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2017 Australasian Botanic Gardens Volunteer Guides Conference - Informed Guiding: Discovering the mystery and magic of our Gardens

Out and About

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The Out and About day will showcase various aspects of Canberra and environs through its gardens.

Canberra is not only Australia’s national capital, but also has other aspects: historically, as a pastoral area; and now, as a residential city. Outside of Canberra, and within easy access, there are many historic rural villages and thriving local communities. The Out and About day will showcase these various aspects of Canberra and the surrounding region. Morning tea and lunch catering arrangements are en route, and give you a little extra time to experience the ambience of various sites.

We have arranged three separate, full-day bus tours. You will have the opportunity to select one of the following:

National Capital Gardens

House of Representatives Garden - By Dhx1 (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia CommonsThis itinerary involves guided tours of gardens associated with Commonwealth institutions, as well as the National Arboretum. We start with the Arboretum and the beautiful views over Canberra that this site offers.

We then have the opportunity to visit the gardens of Government House, located on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, meet members of the professional gardening team at Parliament House ‘in situ’, and finally be shown the established, formal gardens of Old Parliament House by a specialised volunteer guide.

A Garden City

Lanyon - Machinery ShedIn this tour you will visit a mix of public, historical, community and private gardens across the city, including the National Arboretum.The Walcott’s garden, which was featured on Gardening Australia on 27th May 2017, is a perfect example of how a large garden should be designed and planted. We then visit Lanyon Homestead and garden, established in the 1880s, on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River.

This itinerary also includes the Fetherston community garden, a teaching garden established in 1973 and now being lovingly restored by a community volunteer group, after avoiding plans for the area to become a housing development site. We end the tour at the Arboretum, where we will hear about the design and plantings, while we take in the wide view of hills and lake that the site affords.

Birds and 'Capital Country' Garden Landscapes

Breakfast with the birdsAfter an early morning walk in the ANBG for a spot of bird watching, this tour takes you to three private gardens on small semi-rural properties all less than 30 minutes from the city, highlighting changing patterns of land use around Canberra and impressive garden displays. This includes a historic nineteenth century homestead garden with a 1920s update, and includes a wisteria walk, formal hedges, circular drive and windbreak; and nearby in Googong, a large thirty year old garden with exotics, natives, a vegetable patch and vast productive orchard, which provides most of the owners’ food. Tuckniss is the final garden of the day, and shows what can be achieved in a short time. Planting began in October 2009, with a plan to eventually transform the 10 acres of dusty dirt horse paddocks into parkland.


Last updated on 28 May 2017

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