The Botanikos Project

My interest in our relationship with the environment has been present in my work since the 1980s. About ten years ago I decided to focus my attention on this interest and bring it to the forefront of my practice. This has become The Botanikos Project. Crucial to the project was my direct interaction with ‘environments’. I formulated three zones and they can be considered near, local and far, although there is not true boundaries between the three zones.
Zone 1 is my home garden. Closest environment to my residential space, it is my most immediate link to an ecological area and over it I have some control and can have an impact—if I choose to.
Zone 2 is the sub/urban area around my home. Sydney is a comparatively green city although, except for a few ‘lucky’ trees, it is all new, a novel ecosystem still constantly under pressure from development. The weed flora that invades a disturbed landscape is rich and vigorous. However due to the geography and topography there are significant areas of wilder, native landscapes and native flora still caught in the crevices and steep gullies, which characterise the harbour and its surrounds.
I have extended Zone 2 to include the sub/urban area of places I visit. A record of my observations are in the blog. In 2023 I visited Bremen, Germany and Zürich, Switzerland.
Zone 3 is a rural block, Summerfield. It is in the Lower Hunter Valley about 180kms north of Sydney. Since 2010 the block has been under conservation. On it several local, rare and threatened plants grow, the most significant being the Persoonia pauciflora. The block also is registered as an endangered ecological community. Although only 14.5 hectares it situated in a green corridor, so is importance is heightened. Throughout the Hunter natural ecosystems are under threat from urban (housing), rural (vineyards) and industrial (mining) development.