THE AUSTRALIAN National Botanic Gardens’ long-awaited “Red Centre Garden” was officially launched this morning by Senator Simon Birmingham, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment, after an Indigenous smoking ceremony.
Three years in the making, the new garden was developed at a cost of $2 million development and is the Gardens’ contribution to Canberra’s Centenary celebrations.
“I’m really looking forward to coming back in 12 months’ time and seeing this arid landscape taking shape, with the classic trees and shrubs of our country’s heart broken up by a creek bed and a carpet of desert wildflowers,” Senator Simon Birmingham said, “You’ll be able to get a unique sense that you’re on a trek through Central Australia itself, while standing at the foot of Black Mountain.”
The idea of the Red Centre Garden is to presents the landscape and plants from Central Australia in the nation’s capital. The garden includes a viewing platform, an interpretation hub, a large ‘thorny devil’ statue and Indigenous pavement art commissioned by the Friends of the Gardens.
In an impressive feat of logistics, the garden features 900 tonnes of red sand, 800 tonnes of rock and 380 tonnes of local brown sand providing the setting for the garden’s plantings.
The Australian National Botanic Gardens propagated in its nursery seeds from Central Australia, as well as trucking in one large and old red cabbage palm, Livistona mariae, placed at the top of the garden.
The “Red Centre Garden” is now open to the public. Entry to the Australian National Botanic Gardens’ via Clunies Ross Street.