AGHS National Conference 2021 Presentation

Futurists for Garden History

Presenters: Bronwyn Blake & Stuart Read

Running time: 45 mins
File download format: M4V (MPEG-4)

Futurists for Garden History
As we celebrate 40 years since the formation of the AGHS, our hopes for the future of our gardens and cultural landscapes have been sobered – Australia’s climate is drying and warming, water becoming more scarce and expensive. Natural disasters such as bushfires and droughts are more extreme and unpredictable. Public and private green spaces are shrinking. Significant challenges indeed and yet Australia’s recent experience of enforced isolation has magnified our value of gardens and cultural landscapes in a unique way. So what will future gardeners think of our practices today? Will we be gardeners in the future? This paper will speculate about possible directions and shifts in emphasis that we may well see coming and the important role AGHS has to play.

Bronwyn Blake & Stuart Read
Bronwyn Blake is the current AGHS National Management Committee Co-Chair with Stuart and a member of the dynamic ACT Monaro Riverina Branch Committee. Raised by a gifted gardener, the seed that grew into Bronwyn’s passion for working with plants and outdoors was sewn at a very early age. Following the completion of her education degree and not enough years of wandering through the gardens of Europe and Scandinavia, she returned to Australia to work with the exceptional Australian Open Garden Scheme team of volunteers and garden owners. Bronwyn currently works in an Australian native plant nursery and in regional private gardens.

Stuart Read is a landscape architect, heritage bureaucrat and educator focussed on how heritage landscapes contribute to economies. He helps the NSW Heritage Council list and manage key places and has worked in the Australian government’s world heritage & biodiversity units. Stuart has studied gardens in Australasia, the Middle East and Europe, including a 2005 Pratt Foundation overseas fellowship tour of Spanish gardens. Among other things, he contributed a chapter to Gardens of History & Imagination: Growing New South Wales (2016).

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