‘Expanding Horizons’ – Australian Garden History Conference, Wellington, 25-27th October


Readers might wish to register to join in a tempting gathering this spring at Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, focussed on New Zealand’s rich garden history. A first ‘offshore’ conference of the Australian Garden History Society, this seeks to take advantage of 2019 being the 250th anniversary of the arrival of the Cook and Banks expedition to New Zealand’s shores (followed by Australia’s the following year). It also seeks to lure both Kiwis and Aussies along.

Two days of lectures (and Q & A opportunities) include a line-up of speakers combining kiwi and Australian voices. More historical talks include Professor Tim Entwisle on Banks’ botanical expedition, Dr Duncan Campbell on the history of New Zealand’s landforms, Dr Louise Furey on evolving perceptions of Māori gardening, Bee Dawson on Missionary gardens, Associate Professor James Beattie on Chinese market gardening and plants, Lady Gillian Deane on two women artists’ perspectives on the New Zealand flora, and John P. Adam and Louise Beaumont on early New Zealand landscape architect Mary Watt (Lysaght).

More practical subjects are covered: Clare Shearman will speak from experience on working in (and evolving) historic gardens, Fiona Eadie will speak on the amazing array of New Zealand plants in our gardens and Stuart Read on keeping botanic gardens relevant in today’s world.

A conference dinner will be held at Te Papa on Saturday 26th October.

62049415_10156152585987751_7117959801132285952_oTwo days of garden visits will showcase Wellington garden icons one day: Otari-Wilton’s Bush native botanic garden and the Wellington Botanic Garden. And cross the Remutanga Ranges to two large historic country gardens in the Wairarapa. An optional extra day on Monday 28 October explores three gardens on wider Wellington’s outskirts in Upper Hutt and the Ohariu Valley: a mix of old and young, all of high standard with enthusiastic and knowledgeable owners.

For the dead-keen, there is a multi-day South Island garden post-conference tour on offer, which has a rich array of gardens between Canterbury and Otago, from sea level to subalpine.

And further temptation: prior to this conference, Botanic Gardens of Australia and New Zealand hold their conference in Wellington – between the two conferences, on Wednesday 23rd October BGANZ and RNZIH and AGHS co-host a seminar which may be of direct interest: come earlier, stay longer, enjoy more!

For more info and to book, check out:

Direct conference and South Island Tour booking link:


Conference Brochure:


Printable Conference Registration Form:


Printable accommodation information:


Lynne Walker’s South Island post-conference tour Itinerary:



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