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ItemBurnley Gardens landscape conservation analysisMcPhee, C. ; Andrews, L. ( 2002)Burnley Gardens has a history spanning 140 years. Its history parallels much of Victoria's history. From its earliest beginnings in 1861, it was involved in the assessment of produce for the growing colony. This vital work was undertaken by a group of prominent citizens, including Ferdinand von Mueller, and their society later became Victoria's Royal Horticultural Society. A victim of Australia's first Depression, Burnley Gardens was acquired in 1891 by the Victorian government, where it established Australia's first school of horticulture. So began its role in horticultural education in Australia, championing educational opportunities for women at a time when these were both controversial and limited. By promoting their admission and in many cases employing them as teachers, it provided support for the tenuous careers of Australia's pioneering women landscape designers. The changing needs of the workforce and the economy meant a shift in emphasis between production horticulture, agriculture, and amenity horticulture. Throughout au these changes, the grounds were used as an outdoor laboratory, with trialling of plants and education of students and the public undertaken. Burnley graduates were employed throughout Australia in every sphere of horticulture, and the Burnley method of horticultural practice was widespread throughout the country, influencing generations of people in the horticultural field. As a government institution, social policy was also implemented at Burnley. The initial geometric and symmetrical form of Burnley Gardens was redesigned between 1897 and 1907 in the English derived 'free' or landscape style, and though an actively utilised teaching garden, it has matured into a landscape of great ambience and beauty. Throughout its long history, Burnley Gardens has provided pleasure and respite from the neighbouring industrialized experience of Richmond, and for the wider Melbourne community. Burnley Gardens is of historic, social, scientific and aesthetic cultural significance to Victoria and Australia and holds a unique place in the history of this country.
ItemA history of Burnley Gardens 1860-1939Andrews, Lee ( 2000)Historic Burnley Gardens in Richmond, Victoria are now part of the University of Melbourne. Horticultural and educational activities have existed on this site since the 1860's and 1890's respectively, with the Gardens initially established for testing fruit and produce to introduce into cultivation in the new colony of Victoria. Despite previous research into the history of the Gardens, the very early period around the time of establishment was not clear, and while it was known that many old and venerable trees grew on the site, it was not clear when they were planted, or the form that the early layout of the Gardens took. A two part research project was undertaken to answer these questions. Using documentary evidence and oral histories (where possible), the history of the Gardens from 1860 to 1939 was examined. A physical survey of the grounds was then carried out to determine what remained today from that period. Early photographs, plant lists, maps and plans were used to determine the position of previous driveways, fences and garden borders. Maps were drawn up to show the physical evolution of the Gardens over the time period being examined. As the Gardens' planting and design largely reflected the educational themes of the school on the site since education began on it in 1891, these themes have been linked to the Gardens' development. The remaining plant material such as trees, shrubs and climbers, path layout and surfacing material, buildings, rock structures, and water features were examined and recorded. The Gardens as it was up to 1939 was then contrasted with the Gardens as it is at the present time, with remaining plantings, layout and features identified. As a result, the history of the Burnley Gardens from 1860 to 1939 was able to be clarified, and a surprisingly large amount of extant material found.