We made a little road trip to #Hobart last week, ostensibly to attend the International Plant Propagators' Society (IPPS) annual conference. However, we also managed to fit in a little wining and dining along the way. But don't worry food bloggers ... I won't be challenging you anytime soon. My focus remains on #plants!
First stop: Government House. Of course! We attended the official IPPS conference welcome on a dark and chilly night. However, we were very warmly received by the Governor, Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AC.
Don't worry mum, I was on my best behaviour. Promise!
Leaving the warmth of Government House we ventured back into the Hobart CBD. At the Urban Greek restaurant, I discovered the deliciousness of Mastika, a liqueur apparently flavoured with a resinous sap harvested from the mastic tree. That definitely warmed me up!
Mastika and me: The start of a new friendship
The next day was strictly business, attending the first day of the IPPS conference. I was well in my element, although I only have limited, and I mean limited, propagation experience when compared to fellow attendees.
I learnt a new #acronym "DIFOTET: Delivery in full on time every time". Sounds like something Henry Ford would have said on his production line.
One of the most interesting presentations concerned the Tasmanian Mountain Pepper (Tasmannia lanceolata). Apparently all parts of this plant contain the compound that gives it its distinctive peppery taste. So a very edible crop indeed!
Day Two saw us out and about touring local nurseries. First stop was Granton Plants, a retail #nursery in the foothills of Hobart. This neat and tidy establishment was easy to navigate, and even better is also the home of the online Succulent Store. I was definitely in my element browsing through their #indoorplants.
Checking out the Tillandsia at Granton Plants...one day I will create my own living curtain with it
Ludovic also enjoyed his time at the nursery. It is so nice to see an architect who is comfortable being amongst plants.
Ludovic at Granton Plants
Next we moved on to Westland Nurseries. Here I was able to further indulge my love of indoor plants, along with Karen Smith, editor of Hort Journal and fellow Interior Plantscape Association board member.
Autumn is here! With Karen Smith at Westland Nurseries.
And now for an indoor plant shot :)
Pilea peperomioides (Chinese Money Plant) at Westland Nurseries. This plant is "on trend" with interior designers right now.
On our last full day in Hobart, Ludovic and I wandered around the CBD. We found some council planters replete with ornamental and apparently quite edible (when young) Brassicas. Yes, cabbages! Who knew that the food you (but not me) detested as a child could look so beautiful?
Brassica oleracea in a City of Hobart planter in the Elizabeth St mall
Continuing our walk, we came across some indoor and outdoor #greenwalls that had obviously seen better days. Upon research, I found that they had only been installed last year. However, there large gaps in the walls where plants had obviously died and not been replaced. Upon closer inspection, I found that the substrate was too wet, so the plant roots were probably rotting out.
A very gappy green wall that does the industry's reputation no favour
In these green walls, I also found what appeared to be scale insects on multiple plants. These insects feed by sucking sap through piercing-sucking mouth parts. This may cause yellowing or wilting of leaves, stunting plant growth. If heavily infested, the plant may die. Weakened plants may also lose vigor and become more susceptible to injury or attack by other insects, or infection by diseases. Soft scales can also excrete "honeydew" which can attract flies, ants, bees, and other insects. The honeydew may encourage the sooty mold fungus, a real plant killer.
Scale-infested Chlorophytum sp. (Spider Plant)
We decided to make a break for it and check out some real "nature". So we wandered up Mount Wellington (okay we drove up!), where we enjoyed the sunset before venturing back into town.
Sunset at Mount Wellington and it is smiles all around, despite the cold
Back in town, we enjoyed a delicious meal at Ottimo Ristorante Italiano. This bistro had a whole section of the menu devoted to vegan food. Yes! #Veganpizza and homemade #veganpasta. I highly recommend a visit to this establishment if you are into plant-based foods, especially if you have to keep a carnivorous companion happy.
On the way back to our accommodation, we did come across two hanging planters that met with my seal of approval. These installations in the front entrance to the RACV Club were "right on the money"; elegantly constructed, well-lit and beautifully maintained. Top marks to the crew who put these together.
Suspended in style at the RACV Club...very nice :)
We left Hobart the next morning, making the trek back to Launceston via the Midlands Highway, arriving at my mum's place just in time for home-made vegetable soup with more than a hint of chilli.
By now you have probably realised why I have combined the food and plant blogging. I prefer plant-based food, so it sort of makes sense that the two topics go together. However, next time I will stick to the horticultural issues.
Why? All this talk of food is making me hungry. Is that dinner I can smell? Time to go ;)
PS. A big shout out to Gabe Mostafa from Hort Journal Australia for making it possible for me to attend the IPPS conference. Merci beaucoup! Click here to check out his latest magazine - skip to page 28 for some words from an author familiar to you ;)