Inside a cool and slightly musty room at the Yarralumla Nursery, the seeds of the future rest dormant.
Those expecting a sealed botanical prison like the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, located deep beneath a mountain near the Arctic Circle, would come away disappointed.
The Canberra version is a little nondescript and somewhat curious: an old white wooden door opening into a large storage room full of shelves, each one crammed with labelled jars like an old-fashioned lolly shop.
But that doesn't mean the local contents are any less precious.
Plants transcend politics, with Australian seeds alongside those from China, Lebanon, Romania, Japan and Russia.
The bank is a locked room which reeks of age and loving attention, from the handwritten register of entries dating back more than half a century to the fading script on each of the glass seed jars.
Unexpectedly, the size of the jars is not the same. Four or five big screwtop pickle jars share the same shelf as much smaller jars.
The labelling is careful, but there's not a modern barcode reader in sight.
That's a reassurance that, despite Yarralumla being the oldest operating government nursery in Australia, there's no unnecessary Canberra public service uniformity being foisted on the horticulturalists.
It helps, too, that the 10-hectare nursery is tucked away on the Weston Park peninsula, a meandering journey out of the city and a step back in time.
They're left to garden in peace and on a significant scale, with the combination of the warm spring weather, lake-drawn water and careful attention starting to generate some rapid germination and growth.
The Yarralumla Nursery is not open to the general public but if you've bought a new block out in the ACT suburbs, the settlement deed will give you a rare look in.
Since 1930, the ACT's plant issue scheme has given every new territory landholder an allocation of shrubs and trees, valid for up to two years from the date of purchase.
It's a curiously practical Canberran gesture, dating from when the capital was in its development infancy, greening was heartily encouraged, and the nursery was a primary source of locally adapted trees and shrubs.
Today, up to $220 worth of plants, or about 20 sizeable pots, are offered up to new landholders.
Unless the visitor is a landscaping professional picking up plants which the nursery has been carefully propagating and hybridising to suit the huge variance in Canberra's inland climate, the only other way to look around the sprawling glasshouses and yards is to join a tour.
Strolling around, it's a fascinating time capsule of Canberra's past, harking back to a time when Thomas Charles Weston and his staff over three years planted more than 1.2 million trees around the future territory.
The confident, weather-beaten, mustachioed Weston clearly wasn't one for sitting in an office, shirking the planting duties.
He and Walter Burley Griffin worked closely on a botanical vision for the national capital and the need for shade from the hot, dry summers well before the lake was carved out.