The plot of land from what is now Barrack Street to Victoria Avenue was the site of the first Governor’s residence in 1829. Governor Stirling, after whom the gardens are named, brought the first settlers to the Swan River colony and among them was a Scottish-born naturalist called James Drummond. Drummond was encouraged by Governor Stirling to develop a ‘naturalisation’ garden with seeds of various food crops brought from England in order to determine what would grow successfully in the completely alien climate. Drummond also planted a few trees including two oaks (from acorns) which can still be seen today. By 1845, the garden was gazette as a botanical garden which was Perth’s first public garden. The park continued to be the city’s botanic garden until 1962 when the nearby King’s Park Botanic Gardens were established to be the official botanic gardens. In 1965, the City’s Parks and Gardens Department redesigned the garden introducing retaining walls of Toodyay stone and shallow pools. There is also a statue at the entrance gate of Alexander Forrest who was a prominent explorer, politician and a former Mayor of Perth.
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