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

ANBG Tours on Monday and Thursday

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The ANBG guides are looking forward to showing you around their botanic gardens.

There will be guided tours on Monday afternoon, from 3:45 pm to 5:00 pm, and on Thursday morning, from 11:45 am to 1:00 pm. Most tours will be available on Monday and on Thursday.

Short descriptions of thirteen tours appear below. When you eventually register for the conference you will be asked to select just one tour for each day. Numbers are limited and places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. All tours will involve some steps and gradual slopes unless otherwise specified

Tours 1 – 8 are walks that will take you into different parts of the gardens. Tour 9 (Flora Explorer Tour) will also take you to different parts of the gardens, but in the comfort of the electric vehicle. Tours 10 – 13 are to specific areas of the gardens.

  1. A history of the ANBG in 5 stops

The ANBG has evolved from a cow paddock to its present form. This walk seeks to explain how it came to be as it is. What are the main characteristics of these gardens? How do they compare with metropolitan gardens elsewhere in Australia and New Zealand?  Why the differences? What has the ANBG contributed not just to botany and ecology but to Australians’ conception of who they are?

  1. Australian plants in art: from postcards to politics

Take a glimpse at how artists in Australia, from the traditional owners of the land to explorers, fortune hunters, progressives, passionate environmentalists and political activists have responded to the bush and the plants in the landscape around them. Bring a sense of mystery and adventure; this medium holds many messages.

  1. Capturing the spirit of the ANBG: a photographic walk

Bring your camera (or smartphone), notebook and your creative eye for a leisurely visit to 3 or 4 different locations within the ANBG.

Keeping in mind that a garden is the sum of its parts: landscapes, plants, flowers, structures, water and animals, we will endeavour to capture the essence of the Gardens with a series of photos encompassing the broad landscape, the middle distance and the detail.

  1. Botanists of Australian trees

Do you know of Banks, Leichhardt, La Billardiere? Discover more about these and other botanists who have either named Australian trees or have had trees named after them.  Learn about the outstanding contributions they have made to Australian science; their stories encompass adventure, mystery, sex and even murder!

  1. Iconic Australian plants

About a third of the visitors who go on guided walks at the ANBG are from overseas. The Living Collection at the ANBG includes good examples of nearly all Australia’s most well-known plants. This makes it an ideal place to introduce overseas visitors to the Australian flora. This walk is to demonstrate how we engage with overseas visitors by showing them how to ‘look’ at Australian plants, by making connections with their countries of origin and by giving them entertaining stories which they can take home.

  1. It’s not just nuts and berries!

The Australian bush is rich in food sources and the foods are as varied as the plants themselves. They are nutritious, flavoursome and would have been abundant. This walk offers you a ‘taste’ of plants that have been eaten for over 40,000 years as well as some that may become regulars at your table in the future.

  1. Reading the leaves: adaptation to changing climates

With a particular focus on leaves, we will explore ways in which plants have adapted to the various Australian habitats and the overall drying of the continent. As Australia took its plants through geological history, it has forced the plant to engineer ways to survive, every time having to compromise between photosynthesis and water retention, with the change in climate from rain forest to the red centre.

  1. Time travel

Unpack your imagination and step back 3,000 million years in time to look at the origin of all plants.  Meandering through the Gardens, the major events in the evolution of plants will be explored with living plants illustrating each step. Using a timescale of one year, we will time travel forward to today, watching the development of plants from their humble beginnings to the present amazing diversity of Australian flora.  Join in an incredible journey through time. 

  1. ‘Flora Explorer’ tour

Hop on board our 12 seater ‘Flora Explorer’ for a post card tour of the Gardens. Enjoy a good overview of the ANBG visiting several different ecosystems, including the rainforest and Red Centre desert garden from the luxury of an electric vehicle. 

This tour is well suited for, but not limited to, anyone with mobility restrictions.

  1. Seed bank tour

Come and find out about the research and methods used by the National Seed Bank at the ANBG to extend knowledge on collecting, processing, storing and germinating native seeds. The Seed Bank strives to preserve the diversity of Australian flora, especially for plants from endangered habitats. Our Seed Bank Manager and his team are ready to show you their methods and facilities.

There is a short walk with a gentle incline to the Seed Bank.

  1. Behind the scenes: a propagation workshop with growing friends

This tour is not available on Thursday.

Members of Growing Friends will explain the current process of obtaining cutting material and seeds from the ANBG and restrictions on access to some plant material. This will be followed by a short practical cutting demonstration, after which you will be shown the process of producing plants for twice-yearly sales.

Well suited for, but not limited to, anyone with mobility restrictions. There is a very short walk to the Banks Building.

  1. Library and cryptogam herbarium visit

This tour is not available on Thursday

This tour will take us to our Library where we will view some beautiful works of botanical art including paintings of every banksia by acclaimed Australian artist, Celia Rosser.

Close by is the Cryptogam Herbarium where non-seed bearing plants including ferns, lichens, mosses and fungi are housed. Here the mystery of ‘secret marriage’, the literal meaning of cryptogam, will be revealed.

There are four flights of stairs to negotiate.

  1. Nursery tour

This tour is not available on Monday.

Our $4 million Nursery opened in 2004 and can produce up to 40,000 plants a year. The Nursery uses extensive propagation methods in its approach to growing plants for the Gardens and for conservation purposes. This exceptional facility combined with the ANBG’s highly skilled horticulturists, grows and maintains the most comprehensive collection of Australian flora found in a single location. Come on a behind the scenes tour of these wonderful facilities and see the vast array of native plants in the ANBG Nursery.



Flora Explorer minibus tour

Flora Explorer minibus tour

Last updated on 13 June 2017

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