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Sunday 5th May 2024
Stangate House and Gardens, Aldgate SA

Ticket Holders will receive a printed program on entry

 Program of Speakers 2024
Middle Lawn -- Speakers Tent

10:30 am

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Tara Graham-Cochrane:

Understanding the Therapeutic Benefits of Gardens

Tara will introduce the healing potential of gardens. Discover how green spaces positively influence physical, mental, and emotional
well-being, reducing stress, improving mood, and boosting cognitive function. Deepen your understanding of the transformative power of nature in promoting health and wellness.


Tara Graham-Cochrane is the Immediate Past President of Therapeutic Horticulture Australia. She is an award-winning Landscape Architect renowned for her exceptional work in healing and therapeutic landscapes. Tara champions the idea that well-designed physical spaces can alleviate stress, enhance health, and elevate overall wellbeing.

11:00 am

Kris Messenger of Bugs n Slugs:

Garden Superheros– highlighting the essential roles of invertebrates in nature and some strategies gardeners can use to encourage beneficial bugs.

Children with their parents can then follow Kris ‘down the garden path’ to learn how to identify a range of superheros and villains in the bug world.


Kris Messenger has a background in ecology and natural history communication. She specialises in helping children and adults understand and explore how things fit in the natural world using science, art and theatre as ways to help people appreciate the connections between living things and engage meaningfully with the natural world. Focusing on invertebrate education, Kris has also provided services to a wide range of state and local government and non-government clients including many of our state’s major cultural institutes, schools, festivals and events. Kris is also a regular contributor and “Bug Lady” on ABC radio.

11:30 am

Angus Stewart:

Native Australian plants for wildflower meadows and cottage gardens.

Angus will highlight a range of native plants that blend perfectly into wildflower meadow and cottage garden designs for drying climates in the Adelaide Hills.


Angus Stewart is an Australian Horticulturalist with a passion for Australian native plants having spent a lifetime working with and breeding Australian plants with the objective of making them more rewarding for gardeners. Angus has authored or contributed to a number of gardening books including his acclaimed Futureproof Your Garden.

12:10 pm

Her Excellency the Honourable Frances Adamson AC, Governor of  South Australia will open the inaugural Adelaide Hills Garden Affair followed by a wander around the event and a commemorative Camellia planting.


1:00 pm

Adl Hills Vegie Gdns -Mark sitting on la

Mark Smith:

Mythbusting Wicking Beds 
There are so many myths regarding wicking beds. Mark will go through several of these myths and set you straight.

Learn how wicking systems offer a sustainable gardening practice and create thriving gardens with ease.


Mark Smith is owner of Adelaide Hills Vegie Gardens, a one-stop shop for sustainable gardening enthusiasts, offering everything from timber garden beds to the revolutionary WaterUps wicking systems. These wicking systems are designed to conserve water and boost plant growth, embodying our commitment to eco-friendly gardening solutions.

1:30 pm

Joel Lace:

Edible Ornamentals for the Home Garden

A beautiful garden can be productive too!

There are numerous plants with great ornamental qualities that happen to provide a harvest. Whether its Autumn colour or Spring blossoms these plants will provide beauty and yield throughout the seasons.


Joel Lace is a Horticulturist at Cleveland Nursery in Stirling and the SA Director of the Australian Garden Council.

2:00 pm

Angus Stewart:

New developments in sustainable gardening - the latest research in soil and plant microbiomes

New research techniques are opening a world of possibilities to use beneficial microbes to maximise the potential of your garden soil.

Angus Stewart cooperates with a network of horticultural businesses and individuals to connect gardeners. Alongside his passion for Australian natives, Angus has deep fascination with composting and soil biology. He is currently writing an ebook in collaboration with Dr Uwe Stoeher of Neutrog. This will explore fascinating biological aspects of soil and is called 'The Doctors of the Dirt’.

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