Gardens bicentennial book buttonThe Gardens: Celebrating Tasmania’s Botanical Treasure 1818 – 2018

Available at the Gardens shop and ONLINE

This limited edition commemorative book will be available at the Gardens shop and online from the 7th of December.

The people, plants and passion that have been the story of the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens over the first 200 years are brought to life in the photographs and stories of one of Tasmania’s most beloved treasures.

All money raised from the sale of this book will be invested directly into projects at the Gardens.

Public submissions are central to this book. Reflections include Rachel Brown’s story on the French Memorial Fountain, created by her father Stephen Walker, to the recollections of Margaret Bloomfield, whose parents lived in the Friends’ Cottage during the Second World War.

Many Tasmanians (and other Australians) also contributed stories, photos and memories that have been included – as have quotes/contributions from prominent Tasmanians, including Peter Cundall, Liz Dombrovskis, Joan Booth, Damian Bugg and Chris Wisbey.

As a photo-dominated production, the reader can open the book to any page and enjoy the images and stories. If they choose to read it from the start, they are taken on a journey through:

• Foreword and message – from the Premier and Governor (as Patron)
• Beginnings, acknowledging that the site is on the traditional lands of the Muwinina people, that it contains highly sensitive Aboriginal heritage (including extensive shell middens and stone artefacts dating back 5,000 years), and that the Domain’s grassland and woodland areas were originally created by Aboriginal land practises.
• History, including stories about the first superintendent (Davidson) collecting seeds on Mt Wellington, the colonial scandal of four cabbages stamped with the broad arrow, and the decision of the Royal Society to open the site (free of charge) to the public.
• Landscape, which speaks of plants such as those that are living fossils, as well as the 10,000-year-old Huon pines, the one-of-a-kind (and bitterly cold) Subantarctic Plant House, and the comfort of sheltering in ancient trees.
• Places, which explores (among other topics) the heritage of the towering entrance gates and the heated Arthur Wall, the miniature models in the Conservatory that took wartime visitors on a tour of the world, and the origins of the tranquil Japanese gardens.
• Community, which celebrates the efforts of the Friends and volunteers, the celebrity of ‘Pete’s Patch’, the devotion of those who attend the tomato sales, and the public’s memories of the cultural and community events that have filled the Gardens (and their lives) with colour and joy.
• Conservation, which tells of all the research undertaken by one of Australia’s premier cool climate gardens and focuses on the revolutionary work of the Tasmanian Seed Conservation Centre. To date, more than 43.4 million viable seeds have been collected and stored at the Seedbank.
This is a book to make the reader smile and remind us of why we cherish the Gardens.

Available at the Gardens shop and ONLINE