Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

Australian Botanic Garden




History

>> View Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust History
>> View Birth of a Garden by Edwin Wilson & Barbara Briggs
>> View 21st birthday celebrations

Timeline

The original occupants of the land were the Aboriginal people now known as the Dharawal.
1818 Magistrate William Howe is granted 3000 acres of land on the eastern side of the Nepean River and establishes Glenlee estate. The historic Glenlee House was completed in 1824.
1820s Mount Annan land purchased as part of Glenlee estate by magistrate William Howe.

1850s

Glenlee acquired by James Fitzpatrick whose descendants ran a dairy farm until 1978.

1880s The Upper Canal was constructed as an additional water source for Sydney. A series of tunnels, aqueducts and open canals transporting water 64 km to Prospect Reservoir. Heritage item still in use today.
1940s Dairy farm operates in the northern section of site

1970s

A riding school was established from the late 70s to early 80s on land leased from the Macarthur Development Board. Barley crops were grown in two paddocks to feed the horses. These were in the mounting paddock near Lake Gilinganadum and where the first Garden depot was located near Narellan Road. The original dairy buildings were used as a kiosk and waiting area for the riding school.

1975

Land designated as part of a Scenic Protection Zone by Macarthur Development Board.

1984

NSW Government allocates 400 hectares for a native botanic garden to be administered by Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust - a major Bicentennial Project.

1985  Site planning, construction of roads, lakes, irrigation and nursery/depot commences under the direction of Public Works Dept. First Eucalyptus arboretum plantings.
Major plant collecting expedition to Western Australia.
Bird census commences.
1986  Construction of Terrace Garden and Mount Annan Drive commences.
1987 

Major plantings in the Bottlebrush, Wattle, Banksia and Cassia theme gardens.
Visitor Centre car park completed. Nursery and depot begin operating.

1988

Theme garden walking tracks completed.
Storms cause major damage to Terrace Garden and Theme Gardens.

1988

Official opening by Duke and Duchess of York on 2 October as the final NSW Bicentennial project.
Mount Annan opens to the public.

1989

Sundial of Human Involvement is completed.
Horticultural Research section established.
Naming of Lake Sedgwick and Lake Fitzpatrick by Kath Fitzpatrick.  

1990

Cunningham Drive and Lake Nadungamba constructed, opening up the northern section of the Garden.
New Visitor Centre and endangered species garden opened by the Premier of NSW, Nick Greiner MP, 29 July.
Wallaroos first sighted in Garden.

1995

Newly discovered Wollemi pine first brought into cultivation at Mount Annan.
Massed paper daisy displays developed, which become a major visitor attraction.

1998

Ironbark Woodland conservation area (6 ha) at entrance to Garden donated by Landcom.
Signature plantings of Bunya Pines established on eastern ridge.

1999

Major redevelopment of Seedbank to support plant conservation work at Mount Annan.
Woodland Picnic area opened to the public. 
Stage one of Children’s Playground opened.

2000

Award winning Site Master Plan completed, setting a vision for the future of the Garden. 
Australian flowers and plants from Mount Annan feature at Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney and Olympic venues around Sydney.
Volunteer Bushcare program established, staff and volunteers target African Olive removal from high conservation value woodlands.

2001

Major redevelopment of Garden entrance with feature dry stone wall and entry gates.
Dense infestations of the weed African Olive now established across site.
Federation Stars collection of Flannel Flowers released and selected as NSW Federation floral emblem for the Centenary of Federation. Flannel Flower Federation Maze completed.
‘The Gardens Restaurant’ opens in existing Visitor Centre and Gardens Shop opens.

2002

M5 East motorway opens, dramatically improving motorway access to Garden from Sydney.
Federation Maze opened by Graham West MP
Natural Heritage section created to manage native woodlands and conservation planning.
Stage 2 of Children’s Playground completed.
Contractors engaged to target African Olive removal from conservation woodlands.

2003  Plans announced for a Stolen Generations Memorial, an Aboriginal reconciliation project to be built in woodland conservation area.
Trial mechanical clearing of African Olive
2004 Seedbanking partnership established with the Millennium Seed Bank U.K. statewide seed collecting commences.
Federal government funding announced for the construction of the ‘Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living’ within the Garden.
2005

'Room with a View' garden launched by Jamie Durie 12 September.
Redevelopment of Terrace Garden renamed ‘Connections Garden’, work now focussed on front sections - Water Garden stage 1 of Connections Garden launched by Dr Karl Kruzelnicki.
Core woodland conservation areas free from olive invasion. 
Central car park redesigned and constructed.

2006

Wollemi Walk of Discovery opened by Jerry Coleby-Williams, 31 March.
Bottlebrush Garden renamed Big Idea Garden to display sustainable urban horticulture - 'Big Idea' Garden launched 2 November.
Bureau of Meterology Weather Station opened by Cr Aaron Rule, Mayor of Campbelltown, 14 November.
Master Plan review.
Drive-through experience ‘Recycled sculptures’ installed.
‘The Knot’ dry stone sculpture installed in Central Valley.

 2007 Bowden Centre opened by Hon. Phil Koperberg MP, 7 May - building wins Sulman Award for Public Architecture and secondary awards for sustainable design and materials use.
Stolen Generations Memorial completed and opened by Hon. Paul Lynch MP, 7 October.
Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living opened.
Proposed Adventure Garden site chosen and planning  commenced.
 2008

Grevillea Garden opened by Angus Stewart, 2 May.
Connections Garden stage 2 opened.
Grevillea Garden dry stone terraces opened, after four years of dry stone walling courses.

2009 Connections Garden stage 3 completed.
Integral Energy commence powerline reconfiguration and make a major donation for African Olive removal.
Planning commences for ‘The Australian PlantBank’ a new conservation and research centre, a project which aims to take Mount Annan and the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust into the forefront of plant science and conservation.
2011

Name change from Mount Annan Botanic Garden to the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan.
Opening of three stages of the Enduro Mountain Bike Trail along the eastern valley of the Garden.
First Artist in Residence, John Petrie constructed the 'Bottlegrass' sculpture on the eastern edge of Lake Sedgwick.
Opening of the new Garden Entrance off Narellan Road on the 27 September by the Hon. Barry O'Farrell, Premier of NSW and the Hon Robyn Parker MP.

2012 On 10 January, the first sod is turned for construction of the Australian PlantBank to begin. Construction begins on new visitor facilities in the Banksia and Big Idea Gardens
2013

25th birthday celebrations for the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan
The Australian PlantBank, a new internationally significant scientific research facility to safeguard plant species for the future is opened by Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, Governor of NSW