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A core part of the Garden City model is to create a street wide, tree-lined feel by requiring houses to be set well back from the street, visually co-opting residents’ front yards as public spaces. In Canberra the result was the famous ‘no front fence’ policy, where low, trimmed hedges were permitted, but not solid fences.

However, it’s not been uncommon for Canberrans to sneakily reclaim their front gardens by putting in plants that eventually provide a sense of separation from the street. They can do this because plants are different from bricks, growing and changing over time, and, under the stewardship of gardening, small shrubs and saplings become tall, substantial hedges.

In his lecture, Dr Julian Raxworthy will explore the intersection between landscape design and garden maintenance, the subject of his book Overgrown: practices between landscape architecture and gardening.

Crawling through hedges and scrambling down slopes around the world, Julian will discuss how gardeners and designers have used gardening as a creative practice and propose that private gardening might be the greatest public good we can provide in our cities to combat climate change.

About Julian Raxworthy

Dr Julian Raxworthy is Associate Professor and Discipline Lead: Landscape Architecture at the University of Canberra. He is a Registered Landscape Architect with Free-Range Landscape Architects, his own practice since 2008. His most recent book was published in 2018 by The MIT Press, and was supported by a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

This event is held in association with the Australian Garden History Society. Light refreshments will be served.

Join us in person at the National Library, or watch the live stream via Zoom. The link will be emailed one week, and again one day in advance of the event. 

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Refunds up to 3 days before the event

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National Library of Australia Parkes Place West Parkes ACT 2600 Australia

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Friends of the National Library of Australia Inc.

Lauren Conron
Friends of the National Library of Australia Inc.

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