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The garden of Australian daisies officially opens

A new garden dedicated to the much loved plant family – Asteraceae – is now on permanent display at the Gardens

Her Excellency Lady Cosgrove, Patron of the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens opened the new Asteraceae: a garden of Australian daisies on 24 November 2014.

“The new Asteraceae garden is a wonderful demonstration of the beauty and diversity of Australian daisies and the Australian National Botanic Gardens’ collection,” Lady Cosgrove said.

“The garden features more than 80 species of Australian daisies, including 10 threatened species and a number of species not grown at the Gardens before.

Joining the celebrations, the Director of National Parks Sally Barnes said the daisy garden is a wonderful new experience for visitors to the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

“The Asteraceae garden provides another visitor experience in the Gardens and an opportunity for visitors to learn more about Australian daisies,” Ms Barnes said.

“The Asteraceae garden is the result of a collaborative effort between the Australian National Botanic Gardens and the Friends of the Gardens.

“As a major tourism attraction in Canberra, it is important the Gardens continually refreshes the visitor experience.”

The design and construction of the Asteraceae garden has been done in house by Gardens staff and 90 per cent of the plants have been propagated in the Gardens nursery.

Approximately 18,000 plants have been planted to date in the new garden, including 8,000 trees shrubs and herbs and 10,000 annual plants.


New day spa for the Gardens

A visit to the Australian National Botanic Gardens can soon include a touch of pampering with the establishment of Jindii EcoSpa at the Gardens.

“This is a great addition to the range of visitor experiences in the Gardens, one that’s sure to bring more people to this beautiful, natural institution of ours,” said Senator Simon Birmingham, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment.

“In the few weeks I was at the IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney. One of the messages that clearly came through there was the global need for parks and gardens to better partner with sustainable businesses, helping to drive visitation and provide additional sources of income.   

“I’m pleased we’re already doing that work right here in Canberra, with the Gardens partnering with private enterprise to provide this service. Parks and gardens play a big role in people’s health – both physical and mental. So this I see this as a great step forward, delivering a triple bottom line to the health of Canberra’s community, its local economy and investment back in our environment.”

Senator for the ACT, Zed Seselja said the spa, which will be located at the base of Rainforest Gully near the cafe, is a great addition to the Gardens.

“It’s great that a local business has been given the opportunity to use this wonderful space, and I’m sure the spa’s clientele will appreciate the tranquil surrounds,” he said. 

“There’s no other place in Canberra that offers such an experience. The Botanic Gardens is one of Canberra’s favourite attractions and this is an innovative move, especially attractive for the many couples who use the Gardens as a wedding venue.”

Jindii EcoSpa is a multi-award winning Canberra business. It will open its doors to customers in January 2015.  The company uses natural Australian botanical products and operates on the principles of conservation and sustainability. The fit out will begin in November, with building works designed to minimise any disruption to visitors.


Inside the mind of a daisy expert

Telling the story of the Asteraceae family is more than just a beautiful garden display, it’s also revealing the passion and research that goes on behind the scenes.

Dr Alexander Schmidt-Lebuhn, Research Scientist for the National Research Collections Australia at CSIRO played a significant role in the research, development and interpretation of the Asteraceae: a garden of Australian daisies.

Wandering through the Asteraceae garden you may pick up on some of the research that Alexander has worked on – beautifully laid out in one large garden setting.

“My research is mostly systematic, phylogenetic and taxonomic. In other words, I study the relationships of plants - to find out how to classify, identify and name them.

“Among the Australian daisies, the ones I find most fascinating are the tiny ephemerals from the arid zone - especially because many of them are so bizarre-looking.

“Plants like these are what is so special about the Australian daisy.” 

Since arriving in Australia, Alexander has also developed an interest in sampling biases in biological collections and how they may impact the use of specimen collection data in research.

Before moving to Australia, Alexander obtained his degree in Biology from the University of Göttingen in 2002 and his doctorate from the same university in 2005.  He commenced working at the CSIRO in 2010.


Summer of Smiles at the Gardens

The Australian National Botanic Gardens is looking forward to a fun-packed program of summer events set to put smiles on everyone's faces.

The Gardens and The Central by Goodwin are thrilled to present our ever-popular month-long 2015 Summer Sounds with The Central, featuring some of the best band talent in the nation's capital.

"We've got a terrific entertainment line-up this January with everything from jazz, swing, big band, Latin American, country, rockabilly, popular and even hip hop - all sure to get everyone on their feet and dancing," the Gardens' General Manager, Peter Byron said.

"The Eucalypt Lawn is a wonderful setting for the concerts. Nowhere else in Canberra can people relax and enjoy talented local musicians surrounded by natural beauty. Concert-goers can enjoy several dinner options on site, or bring along a picnic. The concerts will start at 5.30 pm and conclude at 7.30 pm every Saturday and Sunday night throughout January, with an extended Australia Day concert from 5.30 to 8.30pm on Sunday 25 January. "

The 2015 Summer Sounds with The Central follows on from Sunset Cinema, a six-week outdoor film program featuring latest releases, classic and arthouse films, currently running at the Gardens.

"Our audiences keep coming back for more of this unique outdoor movie-going experience," Peter said.

"Sunset Cinema continues each Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening until 20 December.

"Our popular Delicious afterDARK tours are back with a new menu and fine wines. It's a perfect way to spend a warm summer evening in the Gardens, every Friday from 9 January to 27 March. For the kids, there's the Snakes Alive! reptile exhibition presented by the Canberra Herpetological Association opens in the Gardens from 12 to 18 January."

COMMBANK FLIX IN THE STIX returns to the Australian National Botanic Gardens on Saturday January 31, 2015 bringing you a cultural event quite unlike any other. The event features award winning international short films, combined with live music from ARIA award winning artists, My Friend the Chocolate Cake and comedy sensation TRIPOD.

For further information on the Gardens' summer events visit:


Garden Guidance: Hot tip of the season

It’s heating up and if you’re looking at how to best care for your garden this summer, Gardens Horticultural Rosella Hampshire may have some advice for you.   

Having worked at the Gardens for 7 year, Rosella has come to appreciate every space in the Gardens in different ways.

“All parts of the Gardens has its unique senses – whether it be recreational, aesthetic, contemplative or meditative because of the plants that surrounds it.

“And with the weather heating up, we want to make sure that the plants are taken good care of.

“In dry periods, deep watering once a week is very important.  Try leaving a sprinkler or dripper on for 20-30mins, or possibly more (depending on the soil profile).  But on top of this, learning to observe the plants and recognising their individual needs will really help to ensure they don’t suffer (and die) over the hot summer.

“If you’re trying to keep vegetables or annuals alive over summer, make sure you water them regularly.”



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