National Arboretum Canberra

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The AIDS Garden of Reflection

The proposed plans for the AIDS Memorial Garden at the Arboretum

The AIDS Garden of Reflection is a living tribute to those lost to AIDS and in support of those living with HIV.

Designed as a place of contemplation, the garden provides an opportunity for families, friends and supporters to honour those lost to HIV and AIDS, heal, reflect and develop hope.

It has been designed to provide a sense of calm and comfort, a special haven featuring a curving arbour with red flowering climbers and a shallow rock pond. A series of benches and rock seating arranged throughout the garden enable visitors to reflect individually, or in small gatherings.

The garden was made possible through years of fund raising and advocacy by a group of people living with HIV, their families and friends, and the support of the AIDS Action Council and their patron John Mackay AM.

Designed by John Patrick Landscape Architects Pty Ltd. Constructed by Able Landscaping Pty Ltd in 2017. Opened 2 April 2017.

Landscape features

  • Shallow reflective rock pond using rocks sourced from the  National Arboretum site.
  • A variety of sheltered seating areas and seating  types.
  • An arbour to shelter from the western sun, open to  the lawn to remain connected and keep views open across the garden.
  • Informal planting of predominantly Australian native species  create a 'bush garden' look and feel, set against the clipped hedge 'walls'.
  • Red flowering theme. The red ribbon is used as a symbol  for education about, and prevention of HIV and AIDS. The red flowering is  spread across the seasons in the garden by using plants with different  flowering times.

Plant Selection Criteria

All plants chosen are frost hardy and able to survive well in  Canberra conditions.

Species list


Eucalyptus leucoxylon 'Dwarf rosea'
Eucalyptus mannifera 'Little  spotty'
Eucalyptus pauciflora 'Little  snowman'
Eucalyptus sideroxylon 'Rosea'


Acacia cognata 'Limelight'
Callistemon 'Green John'
Correa reflexa
Grevillea lavandulacea

Groundcovers and Grasses

Anigozanthos 'Bush ballad'
Arthropodium milleflorum
Austrostipa ramosissima
Austrostipa verticillata
Baloskion tetraphyllum
Bulbine bulbosa
Derwentia perfoliata
Kniphofia 'Red Hot Poker'
Lepironia articulata
Lomandra confertifolia ssp rubignosa 'Frosty tops'
Myoporum parvifolium
Pennisetum 'Cream  Lea'
Poa labillardieri 'Eskdale'


Campis grandiflora 'Blood red'

The proposed plans for the AIDS Memorial Garden at the Arboretum

The plans for the AIDS Memorial Garden at the Arboretum

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