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13 Dec 2022

Volunteer Liz’s top five Gardens’ experiences

When English-born Liz Jeavons-Fellows arrived in Sydney in 2005 she was attracted to the majesty of the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and the power of its plants. Now a volunteer, Liz reveals her five favourite places in the Gardens!

From visitor to valued volunteer

The Botanic Gardens was one of the first places Liz found when she visited Sydney.

“Wandering around, I realised I knew little about native plants let alone all the different areas and attractions, varied species and constantly changing colours and displays,” Liz said.

Later, becoming a volunteer became a wonderful way for Liz to learn more and spend time in this iconic place on the harbour.  

She joined the volunteer program four years ago and working with like-minded, green-thumbed people made this a most rewarding experience.

“I love working with gardeners. They are very generous people, both with their time and knowledge,” Liz said.

“We work with the common purpose to propagate plants that are growing in the Gardens, have excellent plants on display for sale, and welcome the public into the Growing Friends Nursery. We take great pride that 100% of sales goes back to support various projects in the gardens.” 

“I learn something new every day about the propagation of plants and working as a volunteer I now know the Botanic Gardens like the back of my hand.”  
Liz Jeavons-Fellows

Liz’s Top 5 attractions for a self-guided tour  

Liz says for many visitors, the entrance into the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney begins near the Opera House, which is the perfect place to start a self-guided tour.

1. Australian Native Rockery – The Native area is just inside the gate near the Opera House. Liz says the variety, colour and textures of the plants are always eye catching and present Australian flora in this unmatched waterside setting.

2. Trial Gardens – With the Conservatorium of Music as a backdrop, these beds show ever changing displays of new and unusual species, different turf samples and sometimes even vegetables.  Occasionally as you walk around you can hear music coming from the classrooms below.

3. Rose Garden – As you walk towards the steps, the Rose Garden is on your right. This is a fascinating display of colour and fragrance, and for Liz, incredible, as many species of rose can be hard to grow in a humid environment like Sydney.

4. The Caylx – Turning left and down the steps you see The Calyx.  It is home to one of the largest green walls in the southern hemisphere and is great spot to enjoy a coffee or lunch. Love Your Nature is the latest immersive horticulture exhibition at The Calyx and there are over 20,000 plants on display to showcase and celebrate the colourful world of plant diversity and reproduction.  


5. Growing Friends plant sales – You can find a huge range of great value native and exotic plants, all excellent quality and well cared for.  Liz says friendly volunteers will help with tips and tricks if needed and discuss your garden issues, and you can return home with your purchases in the knowledge that all money spent will be going right back into the gardens. The Growing Friends plant sales is located next to the Foundation and Friends office at Cottage 6, Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney, and is accessed either from the road or from a pathway next to the Maiden Theatre in the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.  Open Monday-Friday, 11am-2pm and Saturday, 10am-2pm.

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