Botanic and Rare Plant Fair 2017!

Last year's inaugural Botanic and Rare Plant Fair had such great feedback and was such a success that Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, The Diggers Club and Melbourne Friends are delighted to announce this year’s dates for the 2017 Fair.
With forty specialist plant and gardenware stalls selling everything the discerning and budding plant hunter needs, this year’s event is bursting with big, fresh inspiring ideas!
A curated program of talks, demonstrations and interactive debates with industry luminaries and gardening identities under the banner of ‘Towards 2050: Homo Sapiens vs Plants, Trees and Seeds’, promises to inform, entertain and provoke visitors with challenging ideas and fresh new concepts.
Join us at this fantastic spring garden event that includes activities for junior gardeners and lively family fun, as well as practical and creative ideas about growing food, urban gardens, and nurturing our living planet.
When: Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 October 2017
Where: Observatory Precinct, Melbourne Gardens 

June 2017 - Donation to Friends

Commonwealth Bank, Toorak Branch, have very generously donated an amount of $1000 to the Melbourne Friends as part of their support for community cultural groups. They have asked that the money go towards the refurbishment of the Visitor Centre. 
Branch Manager Ruby told us that when she first arrived in Australia, and in Melbourne, she spent a great deal of time in the Melbourne Gardens. We are very grateful to Ruby Farakos and her team for supporting us, and hence the Gardens, in this way.

Friends’ Council members and in the front row, from left to right, Dianne Allen, Branch Support Manager for Combank, Friends’ President Mary Ward and Ruby Farakos, Combank Toorak Branch Manager holding the symbolic cheque after the presentation to Council. Photo: Adnan Mansour

Photography Group Update - 25 June 2017

I think it was 14 or maybe 15 members turned out on what started earlier as a rainy morning. It cleared for our walk and the raindrops provided an extra dimension to the blooms, the light was excellent for photography.
As can be seen from the Photo pool of our group there are some great shots captured. Well done to all who participated and who have uploaded their photographs to this site so that they can be shared by all members.
It was good to have a gathering at The Terrace Tearooms at the end of the walk, good discussion ensued over food and drinks.
A successful first activity for our group which I hope all enjoyed.

Our next activity is at: 
Mueller Hall, National Herbarium 
11am 19 July 2017
"Show and tell", bring along your favourite camera or piece of equipment 

John Harrison

New Botanic Art Essay -

Let's Look at a Leaf


Image: 2016 Exhibition.  Cat. 102.  Mali Moir.  Plantanus x acerifolia ‘Essex Street’.  Watercolour on vellum.


Friends Autumn Plant Sale 

The Growing Friends' Autumn Plant sale was a huge success, raising funds for the Friends to enable the Friends to support projects in the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne

New Botanic Art Essay

Essay No. 38 - Scientific Drawings

2006 Exhibition.  Cat. 38.  Elizabeth Cooper.  Stenocarpus sinuatus.  Pencil.

April 2017 Plant of the Month

Camellia x williamsii ‘Mary Phoebe Taylor’ 

Image chosen to represent reFraming 2017 Exhibition

When: 14 to 29 October 2017 - 10 am – 4 pm
Where: Domain House Gallery, Dallas Brooks Drive, Melbourne

If you wish to be kept up to date by email, please send an email titled ‘artist subscribe’ to

Blue Cicada by Liene Drulle


Friends to launch new Photography Group
 January 2017

Thank you to all who responded to the article in the Summer edition of Botanic News. It was encouraging to know there is such support for the establishing of our new photography group.

For more information please contact John Harrison on 0407 098 887 or Jacqui Hawkins (Volunteers Convener) at jandjhawkins2015@ 0432 229 919.
Above: Photo of Hellebore by Edward Brentnall

2016 Helen McLellan Research Grant
November 2016

The Project supported by the Research Grant for 2015/16 is the following:
The funding of a fungi bar-coding project to establish the nature and diversity of fungi in Australia.

Project to be led by  Dr Tom May, Senior Mycologist, RBGV -


Congratulations to the 2016 Friends Scholarship Winners
November 2016

Niels Klazenga, Programmer Information Technology, Biodiversity Information Officer, Melbourne Gardens, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria
Scholarship Amount - $6,434
Project:  Funding for trip to TDWG (Taxonomic Databases Working Group) Conference 2016, Santa Clara de San Carlos, Costa Rica, 5-9 December 2016.
Philip Bowyer-Smyth, Horticultural Technician, Melbourne Gardens, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria
Scholarship Amount - $3,566
Project:  16-week course of Diploma of Project Management at Holmesglen Institute

Success for Anita Barley in London
October 2016

Melbourne-born artist, long-time Friend, and one of the Botanical Illustrators’ first tutors, Anita Barley, has been awarded the prestigious Jill Smythies Medal for botanical illustration by the Linnean Society in London. The medal recognizes the quality and accuracy of Anita’s published artwork produced during her career as a professional botanical illustrator.