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…

Mosses to mini-mountains

A short train ride from the centre of Berlin is the 43ha Berlin BG.  It’s main draw card is the beautiful Victorian style greenhouses.  But it has more to offer including an expansive arboretum park, meadows, alpine garden (with its own mini-mountains), and a water plant collection.  My favourite is the moss garden!   The…

The roofs are alive

“Vegetation makes it possible” …is the tag line of the World Green Infrastructure Network  I am now in Berlin for the WGI network’s annual meeting where the focus is on green or living roofs, as well as the role of plants in urban climate, rainwater management and sustainability.   This is BIG. Actually its the largest…

Glassy

Ending up in an unknown, not on your itinerary Czech city,  Liberec, the train from Poland  only came here, not Prague) was fortunate as they have a really cool Botanic Garden.  Its central feature is a group pavilions, or glasshouses, which represent different plant biomes or themes e.g. Australia, the tropics, Asia, primitive plants etc….

A castle in the forest

Ksiaz Castle (Zamek Ksiaz in Polish) is set in the Sudetan mountain beech forest. The dominant trees I saw were Quercus robur & Fagus sylvatica. Apparently there are yew trees too but I didn’t find them.  The outlook from the castle windows for 360 degrees is forest which must have been very nice for the…

She wanted flowers all year round!

In Poland you can stay in a castle – so we are! It’s got a pretty gritty WWII history just like every part of Poland (it was being prepared for Hitler to live in after he won, thankfully he didn’t). The Ksiaz (pronounced ‘Shoungsh’, not kidding) castle is 700 years old but as with all…

An aquarium…for plants

The “Botanical Garden Of The University Of Wrocław” is a 7.4ha urban oasis in Poland’s 4th largest city.  Opening in 1811 it’s the second oldest garden in Poland (after Krakow). Like Krakow it’s set out for university teaching purposes.  The signage is wordy and probably not interesting to most visitors (even if you can speak…

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…

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.