Planting Dreams: 3-part Lecture Series

Past Event

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 - 12pm to 1pm

Planting Dreams: 3-part Lecture Series

1. 18 Oct, Exploring NSW Contemporary Gardens, 12pm Metcalfe Auditorium

2. 25 Oct, Planting Dreams: Public Gardens & Places- Then & Now, 12pm Metcalfe Auditorium

3. 1 Nov, History of Australian garden design through the Library’s collection, 12pm Gallery Room


A three-part lecture series in conjunction with the exhibitions Planting Dreams: Shaping Australian Gardens & Australian Grand Designs to explore Australia’s passion for gardens and garden making.

The Planting Dreams exhibition celebrates the bicentenary the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney (1816-2016).

A special Friends of the Library lecture series. Australian Garden History Society members eligible for Friends discount. Open to members of the public.

Lecture 1 - Tuesday, 18 October Lecture 1: Metcalfe Auditorium 12.00 - 1.00 pm

Exploring NSW Contemporary Gardens with Howard Tanner AM

Over the past year, award-winning architect and author, Howard Tanner AM has worked with the State Library to produce a survey of contemporary landscape gardens in NSW, in conjunction with specialist photographers, landscape designers and contractors.

Howard will discuss some of NSW’s exceptional gardens that have formed part of the Planting Dreams: Grand Garden Designs photographic exhibition. These images showcase contemporary designs and innovative landscaping of large scale gardens – from Bermagui to Byron Bay to Tenterfield – utilising creative elements of Australian plants; impressive water features; ‘cloud-pruning’ of hedges; contrasting colours and textures; the use of luxurious grasses. 


Lecture 2: Tuesday, 25 October Lecture 2: Metcalfe Auditorium 12.00 - 1.00 pm

Planting Dreams: Public Gardens & Places – Then & Now

Speakers: Peter Watts AM, Colleen Morris and Anton James 

Join us for a fascinating conversation led by former director of the Historic Houses Trust NSW, Peter Watts AM in discussion with landscape heritage consultant Colleen Morris and accomplished landscape architect Anton James.

The discussion will focus on public gardens, both contemporary and historical, as arbiters of taste – through style, plant distribution, fashion makers, public art and memorials etc.  It will explore those who make our public open spaces, threats to public gardens and what the public expect from them.


Lecture 3: Tuesday, 1 November Lecture 3: Gallery Room 12.00 - 1.00 pm

History of Australian garden design through the Library’s collection 

Speakers: Richard Aitken & Sarah Morley

Richard Aitken, garden historian, author and curator of the Planting Dreams: Shaping Australian Gardens exhibition and Sarah Morley, Curator Research & Discovery at the State Library, will discuss the selection and design processes behind this landmark exhibition. 


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