests

To connect people with tropical & sub-tropical forests Ukranian BG’s must grow these forest species under glass which is no mean feat if the trees are Araucaria bidwilli and A. angustifolia which get to 45m+. Here’s them pushing up a 33m greenhouse in two BG’s in Kyiv.   Their glasshouses are expensive to heat and…

Getting around Ukraine

I have seen as many new and flash cars here in Ukraine as we do at home but for the record there’s also some relics of the soviet era that need to be recorded! Some of these I traveled in.

Stipa Steppe

Our conference field trip was to the steppe. The Ukrainian steppe is an almost-extinct ecosystem as it’s fertile land now converted to horticulture (I saw corn, sunflower & soy beans). What is left is fragmented. We saw 3 patches in a nine hour trip. The characteristic, and beautiful, grass is Stipa pennata. It’s also the…

Plant Conservation in Aotearoa NZ

I presented at Planta Europa today in Kiev, Ukraine.  Because most other people at this conference are unfamiliar with the NZ flora I focused some issues that unite us (in threatened plant management) and some (hopefully) memorable examples so they want to find out more! We’re not the only country with weed issues and I…

European Plant Conservation

Planta Europa is a European wide network of non-governmental organisations and governments working together to inspire a world where plants are valued and to avert the loss of wild plants. I am at their 8th meeting, they get together every 3 years starting in 1995. There are 23 countries represented here (but one is me…

Flowers for the founder 

Taras Shevchenko is known as the Father of Ukrainian language. Many things are named after him, and this is his image in his square, in front of the Taras Shevchenko Uni and on Taras Shevchenko Boulevard. Today they planted the annual bedding around it. People place cut flowers on the grass beside him as a tribute….

Ukranian Gardeners

The conference I am attending in Kyiv is at the A. V. Fomin Botanical Garden (also translates as O.V. Fomin).  Here’s some images of the gardeners of Kyiv.    

Poplar snow in spring, Kyiv 

Kyiv is known as a green city and ‘the city of chestnuts’ (Aesculus hippocastanum) but right now it’s snowing poplar seed. The story goes that in 1842, in preparation of a visit for Tsar Nicholas I, they planted chestnuts down the road I am staying on.  But he didn’t like them.  So overnight they were pulled…

The Queens Meadows

Even the Queen doesn’t mind unmown grass!  Meadows line “The Mall” which is the street leading up to her house (Buckingham Palace) and they are in two other Royal Parks I visited (in my less than 10 hours of waking time in London): The Green Park and Regents Park.  They are not mowing around tree roots…

Glass houses

My parents visited Heligan in 2003 when you placed two pounds in an honesty box to enter.  They bought me the book and the DVD.  I was captivated by the story, imagining both how much work and how rewarding it would be to “find” a garden. So it’s always been on my list to visit….