A look ‘behind the bushes’ in the Parliamentary Rose Gardens reveals stories of our changing national identity told by gardens and trees.
The Parliamentary Rose Gardens were planted in the 1930 and much of their formal design remains in the displays we will see in full bloom in late November. Finding out why and how they were planted, who led the way and who contributed the roses tells us a story of an early exercise in participatory democracy. Walking along King George’s Terrace, the different trees on either side tell us another story about how our national identity changed in the 1970s, and we find expressions of our Indigenous culture in the plants and pavements among the sculptures in Reconciliation Place. The story is not complete: we will ask what is missing by way of representing our past heritage and what is needed if the Parliamentary Triangle is to achieve its stated aim of being a place for the people as we move through the 21st Century?
Meet: Senate Rose Garden, corner of King Georges Terrace and Parliament Square (facing Old Parliament House, right hand side). The walk is on made footpaths paths and flat. Wheelchair accessible.
Walk Leader: Anna Howe
Note: For the comfort and safety of other walkers, we do not allow dogs on our walks.
Photo: Parliament House from the east. Rose gardens being laid out, Mildenhall Collection, National Archives of Australia 1921-35