Red Centre Garden

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Artist Teresa Purla with 'Grandmother's Country' (Photo: Peter Byron)
Artist Teresa Purla with 'Grandmother's Country' (Photo: Peter Byron)

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. This is a wonderful example of the ‘boom’ part of the Boom and Bust cycles typical in the Red Centre of Australia. It is interesting to watch the changes as we move into the cold season.

A significant feature is an 8 m diameter circular Meeting Place from which paths radiate through the Garden. Inside the circle, a 5.6 m square artwork pavement gives a stunning interpretation of country. The artwork is the striking painting Grandmother's Country by Indigenous artist Teresa Purla McKeeman (Teresa Purla). Teresa's painting is the basis for a laser-cut lyten steel and grout pavement (Teresa’s bio attached). The Friends of the Gardens provided $110,000 to fund this exciting project. This is our largest single expenditure since the Friends was established in 1990.

Many visitors are taking advantage of the Flora Explorer tours to enjoy the spectacle of the Red Centre Garden in comfort. Read more about the Friends- funded electric bus tours, including tour times and prices. Volunteer guides will often be found in the Red Centre Garden to assist visitors – enquire at the Visitor Information Centre for details.

More information on the Red Centre Garden is on the ANBG website.


Triodia scariosa

Spinifex                           Photo: Jill More


Red Crace rocks in the Rocky Outcrop       Photo: Jill More

Ptilotus nobilis subsp. nobilis

Silver-tails            Photo: Jill More