Vale Anne Bishop

Anne was an occupational therapist, devoted horticulturist and long standing member of HMA Victoria. She passed away in mid-July and is remembered by Michele Adler. 

I knew her as a student a friend and a colleague.
In 1986 Anne started a part time Horticultural Studies Certificate at Burnley. She completed the course in 1988 (graduated 1989) and then went on to get the Advanced Certificate in Horticulture, completing that course in 1989 (graduated 1990).

With certificates in hand she started the Prahran Gardening Club.
She really WAS the Prahran Garden Club, serving as President, Vice president and active committee member for 30 years.

Under Anne’s guidance, the Prahran Garden Club decided that they would get involved in community projects. Some of these voluntary projects include:

  • restoring the Ellis Stones Rockery garden at the National Trust’s Como House,
  • replanting Herring Island and the Yarra River bank near that area.
  • starting a gardening programme for disadvantaged children from the Ministry of Housing high rise flats near Prahran, and
  • and in 2010 she establishing a bigger and better vegie patch so the residents could grow and cook together and share recipes.

The plants that the club propagated were sold at Stonnington’s “Spring into Gardening” celebration, held in spring each year. She was always keen to involve children and ran a kid’s potting-on area; each little person went home with a treasure.

Anne had a way of letting people give her stuff for her projects. For example, Peter Douglas from Scotsburn Nursery always donated the seedlings that the kids would pot-on.  Peter tells a lovely story about his first involvement with Anne and Spring into Gardening – he simply forgot to turn up for the event!

She also initiated a children’s “Plant-a-Box” competition. It started at a Burnley Open Day in 2009; the idea progressed and grew and expanded and Anne took over the project with the Prahran Garden Club members.  In following years every primary school in Stonnington was given long pots, potting mix and plants to grow.  And the best box won a prize. One year there were 22 entrants.

She was also very active with the Royal Horticultural Society of Victoria, serving on Committee for 11 years and, even after retiring from committee, she continued to run its Garden Advisory Service and wrote for the Garden Gazette.

For 17 years, Anne was a staunch Friend of the Friends of Burnley Gardens.  She became a member in 2002 and immediately served on Committee until 2009.  She was available and willing to do any job required – she contributed as my Vice President, hopped into the role of President when needed, helped with constructing the events program, took the bookings for events, and often oversaw the running of workshops. She was awarded Honorary Life Membership in 2016.

Anne also was a volunteer on the 3CR Community radio gardening program. She answered off-air questions from listeners who called in over a period of 9 years (from 2007 – 2016).

She was a member of the Horticultural Media Association for 16 years
(from 2002 -2018), a garden advice giver at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Shows, a writer of articles in many publications and a radio presenter.

Anne, we loved you and we will miss you.

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