Archived news

You are here

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

Red Centre Garden

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.


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.

Association of Friends of Botanic Gardens logo

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.

At the opening         Photo: Graham Brown

Schools Photographic Competition 2013

An exhibition of photographs taken in the Gardens by ACT and Queanbeyan Region High School and College students is currently showing at the gallery in the Visitor Centre.

 Wollemi Pine

Wollemi Pine

The Friends have facilitated the donation of a further Wollemi pine to the Gardens. The pine was grown by Shirley Rutherford in Bombala and will be included in the small collection at the Gardens that may in the future form a dedicated Wollemi pine forest.

Walcott garden       Photo: Ben Walcott

Walcott Garden

Ben and Ros Walcott opened their magnificent native garden under the Open Garden scheme on 26/27 October.

The Friends provided guides and volunteers on the gate to support this event and the Walcotts have generously donated part of the proceeds to the Friends.