Daffodils at Rydal, NSW

Rydal is a pretty village on the bank of Solitary Creek, surrounded by rolling rural countryside. It was named after a village in England where the poet William Wordsworth lived. His poem ‘The Daffodils‘ has helped make these lovely flowers popular.

Rydal has some wonderful heritage buildings dating from the time when it was the terminus of the Western Railway.

For 2 weekends each September, Rydal is aglow with thousands of daffodils, in open fields, public parks and private gardens.

Open gardens for 3017 TBA

Talk – Museum of Economic Botany

Illustrated talk in Sydney on the Museum of Economic Botany at Adelaide Botanic Garden, by Tony Kanellos. The story of the Museum of Economic Botany spans a remarkable 150 years – from the germ of an idea by George Francis, through the flowering of the collection and building by Richard Schomburgk to the restoration of 2009. This potted history covers the highs and lows, celebration and neglect, thousands of objects from around the world, dedicated curators, deadly white ants, larrikins and lovers of plants and the ingenuity of their uses by people of many cultures of the globe.
Venue: Annie Wyatt Room, National Trust Centre, Observatory Hill.
Cost: Members $20 Guests $30 includes light refreshments. Bookings essential.
Bookings & enquiries for all events above: Email: Jeanne@Villani.com.
NOTE: Please book before transferring money to the account – the event may be booked out. Payment confirms booking.

Garden Seminar

Join us for this intriguing day with fascinating talks addressing the topic of appropriate planting and garden design for Sydney coastal areas and the built environment.
27 JUL 2016 9:30 AM — 3:00 PM
The three highly regarded speakers at this years’ Garden Seminar, addressing the topic of appropriate planting and garden design for Sydney coastal areas and the built environment are:
Peter Nixon: Plants and Design for Coastal Growing Conditions
Arno King: Subtropical Vegetable Gardening
Mark Paul: Green Walls – Greening the Built Environment

Bookings: Ticket Application Sheet
Cost: Members $70.00; Non Members $89.00
Enquiries: 02 9363 2401; lindesay@nationaltrust.com.au

Plant Lovers Fair NSW

Over 40 Exhibitors offering plants for collectors as well as ornamental and food gardens plus quality garden products; an interesting & informative FREE Speakers Program on both days; refreshments and ATM facilities. At Kariong Mountains High School, Central Coast, NSW, an easy 1 hour drive from Sydney.

Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 September 2016; 9am-4pm both days

Review: The Calyx reveals its Sweet Addiction at Sydney RBG

Newly opened at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, The Calyx is the purpose-built exhibition space that the Gardens has needed and wanted for some years. On the outside it’s an architectural and very beautiful structure occupying the site of the old glass square pyramid Tropical Centre and built on to the Ken Woolley-designed quarter-circle ‘Arc’ glasshouse which survived demolition. I like the way its stark and severe white ribs around the circular open courtyard area contrast with its green and leafy garden background, and also the wonderful shadow patterns they throw on the internal courtyard space. But what’s inside? Continue reading “Review: The Calyx reveals its Sweet Addiction at Sydney RBG”

Home and Garden Show Bowral

The Home and Garden Show in Bowral, NSW, has over 150 exhibitors. Anything you could possibly need, want or desire will be there… loads to love, see, buy, do and learn! The perfect opportunity to enquire, order and purchase loads of new products, plants, innovations and ideas for your Home & Garden. Enjoy free demonstrations and presentations across 4 stages including Gardening experts, home improvement, interior design and food and wine aficionados. Bowral is in the beautiful NSW Southern Highlands, an easy 1.5 to 2 hour drive by motorway south-west of Sydney.

Western Australian Flora

Talk at Australian Plants Society Central Coast Group, Saturday 13 August at 2pm.
In October 2015 Kevin Stokes went on a wildflower tour to WA which took him north from Perth and Kings Park to Geraldton and on to Kalbarri National Park before returning to Perth. His talk will loosely follow that trip and display the richness of the WA Flora in a photographic essay. As a bonus Kevin will touch on how to grow some of the WA plants on the East Coast.
Kevin has had a deep interest in most aspects of the Australian Flora over the last 40 years and has been associated with the Hunter Region Botanic Gardens near Raymond Terrace for its 30 year history.

$2 entry includes talk, a raffle ticket and afternoon tea plus a garden-grown Australian NATIVE flower and foliage display. ALL WELCOME!

Herbals – Myth, Magic, Medicine

Exquisite rare antiquarian books plus the intriguing and fantastical stories behind many of our medicinal plants makes a fabulous Sydney exhibition. ‘HERBALS: Myths Magic, Medicine

Since earliest times, humans have used plants to aid in maintaining their health. This knowledge was preserved and compiled in handwritten, illuminated and later, printed books and almost always illustrated. These were Herbals and along with useful information; mythic tales, legends, bizarre and sometimes macabre magical remedies were recorded.

At the Red Box Gallery, National Herbarium of NSW, Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney. 10am – 4pm WEEK DAYS ONLY. FREE entry.

Florilegium: Sydney’s Painted Garden

Celebrating 200 years of the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, this exhibition from the Florilegium Society features a unique collection of contemporary botanical paintings of some of the most significant plants in the living collections of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust.

Museum of Sydney, exhibition is free with $10 Museum entry, 10-5pm daily. 30 July to 30 October 2016.

Wild About Waratahs

Celebrating the iconic waratah, spectacular flower and New South Wales state floral emblem. Festival includes a state-wide waratah flower competition, a botanical illustration exhibition and workshop, guided garden tours, cut flower display and plants sales. Nearby Gadara Wildflower Farm will be open for one day only on Sunday 25 September from 1030am to 3pm.

Free entry, open from 9am to 5.30pm daily.

Therapeutic Landscapes Conference

‘Making Connections – Plants and People’. Cultivate is the peak body for horticultural therapy in NSW. This inaugural one day professional conference highlights the interaction between plants and people and the resulting therapeutic benefits experienced by our interconnectedness. Our aim is to increase this understanding and move towards standard training and practice in Australian professional services in therapeutic horticulture with an emphasis on evidence based practice.

Key note speakers: Anna Baker Cresswell, HighGround UK, on the horticultural therapy for the military ‘Gardening Leave’ and the Defence Rehabilitation Centre and Dr Theresa Scott, presenting research on the benefits of gardening for older adults.

Full delegate price $185, concessions and Cultivate members $150. Book now!

Planting Dreams: Shaping Australian Gardens

An exhibition at the State Library of NSW in Sydney curated by garden historian Richard Aitken. Features 150 rare, beautiful and often quirky objects from the Library’s collection, spanning 5 centuries, that present the ideas and influences that have shaped the way we make, use, imagine and enjoy our gardens.

State Library of NSW, Macquarie St, Sydney

Exhibition Galleries, open 9am-5pm Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri; 9am-8pm Thurs, 10am-5pm Sat and Sun.

Planting Dreams: Grand Garden Designs

Curated by the renown Howard Tanner, this collection of photographs captures the essence of contemporary landscape design across New South Wales. Featuring private gardens from Berry to Glen Innes, and Sydney public gardens and roof gardens, these inspiring images highlight current trends in landscape design, including cloud pruning, use of Australian plants and spectacular sculpture.

A companion Exhibition to Planting Dreams: Shaping Australian Gardens

Exhibition Galleries: Mon, Tues, Wed and Fri 9am-5pm; Thurs, 9am to 8pm; Sat and Sun 10am-5pm.

FREE entry

Robertson Open Gardens

Enjoy 8 private gardens open over the weekend of 8 -9 October in Robertson in the scenic Southern Highlands of NSW, an easy 1:45 hour drive from Sydney. Gardens range from smaller town gardens to large country gardens and feature beautiful spring flowering trees, azaleas, perennials and bulbs, sculpture, vistas, as well as ponds and lakes in both formal and informal gardens. There are also large productive vegetable gardens. $5 single garden, $20 all gardens.

Artisans in the Gardens, Sydney

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.

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)

Eden Unearthed

Art in Eden Gardens – a unique exhibition of 29 artworks by both established and emerging artists, featuring sculpture, installations, interactive sound and light, photography, wearable art, political and social statements and magical realism. All are site specific within the many display gardens of the Eden Gardens complex. Come and see gardens through the eyes of an artist.

Free entry, open daily 9am to 5pm, catalogue $7 (supporting Youth of the Streets).

Eden Gardens: 307 Lane Cove Road Macquarie Park, Sydney

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”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

Cottage Garden Club, Sydney

Come and celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Cottage Garden Club!

Guest speakers: Garry Reid on South African bulbs; Sonja Cameron on plant and perennials’ Michael McCoy, presenter on Dream Gardens talking about ‘One Thing’ – a design idea to take home from some of the world’s greatest gardens.

The days starts with plant stalls and garden products for sale in and around the hall, with guest speakers at 10am, then a lunch break before the afternoon speaker.

Sausage sizzle and birthday cupcakes galore, and wear something floral to add to the day’s fun.

Botanica – in Sickness and in Health

Don’t miss this exhibition of superb botanical art and illustration featuring work from Australia’s best and also international botanical artists. 2017’s Botanica theme draws its inspiration from the multiple ways we need, love and should appreciate plants – medicines, oxygen, poisons, fragrances, in celebrations and so much more.

Open 10am-4pm daily at the Lion Gate Lodge, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.

FREE admission

VIVID Sydney

See 63 exciting and wonderful light installations by inspirational artists from around the world, displayed across many locations around Sydney, including Circular Quay, Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, The Rocks, Barangaroo, Darling Harbour, Martin Place, Kings Cross, Carriageworks, Taronga Zoo and Chatswood. Access to outdoor light installations is free, lights on from 6pm to 11pm.

10 Best Plants for Therapeutic Gardens, Sydney

Join Horticulturalist Elizabeth Swane as she presents her recommendations for reliable plants in therapeutic gardens. Elizabeth brings a wealth of knowledge, with 40 years’ experience in horticulture.
Informed plant selection makes the garden an important resource for leisure activities based around gardening – including watering, taking cuttings, picking flowers for posies and cultivation. Plant selection needs to be engaging for visitors, staff and residents, and have seasonal interest and diversity. Sensory plants have appeal in touch, sight and smell, and can also evoke memories – important in aged and dementia care. It is also important to select the right plants to suit the climate (or micro climate), water and soil conditions as well as maintenance requirements.

General admission $25, Cultivate NSW Members $20. Bookings essential at TryBooking

The 3rd City: International Festival of Landscape Architecture

The 3rd City is the future city, a postulation to be mapped, tested and debated. The 2017 International Festival of Landscape Architecture welcomes you into the 3rd City, to explore its dimensions and imagine its landscape potential. The 3rd City will take us beyond post-industrial urbanisation to ask what is necessary and what is possible for future cities, their people, their ecologies, their territories and spaces. Join us in Sydney for a two day journey through the 3rd City, where a mix of keynote speakers and short presentations will challenge us to engage with the diverse facets of the emergent 3rd City.

This year’s line-up showcases a lively and engaging range of speakers, with the Festival Creative Directorate committed to delivering a program that challenges us to engage with the diverse facets of the emergent 3rd City. Speakers include:

Dr Pierre Bélanger, Harvard Graduate School of Design
Prof Hillary Brown, City College of New York
Prof Jeff Hou, University of Washington
Prof Nina-Marie Lister, PLANDFORM
Jan van der Grift, Bureau Plano
Adam Beck, Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand
Dr Julian Bolleter, Australian Urban Design Research Centre
Prof Rob Roggema, University of Technology Sydney
Melissa Cate Christ, transverse studio
Roderick Simpson, Greater Sydney Commission
Prof James Weirick, UNSW Built Environment
Anne-Marie Pisani, Parks Victoria
Jon Hazelwood, HASSELL
Fiona Robbé, Architects of Arcadia
Tim O’Loan, AECOM
Dr Libby Gallagher, Gallagher Studio
Prof Margaret Somerville, University of Western Sydney
Aunty Jacinta Tobin, Darug Elder
Leanne Tobin, Darug Aboriginal artist and teacher

Friday 13 and Saturday 14 October 2017

Overseas Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay, Sydney

Early bird tickets close on 30 June!
Save up to $200 by reserving your Conference pass before 30 June. Plus all conference passes now include a complimentary ticket to the Festival Party! > BOOK NOW

Final speakers, full Festival Conference program and an exciting schedule of Festival Fringe events to be announced shortly.

National Tree Day, Australia

National Tree Day is when we celebrate our lifelong relationship with trees. Nature elevates the human spirit. It ignites passion, inspiration, creativity and purpose. And it’s the driving force behind why more than a quarter of a million people participate in National Tree Day each year.

There’s no better time to bare your heart and soil than National Tree Day. We want everyone to know the inspiration that nature can bring.

Find a National Tree Day event near you HERE

Bush tucker plants at Rouse Hill

Search for bush tucker plants with Aboriginal guides from Muru Mittigar around Rouse Hill House and Farm. Learn about traditional bush foods and make a traditional ‘Johnny cake’. Then sit down to your well-earned tucker! This is a fun and engaging activity for all the family.

Enjoy the following activities during this program:

– Learn how to identify plants and any wildlife we can spot

– Use traditional and contemporary ingredients to make a ‘Johnny cake’

– Bake your cake, make sure there is enough to share

– Enjoy your well-earned bush tucker when the work is done!

Note: This is a rural property with uneven terrain. Please wear enclosed shoes and clothing suitable for walking around a farm property, and bring wet weather gear if appropriate. A hat and sunscreen are recommended, as significant parts of the program are conducted outdoors.

All About Flowers, The Calyx, Sydney

All About Flowers is a free floral display designed to bring colour into winter. Curated by the award winning team at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, the display showcases colourful arrangements of exotic plants including Moth Orchids, Begonias, Hydrangeas, Garvineas, and more.

Wander the indoor floral garden beds and stand back and admire the amazing magnitude of Australia’s largest green wall. The wall, standing at 6 metres high and stretching across 50 metres is a living watercolour painting, paying poetic homage to the masters of Impressionism.

All About Flowers is on in The Calyx and open 20 May to 30 July 2017, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm daily. Entry is FREE but donations are welcome.

Garden Grubs, Sydney RBG

Kids have lots of creative and active fun in the Garden with our professional, enthusiastic educators! All-day adventures change every day to follow the children’s interests, and include using maps and compasses to navigate through the Garden, spotting wildlife (large and small), fun nature-play, art and craft, active games and hands-on planting and harvesting in the Yellowwood Learning Garden.
…and every day we have an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour with a Garden expert to discover the amazing plant science and horticulture that goes on in the Botanic Garden.
For more infomation please download our Garden Grubs Fact Sheet.
Who: Kids 6 – 12 years
Time: 9am – 3.30pm (Standard Day) OR 8am – 5.30pm (Long Day)
When: Wednesday 5, Thursday 6, Wednesday 12, Thursday 13 July
Meeting Point: The Moore Room, see map below
Members Pricing: $76.50 per child (Standard Day), $103.50 (Long Day)
Non-Members Pricing: $85 per child (Standard Day), $115 per child (Long Day)
Bookings: Essential online, limited places available

All About Flowers Plant Sale, Sydney

More than 18,000 plants from the Royal Botanic Garden’s stunning display All about Flowers are to be sold for a gold coin donation (or $10 for the Orchids!).

All about Flowers is the first floral display in the new horticultural display centre, The Calyx. The display was designed to bring vibrant colour into our Sydney winter – it can now be taken home to brighten your own garden!

You are invited to purchase plants for a gold coin (or $10 for the Orchids) from The Calyx from 8am on Saturday 5 August. The Calyx is located in the middle of the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. Closest parking is on Mrs Macquaries Road. If you plan to buy a lot (please do!), bring a friend as it is about a 5-10 minute walk to the parking bays. You must also bring your own basket, box or bag.

The money raised from this plant sale will help Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens continue to support horticulture, conservation, scientific research and educations programs in the beautiful Botanic Garden.

Cash is preferred.

The Calyx, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
05 Aug 2017
8:00 AM
Free entry


Bulb Growing workshop, Mt Tomah

Join our horticulturist to learn the secrets to bulb growing success. Learn about general cultivation and care tips for growing both spring and summer flowering bulbs with a hands on propagation workshop.

Location: Waratah Education Centre
Date:26 Aug 2017
Time:10:30 AM
Price:$25.00 per person
Contact:4567 3000

Launch of ‘Eden Unearthed’

Eden Unearthed 2017 will open officially with champagne and canapés on Thursday 31 August, 4:30pm till 7:30pm.
See Eden Gardens reimagined through the eyes of installation artists, with 50 works on display. Join us for a curators tour at 5pm. In conjunction with this 6 month exhibition, we are pleased to also launch a Sculpture walk, with works on sale for 6 weeks in the Garden Centre.

Tickets $20
RSVP 17th August, 2017


Robertson Open Gardens

Enjoy 7 private gardens open over the weekend of 7-8 October in Robertson in the scenic Southern Highlands of NSW, an easy 1:45 hour drive from Sydney. Set among rolling hills amidst the stunning country scenery, these beautiful gardens range from large country gardens to smaller town gardens and are guaranteed to inspire gardener visitors. Five of the gardens are large country gardens on the outskirts of Robertson, with three in the village. These gardens demonstrate all the beauty of gardening in the Southern Highlands.

Cultivate NSW talk by Phil Pettit

Come to Cultivate on Wednesday 13 September to hear Phil Pettit talk about his work in social housing estates: installing gardens with residents and running Master Gardener courses to teach them how to grow. Phil successfully brings together people who are often facing multiple physical and mental health problems and uses gardens to connect them and inspire them. Phil’s talk begins at 6pm, following the Cultivate AGM

Light refreshments provided, FREE event but bookings essential at TRY BOOKING

Pollination at The Calyx

Pollination is the new floral display at The Calyx opening on Friday, 15 September 2017 at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney. Curated by the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney’s horticultural team, the display will feature a collection of plants and flowers that showcase the role colour plays in natures magnificent act of pollination – the colour of love!

Large topiary Blue-banded Bees will be a highlight, along with the expansive and impressive “green” wall featuring a pollination themed display of words, plants and flowers. Elements will be grouped together by colour to reflect pollinator attraction, with the types of flowers on display changing throughout the ten-month display period as seasons and availability change.

A new program of events will include tours (day and night), creative workshops, science and educational events, and family fun with ‘Butterflies up Close’, a butterfly enclosure on The Calyx Island, where children can enter and be surrounded by butterflies and find out what their role is in pollination.

Entry to Pollination is free, with gold coin donations going to the Foundation and Friends of the Garden to support the Garden’s scientific, conservation and education works. Click here for further details.