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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
Friends Annual General Meeting 2014 Tuesday, 21 October 2014 - 5:30pm

The 26th Annual General Meeting of the Friends of ANBG will be held on Tuesday 21st October 2014 at 5.30pm in the Theatrette at the Gardens.

Light refreshments will be served from 5pm in the adjacent Dickson Room

The AGM will be followed by a talk by Dr Adrienne Nicotra, Associate Professor, Evolution, Ecology and Genetics, ANU on the outcomes of the Alpine Seed Research project supported by the Friends.

Click here for details.

Laura Johnson ‘Koel, Calm and Collected: Responses of Native Canberra Wattlebirds to an Unfamiliar Enemy’ Thursday, 23 October 2014 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Laura will assess whether Canberran wattlebirds, including those in the ANBG, possess one of the most foundational anti-parasite defences; the ability to recognize the koel, a brood parasite, as an enemy.

Visit to STEP Garden, National Arboretum Friday, 24 October 2014 - 9:30am

Join us for a guided tour of the Southern Tablelands Ecosystems Park, a regional botanic garden of species typical of the Southern Tablelands flora. Admire native plantings organised on a landscape master plan and planted and tended by STEP volunteers. Meet at the main door to the Visitor Centre at the Arboretum at 9.30am. This is a free Friends-only event. Bookings are essential - by email to

Sculpture Garden tour, National Gallery of Australia Wednesday, 29 October 2014 - 10:00am

Join us in a wander through the Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery with a Gallery guide. Learn about the sculptures and to see how Australian plants enhance the design of the separate 'external rooms'. Explore the Turrell Skyspace and associated water features. Meet at 10.00am at the main Gallery entrance. This is a free Friends-only event. Bookings are essential - by email to Places are limited. Enquires to Jonette McDonnell  6288 7829.

Dr Rod King ‘Could Plants Adapt to Increased Temperature Quickly Enough by Normal Evolutionary Pressures? Thursday, 30 October 2014 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Rod will look at whether Australian and exotic plants can adapt to increased temperature by normal evolutionary processes quickly enough.

Plant Science Group talk: Dr Mark Clements Monday, 3 November 2014 - 10:30am

The November talk to the Friends' Plant Science Group will be given by Dr Mark Clements, head of the Orchid Research Group in the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research. His topic is Australian orchids: what we do know and what we don't. Venue is the Crosbie Morrison Building in the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

Kate Grarock ‘The Mulligans Flat-Goorooyarroo Woodland Experiment’ Thursday, 6 November 2014 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary is situated within the Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve. The Sanctuary is owned by the ACT Government and contains the critically-endangered box gum grassy woodland ecosystem. In collaboration, the ACT government and the Australian National University have been working on a major research project entitled “The Mulligans Flat-Goorooyarroo Woodland Experiment” designed to aid our understanding and management of this critically endangered ecosystem. Kate Grarock is the Ecologist at Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary.

Native Plant Sale Saturday, 8 November 2014 - 8:30am to 11:00am

Plants are propagated and tended by the Growing Friends from material sourced from the Gardens. All proceeds go to support the Gardens. Be early for the best selection. A plant list will be available on this website about a week before the sale. Plants cost $3 and $5 each. Read on to see some of the plants that will be available for sale,.

When: Saturday 8 November 2014
Time: 8.30 am – 11.00 am or earlier if sold out
Where: Small car park behind the Crosbie Morrison Centre, Australian National Botanic Gardens

Dr Roger Farrow ‘Plants of the Peruvian Andes and their Australian Connections’ Thursday, 13 November 2014 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

We are familiar with the Gondwanda connection between the Proteaceae, Podocarpaceae, Nothofagaceae and Podocarpaceae of South America and South Africa, but when the flowering plants arose in South America the ancestors of many other plant families got to Australia until it was set adrift in the Southern Ocean.  Some retained conservative values and other groups diversified and I will be discussing some of the connections between the plants that I encountered recently in the Andes and their counterparts in Australia across a range of families.

Associate Professor Don Beer ‘The Great Fire of 1984, the Wettest Winter, Princess Di and Other Episodes: the ANBG under its First Director, 1979-89'. Thursday, 20 November 2014 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Dr Robert Boden, the Gardens' first director, set out to bring harmony to its workforce, develop its educational and conservation roles, and build up its support among the public.  He promoted the Gardens as a major cultural institution.  This talk will look at the reasons for and successes of this program.  It will place them in the context of the politics and society of the 1980s.  It will also refer to some of the more striking highlights of the decade.