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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.