A Must-See Fall Tradition – The Miller Lecture

A Must-See Fall Tradition – The Miller Lecture

Gordon Collier

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.

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.

The doors open at 7:00 pm on Thursday, September 16th at Meany Hall for the Performing Arts at the University of Washington, 4001 University Way NE, Seattle. The 7:30 pm lecture is followed by delicious refreshments and catching up with all your gardening friends.  For reservations call the Miller Library at 206-543-0415 or email [email protected]  with the subject line of “Miller Lecture.” (No tickets will be mailed.) Parking is available in the Central Parking Garage for $10. Seating is first-come, first-served, so plan to arrive early. – Janet
  • RIchie Steffen
    Posted at 10:09h, 16 August Reply

    Thanks for posting this! It is a great lecture and Gordon is an icon of NZ gardening. This is a rare chance to see him and the cookies after the show are great!


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