Amanda Mackinnon

About Amanda Mackinnon

Amanda's career has taken her on a remarkable journey through science, education, international business and communication. Living in a busy male dominated household – chasing around 2 noisy boys, one friendly golden retriever, a cheeky ginger cat and her husband, it’s no wonder she finds solace in the quiet beauty of plants! Amanda writes regularly for a variety of publications and is passionate about all things happening on the little island at the edge of the world.

Lambley Nursery

Just outside of Ballarat is a hidden gem. A beautiful garden appears much like an oasis of delight in the middle of the Victorian goldfields. A picture perfect farmhouse sits nestled amongst some simply stunning displays. Lambley Nursery is David Glenn’s labour of love.
David and his artist wife Criss Canning have molded the property into what it is today. Open to the public, you can wander amongst a variety of gardens and easily find something that will ignite some inspiration. Continue reading

World’s largest plant show

Every year in north western Germany the worlds biggest plant show takes place. Essen, the 9th largest German city, plays host to over 1500 exhibitors from 40 different countries. They are all there to promote new plants as well as horticultural technologies, products and services. Essen 2013 just closed its doors, leaving its 60,000 visitors exhausted but immensely satisfied. Continue reading

After the bushfires

Wow, what a crazy start to 2013. It seems just about everyone you speak to at the moment has a story relating to fire. Either bushfires that have recently threatened their own homes, businesses, or those of family and friends. Continue reading

My Top 5 summer plants

My little corner of the world is usually pretty lucky with rainfall. I’m half an hour out of Hobart and live on tank water however there’s usually always enough for both the house and the garden. That is, until about this time of the year when I start watching it a little closer. Continue reading

How to make a festive dianthus wreath

This week as the festive season kicks into gear I spent some time pottering in the garden and being creative. The result was a Dianthus wreath. I used an old wreath salvaged from the local tip shop and it was a luxury to spend an hour picking the gorgeous blooms from our current garden displays and building a little piece of garden art. It made a great talking point at our entrance and a perfect way to spread some Christmas cheer to visitors on that special occasion. Continue reading

Celebrating the coconut

Ask someone to think of a tropical island they’ll usually conjure up images of palm trees, white beaches and crystal clear waters. If you’ve been lucky enough to spend some time in the South Pacific Islands you’ll know that these places actually do exist. Continue reading

Ever wanted to name a new plant?

When I worked for a plant marketing company I was often asked to explain how new plants get their names. Most of us are aware that latin is the universal botanical language, however what about the marketing names for the many new plants that hit your local garden centre every year? Names like ‘Ruby Glow’, ‘Blueberry Ruffles’ or ‘Green Mist’ that conjure up beautiful images in ones mind. Continue reading

What does the US President eat?

Sam Kass is the White House Assistant Chef. At this years OFA Short Course in the USA, Sam was the keynote speaker and enthusiastically shared his dream job with the crowd. The position has thrown the 32-year old from Chicago into the spotlight and even earned him a place on People magazines ‘100 Most Beautiful People’ list. In the United States he seems to be a celebrity in his own right and certainly stands out with his shaved head and broad grin. Continue reading

Horticulturists in Ohio

What do 10,000 horticulturists and a heatwave have in common? They can all be found in Columbus, Ohio each July. The OFA Short Course expo is considered the melting pot of the American horticultural industry. For the past 84 years the biggest plant show in the USA has drawn a vast collection of suppliers, producers, breeders, growers, retailers, landscapers and agents. You’ll find them all in a networking frenzy discussing new plants, emerging trends and sales targets. Continue reading

What is PBR?

These 3 little letters can have big consequences in the horticultural industry. PBR stands for Plant Breeders Rights, and is a scheme administered by the Commonwealth Governments IP Australia. It works much like a patent or trademark in other industries. Similar schemes operate in most countries such as the Community Plant Variety Office across Europe and the US Patent and Trademark office in the United States. Continue reading