The RTBG is a highly modified and artificially managed environment. The amassing of the overall botanical collection since the early 19th century, which now forms the basis of the RTBG’s values, demonstrates a high degree of technical achievement in the establishment of over 6,000 species, varieties and cultivars of plants comprised of a diverse range of species exotic to Australia and Tasmania as well as those that are indigenous to the State.
At the broadest over-arching level, the living collections form the raison d’etre for the Gardens. The values of the Gardens in toto, including the living collections, are described in this Section and include:
- remnant natural biological values;
- cultural values including Aboriginal heritage values, historic heritage values, landscape values and sense of place values;
- recreation, tourism and education values; and
- conservation and research values.
The living collections as a whole, contribute to each of these values in a variety of ways. For instance, the Gardens include areas of remnant native vegetation and elsewhere holds plants that were once used by Aboriginal people for a variety of purposes and are, therefore, significant to the contemporary Aboriginal community for the linkages they provide to their rich culture.
The living collections also contribute to the heritage values of the RTBG as artifacts of the historic development of the site from its earliest beginnings as a subsistence colony to its contemporary role in global conservation and the exchange of scientific knowledge.
At a regional level, the living collections are readily identifiable in the landscape of the City as an “oasis of green” in local’s perception of the image of their city and a “lush” relief from the dry continent for interstate and international visitors. At a detailed level, the living collections are the basis for the beauty of the Gardens. The Gardens also give visual delight to all who come and form a backdrop which some seek as a refuge within which to seek peace with themselves and the world. The vegetation of the Gardens also frames views from the RTBG to the wider landscape, creating scenes of great beauty.
Importantly, the living collections contribute to the uniqueness of living in Hobart and Tasmania: to its sense of place. That is, the living collections help some people define the uniqueness of this place, which in turns contributes to their self-definition as Hobartians, Tasmanians or citizens of the world.
The living collections as a whole also have considerable value for their recreation, tourism and educational values acting as a backdrop of great beauty or as point of difference to encourage visitation. The living collections also provide open learning opportunities and act as a focus for specific educational programs.
The conservation and research value of the living collections is evidenced by the high degree of technical achievement in the establishment of over 6000 species, varieties and cultivars of plants, held in 42 identifiable collections.