"Eryngium" exhibition opens at The Woolstore
Thanks to everyone who turned out (at fairly late notice it has to be said) to help me celebrate the opening of my second photography exhibition at The Woolstore in Wellington! It was a great night, captured in fine style by my friend Mel Waite (thanks so much Mel for the photos). We should have given a bonus drink to anyone who could pronounce the exhibition's name, haha. I was showing a range of botanic photos but the bulk of them are of a thistle I have fallen in love with, called Eryngium giganteum, or "Miss Willmott's Ghost". Ellen Willmott was a 19th Century gardener, who used her considerable wealth (later lost) to establish gorgeous gardens and to subsidise the plant-hunting expeditions of horticulturalists, who would often name species they found after her. She particularly loved this thistle (a type of sea holly). She would carry its seeds in her pockets, and when visiting other gardeners she would quickly scatter the seeds along the borders of their gardens before they could stop her. By many accounts she went a bit potty in her old age; it was said that she started carrying a revolver in her handbag and that she booby-trapped her daffodil beds to deter bulb thieves. :)
If you're in Wellington before the end of August, stop in and take a look! There's a wonderful French cafe and food market right next door so you can stock up on croissants and roquefort while you're there.