System Garden Podcasts

System Garden Anniversary Lecture Series

Lecture series facilitator is Professor Pauline Ladiges. Each lecture is followed by a Q&A

How to Find a Flower: A Bee's Eye View of Pollination

– Dr Katrina Alcorn


There's so much we don't know about these vital pollinators. This talk explores what we do and don't know about how bees see colour, choose better flowers, and seek out waving plants.

An Historical Look at the System Garden and Prof McCoy's Plan

– Dr Gwen Pascoe

System Garden 1870s

"The funny little white building behind botany" was once the central tower of an octagonal conservatory which was itself the centre of a formal botanic garden, later known as the System Garden. It represents horticultural ambition, academic ambition, and a 19th Century version of a long traditional of educational botany.

Garden Design from a Heritage Perspective

– Anne Latreille

Ellis Stones Garden

What makes a garden or landscape important from a heritage perspective e.g. The System Garden shows its history (from 1856) and ongoing evolution, with massive old trees and rare, unusual plants.

The Ellis "Rocky" Stones garden does likewise; but the historic element is somewhat younger – a 1973 expanse of rocks, around which a fresh planting was installed last year.

How do the two compare? What can we learn from Rocky? He created simple yet innovative garden spaces for four decades until the very day he died in 1975.

The University Landscape

Professor Philip Goad

University Lake and Grounds

A detailed look and conversation about the University of Melbourne’s heritage Landscape.

The System Garden: its design and designer

– Anne Neale

Frederick McCoy

An examination of the origins and implementation of the garden’s distinctive design: circular, enclosed, with concentric and radial pathways, and centred on a remarkable octagonal conservatory surrounded by a moat.

System Gardens and organising nature

Dr Andrew Drinnan

Green Algae

Plant Systematics/Plant Evolution and academic use of the garden.