26 September 2023

Arboretum serves up bush tucker garden

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A bush tucker garden inspired by the lands and rivers of the local region has been opened by the National Arboretum in the Southern Tablelands Ecosystems Park (STEP).

The Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Chris Steel said the Bush Tucker Garden was designed by Arboretum horticultural staff, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff working in consultation with STEP volunteers.

Mr Steel said all of the garden’s plant species were selected from the Ngunnawal plant use publication that was developed in consultation with Ngunnawal elders and community, as well as Greening Australia.

“The Bush Tucker Garden design was inspired by the landform and the rivers of the local region, with the first two tiers of the garden representing the local hills and mountains,” Mr Steel said.

“The garden’s footpaths flow together and converge, representing the local rivers and waterways,” he said.

Mr Steel said the garden featured a basket weaving area, as well as a range of berries, grasses and other native plants.

“The garden offers a great opportunity for all visitors to learn about local Ngunnawal culture, with plants that have been used for thousands of years as food, fibre, shelter and for their aromatic and medicinal qualities,” Mr Steel said.

“With gardens in full spring bloom, and more Canberrans heading outside in the warmer weather, it’s a great time to learn about some of the plants native to the region,” he said.

“It’s a great opportunity for families and garden enthusiasts to walk through a bush tucker garden and be inspired to grow native plants in their own backyards.”

The Bush Tucker Garden is open daily from 6am to 8.30pm during daylight saving hours.

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