History of the Garden

The AIDS Garden of Reflection is a living tribute to those lost to AIDS and in support of those living with HIV. 

Designed as a place of contemplation, the garden provides an opportunity for families, friends and supporters to honour those lost to HIV and AIDS, heal, reflect and develop hope.

It has been designed to provide a sense of calm and comfort, a special haven featuring a curving arbour with red flowering climbers and a shallow rock pond. A series of benches and rock seating arranged throughout the garden enable visitors to reflect individually, or in small gatherings.

The garden was made possible through years of fundraising and advocacy by a group of people living with HIV, their families and friends, and the support of the Meridian (formerly AIDS Action Council) and their patron John Mackay AM.

Designed by John Patrick Landscape Architects Pty Ltd. Constructed by Able Landscaping Pty Ltd in 2017. Opened 2 April 2017. 

Landscape features

• Shallow reflective rock pond using rocks sourced from the National Arboretum site.
• A variety of sheltered seating areas and seating types.
• An arbour to shelter from the western sun, open to the lawn to remain connected and keep views open across the garden.
• Informal planting of predominantly Australian native species create a ‘bush garden’ look and feel, set against the clipped hedge ‘walls’.
• Red flowering theme. The red ribbon is used as a symbol for education about, and prevention of HIV and AIDS. The red flowering is spread across the seasons in the garden by using plants with different flowering times.

Plant Selection Criteria

• All plants chosen are frost-hardy and able to survive well in Canberra conditions.

Species list : Shrubs

• Eucalyptus leucoxylon ‘Dwarf rosea’ 
• Eucalyptus mannifera ‘Little spotty’ 
• Eucalyptus pauciflora ‘Little snowman’ 
• Eucalyptus sideroxylon ‘Rosea’ 

Species list : Trees

• Acacia cognata ‘Limelight’ 
• Callistemon 'Green John'
• Correa reflexa 
• Grevillea lavandulacea 

Species list : Groundcovers and Grasses

• Anigozanthos ‘Bush ballad’ 
• Arthropodium milleflorum
• Austrostipa ramosissima 
• Austrostipa verticillata
• Baloskion tetraphyllum
• Bulbine bulbosa
• Derwentia perfoliata
• Kniphofia 'Red Hot Poker'
• Lepironia articulata
• Lomandra confertifolia ssp rubignosa 'Frosty tops'
• Myoporum parvifolium 
• Pennisetum ‘Cream Lea’
• Poa labillardieri 'Eskdale'

Species list : Groundcovers and Grasses

• Campis grandiflora ‘Blood red’