Knowing our landscape through history

Bringing stories back from the past can deepen our connections to place. So does gardening. It’s a potent combination.

In the October 2022 issue of Australian Garden History, Trisha Dixon recounts, paradoxically just as we are told to expect a third La Niña, her journey towards dry gardening. The rains will eventually stop. Her article is a guide to seeing our dry landscape with new eyes.

Wet or dry, wattle lifts the spirits at this time of the year. John Dwyer sets out the strong feelings for and against the popular Cootamundra wattle.

It’s an occasional thrill that keeps historians plodding through their archival research. For the Betteridges, matching a charming photograph from the 1930s to a wishing well at Westridge House in Canberra has resulted in the Venetian well head’s return to Yarralla in Sydney. John Viska’s reconstruction of Bishop Hale’s garden on St George’s Terrace, Perth, started with a line in a letter bought at auction.

This issue takes us to the north and to Central Australia. John Dowe recounts the contribution from 1881 to 1938 to tropical horticulture of the Gulliver brothers in Townsville. Francesca Beddie interviews Professor Anne Boyd about her new opera, Olive Pink, that will premiere in the Olive Pink Botanic Garden in Alice Springs on 7 October. This musical drama is a tribute to a woman who strove for the rights of the Walpiri people, and to the landscape of the Australian outback.


Australian Garden History is the quarterly journal of the Australian Garden History Society (AGHS). It’s available at

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