A wish granted! Historic well head returned to Yaralla, Concord, NSW        Margaret and Chris Betteridge
Among the many items from around the world that found their way to the garden of Yaralla, the State Heritage Register-listed historic home of the late Dame Eadith Walker (1861-1937) at Concord, NSW, was a wishing well. This was actually a well head or vere da pozzo, probably from Venice in Italy. The well head has been returned to Yaralla’s front lawn.

Unearthing the Bishop’s garden: A hunt in the archives        John Viska
In 2001 the author purchased four letters at a local auction house. They related to Joseph Wylde, a colonial nurseryman. One, a letter of introduction with distinctive handwriting, had a bishop’s mitre on the letterhead but as the last page was missing there was no signature. This was the beginning of an investigation that led to the first Anglican Bishop of Perth, Mathew Blagden Hale.

The Gullivers’ Acacia Vale Gardens and Nursery, Townsville: A successful experiment in tropical gardening        John Dowe
Acacia Vale Gardens and Nursery was established in 1881 in Townsville, Qld, by Benjamin John Gulliver. It operated as a family business until 1938. As well as providing produce for a rapidly growing population and propagating and selling ornamental plants suitable for the seasonally dry tropical climate of Townsville, Acacia Vale was a venue for receptions, entertainment and relaxation.

James Dickinson: Explorer and nurseryman        Ann Cripps
A potted history of Tasmanian nurseryman James Dickinson.

Gardens and gardeners of the mind :The invisible elements of a garden are the most important        Trisha Dixon

Once-were gardens: The roses at Tullamarine airport        Trevor Nottle
Around 1970, travellers arriving at Melbourne’s new international airport at Tullamarine would find at the entrances to the main departure and arrivals halls a series of rose gardens. The architect/designer of the rose gardens and her helpmate were Mervyn Twynam Davis and Daphne Pearson.

Cootamundra wattle: Acacia baileyana        John Dwyer
Acacia baileyana is a fast-growing small tree or bush.The popularity of Cootamundra wattle as an amenity tree is undoubted. However, this popularity has also led to the wattle becoming naturalised in Tasmania and all mainland states of Australia except Northern Territory, and earningit the status of an environmental weed.

A day in the life of Miss Pink: Creating a musical language for the Australian landscape        Francesca Beddie
The Olive Pink Botanic Garden in Alice Springs is an important character in a new opera by composer, Anne Boyd to be premiered on that very site in October.

For the bookshelf: The Age of Seeds: How plants hacked time and why our future depends on it by Fiona McMillan-Webster    Reviewer Greg Johnson
Fiona McMillan-Webster takes readers through evolution and the botany, molecular biology, geology, physics, and chemistry of all things seeds with alacrity.

For the bookshelf: Struggle for Relevance – The Garden at Harper’s Mansion by Chris Thompson   Reviewed by Stuart Read
Thompson’s book focusses on the garden at Harper’s Mansion as a site of common ‘heritage’ contestation: pure ‘conservation’ from top-down experts versus the hands-on hard unpaid labour, local endeavour, concern and daily care of volunteers. Her book is an invaluable guide to finding a right path for a heritage place and provides good advice on when to call for expert input and when to ignore it.

AGHS national oral history collection Rick Shepherd
Rick Shepherd was Head Gardener at Retford Park, Bowral from 2011 to 2022. In 2019, he spoke to Sue Whitehouse about the history, development and adaptation of the gardens.

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