The Royal Botanic Garden is huge, so you can be forgiven if you’ve never noticed Growing Friends, the small retail nursery set on the eastern boundary, near Woolloomooloo. Outdoor plant seedlings are the thing here – more so than full-grown specimens, anyway – with prices starting from as little as $5.
The stock is largely propagated from the RBG’s own collection and those of its counterparts in Mount Annan and the Blue Mountains. That means rare and exotic flowers, shrubs and creepers often pop up for sale, alongside a steadier supply of natives. All proceeds from Growing Friends are donated to Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens, to continue its work in conservation and education.