News from the Gardens - Winter 2017

  • Calling all kids – we have a treat in store this summer

    Climb and explore our Australian National Botanic Gardens to your heart’s content with our latest addition – a recycled timber treehouse gazebo.

    • Sitting among a stand of paperbark trees three metres above the ground, the Friends of the Gardens initiated the specially commissioned treehouse for families to enjoy. Its construction is part of the Gardens’ 20 year Master Plan.

      Sydney based architecture and design company Cave Urban’s design featuring recycled timber preserved by Yakisugi, the traditional Japanese technique for carbonising wood has won a national design competition conducted by the Friends and the Gardens.

      “The use of recycled timber, some of which will be salvaged from the Gardens, and the natural way the treehouse links with the surrounding gardens impressed the judging panel,” said Lesley Jackman, President of the Friends of the Gardens.

      “The treehouse gazebo and surrounding landscaping will create a wonderful nature play area for children and their families.”

      Cave Urban architect Nici Long said the use of charred timber will be a feature of the treehouse. “It is not only a symbol of bushfire and regeneration, it also preserves the timber and provides a textural finish that actually reduces the fire risk,” Ms Long said.

      “Also growing over part of the structure will be native vines, which provide a landmark within the Gardens that will grow and mature over time, rather than age and decay. The flowering and growth of the vine will provide dynamic rhythm of constant change that mimics the seasonal changes of the forest.’’

      Gardens Executive Director Judy West said the construction of the treehouse gazebo is another exciting example of the support given by the Friends of the Gardens.

      “In addition to being wonderful ambassadors for the Gardens, the funds raised by the Friends and Friends Public Fund have supported many of the visitor experiences developed in the Gardens over the past 20 years,” Dr West said.

      Construction for the Treehouse Gazebo commences in July with completion in October this year.


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  • Dazzling array of colours from eucalypts

    Local artist Sally Blake spent six months last year recording the colours extracted from the leaves of 230 eucalypt species and the bark of 100 eucalypt species growing in the Gardens.

    • She crafted her results into textile, basket and paper-based works which are on display in the Gardens' Visitor Centre Gallery until 25 June in her exhibition, The Colour of Eucalyptus.

      Sally said each dye was recorded on a small pieced sampler made from 7 different fabrics, as each fabric showed the dyes uniquely. Many eucalypts gave unexpected results such as bright oranges and reds on wool.

      Together the hundreds of coloured samplers created a Dye Diary. The eucalypt Dye Diary from the Gardens is the fourth she's created, each developed with eucalypts from different environments.


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  • Following the footsteps of famous botanist

    Rare plants not seen in more than a decade were rediscovered on a historic two-day field trip while following in the footsteps of famous botanist Baron von Mueller in the South East Forests National Park near Bombala.

    • A team including two Gardens’ staff, Joe McAuliffe and Dave Albrecht, and scientists from the Office of Environment and Heritage and The National Parks and Wildlife Service trekked for seven hours through steep rocky gorges and dense undergrowth to find the plants.

      The team took cuttings of the plants, including the Genoa River Correa that had originally been discovered by von Mueller in 1860, to grow at the Gardens and seeds to build insurance populations for the species.

      Other species rediscovered in the region during the expedition include the Deane's Boronia Boronia deanei, Pomaderris cotoneaster and Nalbaugh nematolepis.

      The expedition and conservation work is part of the NSW Saving our Species program aiming to secure NSW’s threatened species in the wild for the next 100 years.


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  • A Boost for Button Wrinklewort

    This flower may sound like it belongs to the pages of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, but we've been growing the endangered Button Wrinklewort, Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides in our Gardens' nursery in anticipation of a big day to reintroduce them back into the wild.

    • With our partners at ACT Parks and Conservation Service and Greening Australia, we have planted out a new population established around Barrier Hill in the ACT to boost the numbers of this locally and nationally endangered wildflower.

      Much of the original habitat of the now very rare Button Wrinklewort has been destroyed or isolated. By increasing the number of self-sustaining populations in the wild we can reduce the plant’s risk of extinction into the future.


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  • All abuzz... cafe 'Pollen' opens at the Gardens

    Pollen, a café featuring healthy, modern, wholesome food and a relaxed dining experience, has recently opened at the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

    • Following a competitive selection process, the Australian National Botanic Gardens is pleased to announce the new proprietor of its café – Poppy & Maude, who are behind Bookplate at the National Library of Australia.

      “The Gardens offer a wonderful backdrop for a unique dining experience and I’m excited to be working with the Gardens to establish Pollen as a must-visit destination café in Canberra,” Poppy & Maude Director, Tracy Keeley said.

      “We pride ourselves on friendly service, fresh, quality ingredients, home-baked goods and a relaxing atmosphere. And what could be more relaxing than dining in the beautiful surrounds of the Gardens.”

      Gardens Executive Director Judy West said, “We warmly welcome Tracy and her team to the Gardens and look forward to an exciting partnership. We would like to thank Hellenic Premium catering staff and management for their dedication and service during the past five years operating Floresco in the Gardens.”

      Table reservations can be made via Pollen's website.


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