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Vegie Might: RHS Medal winner Nilavan Adams

RHS Medal winner Nilavan Adams

ANBG Botanic Art Group member Nilavan Adams has done it again!

Nilavan has been awarded the Silver Gilt medal at the Royal Horticultural Society 2014 Botanical Art Show in London.

This exhibition showcases work from some of the world’s best botanical artists. The official guidelines note that:

Red Centre Garden - update

The Red Centre Garden, which opened in October 2013 after four years of careful planning and an immense amount of work by the Gardens staff, has become a major attraction for visitors to the ANBG and to Canberra in general. A warm and dry summer resulted in wonderful displays of colour, the blues and purples of the massed Swan River Daisies, Sturt’s Nightshade and Sturt’s Desert Rose together with the brilliant greens and silvery greys of the young acacias, Silky Heads and ‘tobacco’ plants contrast beautifully with the red sand and dramatic rocks in the Rocky Outcrop and Rocky Escarpment. Many visitors are taking advantage of the Flora Explorer tours to enjoy the spectacle of the Red Centre Garden in comfort. Click on the heading for more information.

Banks' Florilegium visit    Photo: Jill More

Banks' Florilegium at the National Library of Australia

Banks’ Florilegium is a collection of colour prints based on the 955 field drawings made by artist Sydney Parkinson to accompany the botanical specimens, collected by Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander, on the 1768-1771 Endeavour voyage of discovery and circumnavigation of the globe, which was lead by Captain James Cook.

Three groups of Friends were privileged to attend a viewing of prints based on the Australian component of Banks’ Florilegium at the NLA on 19 March 2014. The viewing followed an excellent talk by Catriona Anderson from the NLA at the Friends' Twilight Dinner in February.

Click on the heading to see Catriona Anderson’s notes prepared for the viewing.

Art in the Gardens with Friends 2014

The popular Art in the Gardens with Friends botanical art exhibition is back for its seventh year at the Australian National Botanic Gardens. From 22 March to 21 April, visitors can explore a collection of botanical paintings and drawings. For the first time, this year’s exhibition includes fired ceramic wall pieces. Many of the artists will be on hand throughout the exhibition to talk about their work and about the Friends’ Botanic Art Group. The exhibition is on display from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm daily in the Gardens’ Visitor Centre. Entry is free.

Click on the heading above for information on the exhibition opening.


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National Conference: Association of Friends of Botanic Gardens

The Association of Friends of Botanic Gardens holds its national conference every 2 years. The next conference will be held on the Gold Coast over the weekend of 8-10 August 2014. A conference flyer and registration form are now available and program details will be released shortly. Click on the heading above for more information.

Front cover, Melaleucas by Lyn Craven et al

Book donation: Melaleucas by Lyndley Craven et al

Lyndley Craven, of the Australian National Herbarium has very generously donated to the Friends a copy of the book on Melaleucas he has written with Joseph Brophy from UNSW and John Doran from the Australian Tree Seed Centre at CSIRO. This book is the first comprehensive consolidated account of the taxonomy, essential oils, silvicultural characteristics and utilisation of Melaleucas. It will undoubtedly be the major reference work for Melaleucas in coming years. Click on heading above for more details.

Westbourne Woods (Photo:

Walks in Westbourne Woods

Westbourne Woods Arboretum was established by Charles Weston in 1913 on a 120 hectare site at Yarrulumla. More than 200 different species of conifers, exotic hardwoods and native Australian trees were planted between 1914 and 1918, with additional plantings in 1949. The Royal Canberra Gold Club was established in the Woods from 1949. More information may be found on the ACT Government Libraries website.

Free guided 2-hour walks are conducted through the Woods on the second Sunday of every month. Guides are volunteers, a number of whom are closely linked to the Friends of the Botanic Gardens. For details of when and where to meet, and the schedule of walks and guides for 2014, click here.

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Campsis Newsletter - Association of Friends of Botanic Gardens

The latest issue of Campsis, the newsletter of the Association of Friends of Botanic Gardens, has just been published. This issue marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Association. Click here to download it.

Mr Michael Bryce with Flora Explorer at the Red Centre Garden    Photo: Jill Mo

Flora Explorer, and The Red Centre Garden, acquires a new fan

The Patron of the Friends, His Excellency Mr Michael Bryce AM AE, recently enjoyed a ride up the mountainside to visit the upper reaches of the Gardens​ in Flora Explorer, the 12-seater electric vehicle donated by the Friends. Following the normal route of a Flora tour, he was accompanied by our President, David Coutts and the Curator of the Gardens, David Taylor, as well as Friends and Flora drivers Marion Jones, Barbara Podger and Jill More. His visit included a walk around the Red Centre Garden - which was aglow with colour in the midday sun.

Wendy Antoniak at the new Visitor Information Desk      Photo: Jill More

New faces in the Visitor Centre

If you have passed through the Visitor Information Centre in the last few months you may have noticed the new Visitor Information desk, and more importantly, some new faces behind the desk. Volunteers, mainly from among the Friends, are now greeting and directing visitors. If you would like to volunteer in this role and learn more about the Gardens, please contact Jennifer Salkeld.