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Australian Landscape Conference / ALC Garden Tours



2018 Conference Confirmed

   We confirm that our next conference will be held on 23 – 25 March 2018 at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, 1 Convention Place, South Wharf, Melbourne.  It is an excellent time to be in Melbourne and will also enable visitors to attend the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show which will run from 21 – 25 March.
   Those interested in sponsorship at the Conference should contact Jenny Wade at an early date – 0409 000 089;  A limited number are available.


Art in the landscape and the garden

   Some of us once thought that gardens were about plants and the botanist was King – the plantspeople – were the public.  We then learned that horticulture was essential to get plants to grow properly.  And we were then told that it was the landscape architect who would get all the structure right for us. And that was about it.

   Or was it?  We also came to understand that composition, colour, texture, foliage, vistas, surprises, terracing, garden rooms, etc. all seemed important to stimulate our responses.  Design is complex and who should we listen to in our learning processes?  Perhaps we haven’t paid sufficient heed to the art historians. Jo Moulton’s insights into wonderful designers and their work are really worth reading – especially those designers who are subtle and complex – like Thomas Doxiadis and Martin Rein-Cano who appeared at our last conference.  This is an extract of her writing …

Thomas Doxiadis‘The award-winning firm Doxiadis+ describes their designs as ….scaffoldings for living organisms, human and others, to develop their own meaningful existence. 
   This elegant metaphor takes design into the realm of philosophy, if not poetry, and it resonates in the diverse projects undertaken by his firm in Greece over the past fifteen years.
   As an art history scholar Doxiadis brings a nuanced sensibility to the layers of ancient myth and cultural rubble. There is a sculptural element of ‘land art’ in all his designs. As a designer he taps into the naturalness of the Greek landscape; its ruins, textures, rocks, plants, trees, villages, goats and bucolic sounds. 
Isle of Antiparos
Antiparos island by Doxiadis
   He is also finely attuned to an exotic and dynamic vitality in multicultural urban settings. As an architect there is a seamless quality to his work. The detailed research, drawings, planting, texturing and re-shaping that underpin each aspect of the rural or urban transformation remain concealed. The result is timeless: restoration of an ancient landscape as a place where people and culture can flourish… ‘

You can read this superb article by Jo Moulton in full at –

   Jo Moulton from JOMO Steel has a profound interest in leading sculptors and designers for the architectural, interior and landscape  markets. Her interests stem from her past work in Australian museums and art galleries and her design practice specialises in exterior design.
   And for those of us who found Thomas Rein-Cano even more provocative, challenging and at times outrageous, her article is certainly illuminating –
   Coincidentally, we have just learned that Martin’s firm TOPOTEK 1 has just won the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture (2016) for Superkilen in Copenhagen. It was adjudged an outstanding example of ‘a public space promoting integration across lines of ethnicity, religion and culture’. 
Superkilen Copenhagen
Superkilen, Copenhagen




Tacaruna Petropolis
Tacaruna, Petropolis, Burle Marx landscape, Oscar Niemeyer building and Mother Nature

1. Peru: In the Footsteps of the Incas, (10 days)  2017: 2-11 Oct

Lima, the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo, the Sacred Valley and Cusco.
Cost: $5,890 each for double share. Single supplement: $1,485. Includes flights: Santiago-Lima; Lima-Cusco; Cusco-Lima; Lima- Santiago.


2. Gardens of Paradise: A Cultural Tour (19 days)  2017: 11-29 Oct

(the ‘Gardens Tour’), Chile (Santiago, Bahia Azul, Zapallar, Viña del Mare, Valparaiso and Maipo Valley; Brazil (Rio de Janeiro, Petrópolis); Argentina (Buenos Aires) Colonia del Sacramento (Uruguay)
Cost: $14,150 (19 days). Single supplement: $3,057. Includes flights (Santiago–Rio de Janeiro; Rio–Iguazu; Iguazu–Buenos Aires).

   This tour provides unparalleled access to the best Latin American gardens which are almost all privately owned.  It includes many fabulous landscapes and gardens by Roberto Burle-Marx and Juan Grimm.  The latter is currently the leading designer in South America and he has announced that this is the last time that he will be making a number of gardens available to a tour group.  Roberto Burle Marx revolutionized landscape design in the last century and is considered by many to have been the greatest designer of his era. These private gardens are available only through special introductions. 
   Join Warwick and Sue Forge, Peter Watts and Trisha Dixon on these fabulous tours!
   Further information is available at  If you wish to consider participation, please contact Warwick Forge on 043 818 2801.

Trisha Dixon
Trisha Dixon
Sue and Warwick Forge
Sue and Warwick Forge
Peter Watts
Peter Watts

Note – Warwick Forge will provide a presentation on these tours for the Historic Houses Association on Thursday 27 October | 2pm - 5pm (talk starts at 2.30pm) Annie Wyatt Room, National Trust Centre, Observatory Hill | Members $20 General $25 | Includes refreshments. 
   He will be introduced by Peter Watts AM, Emeritus Director of the HHA. Peter is joining Warwick’s South America - Gardens Tour in October 2017.  Tour details at                      



   India: 18 March – 2 April 2017 (16 days)
   Chandigarh-Shimla Extension Tour 2-4 April (5 days)   

Aniket Bhagwat
Aniket Bhagwat, leading Indian landscape architect has written
saying he is most eager to see us in India on our tour in March.
Aniket was a brilliant speaker at our 2013 Conference.
   We have one last single place available for this tour due to a late cancellation.   This can be booked now at a special discounted price but must be filled soon!  



3. THE GREEK ISLES  14-28 May, 2017

Idyllic landscapes – Myths, Legends and Writers

The Mighty Dead   Further information on this marvellous tour is available on our website.  If you wish to consider participation, please forward an Expression of Interest and you will be contacted.      
   Lovers of Greece and its haunting, archaic landscapes, will also be lovers of Homer and Greece’s reimagined history. 
   They should read this extraordinary book – The Mighty Dead: Why Homer Matters by Adam Nicolson.  My tour to Greece with its rugged landscapes was transformed by reading this book which provides a ‘wide-eyed ramble around the ancient world and through the centuries…’  For more recent times, try Patrick Leigh Fermor and his travel tales.
   Also, bookings are now open for Melbourne’s inaugural Homer Festival from Friday 19-20 November.  Details:


VALE – Dr Ian Brooker

Dr Ian Brooker   We were much saddened by the death of Ian Brooker on 25th June, leading botanist and authority on the species Eucalyptus.  He was a world authority on Eucalyptus taxonomy and discovered and named many eucalypt species. He had more than thirty years experience as a botanist at the Australian National University, the Western Australian Herbarium and CSIRO and has published widely. He has written many books and scholarly research papers over the years.  Sadly, he has not lived to see publication of the new, revised edition of Volume II of the Field Guide to Eucalypts of Australia which covers south-west and southern Australia and which includes the most spectacular of the species.  
   The new book, published by Bloomings Books, will be released at the end of November.
   Since 1975 Ian has also studied Eucalyptus taxonomy and forestry in China, Europe, India, Israel, Morocco, New Zealand, North and South America, Ukraine, east and South Africa. In 1980-81 he was appointed to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew (UK) as the Australian Botanical Liaison Officer. He has many academic qualifications including a Doctorate of Science from the Australian National University, Canberra. 


Kangaroo Paws, Bloodroots, Cottonheads & More!

The evergreen Rodger Elliot wishes to draw our attention to this, ‘..World First’ three-day symposium celebrating the fascinating Haemodoraceae family.

Some very impressive speakers include Prof Stephen Hopper AC ex Director RBG Kew and ‘Guru’ of this family, Angus Stewart, Prof Kingsley Dixon, Dr Brett Summerell, Jim Fogarty, Loretta Childs, Digby Growns, Neil Marriott, Rodger Elliot and Keith Oliver.

The Symposium covers a wide range of subjects including Botanical, Horticultural, Zoological, Design, Botanical Art and Cultivation.

For details:

Anigozanthos Hybrid
Anigozanthos hybrid dwf orange/red fis.


Warwick and Sue Forge


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Australian Landscape Conference · P.O. Box 458 · Yass, NSW 2582 · Australia