Waraburra Nura – The Happy Wanderer’s Place
Waraburra Nura (The Happy Wanderer’s Place) is UTS’ Indigenous plant garden on the North-facing balcony of the main tower. The garden provides a space of relaxation and tranquillity for everyone.
The plants in the garden are native to the Sydney basin and have existed on this land for thousands of years, adapting to the environment and supporting the people who have lived here and continue living here today. This garden is a small way to show locals and visitors part of the rich living culture in Sydney, where UTS stands.
In this garden we have used companion planting, where four or five native plants put together in a cluster will support and nourish each other. The addition of Eucalypt leaves folded into the soil creates a fungus on the roots of all the plants which is essential for the companion planting to work.
This concept directly goes against the Western notion of gardening that focuses on soil quality to support the plant and instead shows the vitality and hardiness of native plants to grow in any environment as long as they are grown in close proximity to each other.
You’ll notice some Eucalypt trees in the garden, we planted them in pots to keep them dwarfed for practical reasons. These are crucial in an Indigenous garden; the leaves of the trees that are under seven years of age provide an essential component in the composition of companion planting. After they reach seven years the chemical composition of the leaves changes so we will remove these plants and once again replace them with saplings.
This website provides information and is a guide to the properties and uses of the plants in Waraburra Nura and contains the rich stories that accompany their history. All audio recordings are of our consultant Aunty Fran explaining the uses and her experiences with the plants. These recordings have been transcribed for accessibility.