Yarralumla Nursery Records Foreword

Yarralumla Nursery Records



For one hundred years Canberra has been nourished and shaped by Yarralumla Nursery, as recorded on handwritten cards and ledgers held in the Nursery, unknown and inaccessible to most people.  Nursery activity from 1913 to the mid 1960s is recorded on some 15,500 cards, and three large ledgers record the acquisition of seeds, plants and cuttings from 1948. The cards and ledgers have been housed in the modest buildings of the Nursery, vulnerable to loss, fire or damage, and inaccessible except to the informed and dedicated.  These records have now been digitised for long term storage within Archives ACT, and for display on their website.  In this way these invaluable records will be preserved for posterity as well as made available to a wide audience.

Accompanying the copies of the records is a specially commissioned report ‘Nursery Tales for a Garden City: The Historical Context of the Records at Canberra’s Yarralumla Nursery’ by Dr Lenore Coltheart (PDF_Icon PDF 5.21Mb).  This article provides historical and social context, positioning the Nursery and its records within the story of the development and planning of Canberra as both Garden City and City of Gardens.

The project was initiated and managed by the ACT Monaro and Riverina Branch of the Australian Garden History Society.  It had its genesis some years ago in a meeting between Mr Tony Byrne, then Chair of the local AGHS branch, and Mr Michael Kidd, then Manager of Yarralumla Nursery.  The outcome is a testament to their foresight and commitment.  Following Mr Byrne’s untimely death in 2011 responsibility for the project was assumed by the AGHS branch Secretary, Ms Nancy Clarke. We are grateful for the support of the ACT Government through its Heritage Grants Program.  Further support in money and time from the local branch of AGHS has enabled the project to proceed to its conclusion.

Dr Louise Moran (Chair)
Australian Garden History Society, ACT Monaro and Riverina Branch
January 2012


This project was assisted through funding made available by the ACT Government under the ACT Heritage Grants Program.

This link takes you to the user instructions
This link takes you directly to the nursery cards & ledgers

The ACT Heritage Committe plaque presented to the Yarralumla Nursery c1984 

The following video Yarralumla Nursery : 90 Years of Greening Canberra (c2005) provides an overview of the history of the Yarralumla Nursery, its role in the development of Canberra and the services it provides.  

The brochure Yarralumla Nursery : Celebrating 90 Years of Landscaping Canberra can be found here: (PDF_Icon PDF 480Kb) and the transcript of the video click here: Video Transcript

<a href="https://www.archives.act.gov.au/featured/yarralumla-nursery-records/video_transcript">Transcript of <em>Yarralumla Nursery : 90 Years of Greening Canberra</em></a>
To make the video full screen, right click on the video with your mouse and select 'zoom' then 'full screen'.

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