For the past four years John Siemon has been the Curator Manager of The Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan but he has always had a lifelong passion for Australia’s beautiful flora. This month he is working around the clock to prepare the Garden for it's 30th Birthday - read more from John below.
The Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan sits within D’harawal Aboriginal country. The D'harawal are the traditional custodians of the land and gave the name Yandel’ora to what is now Mount Annan.
Before the Garden was originally opened as a bicentenary project for the NSW Government, it was run as a diary farm by the Fitzpatricks for over 100 years. It is with this exceptional foresight that it now aptly serves as a cultural, scientific and educational institution and, maybe most importantly, a sanctuary for the growing Macarthur region of south-western Sydney.
Each year more than 441,000 people enjoy this vast green space and marvel at the native plants and wildlife found across the Garden’s 416 hectares. Showcasing almost 3,000 species of native plants and more than 300 animal species, there is so much for visitors to discover.
The Garden is also home to the Australian PlantBank, a major scientific research and conservation centre for New South Wales flora. The seed vault inside PlantBank holds millions of seeds, including almost 60 percent of the threatened species in NSW.
With the recent announcement of generous funding committed by the NSW Government, the addition of the Centre of Innovation in Plant Sciences will solidify the Garden as one of Australia’s most important scientific research facilities.
To acknowledge and celebrate its 30th birthday, the Garden will be hosting a series of activities and experiences throughout the year including a Birthday Garden Picnic on 2 October. The family friendly picnic is designed for children of all ages to have fun in the Garden including a free Kid's Dig archaeology workshop.
Revamped, expanded and brand new horticultural displays will be unveiled this spring along with a large 30 sign mounted by the Connections Garden near the paper daisy display - the perfect spot for a selfie or family photo.
We will also be introducing a new resident artist to our exhibition space, Julie Hickson’s new work showcases her passion for Australian Natives. She has been spending this year exploring the inner landscapes of seed pods, flowers and plants in the laboratory at the Australian PlantBank - her inspiring artwork will be on display until 30 November.
We encourage you to leave the concrete jungle behind and wander through the paradise of varying bushland, grassland and manicured gardens during this special year. Over the past 30 years, the Garden has gone from strength to strength.
I look forward to helping it grow and planning for the next 30 years, so it becomes even more of a cultural and scientific institution than ever before.
See you around the Garden,
#SpringIntoYourGarden Instagram Competition
Follow the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan on Instagram or Twitter to keep up to date with upcoming events and birthday celebrations. To celebrate spring, the Garden is running #SpringIntoYourGarden Instagram competition with two x $50 vouchers being given away each week to use at the Garden's onsite cafe, Melaleuca House. To enter the competition:
- Follow the Garden on Instagram @AustralianBG
- Upload your best spring image taken at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan
- Tag it with @AustralianBG and #springintoyourgarden
- Winners will be notified by Instragram