Museum of Brisbane

Cultivating eden:

  • 02 Sep 2005 — 29 Jan 2006
  • Exhibition now closed

First it was a place to grow food for convicts. Then it became an experimental farm cropping sugar cane, mangoes and pineapples, but all the time the race was on to discover and name new specimens, and provide an eager world with exotic flora.

Cultivating Eden: 150 years of the old Brisbane Botanic Gardens

An imported landscape was created and the Gardens became a place to promenade, listen to brass bands, play croquet, take tea in the kiosk, stare at the caged monkeys and scatter bread for the swans.

The exhibition included a replica 19th Century Bush-house. Over 2,000 plants transform City Hall’s Courtyard into the cool, shaded world of a 19th Century bush-house, complete with ferns luxuriant palms, foliage, flowering plants and clam shell fountain. The bush-house, designed by Arno King had been made possible thanks to the generosity of many Brisbane nurseries, landscape suppliers and garden clubs.

Exhibition developed with the support of Dr Jeannie Sim, landscape architect and garden historian, School of Design, Queensland University of Technology.

Plant photography by Carl Warner.