Category Archives: gardens

Cherry picking your values 2

follow-up on a community groups choosing their values

Proposal to answer queries – a follow up piece

More on Bill Pye Park Ainslie and the YWCA

An article was published this week about the proposed building of social housing on a site now leased by the YWCA on the corner of the block that is largely Bill Pye Park in Ainslie.

Continue reading Cherry picking your values 2

Cherry picking your values

Community Group as developer chooses to ignore basic values

When the ACT government announced it had approved the development application by the YWCA to build social housing on the corner of Bill Pye Park in Ainslie*, there was a collective sigh of frustration from residents.

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ACT Government on Town Cramming

More Town Cramming for Woden

For the ACT’s Labor/Greens coalition politicians, planning is not something they worry about much despite it being something of major concern to residents.

Continue reading ACT Government on Town Cramming

ACT Government lacks design leadership

A pamphlet arrived in Dickson letterboxes that won’t bring much joy to the other areas of the city. It announced that $3 million is to be spent on Woolley Street, Dickson.

Continue reading ACT Government lacks design leadership

ACT Minister for heritage in trouble

The clock is ticking on this ACT Minister

Having been in government for four months, Rebecca Vassarotti, ACT Minister for the Environment and Heritage, should now have a firm view on heritage and comprehend that her role is about being a leader in the stewardship of Canberra’s environments.

Continue reading ACT Minister for heritage in trouble

Australian War Memorial as vandal

Memorial declares war on its trees

The residents of Canberra love this city because of the trees. There are numerous occasions when people have had to rally to save our trees.

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ACT Government questionable housing program

Zone changes to maximise profits

Several community associations have had presentations about an ACT government initiative titled the “Demonstration Housing Project”.

Continue reading ACT Government questionable housing program

ACT Government chops down more trees

In the lead up to the October ACT election, trees were an item of interest to anyone wanting to be elected.

Continue reading ACT Government chops down more trees

ACT Greens not so green

ACT Greens – all talk and not much action

When governments don’t want to do much about something that requires actions, they hold inquiries, set up “Have Your Say” websites, present loads of useless stuff to public gatherings, talk a lot as if they are doing something and produce draft strategies.

Continue reading ACT Greens not so green

over-development in Woden

lack of planning and havoc in Woden

It has been about 18 months since I wrote a full piece about the Woden Town Centre and the ever-increasing planning issues that plague residents.

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National Capital Authority failures

NCA continues to be tricky

There’s a new level of frustration within Canberra’s community groups with how the ACT government conducts itself on planning and development.

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ACT Planning has to change!

or better still – sack themsleves

When it comes to the ACT government and planning and development, 2020 was not a year to be celebrated.

Continue reading ACT Planning has to change!

Canberra community groups have fun

Local enthusiasm for trees and parks

When community groups bring residents together to collectively do something for their suburb, good things happen.

Continue reading Canberra community groups have fun

A day out in Braidwood

Making the time out to visit regionally

Earlier this month we ventured out for the day to meet a friend at Braidwood. She was from the south coast and so Braidwood meant we both travelled just over an hour.

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Margaret Timson Park Belconnen

ACT Government fails on parks again

The last couple of years has been bad news for parks in Canberra.

Continue reading Margaret Timson Park Belconnen

ACT Government ignores Commonwealth Park

Commonwealth Park neglected by government

Attention to a significant piece of national land is being overlooked among the misinformation used to justify the demolition of West Basin.

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ACT Government and public sculpture

Need for a new public art policy

Sometime during the last election, a candidate said something about revising the public sculpture program initiated by Jon Stanhope when he was chief minister.

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ACT Government stuffs up social housing

And that’s being polite

Canberra’s community groups are increasingly having to argue for a rethink on the placement of social housing within their suburban areas.

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Floriade Canberra 2020

Flowers in the suburbs

It is all happening again in Kingston and, as with other locations throughout Canberra, Floriade Reimagined saw locals planting more than 8000 bulbs and annuals in May.

Continue reading Floriade Canberra 2020

Vote for Greenery

Difficulties for Canberra voters to support greenery

On World Environment Day, June 5, the Canberra Liberals committed to planting one million trees over the next decade if they form government following the October 17 ACT election.

Continue reading Vote for Greenery

Sneaky planning moves by the ACT Government

the tricks of Yvette Berry MP and other ACT politicians

As the ACT’s state of COVID-19 emergency gets tougher, people look to those in authority that they should be able to rely on – those they want to trust.

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fence-sitting Greens let Labor run amok

ACT community betrayed by ACT Greens

Before the 2016 ACT elections the Labor Party indicated that it was to make changes to how planning and development happened.

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The ACT Labor/Greens Government fails Canberra

The Singapore government of the ’70s, led by Lee Kuan Yew, was hell-bent on building a modern and prosperous city/state. It took a close relative to point out that if he wanted tourists to visit, then he needed to stop bulldozing the old stuff.

Continue reading The ACT Labor/Greens Government fails Canberra

Heritage ignored in Reid house approval

The suburb of Reid in Canberra is one of the oldest and residents accept that there are heritage values to be considered for most of the suburb. When a house was demolished and plans were approved by the ACT Government that paid token attention to these heritage values – residents were not happy. To make matters worse the ACT Heritage Council approved the development application. What were they thinking! Click here for my opinion piece on this in the City News.

Continue reading Heritage ignored in Reid house approval

Frank Hurley and Australian Native Plants

INFORMATION CALL-OUT: FRANK HURLEY

Searching for Frank Hurley along our northern beaches

Did you know that Frank Hurley was a very keen gardener and photographer of wild flowers?

In April 2018 The Manly Art Gallery and Museum will be launching a very special exhibition titled: Frank Hurley – Sydney Harbour photographer: From Circular Quay to Collaroy.

Continue reading Frank Hurley and Australian Native Plants

Talking Plants

7018536-3x2-300x200Interested in all things to do with the garden – and listening to people’s discussions around gardens? Talking Plants is a  recommended program from Radio National on the ABC. Here’s a link to the program’s web page – click here.

Someone had the audacity to call green-walls – nothing but horticultural bling! Yes – totally agree.

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Italian Gardens DVD

Review: Monty Don’s Italian Gardens

available on DVD

Monty_Don's_ItalianI did not get to see this program on TV so it was great to catch up with the DVD release. If you at all interested in gardens and their history, then this one is a definite for you

Of course the gardens are those made by the rich and famous/infamous – with at least one exception being an urban market garden that has so far not been consumed by urban developments around Naples.

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Melbourne Botanic Gardens Guilfoyle’s Volcano

Review: Landscape

Guilfoyle’s Volcano at Melbourne Botanic Gardens

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This is a job well done. I saw an article about this and was determined to have a look. Now if only those promoting it had been sensible and given an address.

Continue reading Melbourne Botanic Gardens Guilfoyle’s Volcano

New Garden Cities

Competition winner: for new Garden Cities

 

It was announced in the UK that the winner of a competition has proposed that to deal with population growth that new cities should be built nearby established ones. These would be garden cities connected back to the older city by public transport.

 

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Guilfoyle’s Volcano

Review: Landscape

Guilfoyle’s Volcano at Melbourne Botanic Gardens

Andrew Laidlaw, landscape architect

 

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This is a job well done. I saw an article about this and was determined to have a look. Now if only they had been sensible and given an address.

Continue reading Guilfoyle’s Volcano

Trees

Comment on the Art of Trees

 

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I have said it before and am happy to say so again, I live in a suburb in Canberra that has a fabulous amount of trees. The amount of trees in the public arena, streets and parks etc, combined with those throughout the residential properties delivers an ambience that is hard to explain to anyone who has not experienced it. With our local trees comes other biodiversity and heaps of bird life. Researchers have just worked this out. Click here for a story on this.

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Roma Street Parkland, Brisbane, Part Two

Review: Roma Street Parkland, Brisbane
Part Two: The Urban Development Atrocities

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The Queensland state government spent millions on the Roma Street Parklands. This parkland was set to add huge value to any apartments built around its edges. One would have thought that the City would have insisted on at least some higher levels of design for such buildings. Continue reading Roma Street Parkland, Brisbane, Part Two

Roma Street Parkland, Brisbane, Part One

Review: Roma Street Parkland, Brisbane
Part One: It is about creative Garden Design

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I first visited these gardens and parklands back in 2004 and was very impressed then. This parkland project was a major commitment by the then state government to re-develop a former industrial site and to join it to the existing Albert Park to form one larger parkland, the Roma Street Parklands. I highly recommend anyone and everyone visiting Brisbane to allocate at least an hour to wander about these parklands ten minutes or more away from the Brisbane CBD. (click on any image to enlarge it)

Continue reading Roma Street Parkland, Brisbane, Part One

Urban Trees

Comment and UK Research

 

 

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I have the benefit of living in a suburb with plenty of tree cover. In fact the view outside onto the streets is almost as if the street is a parkland. The concept that any suburb should have an abundance of trees and shrubs and associated bio-diversity is simply so logical that one wonders why would anyone think otherwise.

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2014 World Architecture Festival Awards: Vertical Garden

Review: Landscape Design/ Vertical Garden
A submission for the 2014 World Architecture Festival Awards
A-Mazing Vertical Garden, Da Nang City, Vietnam

IMG_40651I came across this garden when looking through the short listed projects for the World Architecture Awards to be announced in Singapore in early October 2014. At first I was very impressed with the technical qualities and that it was a form of the old fashioned maze, but done with plants in a more sustainable manner.

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Vertical Garden

Review: Landscape Design  and Vertical Garden

A-Mazing Vertical Garden, Da Nang City, Vietnam

 

IMG_40651I came across this garden when looking through the short listed projects for the World Architecture Awards to be announced in Singapore in early October 2014. At first I was very impressed with the technical qualities and that it was a form of the old fashioned maze, but done with plants in a more sustainable manner.

I later searched for more on this and realised that it was very much a decorative maze in a resort in Vietnam. The resort being a re-use of a former French colonial resort. Below I have given a report on this garden from World Landscape Architecture.

Continue reading Vertical Garden

Urban Agriculture

From ASLA The Dirt: Is Urban Agriculture Utopian?

 

(part of the series on the 2014 Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) conference

“Urban agriculture is a phenomenon today,” said Farham Karim, an architectural historian at the University of Kansas, at the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) conference in New Orleans. Upwards of 70 million people are now involved around the globe — on Farmville, at least, the popular game app, he laughed. But, in reality, there are many tens of millions farming on the ground, too. With all the growing interest, Karim played devil’s advocate, wondering: is urban agriculture scalable? And who is going to be doing all this urban farming? And if we know it’s not a cost-effective solution for solving the world’s food problems, why the persistent interest?

click here for the full article.

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Paul Costigan, 17 June 2014

Urban Agriculture

 Urban Agriculture – one part of the solution

from The Guardian, Designing cities and factories with urban agriculture in mind. The Netherlands offers inspiration for designers looking to create environments that harvest water, energy and nutrients.

Urban farms are transforming inner city spaces – rooftops, infrastructure, streetscapes, building skin – into generative ecologies that support the lives of people, and pollinators too. They are bringing into cities, and into plain view, the natural systems that sustain urban life

click here

great American gardens

Exhibition celebrates great American gardens in the early 20th century and the women who designed themMore Information: http://artdaily.com/news/70231/Exhibition-celebrates-great-American-gardens-in-the-early-20th-century-and–the-women-who-designed-them[/url]
Copyright © artdaily.org

 

Celebrate Great American Gardens of the Early 20th Century

and the Extraordinary Women Who Designed Them

 

gardens-USThe New York Botanic Gardens celebrate early US 20th century gardens and the women who designed them.

The web site has limited information – click here. Still worth a look through the pages and images.

The celebration includes those women who photographed the gardens.

Now all I need is a ticket to New York to provide a review of the exhibition.

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Paul Costigan, 24 May 2014

Exhibition celebrates great American gardens in the early 20th century and the women who designed themMore Information: http://artdaily.com/news/70231/Exhibition-celebrates-great-American-gardens-in-the-early-20th-century-and–the-women-who-designed-them[/url]
Copyright © artdaily.org

Exhibition celebrates great American gardens in the early 20th century and the women who designed themMore Information: http://artdaily.com/news/70231/Exhibition-celebrates-great-American-gardens-in-the-early-20th-century-and–the-women-who-designed-them[/url]
Copyright © artdaily.org
Exhibition celebrates great American gardens in the early 20th century and the women who designed themMore Information: http://artdaily.com/news/70231/Exhibition-celebrates-great-American-gardens-in-the-early-20th-century-and–the-women-who-designed-them[/url]
Copyright © artdaily.org
Exhibition celebrates great American gardens in the early 20th century and the women who designed themMore Information: http://artdaily.com/news/70231/Exhibition-celebrates-great-American-gardens-in-the-early-20th-century-and–the-women-who-designed-them[/url]
Copyright © artdaily.org

Sydney Botanic Gardens Threat

An Open Letter to the Honorable Mr Paul Keating
about the proposed redevelopments within The Sydney Botanic Gardens.

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If I were to write to the former Prime Minister about the Sydney Botanic Gardens Master Plan consultations, I would most likely say:

Dear Mr Keating,

I am writing in response to news articles reporting on your comments to the proposals being canvassed as part of the Master Plan for Sydney’s Botanic Gardens.

Continue reading Sydney Botanic Gardens Threat

Empires of Food

Review: Book

Empires of Food: Feast, Famine and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations

Evan D. G. Fraser and Andrew Rimas.  Random House, 2010

empiresoffoodAs if there was not enough information available on how the world is not paying attention to all the warning signs, this book was recommended to me to make me aware of the dire situation coming our way in relation to the supply of adequate food for coming generations.

This is all linked in with the issues of climate change, population growth and the way we have allowed our food supplies to be controlled by particular market and political forces. This book is a must read for all.

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Grace Marchant Garden

Review: Grace Marchant Garden, San Francisco
Location the Filbert Steps between Telegraph Hill Boulevard down to Levi Plaza and the Embarcadero.

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This is a story about local people caring for their own. In the first instance one woman’s determination to make the open space beautiful around her new home. And then a story about the local community who have since stepped in to keep and maintain her legacy, now called the Grace Marchant Garden.

Continue reading Grace Marchant Garden