On Monday 27 January 2020 members of the Friends of Lisgar Gardens were delighted to welcome Ms Anke Koschitz, Mr Detlev Staacke and Dr Stephen Utick to Lisgar Gardens. Both Ms Koschitz and Dr Utick are international directors of the International Camellia Society (ICS) – Ms Koschitz representing Germany and Austria, and Dr Utick representing Australia.
In July 2019 Hornsby Council submitted an application to the International Camellia Society for Lisgar Gardens to be recognised as an International Camellia Garden of Excellence. If Lisgar Gardens receive this recognition they will become only the second gardens in NSW to receive this honour.
There are several criteria that gardens submitted for this recognition must meet and part of the application process is for independent assessment by international directors of the ICS. This independent assessment was the purpose of the visit by Ms Koschitz in her role of ICS Director for Germany/Austria. Determination of the application will take place at a meeting of all International Directors of the ICS at the International Camellia Congress being held in Goto, Japan in early March 2020.
Monday’s visit was an informal introduction to Lisgar Gardens and the work of the Friends of Lisgar Gardens group as a prelude to Ms Koschitz’ official assessment with Hornsby Council the following day.
Members of the Friends group hosted our guests to morning tea followed by a stroll through the Gardens providing Ms Koschitz and Mr Staacke with details of the history of the Gardens and the camellias growing there.