Many Friends will have seen recent media reports about the appointment of a consortium of architects and landscape architects to develop a 20-year Master Plan for the Australian National Botanic Gardens. There are many ideas on the table, including a new visitor centre, cafe, pathways and learning experiences for children. The scope of the Master Plan will also include a new seed bank and horticultural facilities designed to increase the horticultural, research and conservation capabilities of the ANBG. It is anticipated that the final Master Plan will be developed by June 2015.
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A daily limit of three hours free parking for Friends of the ANBG will be introduced on 1 January 2015.
Exemptions will apply to volunteers and to members of committees and special interest groups.
Find out more about about the issuing of passes (PDF, 290 kB)
A major report entitled Australian alpine plant research, conservation and management was released on 21 October at the AGM of the Friends. This report is an important outcome of a joint Australian Research Council research program covering 4 years between the ANBG, ANU, the Friends and the University of Queensland. The project greatly increased the knowledge of alpine plants, which are under increasing pressure from climate change and environmental degradation in the alps. It has also led to the ANBG seed bank becoming the major centre for collection and study of alpine seeds.
The 26th Annual General Meeting of the Friends of the ANBG was held in the Gardens' Theatrette on 21 October 2014.
For details, click on the heading above.
There was an excited buzz around the Gardens’ Theatrette on Saturday 18 October as award winners in the 18th annual Friends’ schools photographic competition gathered to receive their prizes.
The new Asteraceae Garden, a new garden dedicated to native daisies, is rapidly transforming from a plan on paper to another major achievement for the Gardens, with the the first major planting on Thursday September 11. A healthy band of volunteers from the Friends equipped with gloves, trowels and a gleam in the eye kept the Gardens staff busy, planting hundreds of seedlings as fast as the staff could remove them from their containers. The plants were then watered in and the volunteers enjoyed a BBQ lunch at the site.
A recent review of the popular Flora Explorer tours showed demand for extra tours on weekends, public holidays and school holidays.
In response, morning tours have now been introduced at 10.30 am on weekends and public holidays. The afternoon tour time has changed to 1.30 pm.
There will also be a morning tour (at 10.30 am) on week days in school holidays.
The Friends recently purchased a microphone and audio system to allow the Flora guide to provide a guided commentary to passengers, whilst the bus is in motion.
The length of the tour has been changed to 45 minutes.
Very appropriately, the 19 June Thursday Talk on the Gardens public art management plan began with the handover of two paintings from the Friends to the Gardens. Mr David Coutts, President of the Friends, formally handed the two artworks to Dr Judy West, Executive Director of the Gardens. Click on the heading above for more information.
We are honoured that Her Excellency Lady Cosgrove has accepted the role of Patron of the Friends.
Her official biography lists her personal interests as including art and architecture, nature and gardens, and she is a keen sports follower. Lady Cosgrove has been actively involved in the welfare of partners in the defence community and became the inaugural Patron of Partners of Veterans Australia. She has worked with numerous voluntary organisations supporting aged and disabled people, and endangered Australian wildlife.
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.