Discovery Garden: National Arboretum
Discovery Garden: National Arboretum

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Located high on the hill adjacent to the visitors centre, the ACTEW Water Discovery Garden is an integral part of the visitor experience within the National Arboretum in Canberra.

The garden demonstrates techniques to create sustainable, water efficient gardens at home and was designed to inspire visitors about having a healthy, beautiful garden while using minimal water. The raised beds encourage interaction, and are easily replicated in a back yard setting.

The design includes many interpretive elements, which are important educational tools for visitors to engage with the site’s story while undertaking a self-guided tour of the Canberra Arboretum. These interpretive elements educate visitors about design and planning of a home garden, water use and plant selection, the importance of soil, composting, mulching, micro-climates, irrigation and the use of lawn in a home garden.

The garden includes a covered outdoor learning area and includes an interpretive trail, engaging visitors in self-guided discovery.

Client Name
ACT Government
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Traditional Owners
Ngunnawal people
Brett Boardman, John Gollings
Birds Eye View
2014 World Architecture Festival Landscape of the Year
2014 The Australian Medal for Landscape Architecture
2014 AIA Canberra Medallion
2014 AIA Sir John Overall Award for Urban Design
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T.C.L acknowledges all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people — the traditional custodians of the land on which we work. We respect their continuing connection to land, waters, and culture and recognise that sovereignty has never been ceded. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.