Current and up-coming

Book our inspiring garden events here
or buy Michele Adler’s book about Burnley Gardens



Garden Worthy Plants

Dispelling the myths of what a garden worthy plant is!

with Teena Crawford

 7:30pm on Wednesday 21st August 2024


Join horticulturist Teena Crawford for an engaging and fascinating talk dispelling the myths of what makes a great garden plant. Teena will share her experience and champion some favourite plants, explaining why they make such great garden additions.
Teena grew up working in the family’s Azalea nursery with her parents and grandparents, studied at Burnley and has more than forty years experience as a professional horticulturist. She’s been a writer, botanical guide, consultant, mentor, radio presenter, NGIV board member, MIFGS judge, lecturer, and manager of Smith and Gordon Wholesale nursery for 32 years. She’s also recently authored the book ‘Plantology’ with designer, friend and colleague Lisa Ellis of Lisa Ellis Gardens, to be released in late 2024.


When                7:30 – 8:45pm, Wednesday 21st August 2024
Where               In person : Room MB10, University of Melbourne Burnley Campus
 500 Yarra Boulevard, Richmond, Victoria 3121
Online : Zoom
Cost                   Members $10 ($5 if attending AGM), Non-members $20
Booking            TryBooking


Download Flyer


Perennial Plants Workshop

with Maria Brandani and Sascha Andrusiak

2pm on Saturday 3rd August 2024


Dividing perennial plants is an activity that serves many purposes in the garden, yet it remains a mysterious and daunting practice to many of us! Rejuvenating plant material that has become overcrowded, stimulating new growth, and improving flowering are just a few of the reasons to divide. Multiplying our favourite plants means we can improve our gardens for free, and sharing our plants with our friends and neighbours is just another silver lining!
Join Burnley Horticultural Team Leader Maria Brandani and Gardens Manager Sascha Andrusiak for an introductory talk and afternoon tea, then get your hands dirty in the Gardens dividing various plant forms. You may even walk away with some gorgeous divisions and take a little of Burnley Gardens home with you!


When             2:00 – 5:00pm, Saturday 3rd August 2024
Where           University of Melbourne Burnley Campus
500 Yarra Boulevard, Burnley, 3121
Cost                Members $35, Non-members $45
Bring              Closed toe shoes, hat, rain jacket, gloves, clean secateurs
Booking        TryBooking, numbers limited.


Download Flyer


JULY 2024

“The wood-wide web

A story too good for its own good?”

 with Camille Truong

 7pm on Wednesday 24th July 2024



Underground connections between trees, via networks of fungi that nestle into roots, has breached the walls of science and seeped into the popular culture. Books, magazines, movies and artists are conveying the view that trees talk to each other, swap resources, send warning signals and care for their young by means of below ground fungi networks. But are these claims supported by scientific evidence? Is the story too good to be true? In this talk, I will revisit these concepts based on up-to date scientific knowledge and results from my own research. I will also discuss how different perceptions can influence the way we conserve and restore our native forests.
Camille Truong is a Research Scientist at the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria and Honorary Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Her research combines field studies with modern genomic methods to explore the diversity of fungi and their interactions with plants and animals in native forests.


 When                7pm, Wednesday 24th July 2024
 Where               In person : Room MB10, University of Melbourne Burnley Campus, 500      Yarra Boulevard, Richmond, Victoria 3121     Online : Zoom
Cost                   Members $10, Non-members $20
Booking            TryBooking


JULY 2024

Winter Propagation Workshop

with Sascha Andrusiak



Join Sascha Andrusiak for a Winter propagation workshop, where a discussion will be followed by morning tea and garden walk to collect cuttings. Sascha will then run a hands-on tutorial in the Burnley Nursery where you’ll learn all about propagation of hardwood cuttings and indoor plants. Your cuttings will be nurtured in the Burnley glasshouses to produce the best outcome for your plants, that you can collect when ready later in the year!


When             10am – 1pm, Saturday 6th July 2024
Where           University of Melbourne Burnley Campus
500 Yarra Boulevard, Burnley, 3121
Cost                Members $35, Non-members $45
Bring              Closed toe shoes, hat, rain jacket
Booking        TryBooking, numbers limited.


Download Flyer

Rose Pruning Workshop

with Sascha Andrusiak



Rose pruning is without doubt one of the most popular topics of horticultural discussion in the winter months. While it should not be a daunting task, many people get confused about how to practice this properly. There is a difference in the way that we prune different classes of roses and that’s where much of the confusion arises.
Come along for a discussion about rose classes, pruning and general maintenance, followed by some hands-on experience in the Burnley Gardens.


When             1:30 – 3:30pm, Saturday 6th July 2024
 Where           University of Melbourne Burnley Campus
500 Yarra Boulevard, Burnley, 3121
Cost                Members $20, Non-members $30
Bring              Closed toe shoes, hat, rain jacket
Booking        TryBooking, numbers limited.


Download Flyer



JUNE 2024

Burnley Gardens Conifer Walk

 with Matt Sauvarin and Rowan Berry


Join Matt Sauvarin (Tree Dimensions) and Rowan Berry (University of Melbourne) for a guided walking tour of conifers within Burnley Gardens. Learn about the people and stories behind the trees, whilst taking in the stunning surrounds of Burnley Gardens.


When             12 – 1:30pm, Wednesday 26st June 2024
Where           University of Melbourne Burnley Campus
500 Yarra Boulevard, Burnley, 3121
Cost                Members $10, Non-members $20
Bring              Closed toe shoes, hat and/or rain jacket
Booking        TryBooking, numbers limited.



“The Evolution of the Rose – from Wild Species through to Modern Day”

with Sascha Andrusiak

Have you ever looked at the vast array of roses in cultivation, their different colours, shapes, and forms, and wondered exactly how they become available to the average gardener? Rose breeding, from wild species to old fashioned, to modern varieties, is a fascinating topic.
Come with me on a journey through the ages and discover the magic behind this timeless icon of romance. We will discuss the rose’s cultural significance and learn about how breeders shaped her story! This lecture also reflects Burnley’s own rose garden, designed by ex-Burnley Gardener, Geoff Olive.
Sascha is a Burnley Girl from way back. Completing her studies in applied science in Horticulture at Burnley, Sascha has held many roles in Burnley over the last 25 years, including Research Assistant, Demonstrator, Tutor, Nursery Manager, and Gardens manager.


When                7pm, Wednesday 19th June 2024
Where               Online Zoom presentation
Cost                   Members $10, Non-members $20
Booking            TryBooking



We are excited to announce the arrival of …
Burnley Gardens: their Design and the People who loved them
by Michèle Adler
Burnley Gardens at the University of Melbourne Burnley Campus is a hidden emerald, so close to Melbourne (6 km east), yet in its riverside setting, away from city hustle and bustle. It is known and loved by thousands as a place for learning, celebrations or invigoration and as a refuge for quiet contemplation. It has transformed people’s lives.
This immersive, extensively researched, colourful, entertaining book leads you ‘up the garden path’, cleverly bringing together design, history and gossip about the Heritage-listed Burnley Gardens, Melbourne.
It is a wonderful beautifully illustrated record of Burnley Gardens and the people who have shaped and been shaped by them. In a low-key yet thoroughly researched manner, it brings to life the background of what you see today – these gardens didn’t just happen!
This is not an ordinary book. The reader is guided on two walks through the historic core of the Burnley Gardens focussing on their design and the events and people who created them, worked in them, lived in them and loved them. It can be held-in-hand as you explore but is also a riveting read in its own right.
About the author:  Michèle Adler worked as a Lecturer in Horticulture at Burnley from 1985 to 2015 and was a founding member of Friends of Burnley Gardens Inc., past President and Friendly Guide of the Friends of Burnley Gardens since 1997. She designed the FOBG sponsored Field Station Gates
As a Lecturer she was engaging, well-loved by students and a respected member of staff. Her knowledge of plants and experience in writing student learning materials made her the ideal person to write this important, historically enlightening book.


For sales of the book (through Friends of Burnley Gardens Inc.) or more information visit   or email
For interviews Michèle Adler,  or +61 3 51455422 (yes, it’s a landline, no mobile reception).



MARCH 2024


NOTE: Petty’s Orchard Tour with Robert Wright CANCELLED. We are sorry for any inconvenience.

THE HERITAGE FRUIT SOCIETY ARE OFFERING A TOUR AND TASTING ON EASTER MONDAY  APRIL FIRST. Those who have booked for tomorrow may attend that event without needing to rebook.  Visit their Facebook page for more information

(you may need to scroll down)






Valentines Day with Steven Wells

 Gardens in Healthcare: Experiences at Austin Health
 5:30pm on Wednesday 14 February 2024

 Steven Wells works as a nurse, horticultural therapist and gardens and grounds coordinator at Austin Health. Steven will share about how he has incorporated his roles and experiences over the past 25 years at Austin Health, into providing meaningful and purposeful connections with gardens for the benefit to patients, visitors and staff at Austin Health.



Our activities for the year are over, and we wish all our members and other friends of our beautiful gardens a very Merry Christmas, and a happy and healthy New Year. We’ll be back again in the New Year with a year’s worth of activities!


















When           10.00 am –1.00 pm, Saturday 2nd December 2023
Where          PSL6, Burnley Campus, 500 Yarra Boulevard, Richmond
Cost              Members $50, Non-members $65, morning tea included
Bring            Cleaned secateurs, closed toe shoes and hat

Booking      TryBooking here, numbers strictly limited.

Parking       Yarra Boulevard – See NOTES below

Click on the link to download the flyer for the fridge 2023 – December Workshop Summer Fruit Tree Pruning


By the way….books are still available from our BONANZA HORTICULTURAL BOOK SALE !!

Graham Purdy has bequeathed his wonderful collection of horticultural books to the FOBG for fund raising. They are in very good condition, and most are well known classics of horticultural literature, by well known authors.  We are offering them at bargain prices. Committee member Cheryl has catalogued them all (which has been quite a job). Here they are, listed by category and title.  Book Sale 



PARKING is available on the Yarra Boulevard (Melways Map 45 & X872) for Burnley events, or on Campus if you have a Disability Parking Permit, otherwise no car access to campus.
are welcome to attend our events and meetings.
TALKS are held in the Main Building in the Burnley Gardens, 500 Yarra Boulevard Richmond, unless otherwise noted. Follow the signs.
THE INTENTION will be for talks to be in person and also via Zoom.
GENERALLY talks are in the evening (7pm for 7.30pm start) and workshops are in the morning. Individual flyers with details will be sent out in advance.