In 200 years the Botanic Garden that began as a plain garden staffed by a gang of convicts commanded by a soldier with “some gardening experience” has become one of the best and most famous in the world, housing an impressive open air, living collection. This book shows how this incredible transformation came about, detailing the historical foundations and dedicated personalities who contributed their time and expertise to the garden.
The significance of the garden goes far beyond its role as a flora conservation and preservation project; it has played a role in the weird, wonderful and ghastly history of Sydney—including supplying forensic evidence for criminal cases, starting with an infamous kidnap, ransom and murder case, the killer caught thanks to the identification of plant fragments by botanists working at the Garden. This story and countless others illustrate the multifaceted nature of a botanic garden that is at once a harbourside sanctuary, picturesque space to be enjoyed by the general public and scientific and educational resource.
The book is jointly written by an array of top contributors—some well known in the media, and some world leaders in their fields. Author and scientist, Dr Valder has had a long association with the Garden beginning in 1946 as a University of Sydney agricultural student, then from 1951 as Plant Pathologist and researcher with the Department of Agriculture. In 1982 he helped establish the Friends of the Botanic Gardens. Jennie Churchill is the Project Manager Bicentenary Book, Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney.
Hardback; 256pp; RRP $65.00