The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney turns 200 next year. On Friday, Gardens organisers outlined a compelling series of events throughout 2016 to celebrate the anniversary.
Events appeal to all age groups and most tastes.
Kim Ellis, executive director at Sydney’s Botanic Gardens and Centennial Parklands, said food security was increasingly vital in the world and had always been a focus at the Gardens. The Gardens were founded in a memorable year – the “Year Without a Summer”, 1816, when a sudden weird climatic cooling caused crops around the world to fail, potatoes to freeze in the ground, and thousands to starve.
Evidence suggests 1816 was “a volcanic winter event” caused by the massive 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in the Dutch East Indies.
Ellis said the history of the Gardens was fascinating: “If you think you know the Gardens you are wrong. There is so much you don’t know about the Gardens.”
Governor of New South Wales David Hurley lives in Government House, a splendid Gothic Revival sandstone mansion in the Gardens. He related how he had once been coming home late when he was stopped by security staff, who phoned superiors and said they were questioning someone trying to enter the Gardens “who says he lives here”.
Activities planned for 2016 include, in January, a Garden Safari with professional storyteller, Jo Henwood. Children will make their own scientific specimen and plant a mini tropical island.
On 10 and 21 February the world’s Longest Tomato Lunch will be held. It doesn’t entail the world’s longest tomato but cooking workshops, tastings, talks and activities, and the lunch itself, focusing on a great variety of heirloom tomatoes.
In April, Botanica at Farm Cove will be held, acknowledged as one of the country’s leading contemporary botanical art exhibitions.
There is more. Much more. To see what’s in store for the Gardens’ 200th anniversary, check here: https://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/200th-Birthday
Written by Peter Needham