Media Release: Australian Garden History July 2022: Collating the past

The stories in the July 2022 issue of Australian Garden History underline the importance of record keeping to history and other forms of storytelling. Without the newspaper cuttings, catalogues and correspondence expertly collated, curated and catalogued in the archives, Claire Baddeley would not have been able to tell the story of southwest Sydney’s 19th-century nurseries. 

The visual record is helpful to garden historians and, as Catherine Shields explains, contemporary horticulturists. Shields received a commission to recreate a garden in the spirit of John Glover’s 1835 painting, A view of the artist’s house and garden, in Mills Plains, Van Diemen’s Land. Her article is essential reading for anyone interested in maintaining a heritage garden or landscape in a changing climate. 

Paintings, etchings and photographs allow us to visualise the extraordinary Garden Palace built in the Sydney Botanic Gardens for the 1879 international exhibition but destroyed by fire just three years later. The scale of the Palace was evoked by contemporary artist, Jonathon Jones, whose installation in 2016 also reminded us of the 19th-century trade in stolen artefacts. Stuart Read discusses the legacies of these early world expos. 

Members of the Australian Garden History Society are doing important archival work, uncovering photographic and other sources of information about historic gardens in their local areas. These records contribute to the Society’s efforts to increase appreciation for our heritage and, hopefully, to preserve it from destruction or ill-informed development. In this issue, read about an exhibition in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales and about the Booloominbah gardens at the University of New England in Armidale. 


Australian Garden History is the quarterly journal of the Australian Garden History Society (AGHS). For a digital copy of the journal or to arrange an interview with any of the journal’s authors, contact Francesca Beddie, or 0418 645 181. 

The mission of the Australian Garden History Society is to promote awareness and conservation of significant gardens and cultural landscapes. 

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