A SET of "ambitious plans" for the development of the Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens, incorporating a visitors' centre, have been unveiled.
At a Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens Ltd fundraising dinner this month, guest speaker Kate Cullity brought to life her vision for the development of the gardens.
A director of Taylor Cullity Lethlean (TCL), the firm hired by SHBG to design the gardens, Ms Cullity gave context to the vision that many in the audience had only seen previously in the form of concept or sketch plans.
Speaking at Annesley Bowral to an audience of 90 garden enthusiasts and supporters, Ms Cullity said her firm's plan for the SHBG was not only a thematic journey through the landscape of the Southern Highlands, but also an opportunity to celebrate the district's natural, horticultural and gardening heritage.
Ms Cullity said the result will be a stand-out garden with an architecturally-significant visitors' centre that will become a landmark in itself.
SHBG chairman Charlotte Webb said that the vision was now one step closer to reality.
"Guests were able to see and hear for themselves how TCL's interpretation of our plans will result in a truly world-class botanic garden right here in the Southern Highlands," Mrs Webb said.
"It is now up to us and our supporters to make it happen."
Local landscape designers and horticultural and heritage consultants Charlotte and Chris Webb have been the driving force behind the development of a local botanic garden since 1998.
They have overcome many hurdles to bring the organisation from a two-person operation to a company with a seven-member board, a dynamic friends committee and overall friends' membership of more than 350 households.
TCL is an internationally acclaimed firm of landscape architects and urban designers and the winner in two consecutive years of the World Architecture Festival - Landscape of the Year Award, one of which was for the National Arboretum in Canberra.
The firm has won numerous other awards, often in competition with countries like Singapore and Dubai, and this year won the AILA SA Medal for Landscape Architecture for its design of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens Wetlands.