16 Aug A Must-See Fall Tradition – The Miller Lecture
You know it’s the start of the fall gardening season when the annual Miller Memorial Lecture takes place. Every year the Pendleton and Elizabeth Carey Miller Charitable Foundation, in conjunction with the Miller Botanical Garden and the Northwest Horticultural Society, sponsors a free lecture by a must-see luminary in the horticulture community.
This year’s lecture will be “A Land Apart,” by Gordon Collier, creator of the famous Titoki Point garden in New Zealand. Gordon will focus on the unique flora and fauna of New Zealand’s remote offshore Chatham Islands, which have developed over millions of years of evolutionary isolation. There are forty endemic plants that cling to life on the barren islands and include, surprisingly, two species that are beloved by gardeners: the giant forget-me-not Myosotidium hortensia and the Astelia chathamica.
Even the fauna is fascinating, with one species – the tiny Chatham Island black robin – rescued from the brink of extinction when there were only five birds remaining. Gordon’s lecture will be a gripping story of this group of islands, existing in the vast open ocean between Chile and New Zealand where few have dared to visit, let alone chronicle the miracles of survival.
Gordon Collier has been interested in plants and gardening his entire life. For over 45 years he has been board member, chairman and patron of the Pukeiti Rhododendron trust, and he is also currently the gardens editor for the NZ House & Garden magazine. Recently the Queen bestowed upon him the prestigious NZ Order of Merit for distinguished services to horticulture.