November 2018 marks the centenary of Armistice Day, 1918 – an end to World War 1.
To mark it, an Australian contingent will travel to France to attend ceremonies and contribute to an international conference on avenues of honour.
This paper gives an overview and case studies of our globally-significant collection of war memorial Avenues, planted by communities to remember local people who served, some who never returned.
They date from the 1890s of the Boer War, the majority after the First World War, more after the Second, Vietnam, Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan. New Zealand is in this too – with a network of ‘Lone Pine’s and avenues, memorials to the ANZAC spirit of camaraderie across oceans.
These are tangible reminders of patriotism and community spirit, poignant places to reflect.
The discussion notes growing community interest, in lobbying and documenting history, replanting gaps or whole avenues and celebrating them. Networks like TREENET, active on this since 2004 have done lots. The Australian Garden History Society’s online list, includes ‘wins’ – replantings and re-dedications. The presentation will touch on the need to conserve and renew memorial plantings; partnerships to seek better recognition (e.g. heritage listings), management (plans, pruning, re-plaquing, propagation & replanting) – following through on TREENET’s campaign since 2004.
Stuart Read is a horticulturist and landscape architect advising the NSW Heritage Council on nominations, listings and management of state-significant sites, including key parks, gardens and landscapes. He has worked for the Australian and, from 1997, NSW governments on natural and cultural heritage. Stuart has studied gardens in Australasia, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. He won a Pratt Foundation Overseas Fellowship, making a study tour of Spanish gardens in 2005 and leading a 2010 group tour of many. Stuart contributed to the 2016 book Gardens of History and Imagination – Growing New South Wales and has been active in the Australian Garden History Society and the International Council on Monuments and Sites with talks, leading tours and writing.