Chief Minister Stanhope brings the astonishing news that not only does his arboretum have a “National Bonsai and Penjing Collection of Australia”, but since it was located in a pavilion in Commonwealth Park two years ago it has been visited 100,000 times!
It currently displays 32 deciduous, evergreen, conifer and native trees, including a Desert Ash and Japanese Grey Bark Elm, both dating to 1951, and a Fresh-water Paper Bark from 1968. All of the exhibits have been either donated or are on loan to the collection.
The collection will eventually move to a purpose-built pavilion in the National Arboretum in time for the Arboretum’s official opening in 2013.
The 100,000th visitor through the collection this week was Mr Edmund Mortimer, from Gungahlin, a first-time visitor.
“I was cycling by and it was a lovely surprise to find such a beautiful collection,” Mr Mortimer said.
Another visitor, Aidan Crees, of Turner, said, “It’s a very Canberra thing to find such a gem tucked in behind the trees.”
Apparently the plan is to have a bonsai of all the trees in the arboretum.