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March 8, 1999

Australian consul general visits the Arboretum for Australia Day celebration

Arboretum director Ron Enomoto addressed the crowd gathered for Australia Day festivities (more photos).

By Tim Stephens

The Australian Consul General Peter R. Lewis and his wife Dr. Louise Batchelor joined former U.S. Ambassador to Australia L. W. (Bill) Lane Jr. and his wife Jean as honored guests for Australia Day at the Arboretum last Tuesday, March 2. The Arboretum's Australian gardens were in bloom and the weather was beautiful as a small crowd gathered for the festivities at the Horticulture II building.

Chancellor Greenwood welcomed the visitors and introduced a group of first-graders from MacQuiddy Elementary School, who sang the Australian song "This Old Man." The students have been studying Australia in class this year and were excited to be a part of the event.

Arboretum director Ron Enomoto noted that the Arboretum got its start in 1964 with a gift of 90 species of eucalyptus trees. It now boasts the largest collection of Australian plants outside their native country, with more than 2,000 species, forms, and cultivars of Australian trees and shrubs.

Over the years, Arboretum researchers and staff have introduced many Australian ornamental plants to California gardeners and the nursery trade.

"Australian plants are much more common now in California landscaping, and we think a lot of the credit for that goes to the Arboretum," Greenwood said.

Ambassador and Mrs. Lane have long been generous supporters of the Arboretum and helped arrange the consul general's visit. After opening remarks from Greenwood and Enomoto, the Arboretum staff led tours through the gardens, followed by a reception in honor of the special guests.

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