Members have just returned from an event in Cairns, Far North Queensland (FNQ) which included a professional development day and another visiting wonderful local gardens. Our visit coincided with the annual Cairns Festival.
The event, initially prompted by long time Cairns’ horticulturist and designer Kim Morris, was planned by HMAQ and was enjoyed so much another may be planned in the future. The first day we gathered in the meeting room of the stunning Botanic Gardens Visitors Centre. We were grateful for the support of Seasol which enabled Matt Carroll, aka Hortiman, to present a session on podcasts and live streaming. Before lunch in the leafy gardens restaurant, curator David Warmington guided us through Flecker Gardens’ magnificent new conservatory. Renown Port Douglas designer John Sullivan gave a passionate talk on the concept of an innovative botanic garden for Mossman, north of Cairns. Watch a flyover of the conceptual plans of this exciting new project: www.mossmanbotanicgarden.com.au
Mayor Bob Manning and his wife Claire joined the group for private afternoon drinks in Munro Martin Park, an historic park which had a complete makeover just a couple of years ago. Landscape architect Andrew Prowse spoke on his design brief for the open air precinct while Queensland’s Symphony Orchestra were preparing for their performance the following evening.
Saturday’s garden visits began at the Chinese Friendship Garden which was designed by Kim Morris and Andrew Prowse. They’d previously designed a garden in Cairns’ sister city, Zhanjiang. Our members were impressed with a wonderful children’s nature garden – the latest addition to Cairns Botanical garden precinct. After an awe-inspiring visit to Mark and Fairlie Vowles’ garden ‘Tabu’, the group lunched at Limberlost, one of the oldest nurseries in Cairns. Seaside gardens took our breath away before we settled in for drinks at Andrew Prowse’s own stylish garden at Holloway’s Beach.