White Horse Press website changes

White Horse Press has made some changes to its website. You can search the contents of Environment and History by date, geographical area and theme, and select articles are available online for free. Visit the White Horse Press website:...

'Water: H2O=Life' exhibition at NMA

A new exhibition looking at water has opened at the National Museum of Australia. ‘Water: H2O=Life’ opened on 3 December and runs till 16 May. The exhibition was created by the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the NMA is one of the international partners and the only Australian venue for the show. NMA has added a display on Australia’s water story. The exhibition looks at a broad range of aspects of water’s role on Earth, including its place in the natural world and humans’ use of water over thousands of years. The Australian component is based on the themes of Australia being the driest inhabited continent and having an extremely variable rainfall. A great collection of objects, interactives, live animals (including a 4kg Murray Cod), films and soundscapes make for an engaging experience for all visitors. Water is the biggest issue facing Australia, and the influence of climate change is a theme throughout the exhibition, making the show particularly relevant to our times. Further information at the exhibition web...

Australian Forest History Conference scholarship

The Australian Forest History Society is offering one scholarship to an enrolled tertiary student to attend its 8th National Conference on Australian Forest History to be held in Lismore, NSW, from Tuesday 8 to Friday 11 June 2010. The scholarship provides the full cost of conference registration, accommodation at the conference venue and up to $500 in travel expenses. Applicants should submit their C.V. and a one page abstract of a proposed paper dealing with any aspect of ‘historical understanding of human interactions with Australian and New Zealand forest and woodland environments’ to the President, Dr Brett Stubbs by 15 March 2010. For further information contact Brett Stubbs or John Dargavel T: 02 6258 9102 / 02 6125 3565. Further information at the Australian Forest History Society...

Editorial Introduction

James Beattie University of Waikato Welcome to the last issue of 2009, one devoted to garden history as well as an obituary to our sadly missed Geoff Park. Walter Cook, well-known through both his work on Wellington garden history and through his employment at The Alexander Turnbull Library, presents a delightful article on Wellington Botanic Garden’s Lady Norwood Rose Garden and Begonia House. His account situates the gardens within their local as well as global history. The second article, by Geoff Doube, continues with the garden history theme, this time presenting a multi-layered reading of the Renaissance Garden at the impressive Hamilton Gardens. Charles Dawson reviews William Beinart and Lotte Hughes’ exciting new book, Environment and Empire. Finally, David Young, contemporary and friend of Geoff Park, presents a beautifully written reflection on the life and contribution of Geoff. In other news, Cath Knight, has begun a blog on environmental topics, one well worth visiting: http://envirohistorynz.wordpress.com All that remains is for me to wish you all a very safe and happy New Year and Festive...

The Lady Norwood Rose Garden and Begonia House

Walter Cook Large architectural statements in a formal classical tradition are rare in New Zealand. In Wellington, when these were planned, they were often left unfinished. There are the Carrillion and the Dominion Museum on Mount Cook. Both were designed in 1929, and built between 1930 and 1936, set in formal terraces planted with pohutukawas and other native trees. Two thirds of the museum building was completed, and the formal ceremonial way connecting the complex to the central city never became more than a pipe dream. Then there is our national Parliament Building. Designed in 1911, only half was built between then and 1928, giving the parliamentary complex its distinctive appearance – a cluster of half finished buildings dating from 1899 to the 1970s. Like fault lines in the Wellington landscape, this group of buildings seems to reflect disjunctions in our cultural and political history when the country took sudden new directions that rendered architectural projects redundant in the middle of construction. In this case the classical baroque style of the Parliament Building was not reflected in the layout of the grounds. On the other hand there are two projects that were completed. One is the Wellington Railway Station that opened in 1936. Its great hall is an architectural experience like no other in the country, except, perhaps, for the interior of the Roman Catholic Cathedral in Christchurch. The entrance hall’s vaulted ceilings refer to the baths of Carriculla in Rome and were designed as a fitting gateway to the city in the days when rail was the main form of public transport. Today its gigantic monumentality, like the...