The Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan is the ultimate space to explore the great outdoors and the talented team of horticulturists maintain all 416 hectares of it. There is a whopping 250 hectares of grasslands which includes over 10 natives species and of course the mobs of Eastern greys, wallaroos and swamp wallabies that call the paddocks home. Our Senior Horticulturist of natural areas and open spaces, Jarryd Kelly, is one of the passionate people that keep the Garden going. Find out what inspired him to be a horticulturist at the Garden below.
My Dad recalls one of our family’s many barbecues at what is now the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan, when I was 10 years old. We walked up to Sundial Hill and I turned to Dad and said, “I’m going to work here one day”. I guess that is where it began.
I began an IT degree in 2005 but wasn't enjoying it, so I worked as a lifeguard, receptionist and gymnastics coach while pondering what to do.
After a few months, my brother told me that Ryde TAFE was advertising for apprentice gardeners. At this point, I just wanted to work outside, as it‘s where I felt a calmness.
So I started at TAFE and was paired with a 3rd-year apprentice who was working at the Botanic Gardens & Centennial Parklands. Two years into my apprenticeship I was given an opportunity to work in the turf management section, and found my passion.
I spent the next couple of years learning the tricks of the trade, and I absolutely loved it.
In 2009, I began working at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan, and nine years on, I can’t believe how much has changed. The site has transformed into a world-class botanic garden.
I invested heavily in the Garden, doing work from home and completing my Diploma of Sports Turf Management. I enjoy the science aspect of turf science and would one day like to pursue this further.
I'm now married with two boys, who love coming to my work – the Garden is like their backyard. They say they are going to work with me one day.