National Inventory of Historic Gardens

The Australian Garden History Society was founded in 1980, and since at least 1983 it has wanted to establish and develop a list of significant historic gardens.

In the intervening thirty years much has happened. The theory and practice of heritage identification, protection, management and interpretation has been codified in the Australia ICOMOS Burra Charter. There has been a steady increase in the awareness of historic gardens and significant trees. The new concept of cultural landscapes has emerged, including the notion of gardens as designed landscapes.

The National Management Committee of the Australian Garden History Society (AGHS) commissioned Context (now GML Heritage), in association with Dr. Timothy Hubbard, to prepare a report on the feasibility of creating a national inventory  of significant landscapes and determine whether the AGHS should develop its own centralized database of historic gardens, trees and landscapes.  The focus of the report was directed towards the identification and use of existing state and federal resources and tools.

The project team concluded that despite the high regard across the community for historic gardens, trees & landscapes, they have been neglected in favour of built heritage in both statutory and non-statutory lists, overlays and registers across Australia.

AGHS used these findings in their submission on the Australian Heritage Strategy to the Commonwealth Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Community.