2.1.3 Taxonomic theme
Historically, botanic gardens have used the taxonomic theme as a
method of displaying plant collections. This was primarily because
many of the early botanic gardens were attached to universities where
the medicinal properties and the systematics of plants were being
studied. Taxonomic plantings at the Gardens have been used regularly
by researchers, educators and students, taking advantage of the
convenience of having plants to be studied and compared growing in
the one location.
The taxonomic displays both in Canberra and at Jervis Bay include
representation by class (for example, monocotyledons), by family (for
example, Proteaceae and Myrtaceae) and by genus (for example, Acacia
and Eucalyptus). This was one of the predominant methods of
arranging the plants in the early years of the Gardens but there have
been problems with particular pests and diseases becoming
concentrated in these areas. For this reason, and in response to the
growing interest in viewing plants in an environmental setting, it
is now the policy of the Gardens to move away from this form of
display and to prefer ecological plantings.
The objective is to maintain and develop taxonomically arranged
displays of plants that are useful for researchers, educators and
students and of interest to the public.
Many of the taxonomic beds at both the Canberra and Jervis Bay sites
(see Figure 2.2 and 2.3) will need some rejuvenation in the next five
years. Those beds already planted taxonomically will be maintained
and continually assessed for their health, vigour and usefulness.
Where changes are deemed necessary, these will be considered in light
of known and expected use and beds will be rejuvenated if the theme
needs to be continued or an alternative theme will be developed. The
families displayed will be reviewed; areas currently devoted to
particular families may be reduced or expanded.
The Gardens has a major research program on the taxonomy of orchids
and has developed a significant collection of this family. Most of
the collection is not currently presented for public viewing because
it is being maintained in glasshouses in the Nursery, yet public
interest in orchids is high. It is proposed therefore to provide a
facility for the permanent display of this collection by building an
orchid conservatory for interpretation of the family and the research