15 AUGUST, 6:30-8:00PM


Join gardening champion Lynda Hallinan and NZ Book Awards winner Joanne Drayton as they discuss  researching their very different topics, the damson plum and celebrity chefs Hudson and Halls. Local food writer Denise Irvine will sift through their stories, as chair. Complimentary retro food will be served. This event is supported by Poppies Bookstore with books for sale and signing. 


Joanne Drayton is an acclaimed New Zealand author whose output is globally recognised. Her book Hudson & Halls: The Food of Love was a cover story for the NZ Listener and is a finalist in the 2019 NZ Book Awards. Joanne’s The Search for Anne Perry was numbered in the top 10 non-fiction books on the New York Times bestseller list in 2015, was a finalist in the NZ Book Awards in 2013; was the subject of a 60 Minutes programme; and a cover story for the NZ Listener. Both The Search for Anne Perry and Hudson and Halls have been optioned for feature films. Her critically acclaimed Ngaio Marsh: Her Life in Crime (2008) was a Christmas pick of the Independent newspaper in 2009. Her other biographical subjects include expatriate painters Frances Hodgkins, Rhona Haszard and Edith Collier. She has curated exhibitions and publishes in art history and theory. In 2007, she was awarded a National Library Fellowship, and in 2017 the prestigious Logan Fellowship at the Carey Institute in Upstate NY.



LH_portrait cropped.jpg

Lynda Hallinan is the author of five gardening books, NZ City Garden Style, New Zealand Garden in Style, Back to the Land: A year of country gardening, Foggydale Farm Jam Sessions and Damson: From hedgerow to harvest. The former editor of NZ Gardener magazine and presenter of the TV show Get Growing, she wrote a weekly column in the Sunday Star-Times for 17 years, is a monthly columnist for the Australian Women’s Weekly NZ edition and chats about gardening each weekend on the Magic Talk Home & Garden Show. 

Lynda lives at Foggydale Farm in the Hunua Ranges, south-east of Auckland, with her husband, Jason, and two young boys, Lucas and Lachie, plus 14 free-range (as in somewhat wild-eyed) cattle, three dozen sheep, nine chooks, a kunekune pig, geriatric cat and hopeless cattle dog. 

Damson: From hedgerow to harvest pays loving homage to the heirloom English damson plum, with practical growing advice and 75+ recipes. Long prized for hedgerow foraging and home orchards, the damson is a small plum with a huge cult following among modern bakers, nostalgic jam makers, gourmet food producers and damson gin drinkers!




Denise Irvine is a Waikato journalist, foodwriter and marriage celebrant. She has co-authored two books, The Big Day, A Guide to Getting Married in New Zealand (with Kerril Cooper); and Stand By Me, The Story of Te Whakaruruhau Waikato Women's Refuge (with Venetia Sherson). She is a food columnist for the Waikato Times and Stuff, and has won the Foodwriters' NZ's biennial food journalism award three times. In 2015, she received a Hamilton City Council Civic Award for services to journalism and the community.



  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon