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They may seem a bit strange, as they have had a passion for Australian plants for a long time. Both have operated retail and wholesale nurseries, specialising in Australian plants from the early 1960s. Over this time they developed four home gardens with a strong emphasis on catering for wildlife.
Rodger and Gwen have lectured on Australian Plants in Australia, NZ, USA, UK, Europe and Japan. From the 1970s Rodger began writing for Australian and overseas garden magazines and has written over 25 books on Australian plants. He is co-author with David Jones of the highly renowned 9-volume The Encyclopaedia of Australian Plants Suitable for Cultivation (illustrated by Trevor Blake). Gwen has written ten books on Australian plants and was a regular contributor to Australian Horticulture for many years.
Rodger was a long-time member of the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria Board. Both are regulars on the 3CR Gardening Show. Gwen has been President and Secretary of Horticultural Media Association Victoria Inc., both are Honorary Life Members of this organisation. In June 2001 Rodger and Gwen were appointed Members of the Order of Australia (AM) for their contribution to the horticulture of Australian plants. They are recipients of a number of other Australian and overseas awards.
Workshop: Habitat Gardens with Australian Plants
* Ecology, Zoology and Horticulturology (if there is such a word!) come head-to-head with remarkable and usually positive repercussions when creating a habitat garden.
* Ecology is the cornerstone to building a successful habitat garden. Ecology is defined by The Oxford Dictionary of Natural History as the “scientific study of the interrelationships among organisms and between organisms, and all aspects, living and non-living, of their environment.”
* Every habitat gardener becomes an ecologist!
* Water, food, shelter and diversity are the basic and very important components in creating a habitat garden.
* Habitat gardens enhance our sensual experiences in a myriad of ways as we enjoy the plants, visiting and resident wildlife.
* Such gardens also lead us to a better understanding of the complexities and importance of ecological systems.
* Habitat gardens can be a few pots on a balcony (may not attract many wombats and kangaroos but could entice butterflies and other invertebrates to visit!), a small courtyard or suburban garden through to varying hectares — there are no restrictions!
The workshop will investigate the points raised above and explain the processes behind the creation and maintenance of a habitat garden based on Australian plants.