The Living Collection in the Gardens is currently arranged according to a set of themes:
- taxonomic - displaying the diversity of plant life according to their botanical relationships (e.g. Myrtaceae)
- ecological and geographic - grouping species from similar ecological and geographic areas (e.g. Tasmanian alpine heath)
- horticultural - promoting an appreciation of the horticultural values of native flora (e.g. Domestic cool-climate garden display)
- ethnobotanic - growing plants used by Australia's indigenous people for food, medicine and fibre
- conservation - preserving rare and endangered plants.
A review of the collection and its themes was completed in 2010. Community input and stakeholders helped us plan for the Gardens' future.
Likely future themes could be:
- conservation and biodiversity - a collection with a conservation focus that includes rare or threatened plants or communities, or those vulnerable to climate change
- cultural and historical - a collection of plants with historical or cultural significance
- ecological - a collection of plants that grow together in ecological communities
- geographical - a collection based on a defined geographical area
- landscape and horticulture - a collection grown for its visual or ornamental qualities, or to illustrate horticultural purposes
- research - a collection that promotes or is assembled for scientific research
- taxonomic - a collection based on plant classification and significant Australian taxa.
- Grassland and Grassy Woodland Garden - stage 1 opened in 2010 (Section 175)
- Red Centre Garden - on the site of the old nursery, planning started in 2010 (Section 326)
Staff access to Confluence Section Managment Plans