. Burnley Gardens Out & About

Thanks to the generosity and organisation of Leesa Abbinga, 15 members met on Tuesday 15 November for a tour of Burnley Gardens.  Despite a little early drizzle, our first Out & About excursion for almost two years was a great success.  Leesa was assisted by three other volunteers from the Friends of Burnley Gardens who explained the history of the gardens and some of the changes that have taken place since it was established by the Horticultural Society of Victoria in 1861.

Founded on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri people many of the oldest trees in the garden pre-date European colonisation. These and a number of later plantings are heritage listed and, like the enormous Queensland Kauri, are truly a sight to behold.

The gardens are now managed by the University of Melbourne and are still used for their original purpose – the research, and teaching of environmental and ornamental horticulture.  Leesa and the other guides were students here but did not have to wear the ‘boater’ hats which appear to have been the latest in men’s fashion in a class photo from the late 1890s when women were first admitted to the college.

The Orchard Gates shown here with some of our U3A members and guide, Kirsten Binns Smith, were donated by the Friends of Burnley Garden in 2013 to mark the 150th anniversary of the official opening of the gardens. The Friends welcome new members and will be selling plants they have propagated during the Gardens’ Open Day on 4 December.