The story behind the book Burnley Gardens: their Design and the People who loved them

Burnley Gardens: their Design and the People who loved them isn’t a conventional history book. It’s an “interactive, immersive book”. Author Michèle Adler talks about her inspiration and her award-winning book about the gardens and history of Burnley School of Horticulture in Melbourne, which is part of the University of Melbourne.

2024 Former graduate Michael Hatton, walking with the book in hand.

As a Lecturer in Horticulture at Burnley I took the students on garden walks to learn their lists of plants. It made such a difference to see the plants ‘in situ’. Many know that Burnley Gardens is one of the oldest in the state and so every class, sun or rain, day or night, we walked spotting plants, marvelling at the size and longevity of the big old trees and the many flowers in season. The Gardens were a formative part of understanding the natural world around us.

It seemed appropriate to treat my envisaged Burnley Book as a series of garden walks, but including not only plants but also the history, the designers of various spaces, the reasons for design choices, and the stories. You ‘walk with me’, book in hand to discover so much more.

Continued: Read more about the story behind Burnley Gardens

Free Burnley Gardens walks to celebrate Botanic Gardens Day

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