You could be forgiven for feeling confused about the weather events over summer. While we were expecting a dry hot summer due to an El Nino event, Australia was dealing with Cyclone Jasper in far north Queensland and a battering of storms and floods throughout the east coast. At the same time bushfires in other parts of the country. According to Wikipedia 1,445,372 square kilometres have been burned since August 2023.
News reports and social media have shown people from all over the country, both residents and business owners, who lost everything they worked hard for, or owned. Our contributor Patrick Regnault shared on social media one such request from Spectrum Plants in Wongawallan, Gold Coast, whose business faced the wrath of a tornado on Christmas Day. Their plea for volunteers to help in the cleanup had a good response from well-wishers, and they were up and running in no time due to people responding to their plea.
Ours is an industry that digs deep and helps others. There have been many instances where people have been generous with both their time, helping with cleanups, and with donations of all sorts. This is wonderful. However, what can we do to reduce the severity of these disasters?
As I walk through my local area of Sydney I am therefore bewildered, and quite frankly angered, by seeing every house that is sold, along with any vegetation, being stripped bare and replaced with a building that runs from fence to fence and not a tree to be seen. It makes m e wonder what our local government is doing to reduce their environmental footprint.
On a more positive note, our contributor Daniel Fuller recently received an Award of Excellence from the Australian Institute of Horticulture for his work supporting horticulture students through the work he does on various platforms. Aside from writing his career column for Hort Journal, Daniel hosts his podcast Plants Grow Here and a horticultural industry jobs board called Hort People. Congratulations Daniel!
There are many events being held over the next few months, many of which we usually attend as sponsors or as delegates. What we have noticed is some event dates clash with other events. As a sponsor, it is difficult to be in two places at the same time. For the organisers, it would be disappointing to have reduced numbers of delegates in attendance, given the work that goes into organising and running events, because, particularly for some of them, it is their one major event of the year and naturally everyone wants the best possible outcome.
Hort Journal has an Event page on our website, listing the calendar of events for the year. To avoid disappointment, if you are hosting an event, you can advise us so we can include your event on the calendar. You can also double check to see if other events are happening when you are planning your event.
I hope you enjoy this issue. Our feature for the month is fruit trees and edibles. Including these plants in every garden has so many benefits for a sustainable lifestyle, good health and wellbeing.
Karen Smith and your Hort Journal Team