Australian Garden History Society
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ACT Monaro Riverina Branch: Overgrowing Canberra – annual AGHS and Friends of the National Library joint lecture (Zoom accessible)

14 September 2023 @ 5:30 pm AEST

Overgrowing Canberra

Speaker: Julian Raxworthy – Landscape architecture and gardener

A core part of the Garden City model is to create a street wide, tree-lined feel by requiring houses to be set well back from the street, visually co-opting residents’ front yards as public spaces. In Canberra the result was the famous ‘no front fence’ policy, where low, trimmed hedges were permitted, but not solid fences.

However, it’s not been uncommon for Canberrans to sneakily reclaim their front gardens by putting in plants that eventually provide a sense of separation from the street. They can do this because plants are different from bricks, growing and changing over time, and, under the stewardship of gardening, small shrubs and saplings become tall, substantial hedges.

In his lecture, Dr Julian Raxworthy will explore the intersection between landscape design and garden maintenance, the subject of his book Overgrown: practices between landscape architecture and gardening.

Crawling through hedges and scrambling down slopes around the world, Julian will discuss how gardeners and designers have used gardening as a creative practice and propose that private gardening might be the greatest public good we can provide in our cities to combat climate change.

Dr Julian Raxworthy is Associate Professor and Discipline Lead: Landscape Architecture at the University of Canberra. He is a Registered Landscape Architect with FREE-RANGE LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS, his own practice since 2008. His most recent book is Overgrown: practices between landscape architecture and gardening, which was published in 2018 by The MIT Press, and was supported by a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

Light refreshments will be served after the lecture.

Venue: The Theatre, National Library of Australia OR online via Zoom.

Cost: In the Theatre – $20 AGHS members and NLA Friends, $25 others
           Livestream only via Zoom – $12 AGHS members and NLA Friends, $17 others

Book: at StickyTickets.

Inquiries; Nancy Clarke 0423 690 626 /


14 September 2023
5:30 pm AEST
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