The late nineteenth and early twentieth century landscaping at this school utilises an evergreen, broadleaf palette of local native rainforest species (ie. figs) and exotic accents (ie. palms). There are individual specimen and group planting of Port Jackson Figs (F. rubiginosa f. glabrescens) with other component species including Brush Box (Lophostemon confertus), three Canary Island Date Palms (Phoenix canariensis) and a Washington Palm (Washingtonia robusta).
The major planting components are arranged in three formal rows, parallel with Botany Road, and comprising Brush Box (1st row along the boundary fence), a central palm row (2nd row) and two Port Jackson Figs (3rd row). The Canary Island Date Palms are notable for their large stature (12-14 metres, clear trunk) and visual impact in this location.
Together these trees and palms have aesthetic, historic, and social values. The thematic and eclectic mix of species was typical of the period (refer to Sydney Boys High School and Sydney Girls High School listings). This planting palette has strong associations with the work of Charles Moore and Joseph Maiden of the Sydney Botanic Gardens.
Gardeners Road Public School is located in a prominent position on the corner of Botany Road and Gardeners Road, Rosebery. The school’s two storey Federation Arts and Crafts style building and two-storey Inter-War period additions (c.1925) are scheduled in the City of Sydney Local Environmental Plan 2012.
Originally an area of extensive sand dunes and freshwater wetlands, Botany Road traversed a mosaic of plant communities – diverse heathland, scrub and low forest known as the Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub. By the 1880’s most of this rich botanic diversity of wildflowers had been cleared and replaced by market gardens and increasing subdivision and residential development. School grounds became important public spaces for municipal landscaping and embellishment.