“Speaking as an Australian, I go there to see Australian plants because they look so amazing”.
So says Australian writer, academic, journalist and scholar Germaine Greer of the National botanic Garden of Wales.
She was speaking on BBC Radio 4’s arts and culture magazine programme Front Row last night (Monday May 23) about ‘Out of Australia: Prints and Drawings from Sidney Nolan to Rover Thomas’, which is part of the British Museum's Australian Season. To listen again click here
Ms Greer expressed her disappointment at the garden, which forms part of the exhibition at the London venue.
“They’ve done their best,” she said, “But you just want to cry for it – it looks awful.”
Then she told listeners: “If you want to see Australian plants looking fabulous you only need to go the National Botanic Garden of Wales - absolutely fabulous planting and it will make it all okay. Speaking as an Australian, I go there to see Australian plants because they look so amazing.”
The plantings in question are in the Lord Foster-designed Great Glasshouse, the largest single-span glasshouse on the planet. Gathered together for the first time under one roof, plants from the five Mediterranean climate regions of Western and Southern Australia, California, central Chile, the Western Cape of South Africa and the Mediterranean basin itself are grown in geographical zones.
Although all these regions together cover less than 1% of the earth’s surface, they contain more than 20% of the world’s flowering plant species – a staggering diversity which makes them critically important for plant conservation.
The National Botanic Garden is open every day (except Christmas Day) from 10am-6pm.
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