Mrs Tamie Fraser OAM, Patron of Open Gardens Australia, and Andrew Buchanan, Board Member of Open Gardens Australia, at the OGA Garden dedication.
Mrs Tamie Fraser OAM, Patron of Open Gardens Australia, Mr Shane Rattenbury MLA, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Neil Hobbs, Landscape Architect, and Karina Hobbs at the OGA Garden dedication.
Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Shane Rattenbury, today announced the selected design for the new Open Gardens Australia Garden at the National Arboretum Canberra.
Together with Mrs Tamie Fraser OAM, patron and tireless ambassador for Open Gardens Australia, Minister Rattenbury turned the sod today for the new garden, the first in the Arboretum's Gallery of Gardens. They were assisted by the recently elected President of the Friends of the National Arboretum Canberra, Ms Trish Keller.
The Open Gardens Australia Garden will be created to honour Open Garden Australia's long history and success in opening almost 20,000 gardens and raising more than $6 million for charitable causes over the past 27 years.
A selected panel of garden designers and landscape architects were invited to submit designs for this new addition to the Arboretum. The designers were asked to draw inspiration from the theme 'artistry of gardens' and to reflect the goals shared by the Arboretum and OGA.
The design selected was submitted by local landscape designer Neil Harris from Harris Hobbs Landscapes. The design concept for the garden fulfils the 'artistry of gardens' theme and will feature a grassed marquee space, a bird bath and various seating and paved areas. It contains a mixture of Australian and exotic plants, reflecting the diversity of gardens that were showcased by Open Gardens Australia.
Open Gardens Australia has generously funded the design and development of the garden; a truly wonderful gift to the Arboretum and all Australians.
Guests at the Open Gardens Australia Garden dedication. Photo courtesy of GardenDrum.com
Spanning around 500 m2, the garden will create a lasting tribute to the not-for-profit Open Gardens Australia, which will end its operations on 30 June 2015. Members of the public - including the thousands of supporters and volunteers who have been an integral part of OGA's history - will have access to the garden for many years to come.
The new garden will invite people to stay and share in the inspiring surrounds. Design concepts were invited from a shortlist of designers and landscape architects, drawing inspiration from the theme 'artistry of gardens', and reflecting the goals shared by the Arboretum and OGA.
The winning concept was announced at the project launch and turning of the soil on Saturday, 27 June 2015 at the National Arboretum Canberra.
Open Gardens Australia's Chief Executive Officer, Liz White, says the garden will be a fitting way to reflect OGA's mission and values and recognise the enormous contribution the organisation has made over the years.
"OGA has played a huge role in inspiring creativity and establishing a sharing, passionate, enthusiastic gardening community in this country," she said.
"It is very apt that this be recognised through the creation of a living landscape, embracing all of OGA's core values - diversity, creativity, sustainability and, most of all, sharing and inclusiveness."
Open Gardens Australia - originally called Victoria's Garden Scheme and later Australia's Open Garden Scheme - was founded in 1987, inspired by the model used by the National Garden Scheme in the UK.
Over its 27-year history OGA has partnered with garden owners to open almost 20,000 gardens, and raise more than $6 million for charities and local causes. The organisation has also poured thousands more back into local communities through community grants, to nurture people's passion for gardening at a local level.