Gardening on the Edge, Maleny

Visit six privately owned hinterland gardens. Free entry to garden market with over 20 specialist stalls . Lunches and teas available. Tickets at Maleny Showgrounds and at the gardens. $20 for 6 gardens, $12 for 3 gardens and $5 for 1 garden. Maleny Showgrounds, Maleny-Stanley River Road, Maleny, Queensland 4552, Australia

Workshop: Sustainable gardening for the lazy gardener Level II, Brisbane

Workshop: Sustainable gardening for the lazy gardener Level II. Covering more in depth information about sustainable gardening, this workshop This time looking further into the role of critters in the garden, plant health and also exploring micro climates and how to use them to our advantage. 2 hour workshop, 1pm-3pm. $45. Booking essential

Subtropical Cottage Gardening Level II workshop, Brisbane

Workshop: Subtropical Cottage Gardening Level IIThis workshop carries on from the first Subtropical Cottage Gardening workshop and will delve deeper into cottage gardening and will include much more plant information including edible and medicinal plants in the cottage garden, and more design ideas. 2 hour workshop, 1pm-3pm, $45, booking essential

Planty Fierce

Visit 3 horticulture industry private NSW Central Coastal gardens; be inspired by designer gardens and buy interesting plants for your home garden – all on the one day!

“Sea-Changer” garden by garden designer Peter Nixon, 21 Lavinia Street, Forresters Beach

“Paradox” garden by plantsman Ray Henderson, 25 Curringa Close, Glenning Valley – sun bromeliad sales and advice

“Living Edge” garden & nursery David Fripp & Blake Jolley 1483 Peats Ridge Rd, Peats Ridge – rare plant sales and advice

ENTRY: $5 at each of the 3 gardens, cash only, children free & no dogs

EXTRAS – hard to find designer plant sales at all 3 gardens for your garden or client’s

Workshop: Recycled Garden Art, Brisbane

Workshop: Recycled Garden Art. This is for those wishing to be eco friendly and those just wanting to make gardening easier – let nature do the hard work for you. Covers soil care, water wise gardening, reducing chemicals and fertilisers and plant choices. 4 hour workshop, 9am-1pm. $90 (includes lunch). Booking essential, limited places.

Sophie’s Patch open garden

Be inspired – visit Sophie Thomson’s Garden.

Sophie’s Patch Easter Open Garden: Saturday 15, Sunday 16, Monday 17 April, 2017
•  Hear from: experts on how to attract butterflies, birds and native bees to your garden, tips on keeping chooks and bees at home, advice on growing Mediterranean climate fruit trees. See the full program of speakers at Sophie’s Patch
•  Kids activities – bugs and craft
•  Browse and buy quality plants from a selection of nurseries with unusual ornamentals, herbs, vegies and succulents.
•  Home made refreshments: will be available from stalls selling lunch, tea, coffee and drinks as well as cakes made from Sophie’s Patch produce.
•  Entry Fee: $10, children under 18 free, stay in the garden as long as you like. Supporting Mt Barker Rotary Club and Operation Flinders. Gates open from 10am to 4.30pm daily. Only 35 minutes drive from central Adelaide.

Cider Making Workshop

Learn to make great apple cider or upgrade knowledge and skills at this one day workshop. Rob Pelletier, course facilitator, is joined by a leading cider maker from Henry of Harcourt*, one or Australia’s pioneering, and award winning traditional cider making establishments.

Participants will see first hand suitable start-up equipment and supplies, learn the basic theory behind making cider, understand the steps required to produce cider, experience the preparation and processing of fruit, fermentation and bottling.

The finished product is not neglected. Over lunch there will be a tasting of selected varietal and blended ciders that will open the door to the world of fine cider and how to select the correct fruit to produce it.

Special Features
Orchard Tour – the Collections Orchard contains over 300 varieties of apples including many English, French and other cider varieties.
Equipment demonstrations – both low cost and entry level professional equipment will be demonstrated.
Tasting – the included cider tasting follows the same format used by Drew Henry at professional conferences.
Cider apples – a number of top cider apples will be available for inspection and tasting on the day.
Cider sales – Selected varietal and blended award winning Henry of Harcourt ciders will be available for purchase on the day.

Heritage Fruit Trees is a 2 hour drive west of Melbourne.

Collectors’ Plant Fair, Sydney

Make a day of it at Collectors’ Plant Fair: shop, chat, and be inspired. With over 80 plant and gardening products stalls, Collectors’ is Australia’s largest plant fair; brimming with plants, pots, books, more great food, the best coffee and much more. It truly is Australia’s most treasured garden event!

Tickets prepaid Saturday $14, Sunday $12; at the door sat $15, Sun $13. Open Saturday 8am to 4pm and Sunday 9am to 3pm. Hawkesbury Race Club, Clarendon

Italian garden design’s influence on Australian gardens

How has Italian garden design influenced the design of Australian gardens? Join award-winning Italo-Australian landscape designer Carlo Gabriele as he explains the far-reaching influences of Italian design and its relevance and inspiration to designing gardens in Australia.

When: Tuesday 4 April at 6 for 6.30 pm
Where: Mueller Hall, National Herbarium
Cost: Friends $20 Non-members $25 Students $10
Bookings close 1 May
Refreshments will be served before the talk.
Bookings essential
Enquiries: Friends’ office (03) 9650 6398

Risqué Royals, Flirtatious Females & Scandalous Sirs

A rose by any other name? Join new ASA Tour Leader Deryn Thorpe for “Risqué Royals, Flirtatious Females & Scandalous Sirs“, an entertaining romp through the pages of garden history!

Deryn Thorpe presents an entertaining lecture on how a selection of roses have been named after historical figures. Using historical letters, poetry, diary entries and beautiful rose images, this irreverent lecture explores the lives of some well-known people and the roses named after them. The lecture will appeal to anyone who enjoys gardens, history and the simple pleasure of some good stories well told.

Date: Saturday 1 April 2017
Time: 2.00pm – Refreshments to follow

Bookings Essential
COST: Complimentary, however bookings are essential.
RESERVATIONS: Please book online, or contact ASA on: (03) 9822 6899, Freecall 1800 645755 (outside Melbourne Metro) or email:
VENUE: Theatre, Lauriston Girls’ School, 38 Huntingtower Road, Armadale.

Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show

With a major focus on emerging lifestyle trends, the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show is set to inspire crowds with breathtaking floral displays and spectacular Show Gardens. Visitors to the show will also experience masterclasses with floral designers, to meet key landscape designers, exhibitors and industry experts, as well as peruse the avenues of exhibitors selling everything from bulbs, plants, tools, trinkets and garden accessories. The prestigious Show is well established in the psyche of Australians as a “must see” event. Open daily 9am to 5pm, with special extra Gardens by Twilight opening until 9.30pm on Friday 31 March 2017.

Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show

The Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show is Australia’s largest garden show, with designer display gardens, Avenue of Achievable Gardens, hundreds of stalls selling plants and garden products, gardening and design advice clinics, floristry displays, garden art, entertainment, food stalls. Special ‘Gardens by Twilight’ opening until 9pm on Friday 31 March.

Adults $29.90, concession $25.90, children under 14 free.

Garden Releaf

Independent garden centres across Australia will be holding Garden Releaf Day 2017 on Sunday March 19. Amongst other things there will be loads of fun, COLOUR themed activities and focusing on the benefits of plants and gardens to enrich our lives. Garden centres will be exploding with beautiful plants and informative displays.

Established in 2014 by Garden Centres Australia (GCA) Garden Releaf is an innovative program to help people understand the benefits that; spending time in a garden, being surrounded by living plants and enjoying healthy fresh produce can have on a person’s health and wellbeing. The program aims to provide the community with ideas and inspiration, information and events through its supporting Independent Garden Centres about how they can get involved with immersing themselves in plants and gardens; whether they are apartment dwellers, city block residents or on the land. The Garden Releaf program also focuses on raising money to support selected charities, such as beyondblue

Check out the program at your local independent nursery HERE

Weeds: from foe to friend workshop, Brisbane

Workshop: Weeds from foe to friend. For those who missed it last time or for those who want to delve further into the wonderful world of weeds – how to use them, eat them, compost them, use them as soil indicators, eradicate them without poisons, and including a discussion of specific weeds – bring one from your garden you would like to know more about

Cranbourne Plant Sale

Autumn Plant Sale of Australian plants for the Growing Friends group of the Cranbourne Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria Inc.
Plant sale dates: Saturday and Sunday 18th and 19th March, 2017
Times: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm on both days
A wide range of Australian plants in tubes and larger pots will be for sale – priced from $3. (Cash or cheques only, no credit/debit card facilities)
Cranbourne Gardens is an easy one hour drive from Melbourne and the plant sale is a great opportunity to purchase Australian native plants and look around the Australian Garden.

Orchard Ramble

Join Heritage Fruit Tree proprietor Rob Pelletier for an informative and enjoyable orchard ramble through Heritage Fruit Tree’s Collections Orchard and gardens.

The Collections Orchard, unique in Australia, has over 300 apple varieties, around 40 table grapes and a collection of stone fruit and figs with many in fruit and ripe during Autumn. Access to this orchard is strictly controlled due to the value of the genetic material and biosecurity concerns – please do not bring fruit or parts of fruit trees with you when visiting.

Taste what’s in season, pick up tips and techniques for getting the best out of your fruit trees and learn the fascinating stories behind some the wonderful old apple varieties, many handed down over centuries.

Heritage Fruit trees is a 2 hour drive west of Melbourne.

Growing, killing, learning & succeeding with plants

John Raynor’s 2 acre garden, Brookdale Farm at Emerald is a burst of tingles and surprises. Most of the garden plants are structured around form and texture, low maintenance and no irrigation. He has a scientific approach to design using the right plant in the right place. He advocates dividing and massing (for spectacular effect and to save money). His edible garden includes espaliered fruit trees and imaginative approaches to old ideas. This is a rare treat to learn about John’s own garden.

When: Wednesday 15 March 2017
Place: Room MB 10 (in the Main Building).
Burnley Campus, 500 Yarra Boulevard, Richmond.
Time: 7.00 pm for drinks and nibbles
7.30 pm for the talk.
Cost: $5 (members). Non-members = $15
Parking: available in the Boulevard

About John Raynor:
Director of Horticulture – University of Melbourne, Burnley Campus, Burnley graduate and Burnley lecturer for many years (and still going strong). His main area of research is Green Roofs and Walls. John’s engaging personality makes him a pleasure to listen to and there are few people who can combine experience, knowledge and creativity with a professional presentation. He appears regularly on ABC radio in Melbourne and his garden appears in the Open Gardens Australia scheme.

Goulburn Rose Festival

The Goulburn Rose Festival features thousands of named roses on display including the ‘City of Goulburn’ Rose. The rose is a flower that sits comfortably with Goulburn’s heritage buildings, broad streets, spacious parks and majestic trees. The theme for 2017 is ‘The Enchanted Garden‘. $5 entry, children under 16 free

Ipswich Garden & Plant Expo

Ipswich Garden & Plant Expo is a tropical and subtropical plant lovers paradise, with over 100 plant stalls selling all types of plants, local horticulture experts, guest speakers, food stalls, entertainment, organic and edible gardening. Free parking. $10 entry, $8 concession, under 15 free. Only a 35 minute drive from Brisbane!

Green Cities Conference

Co-hosted annually by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) and the Property Council of Australia (Property Council), Green Cities is Australia’s premier sustainability conference for the built environment. Green Cities has brought together thought leaders, industry experts and individuals, inspiring sustainability initiatives for 11 consecutive years. Seminars, masterclasses, site tours.

Full conference $2,812.50 ($1875 for GBC or PCA members). International Convention Centre Darling Harbour, Sydney.

Subtropical Cottage Gardening workshop, Brisbane

Workshop: Subtropical Cottage Gardening. What is a cottage garden and why do we want one, why they are a great garden style for Brisbane, cottage garden design and plants which achieve this design BUT which suit our climate.

Begonia and Frangipani weekend, Sydney

Plant, displays, talks, demonstrations, sausage sizzle and light refreshments. Presented by the NSW Begonia Society and the Australian Frangipani Society. 10am-4pm Saturday 25 February 2017, and 10am to 3pm Sunday 26 Feb. On site parking. Special terrarium event! Entry by gold coin donation.

Garden Pot Workshop, Sydney

Learn the art of container gardening (gardening in pots) with nursery owner and garden designer Daniel Rosenbaum, using a range of succulent plants and landscaping features, in a set of garden pots. Learn fundamental gardening techniques including; transplanting, plant propagation, re-potting, pruning and garden design principals. Learn how a collection of pot plants can expand to green an entire apartment balcony, attracting birds and providing an oasis for the nature spirt in you.

$225.00, concession $185.00. Cost covers all materials including containers, plants and growing mix. Cultivate NSW, Ryde College of TAFE, enter via Parks Street Ryde. On site parking.

Sydney Tomato Festival

Love all things tomato? Then this fun-filled, tasty sensation is for you! Enjoy a harbourside range of events in Sydney’s beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens, from the Longest Tomato Lunch to free heirloom tomato tastings, produce market, pop-up café, cooking demonstrations and competitions to find Sydney’s best homegrown tomatoes and homemade tomato condiments.

Date: 18 and 19 February 2017
Times: 10.00 am to 4.00 pm
Location: Band Lawn and Flowerbed Lawn, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney (on harbour foreshore). Best to enter Garden via the Woolloomooloo Gate or Henry Lawson Gate from Mrs Macquaries Road or Queen Elizabeth ll Gates from Circular Quay
Cost: the Festival is free with some paid elements including some kids activities, the Longest Tomato Lunch and Pomme d’Armour Lovers’ Dinner.

Botanical Art Workshops, Melbourne

Four weekly sessions in a small class with botanical artist Mali Moir working with watercolour pencils. This is a special workshop for Friends of Burnley Gardens members and the general public, and includes the opportunity to have your botanical illustrations included in a soon-to-be published book on Burnley Gardens. Wednesday 15 and 22 February and 1 and 8 March 2017, 10am to 12.30pm (room available to workshop participants until 3pm). Quad 4, Burnley Campus, University of Melbourne, 500 Yarra Bvd, Richmond. FOBG members $200, non-members $240. Bookings essential, contact Jennene at

Gardening on a Budget

Workshop: Gardening on a budget. Learn from Kate Wall how to save money and what not to cut costs on, propagating, and how to know what you need and don’t need to buy to have a great garden, and will include money saving garden design ideas. 2 hour workshop, 1pm-3pm. $45. Booking essential

Christmas Plant Sale

Christmas Plant Sale at Burnley Gardens. Wednesday 14 December 2016
12:00 – 3:00 pm. Buy a sustainable gift or something to brighten your garden from
our range of native, exotic and produce plants.

Location – outside the Student Union Building
Parking on Yarra Boulevard (Melways Map 45 & X872)
Payments by cash only. Funds raised go to Burnley Gardens Projects – see Achievements for details

Eden Unearthed: Sydney’s first ‘garden as gallery’ festival

I was delighted to be invited to launch Unearthed, the first ever garden festival at Eden Gardens in Sydney. It’s amazing to think that it was only 4 months ago that Simon Ainsworth first contacted me with an idea for a festival of sculpture at Eden Gardens along the lines of the International Garden Festival at Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire. An ambitious goal, as the Chaumont-sur-Loire festival has been running for almost 25 years and attracts over 400,000 visitors! Continue reading “Eden Unearthed: Sydney’s first ‘garden as gallery’ festival”

Verge Gardening

‘Verge Gardening’ covers safety issues, soil preparation, appropriate plant choices, edible verge gardens, and caring for a verge garden. Join Kate Wall, garden writer, consulting gardener, and biologist to learn how to garden in harmony with nature, and create beautiful and rewarding gardens suited to our SE Qld climate

Cost $45 includes afternoon tea and a free plant from June’s Home Grown Plants. 49 Arras Steet Yeronga, in Brisbane. Bookings essential contact Kate Wall at

Kangaroo Paw Symposium

Come to our three-day Symposium 24-26 November 2016, ‘Celebrating the Kangaroo Paw’, with much to interest everyone from botanists to landscape practitioners and also home gardeners. Only $100/day for a full day of expert lectures and workshops.

Topics will cover the whole Kangaroo Paw Family (Haemodoraceae).

Speakers will include

•    Prof Stephen Hopper (world authority on the Haemodoraceae Family)

•    Prof Kingsley Dixon from Curtin University

•    Dr Brett Summerell, Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney

•    Angus Stewart, kangaroo paw breeder and native plant expert

plus many more local and overseas people with special expertise.

Australian Institute of Horticulture Symposium

Two day symposium at the Cairns Convention Centre in Cairns, Queensland on the ‘Mechanics of Urban Greening’, including sessions on indigenous horticulture, biophilic architecture, soil design, green walls and roof and many more of interest to horticulturists, landscape designer and architects and urban planners.

AIH members $320, non-members $420 (for two days)

Wednesday 23rd November
Don Burke OAM RH – Opening Discussion
Patrick Regnault RH – Planning City Eco Systems
John Rayner – Research Informing Design – Contrasting Green Roof Performance
Simon Leake – Soil Design for Urban Greening
Tim Edmonson RH – Urban Oasis or Desert? Water Harvest with Aquifers
Kim Morris RH, FAIH – Developing the Landscape Sustainability Maintenance Index (SMI)
Mark Paul RH – Simple Ecological Systems – Small steps to larger reclamation of the built environment
Nicholas Rivett RH – Green Walls & Roofs – Folly, Fantasy or Fact
Martina Matzner – Future Youth in Agriculture & horticulture

Thursday 24th November
Don Burke OAM RH – AIH Plenary session
Dr Jana Soderlund – Biophillic Architecture
Matt Mitchley RH – The Jurassica Project
Nicholas Rivett RH – Conserving Landscape Tree Species & Age Diversity
Andrew Price RH, FAIH – Profiting from Chaos – Optimising Photosynthesis
Kim Courtenay – First Indigenous Kakadu Plum Plantation
Neville Passmore RH – Winning friends in government for more green spaces
Glenice Bachelor RH – Nature v Nurture
Andrew Prowse RH/Kim Morris RH, FAIH – War Graves in Perpetuity

Find out more about each session and the speakers -

An Evening at Historic ‘Chesterfield’, Geelong

Join landscape designer Stephen Read and owner Mary-Jane Walker for an evening in the grand dining room at ‘Chesterfield‘, one of Geelong’s oldest surviving Georgian homes and surrounded by a beautiful garden. Held as part of Garden DesignFest 2016, the Chesterfield soirée includes a talk by Stephen and Mary-Jane about the historic property. From 5.30 to 7.30pm, Saturday 19 November 2016 at 221 Nobel Street Newtown. Tickets available through Eventbrite.

Hear Mary-Jane describe the history of Chesterfield and how it was saved from the developer’s bulldozer and new life given to this old Georgian gem. Stephen will talk about ‘Reflections on Sense of Place and Purpose‘, discussing why landscape and garden designers need to be present, and take time to tap into what makes a place unique.

Chesterfield‘ is also open during the day from 10am-5pm on 19 and 20 November 2016 as part of Melbourne’s Garden DesignFest. More info on Garden DesignFest here

Perennials at Chesterfield garden, Geelong. Design Stephen Read Landscape Design
Perennials at Chesterfield garden, Geelong. Design Stephen Read Landscape Design

Giving Garden open in SEQ

Ian and Judy Wintle are once again opening the Giving Garden, their beautiful subtropical garden in Birkdale (east of Brisbane city) in South East Queensland. There will also be unusual and rare plants for sale and refreshments provided by the local Lions Club. The garden is open to raise funds for Lions Club charities supporting disabled children.

The Giving Garden is known for its collections of beehive gingers, orchids, costus and bromeliads as well as stunning layout with winding paths and views.

The Giving Garden is open at 5 Carlton Court, Birkdale, 4159, Queensland, on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 November, 2016, from 9am to 4.30pm. $7 adults, children free.

Weeds: From Foe to Friend

Learn from sustainable garden expert Kate Wall how to appreciate the benefits of weeds and what they can be used for. Topics covered include:
•  edible weeds
•  medicinal weeds
•  compost value of weeds
•  weeds as indicators of garden conditions
•  how to mange unwanted weeds without using poisons
•  other uses for weeds
Cost is $44/person and includes afternoon tea and a free plant from June’s Home Grown Plants.
1-3pm, Yeronga, Brisbane

Bookings are essential as numbers are limited. Confirm your booking by calling or texting Kate on 0448 460 037 or by email

In Stillness

Open Wednesday to Sunday and based on the theme from the Irish proverb, ‘In stillness, the world is restored‘ this photographic exhibition of landscapes and nature features the work of Blue Mountains photographers Louise Bishop, Fiona Huddleston and Dilshara Hill.

Open Wednesday to Sunday  from 11am to 3pm at the Everglades Gallery, 37 Everglades Avenue, Leura in the beautiful Blue Mountains only a 1.5 hour drive west of Sydney.

Free with Everglades entry: $13 adult, $8 conc, $4 child (National Trust members free entry)

Botanic and Rare Plant Fair

The Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria and Diggers Club present a new opportunity to purchase rare and unusual plants, all in one place on one weekend, in spring, directly from growers. Plus 3 expert panel talks each day featuring well-known gardening personalities such as Tim Entwisle, Michael McCoy, Teena Crawford, Jim Fogarty, Jane Edmanson, Clive Blazey, Millie Ross, Andrew Laidlaw and Rodger Elliot.

Saturday 22 & Sunday 23 October, 10am – 4pm, Observatory Precinct, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria – Melbourne Birdwood Avenue, Melbourne Vic 3004. Entry $10 Adult (Under 16 years free), $30 Panel discussions & behind the scenes tours (Pre-booking essential)

Botanical Art Workshop

Botanical art workshop with Mali Moir in 3 sessions: 21 September, 19 October and 16 November 2016. Mali is an accomplished botanical artist and graduate of Burnley.
After horticulture, Mali studied botanical art and went on to work as the botanical illustrator at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne. She now exhibits her work and runs botanical art classes. She can cater for all levels of expertise, from the … “I really can’t draw” to “I just need some help with this”. Medium – water colour pencils.

10am – 12.30pm each session. Total for 3 sessions $180, members $150. BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL. Go to

The Art of Botanical Illustration

Presented by the Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, this is our thirteenth famous biennial exhibition. It is Australia’s premier selected exhibition of botanical works – 175 stunning paintings and drawings by 98 local, interstate and overseas artists. This year, in addition to conventional botanical illustration, we have encouraged artists to go outside the traditional botanical illustration terms of reference and produce some innovative works of art. Not to be missed!
FREE ENTRY, open daily 10am-4pm.
Domain House Gallery
Dallas Brooks Drive, Melbourne, Victoria 3142 Australia

Artisans in the Gardens

See a huge range of eclectic work by dozens of artists and artisans from around Australia. Art, sculpture, furniture, decorative work and jewellery in media such as ceramics, glass, art, paper, mosaic, metalwork, woven works, timber, LED, found and reused objects and more. All works are for sale. Lion Gate Lodge, (enter from Mrs Macquaries Road), Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, NSW, 10am-4pm daily. Free entry.

Butterfly Gardening

Butterfly Gardening – hear a talk given by Jo Hammond, Butterfly Lady. Learn about the value of butterflies in the garden and how to attract them. Cost $35 including free plant) Saturday 15 October, 2-3.30pm at The Gardeners Wall, Yeronga, in Brisbane.