From humble beginnings
The Australian Botanic Garden’s first collections were initiated at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney around 1985. These were supplemented shortly thereafter by a major plant expedition to Western Australia, which was the beginning of an accumulation of wild-sourced, known-provenanced native diversity.
"Construction of the Garden was just starting, so temporary holding yards were established for the plant stock," says John.
"The collections were progressively assembled in rather archaic and ad hoc infrastructure, with shade structures built to protect sensitive plants in one of several depots around the site," says John.
The main construction office was where the Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living’s Visitor Centre currently stands.
"The nursery headhouse and two propagation greenhouses were ready in 1986, but it wasn’t until electricity and water were connected the following year that onsite propagation began" says John.
Early in 1987, the main shadehouse, covering 4,500m2 and two tube houses commenced construction. A simple asphalt base was installed six months later, and the plant production spaces really started to take shape.