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Here you will find a calendar of Friends’ activities in the Gardens including lunchtime talks, social events, exhibitions and the ever-popular spring and autumn plant sales. In addition to events arranged by the Friends, we include some events arranged by the Gardens and by other organisations. A full list of events arranged by the Gardens is in their What's On webpage.

Lunchtime talks are held at 12.30pm every Thursday from February to November in the Gardens’ Theatrette. Talks last for 1 hour. Admission is by gold coin donation. There is no need to book. Some other events do require booking – please see individual items.

See all lunchtime talks | See all the recent events

Event title Date Details
10th Anniversary Art in the Gardens with Friends Exhibition Saturday, 18 March 2017 - 9:30am to Monday, 17 April 2017 - 4:30pm

The Botanic Art Groups will be celebrating their 10th anniversary exhibition in March 2017. 

The exhibition will be held in the Visitor Centre from 18th March to the 17th April. The Visitor Centre is open between 9:30 am and 4:30 pm.  All artwork will be for sale, with the commission going to support Friends activities.  Members of Friends will be invited to a special preview in the afternoon of Friday March 17th, prior to the exhibition opening to the public. All works will feature native plants, many of which can be seen growing in the Gardens.  

Put the dates in your diary!

Dr Francisco Encinas-Viso ‘Venezuela, an extraordinary natural province.’ Thursday, 30 March 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Francisco will talk to the stunningly diverse biodiversity of Venezuela.

The stunningly diverse biodiversity of Venezuela will be the focus of this presentation by Venezuelan born Dr. Francisco Encinas-Viso. After undergraduate study in his homeland, Francisco did postgraduate studies culminating in a PhD in Ecology and Evolution at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, followed by post-doctoral research at CSIRO in Canberra where he continues to work on Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics.

ANBG Photographic Group - walk, breakfast and monthly meeting Friday, 31 March 2017 - 7:30am
  • An early morning walk at 7.30am followed by breakfast in the café at 9am.
  • Monthly meeting at 10.30am in the Theatrette.
Speaker for the March meeting is photographer Chad Addison, who will give a presentation on Low Light Photography.
PG members will show photographs taken at the Summer Sounds concerts and Enlighten festival in the Gardens.
Black Mountain, weeding work party Saturday, 1 April 2017 - 8:30am to 11:30am

Meet: at the seasonal cherry-van parking bay on Belconnen Way, next to Black Mountain Nature Reserve. Look for the balloons.

Bring:  Enthusiasm, your family and friends, water (and your favourite digging tool, if you wish). Everyone is welcome.

Wear:  hat, sunscreen, long-sleeved shirt, long pants, gloves, stout shoes.

A delicious morning tea will be provided about 10.00am.

ANBG Friends Plant Science Group - Technical Talk Monday, 3 April 2017 - 10:30am

Transition zones between Australian plant provinces (phytogeographic regions): from plants and myxomycetes

Dr Peter Wellman, Research Associate at ANBG mainly working on the distribution of Australian slime moulds (myxomycetes).

This talk looks at the nature of the boundaries between the six main plant geographic regions of Gonzalez-Orozco et al. (2014). The boundaries of the regions are found to be generally consistent, within experimental error, with both vascular-plant distribution boundaries (from the best known tree distributions), and myxomycete information. However, the plant information shows that the region boundaries have much smoother curves than the phytogeographic region model, and in many areas a mean annual rainfall contour is the best estimate of the region boundary. The transition zones at the region boundaries are similar in width for the plants and myxomycetes. They are generally 200-300 km wide, but can be as narrow as 140 km and as wide as 440 km. The transition zones cover about 40% of the area of Australia. More detail

Matthew Higgins ‘Adventures with Rosie.’ Thursday, 6 April 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Rosenberg’s Monitor is a large goanna that is rarely seen in the ACT.  It is listed as a threatened species in NSW, Victoria and South Australia.  This presentation looks at these beautiful reptiles in an ACT context, focusing on a project that recorded key activities of the monitors on Mt Ainslie in central Canberra. 

Professor Adrienne Nicotra ‘Iconic Alpine Landscapes: past, present and future.’ Thursday, 13 April 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Adrienne, a long-term collaborator with ANBG on Alpine plant research, will consider the impact of global climate change on our iconic alpine landscape

Professor Adrienne Nicotra completed a BA at Wellesley College in 1990 and a PhD at University of Connecticut. She took up her position at ANU in 1999 and was awarded a Future Fellowship in 2010. Her research continues in plant physiological ecology, plant evolutionary biology and reproductive ecology.

Dr Roslyn Russell ‘Partners in the ‘Business of Nature’: John and Elizabeth Gould.’ Thursday, 20 April 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

For eleven years between 1829 and Elizabeth Gould's untimely death in 1841, she and her husband John worked together to document and illustrate bird and mammal species across several regions of the world. In 1838 they began a two-year visit to Australia, where John documented its fauna while Elizabeth drew sketches, including some of native vegetation to serve as settings for the illustrations of birds and animals that would be produced as lithographic prints and ultimately published as The Birds of Australia and The Mammals of Australia.

Genevieve Jacobs ‘Japanese Gardens: an exercise in beauty, restraint and imperfection.’ Thursday, 27 April 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Japan’s national aesthetic has its foundations in nature, a deep connection that extends from its earliest history to the present day. Classical Japanese gardens are exercises in beauty, restraint and an embodiment of cultural beliefs about the passing nature of time, and the beauty of imperfection. 21st century gardens play with and expand on these ideas to make strikingly beautiful gardens that are also works of art.

Professor Geoffrey Hope ‘How have our mountain peatlands withstood fire over time?’ Thursday, 4 May 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Geoffrey, Visiting Fellow in the Fenner School, ANU, will discuss the vulnerability of peatlands in the Australian Alps.

Bogs and fens in Namadgi are a startling contrast to the water-limited slope vegetation of our region, staying green and luxuriant when grasslands and woodlands brown off each summer. Carbon dating shows that some bogs have been around for more than 15,000 years and during that time there have been changes in vegetation and fire regime that reflect changing climates and perhaps human use. Although threatened by climate change, the swamps have shown high resilience in the face of changing environments and large fires.