Talks and Articles

Horticulture Forum - December 2022

After a fantastic launch at the 7th Global Botanic Gardens Congress hosted by RBGV in Melbourne, Australia, December's Horticulture Forum focuses on the Climate Assessment Tool (CAT). Peter Symes (Cooktown BG, Australia) and Dr Dave Kendal (Australia) discuss the methodology behind the CAT, cover the basics of usage, and then talk through a few case studies. The information provided by the CAT has many applications, from focusing conservation to underpinning future design, and is of use to botanic gardens and beyond.

The Climate Assessment Tool and further documentation can be found at 

Take a look at the recording below.

Horticulture Forum - July 2022

The July 2022 Horticultural Forum sees Richard V. Piacentini discuss regenerative thinking and the positive impact of greening the infrastructure and core values of our institutions.  Richard uses Phipps Conservatory and Botanic Garden (USA) as a best practice example of how botanic gardens can demonstrate leadership in climate change action. 

The lessons learned while evolving Phipps have been distilled into the Climate Toolkit.  The toolkit provides assistance to institutions wanting to transition to a greener, more energy-efficient existence.

Take a look at the recording below.

Further information:

  • The Climate Toolkit - A new initiative to share, mentor and learn with fellow gardens and museums who want to aggressively address climate change in their operations. 
  • TEDx: What We Can Learn From an Old Glasshouse - A look at the evolving way we connect people to nature at Phipps, demonstrate how human and environmental health are inextricably connected and show that to age gracefully, we must continually reinvent ourselves to evolve with the rest of the world. 
  • Green Healthy Spaces - A document summarizing our work at Phipps to demonstrate the most energy efficient and healthy built environments in the world.
  • Indirect Work by Carol Sanford - For further reading on Regenerative Change Theory. 


Horticulture Forum - April 2022

The first Horticulture Forum of 2022 was hosted by BGANZ and focuses on climate change adaptation and the particular challenges of implementing such adaptations in regional and smaller botanic gardens, in which resources are often limited, and of course how fellow botanic gardens can best offer support.

Presentations included:

  • Peter Symes of Cooktown Botanic Garden (AUS) on "A diversity of gardens: a diversity of approaches" 
  • Andrea Proctor of Proctor Landscapes (AUS) on "Climate preparedness garden in a regional botanic garden setting"
  • Emma Simpkins of Auckland Botanic Gardens (NZ) with "Plant selection for sustainable water management"  

Horticulture Forum - December 2021

Graciela Barreiro of Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays in Buenos Aires, Argentina hosts the December Horticulture Forum and presents Promoting the recovery of native wetland flora in the Río de la Plata estuary, Argentina. She takes us on an in depth look at the process behind the rehabilitation of the Río de la Plata estuary and discusses the climactic obstacles faced and the creative solutions implemented to ensure the endeavour was a successful one. 

The Modern Garden Conference by the Plant Network

On the topic of ‘Planting for a Changing Climate’, Clare Hart, Manager Horticulture, and Tessa Kum Horticulture Administration, presented at the Modern Garden Conference in November 2021. In this presentation – Changing the Gardens in a Changing Climate: The Future Garden  - why we all need a Climate Change Alliance of Botanic Gardens – the future climate of Melbourne is analysed to identify the specific challenges posed to the RBGV Melbourne Gardens. Considering these challenges led then to the identifying of opportunities; for research, for adaptation, and for collaboration, collaboration which serves only to strengthen the resilience of all botanic gardens around the world. The lessons learned at RBGV have a wider application which reaches far beyond the garden fence, and can be of use to all.

The Climate Change Alliance: Botanic Garden Horticulturists as Agents for Change

Download and read this fantastic article on the Climate Change Alliance, by Peter Symes and Clare Hart.


The Botanic Garden that Thought it Could Change the World

Join acclaimed writer and climate activist Sophie Cunningham (author of Melbourne and City of Trees) in virtual conversation with Charlie Carroll, Manager Arboriculture, and Clare Hart, Manager Horticulture, about the Gardens’ Landscape Succession Strategy and the international Climate Change Alliance of Botanic Gardens.

Collaboration between botanic gardens across the globe is essential in understanding how plants will grow and survive in a warming climate. Sophie, Charlie and Clare will discuss how the Climate Change Alliance was formed right here in Melbourne, and how botanic gardens can harness their expertise to share and exchange skills and information on a global platform.

Horticulture Forum - September 2021

For the inaugural CCABG Horticulture Forum we were fortunate to have RBGV Melbourne Garden's own Kate Roud presenting Some Don't Like It Hot: Safeguarding the New Zealand Collection at RBGV Melbourne.

In this presentation Kate talks about the challenges of maintaining a collection of plants which typically want more cold temperatures and more water that Melbourne is known for, and the opportunities which arise when keeping such a collection in a climate which is only getting hotter and drier.

For a transcript of this presentation click here