I’m finally getting around to blogging about the stunning and overwhelming study weekend in Sidney/Victoria a few weeks ago. Held over 3 days (four if you stayed and did the public gardens in Victoria) with 7 speakers, 19 gardens and 6 plant vendors. Where to begin? The speakers were all excellent. A special shout out to James Alexander-Sinclair and Joe Swift who were informative, inspiring, witty, with that dry humour that only the British seem to be able to get away with. Their dual presentation on Saturday had us rolling in the aisles and reminded me of the BBC TV series Top Gear hosted by the similarity wonky, witty and dry Jeremy, James and Richard. Very impressive was Rebecca Macklin’s session. Rebecca directs biodiversity through the Brooklyn Bridge Park project. Her talk was called “Post Hurricane Sandy: Lessons in Management and Vegetation Performance” which in hindsite may have done her a bit of a disservice. Her session was the least well attended. I considered passing it up because I really wasn’t too terribly interested in the topic (although pretty important for us coastal folks!). Her standing ovation however was a testament to the brilliance of her talk and the knowledge and passion she brings to her job. She was inspiring in her knowledge of pollination ecology, wildlife habitats, tree and plant biology and soil science. She’s a delightful science nerd! One of my biggest takeaways was on the topic of turf. Yes, turf!! (big yawn). I think originally in her career she agreed with that yawn, until she discovered that people actually come to public parks FOR the turf! Playing, rolling, frisbee, sunning…the turf is what draws people. The plants and trees are a glorious bonus when they get there!! The first half of her talk was a fascinating discussion of native plants, building gardens from scratch on industrial lands, successes and failures…the second half of her talk did touch on the lessons learned from Sandy. Good to know for us coastal communities.
And then there were the gardens!! It will be impossible to do any of the magnificent gardens we saw in those 3 days any kind of tribute or justice. But I will try to post a few (!) pics of gardens, plants, views, etc. that caught my eye enough to click and/or piqued my interest for my garden’s future. So, without any further ado….here goes some HIGHLIGHTS of the study weekend…for me. I will try to identify gardens as best I can. Apologies for any gardens or plants mislabeled.
That’s about it for Day 1 and part of Day 2! The rest of Day 2 and 3 needs their own post!!