Saturday, 22 November 2008

Passion for Plants, Talking Plants, Planting Ideas

I'm the Executive Director of the Botanic Gardens Trust in Sydney. I'm a plant scientist by training, and a bit of botanic gardens groupie. I worked for five years at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne before moving up to Sydney in 1998 to head up the science group of the Botanic Gardens Trust. I've been Executive Director since 2004. (If you want to know more about how I got here see the 'short biography' under the links section to the right.)

Every time we have a spectacular or fascinating plant on display, it's fun to talk to people about it. I've been doing this through my fortnightly chats with Simon Marnie, Passion for Plants (you can find the accompanying notes somewhere on the ABC website www.abc.net.au/sydney - try the 'Gardening' topic). With the help of the Botanic Gardens Trust's PR Manager, Karla Davies, I also get to talk to radio, television, print and web journalists from all over Australia. It's enjoyable, and hopefully inspires more people to appreciate and conserve plants. This is what our botanic garden is all about. Or to put it another way, we plant ideas.

So I thought it might be interesting to keep a blog of life - Talking Plants (which was also the informal title I gave to chats I used to have with Angela Catterns on the 702 Breakfast show a few years back - see www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/plant_info/talking_plants) - in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, along with Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens and Mount Annan Botanic Gardens. And including other bits and pieces about plants.

Recently we've had rat-eating plants (big pitcher plants, Nepenthes) and, yet again, the biggest bloom in the world, the Titan Arum (Amorphophallus titanum). We also sent seeds from the NSW Seedbank into space with astronaut Dr Gregory Chamitoff on the Discovery Mission. But that's all in the past, although a few of these stories will undoubtedly rise again.

The extent of the postings, and my ability to respond to any comments, will of course depend on me finding time to dabble here. We'll see.

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