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The arboretum will grow on you

It might take 90 years for a tree to grow big and majestic, but isn’t it worth it?

It might take 90 years for a tree to grow big and majestic, but isn’t it worth it?

I’ve been writing a lot about the National Arboretum this week, not surprisingly. But despite a touch of arboretum fatigue, I just love that place. What’s not to love? But people are still down on it and I can’t work out why.

Although, one of the most obvious complaints people have is that “it’s all just a paddock filled with little trees”. Well der, but also, check out this interactive graphic made from photos from the Mildenhall collection and the modern version of it.

Look at the tree in front of this hall. Can you see it didn’t just land in front of the building like that? Can you see where we’re headed now? It might take 90 years for a tree to grow big and majestic, but isn’t it worth it? Won’t our kids love it? Isn’t that why we’re so worried about climate change – because of future generations?

It makes me wonder how some of the new housing developments in Canberra will hold up for the next 100 years. Somehow, looking at this latest then-and-now display, you get the idea that houses were more built to last back then. Or maybe we just appreciate their retro value more. Perhaps there was a time, say, in the 50s, when all those Federal Capital Commission Cottages were considered vulgar…

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