Australian Garden History Society
Loading Events

« All Events

Sydney Branch: Chinese landscape making in Australia – A talk by Stuart Read, landscape historian 

19 June @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm AEST

The Chinese Garden of Friendship, 1988, Sydney
(Image: Stuart Read)

The Chinese have a long relationship with Australia – as ‘sojourners’, here for a short time (chasing sandalwood, trepang, gold, opportunity) and as ‘stayers’: eventually citizens. They have marked our landscapes of transit, harvesting, manufacture, growing, building, commerce.

This included harvesting wild creatures and timber, extensive ringbarking on farms, gold mining, water manipulation by aqueducts, irrigation systems… Market gardens and gardening – at first vegetables and practical. Later, more symbolic, designed, ritual, religious and public.

The Chinese have long traditions of sophisticated horticulture and irrigation. And a rich flora. Our gardens owe China and Chinese a great debt – many more ‘popular’ plants come from there: and were here surprisingly early in many cases. Objects of trade, fashion, novelty.

Learn more about the Chinese in Australia through traces left in our landscapes and gardens.

Stuart Read is a landscape architect and historian, with ongoing curiosity about cultural introductions, influences, patterns of blending. His first NSW state heritage register listing seen through to fruition was the Chinese Garden of Friendship at Darling Harbour. He is a past Sydney Branch chair and national AGHS Co-Chair, and works by day for Heritage NSW.


Venue: Annie Wyatt Room, National Trust Centre, Upper Fort Street, Observatory Hill.

Time: Refreshments from 6pm, Talk starts at 7pm.

Cost: AGHS Members $20, Non-members $30, Students $5.

Book: at Trybooking.


19 June
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm AEST
Event Category: