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VIPs visit Sale Botanic Gardens
February 22, 2024

Sale Botanic Gardens recently welcomed a number of gardening VIPs, who were in town to share their knowledge and experience with Wellington Shire Council parks staff.

Victorian representatives from the Botanic Gardens of Australia and NZ (BGANZ) visited for a tour of the Gardens and a planning session at Nakunbalook Environmental and Cultural Education Centre.

The executive committee included representatives from Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, the National Trust of Victoria and Botanic Gardens in Glen Eira City and Geelong.

As well as a general tour, the team also developed action plans for some of the Gardens' specialised collections, including the Woody Meadow Collection - a University of Melbourne research project around species that regenerate after being cut down to 40cm annually - and the Care for the Rare project.

A BGANZ-funded project established in 2020, Care for the Rare is a collection of threatened plant species indigenous to Wellington Shire, such as the Wellington Mint Bush. Similar to a zoo, the collection retains the species for future conservation should climate change impact the only known populations.

Wellington Shire Council Mayor Ian Bye also took part in the tour, and assisted in planting a Banksia canei in the collection. The species is named after passionate Maffra nurseryman Bill Cane, who discovered and introduced the plant to cultivation, and who has a dedicated Living Collection in his name nearby in the Gardens.

“By being able to discuss challenges and ask questions of BGANZ’s executive team, our staff are better equipped to deliver high quality botanic gardens for the Wellington community to enjoy,” Cr Bye said.

For nearly 20 years, BGANZ, as the peak botanic gardens industry body, has actively supported Sale Botanic Gardens, assisting its Living Collections development and plant records, as well as through master planning.

BGANZ advocates for funding, such as DECCA's Growing Victoria's Botanic Gardens grant program, which in recent years has allowed the construction of the Maple Pavilion and stage two of the Garden for Life at Sale.

Being part of the BGANZ network means Sale Botanic Gardens staff can connect with other members to exchange information about conservation, plant sciences and social and cultural heritage programs, and gives Wellington access to best practice standards throughout Australia and New Zealand.

The decision for BGANZ to visit Sale Botanic Gardens is significant, given Sale is home to the only Botanic Gardens east of Berwick, and is comparable to those in major regional centres.

One of 41 BGANZ registered sites in Victoria and gazetted as a Botanic Gardens more than 160 years ago, Sale Botanic Gardens is considered one of regional Victoria's preeminent public gardens and one of Wellington's major tourism drawcards. Botanic Gardens play a crucial role in plant conservation, research, education and wellbeing worldwide.

Wellington Shire Council Mayor Ian Bye assists Sale Botanic Gardens Curator Tony King and Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria Manager of Horticulture at Cranbourne John Arnott plant a Banksia canei in Sale Botanic Gardens’ Care for the Rare Living Collection.

Botanic Gardens of Australia and NZ’s executive committee visited Sale Botanic Gardens last week to provide advice and map out action plans for its Living Collections. Pictured (from left) are Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria Manager of Horticulture at Cranbourne John Arnott, Sale Botanic Gardens’ Curator Tony King, Wellington Shire Council Mayor Ian Bye, Wellington Shire Council Open Space Planning Officer Liam Cole, Glen Eira City Council Coordinator of Open Space Maintenance Jess van der Werff, Wellington Shire Council Horticulturalist Lucy Brilman, National Trust of Australia (Victoria) Executive Manager of Gardens Justin Buckley and Geelong Botanic Gardens Coordinator Kellee Reissinger.

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