Favourite Private Specialty Gardens : Part 2 : Dry Climate, Sustainable and Small Gardens

The Millenium Drought in Australia from 1995 to 2009 had a massive impact on Australian gardens, resulting in the adoption of a more appropriate style of garden design for our dry climate, especially given the future effects of climate change. These gardens are predominantly made up of low water use plants, which are adapted to drought, many of which are sold by Lambleys Nursery. See: https://candeloblooms.com/2016/03/08/favourite-gardens-regularly-open-to-the-public-nursery-gardens-in-victoria and http://lambley.com.au/. I have already discussed a perfect example of a Mediterranean Garden, Lixouri, in October’s post. See: https://candeloblooms.com/2016/09/20/favourite-private-country-gardens-part-2/.

Dry Climate and Mediterranean Gardens

Bedrock

141 Karoonda Highway (on Bookpurnong Tce), Loxton, South Australia   2.5 acres         Ph: 0427213322  BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-10-26 10.29.46BlogPrivSpec25%Reszd2014-10-26 10.43.07Once a quarry and the old drive-in site, Bedrock is situated in Loxton, 250 km east of Adelaide. Loxton is known as the ‘Garden Town of the Riverland’, due to its position on the Murray River, and has many low water usage, sustainable landscapes. We visited it in late October 2014 as part of the Renmark Rose Festival.

Bedrock is a magnificent grand scale garden with a tropical lush feel. BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-10-26 10.43.51Chris and Raelene Schultz developed the garden from scratch, when they bought the old drive-in site back in 2000. Hundreds of tonnes of rock and stone were used to build retaining walls and edgings, as well as a rustic stone cottage (2014) for accommodation and small functions.BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-10-26 10.44.38 Recycled materials from the 1850s were used in the latter, which complements the 1923 weeping mulberry and their grandmother’s 40 year old roses.BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-10-26 10.32.35BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-10-26 10.32.19 There is a pond with a cascading waterfall and waterlilies;BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-10-26 10.44.09BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-10-26 10.43.16 a beautiful wisteria-covered arbour;BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-10-26 10.45.23 and a sunken iris garden with an urn water feature.BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-10-26 10.31.22BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-10-26 10.49.31BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-10-26 10.49.16BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-10-26 10.48.23BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-10-26 10.31.39Everything about this garden is dramatic and bold from the entrance sign to colourful pansy and ranunculus beds and the dry creek bed and stone wall feature.BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-10-26 10.45.43BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-10-26 10.44.28BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-10-26 10.35.32BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-10-26 10.30.25BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-10-26 10.32.55BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-10-26 10.32.00BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-10-26 10.31.26 There are native plantings, a fruit orchard, trees and annuals and lots of quirky locally-made animal sculptures. It will be interesting to see this relatively new garden in a few years’ time.BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-10-26 10.32.50BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-10-26 10.33.16Hill House

26-30 City View Drive, Wandana Heights, Geelong, VIC   0.4 ha (1 acre)

This is a much older garden (25 years old) on the top of the hill in Geelong, with panoramic views over the city and Port Philip Bay to the You Yangs and Melbourne.BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2131BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2161 Originally a 90 year old windbreak plantation, the garden is built on a series of terraces, linked by curved hedges and stone walls.BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2136BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2121BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2219 Entry is via a gatehouse structure with a shingle roof, which came from the rotunda building of the original Ceres Lookout.BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2272BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2120 Recycled materials have been used extensively throughout the garden from the walls made of railway sleepers, salvaged from the South Geelong Railway renovations, and the petrified timber slab, excavated from a local quarry, under a metal tree in the south-west corner to the use of Japanese bath tubs and North Indian well buckets as plant containers and the retired band instruments hanging in the trees.BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2146BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2181BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2149BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2228BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2138BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2203 This eclectic and whimsical garden has so many wonderful design ideas, which can be adapted to small gardens, courtyards and dry, shady areas.BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2216BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2118BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2226BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2130BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2265BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2207 The use of Tuscan toppings, instead of lawn, saves water. Steel baskets of orchids are supported on the original pylons of the Portarlington Pier beneath the photinia hedge, while a storm-damaged cypress is used as a base for a metal flame sculpture.BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2168BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2143BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2256BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2190 Other trees include: salvaged Red Gums (350 years old) on the eastern and western boundaries; Conifers; Gleditsia ‘Ruby Lace’ trees; Bottle Trees; pollarded, standardized Catalpa trees (ball-like canopy), Crepe Myrtles, Maple collections, Fiddlewoods and many palms.BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2267BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2133 Bromeliads grow in the shady sheltered southern part of the garden, along with azaleas, while roses prefer the sunnier sites.BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2222BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2155 There are many many pots, as well as original sculptures, and lots of unusual succulents including this strange Elephant’s Foot, Dioscorea elephantipes, which can live to 70 years old, shown in the bottom photo below.BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2245BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2214BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2164BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2221BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_2258

Meanderings

62 Kennedy St, Castlemaine, VIC  Ph (03) 5472 4202    0.25 acres

A much smaller garden in Castlemaine, Central Victoria, an area renowned for its tough climate with extreme temperatures, heavy frost and low rainfall, as well as depleted soil from goldmining days. The garden was created by Barbara Maund in 1991 and was inspired by the English Arts and Crafts Movement, as well as medieval monastery gardens. The only plants from the pre-1991 garden were a 100 year old box hedge, a large mauve lilac, a nandina thicket and belladonna lilies. The garden was started around the 1895 Victorian stucco house and is semi-formal in nature. The design displays strong structural elements from the geometric garden rooms to the hedges and topiaried plant forms (circles, arcs, balls, domes, squares and rectangles), but is softened by a patchwork of self-sown annuals, perennials and blowsy old-fashioned roses, as well as the creeping thyme along the brick paths.BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 394BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 398 Local landscaping materials were  used : gravel in the paths between different garden sections; old bricks contain garden compartments and create a series of circles, a shallow round pool (to reflect the moon) and the well; stone is used for stepping stones and paving; and slate for mulch , as well as iron and other recycled materials.BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 396BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 397BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 405BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 401BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 408BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 419BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 406BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 412 Plants were chosen for their toughness and include perennials, succulents, iris, seasonal bulbs, roses and self-seeding plants. Many of the aromatic plants are Mediterranean in origin : lavenders, thymes and rosemary, as well as silvery artemesia, santolina and lambs’ ear, Stachys byzantinia. Very much a collector’s garden, there are 37 fragrant Heritage roses, fruit trees and over 70 self-seeding plants, all in one quarter of an acre!BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 409BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 413 There are many different colour themes from the purple driveway tunnel and northern yellow borders to the central blue walk and circle and the white southern beds.BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 415BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 411I loved the bright red berries of the pyracantha, trained along wires the length of the verandah and complimented by red begonias and white wooden stars.BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 410 The topiary of the Australian map outside the old shed and the square box were very impressive.BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 403BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 404BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 421 There were also lots of seats in the sun, shade and shelter, from which to admire the many vistas. In late Spring, the plants are treated to home-made compost and leaf mould, while blood and bone is applied in March and August. The plants are self-mulched with clippings year round. Watering is done by hand, using water from rainwater tanks and a grey water system.BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 417BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 418BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 414When we visited Meanderings through the Australian Open Garden scheme back in April 2010, it was owned by Larraine and Jim Kollmorgen, but it has since been sold in 2014.

Coastal environments are also tough for gardeners with the salt-laden winds and sandy soils. I have already described Villa Lettisier, which protects its garden from the coastal winds coming straight off Bass Strait with huge hedges. See: https://candeloblooms.com/2016/09/20/favourite-private-country-gardens-part-2/. Corio Bay is much more sheltered, but still presents challenges to gardeners with strong winds, low rainfall and alkaline soil. We visited the next two gardens on the Bellarine Peninsula on the shores of Corio Bay near Geelong on the Cottage By the Sea Inc Open Day in March 2014. For the 2016 program, see: http://cottagebythesea.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/GARDENDAY2016.pdf

Seaview

965 Portarlington Rd., Curlewis, VIC BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 10.25.02A beautiful coastal country garden developed from an empty paddock back in 2000 around a newly built house. Right on the shores of Corio Bay, the property has superb views of the You Yangs.BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 10.15.22BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 10.20.38 While the house was being built, native trees were planted on the south-west corner of the garden to protect it from the prevailing winds.BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 10.24.11BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 10.23.16 In 2001, a lawn of Santa Ana couch was laid down- a perfect choice, as it does not require watering. The  large east-west garden bed was the first to be planted. I loved the vegetable garden.BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 10.17.06BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 10.17.17 An original dam was converted to a small lake with rocks and plantings. A 35m deep bore was sunk in January 2007, its water feeding into the dam.BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 10.06.26BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 10.05.58BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 10.05.04BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 10.07.35BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 10.07.44BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 10.09.46 Drought-tolerant plants, suited to coastal environments, were chosen and include : a rosemary hedge; a white cedar underplanted with flaxes and grasses; a Chinese elm to provide shade near the dam; an oleaster hedge on the southern fence, planted 2003 ;BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 10.03.05BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 10.21.54BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 10.23.37BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 10.12.21BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 10.13.39BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 10.03.48 And a succulent garden, planted mainly from cuttings in 2010.BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 10.01.18BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 10.01.29 There were also lots of interesting sculptures and wire work on display and for sale.BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 10.10.48BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 10.16.00BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 10.29.52BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 10.08.29BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 10.08.48BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 10.13.48 Brambledale Farm

2115 Portarlington Rd., Drysdale, VIC

Bought by Elizabeth Vorrath in 1972, Brambledale Farm is a working farm, named after the original late 1800s cottage, which fell into disrepair and was demolished in 2009. Originally running sheep and growing crops and potatoes, the owners now agist horses and fatten cattle.BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.23.22  A new house was built in 1974, with extensions in 1998.BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.28.05 A stand of Tuart Gums protects the house from the harsh south-westerly winds.BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.46.23 John Patrick designed a circular driveway with a pond, now a dry river bed. A haha wall at the front allows for uninterrupted superb views of Corio Bay and the You Yangs.BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.23.36BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.20.57BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.53.47BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.22.05BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.25.35BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.25.39 A tennis court area was built in 1998, incorporating a stand of Lemon-scented Gums and two oaks, planted in 1975, including a Golden Rain Tree. A retaining wall and wide steps leading up to the house were built in 2006.BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.41.24BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.43.37BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.24.42 This is a large well-established garden with formal and informal areas and superb plantings and combinations of colour and texture.BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.28.50BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.37.49BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.33.09BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.44.28BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.19.25BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.27.14 Since the Millenium Drought of the early 2000s, the garden was replanted with hardy plants with low water requirements including : grasses and succulents; echiums and sedums; euphorbias and heleniums; kniphofias; a variety of salvias, lavenders and other sun-loving perennials; and a ground cover of Chinese Star Jasmine.BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.28.27BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.27.50BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.25.05BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.27.25 Gravel replaced lawns and a new gravel garden, inspired by Michael McCoy, was built in 2008. I loved the bright sunny colours of these heleniums.BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.45.24BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.45.15BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.44.13BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.44.05 I also loved the abundance, colour and variety in this garden, discovering new plants like the Castor Oil plant, Ricinus communis (photos 1 and 2); Salvia mexicana ‘Limelight’ (photo 4) and Jack-in-the-Pulpit or Cobra Lily, Arisaema (photo 3).BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.29.09BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.29.19BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.23.54BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-04-06 12.28.16Attila Kapitany

1 Lough Court Rd, Narre Warren North, VIC   0.4 ha (1 acre)

http://www.homelife.com.au/gardening/garden-design/succulent-water-wise-garden

The ultimate dry climate garden, this dramatic succulent/cacti garden fully warrants its video footage, seen here at : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jyfWFVHHVw  and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T27q1Z6D4ko.BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 641 Attila Kapitany bought this residential house block, overlooking an ornamental public lake, formerly a large farm dam, with his wife Michele back in late 2002. Attila has vast experience (over 30 years worth) growing  and marketing succulents and cacti. Once director of a family business of garden centres, including Paradisia, Australia’s largest succulent and cacti nursery (http://www.paradisia.com.au/), he was a President of the Cactus and Succulent Society of Australia for 10 years (http://www.australiansucculents.com/). He has written 15 books on succulents and cacti, including seven books, co-authored with Rudolf Schulz. His book, Australian Succulent Plants, describes 100 of the 400 Australian succulent species, including 60 new species. Below is his hand-drawn mud map from our visit in March 2010.BlogPrivSpec20%ReszdIMG_0324This is a very impressive, steep garden, built on terraces with garden rooms linked by paths of granitic gravel and sand. The design developed organically, rather than having a master plan, and gives the illusion of rivers of plants flowing down to the lake.BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 604The block is screened on three boundaries (top and sides) by a 3m cypress hedge of Cupressocyparis leylandii ‘Castlewellan Gold’, planted from 2002 to 2003, with the front of the block left clear for the lake view. There are two holes cut in the hedge for peepholes over the garden to the lake.BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 607Water had to be carted by bucket in the first 12 months, then mains water was installed with five garden taps positioned around the perimeter. The hard, dry, impermeable, nutrient-deficient soil has been improved with loads of mulch and humus and semicircular banks of compost and soil have been created on the downside of each plant to collect water runoff from higher up the hill and prevent it from disappearing down to the dam.BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 575BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 591 There are over 10 000 plants of 1000 species, all raised by Attila and Michele from seeds and cuttings, collected on their travels, except for the central Bottle Tree, Brachychiton rupestris.BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 594BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 621

There are 30 species of bottle trees, raised from seed collected from their natural Queensland habitat; blue-grey yuccas and Dasylirion wheeleri, grown from seed collected from their habitat in the desert regions of the USA; architectural agaves, gymeas (spear lilies) and aloes;BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 590BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 601 a saltbush collection ;BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 577 colourful ground cover succulents like aeoniums and crassulas;BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 617BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 580BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 596BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 581BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 599BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 584BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 583 and plants with foliage colour and nectar -producing flowers (for birds, bees and butterflies).BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 630BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 627 Seventy percent of the plants are succulents, while the rest are natives. One fifth of the plants are native to Australia. There is such an eclectic mix of shapes, patterns, textures and colours.BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 598BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 624

BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 612BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 614 Height is provided by the bottle trees, the spear lilies and the White Silk Floss tree, Ceiba insignis, as well as the vertical stone installations of the Ruins. These angular basalt rock pinnacles mimic the Lost City of Northern Territory, while a patch of rusty red sand in the centre of the garden represents the Red Centre of Australia.BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 635BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 622BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 633 It is well worth visiting this amazing garden, which is at its peak in late Winter/ Spring! Be advised to stay on the path though, to avoid being stung, poisoned or falling down the slope into the dam!

BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 631BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 637BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 620BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmarchapril 602More information can be seen in a Garden Drum article ‘A Sucker for Succulents’ by Tim Entwhistle in 2013: http://gardendrum.com/2013/09/17/a-sucker-for-succulents/.

Barwon Heads

29-31 Bridge St., Barwon Heads, VIC    1128 m2

A much safer, much smaller garden, but equally fascinating in a totally different way !BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-09-14 14.52.23 Showcased during the Geelong Sustainable House Day in September 2014 for its retrofitting of a 1900s weatherboard beach house (including under deck water tanks between the house and the garage), it was the predominantly native garden around the old house, which really impressed us, especially as it had only been created in the last four years!BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-09-14 14.45.01BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-09-14 14.43.29BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-09-14 14.48.04 I loved the recycled brick edgings; the winding gravel paths;BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-09-14 14.47.13BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-09-14 14.50.06 the skillful planting for colour and texture at all times of the year in such a small space;BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-09-14 14.50.47BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-09-14 14.52.57BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-09-14 14.47.58BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-09-14 14.47.38BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-09-14 14.45.37BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-09-14 14.46.31 the use of old stumps, logs and branches and rock in the landscape, as well as lots of pots and wooden half-barrels; the beautiful grasses;BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-09-14 14.51.07BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-09-14 14.47.47BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-09-14 14.50.29BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-09-14 14.48.43BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-09-14 14.46.27BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-09-14 14.49.58 the blue mosaic dish and rock bird bath and the espaliered japonica on the front fence.BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-09-14 14.53.47BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-09-14 14.49.02BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-09-14 14.47.03BlogPrivSpec20%Reszd2014-09-14 14.46.13Sustainable Gardens

Markos Garden

21 Barnett St Hampton, Melbourne, VIC   16m x 45m

http://www.markdymiotis.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRKrJuEN5uA

The last two gardens have focused on particular groups of plants (succulents/ cacti and Australian natives). This small suburban garden is no different, only this time it’s Mediterranean food plants! Its owner, Mark Dymiotis, hailed from Cyprus 55 years ago and bought this house with a bare garden in 1985. He has a passion for both Mediterranean food and the philosophy of Simple Living and has incorporated them both into his lifestyle and career , teaching adult education courses on vegetable growing, the Mediterranean diet, making sourdough bread and pizzas, oven building, wine making and olive preserving. It is amazing how much he can grow and produce in his tiny garden!BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdfeb2010 015BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdfeb2010 014 The front garden on the street is Mediterranean cottage style and contains 3 cherry trees, 2 pomegranates, a persimmon, a grapevine pergola and a significant salvia collection, maintained by the Salvia Study Group. Mark grows salvias for their flowers, perfume, medicinal properties, drought and disease resistance and frost tolerance.

BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdfeb2010 020BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdfeb2010 009BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdfeb2010 021BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdfeb2010 018 The back garden has a small lawn with two olive trees; an orchard of four varieties of plums, three varieties of apricots, two types of pears, many varieties of figs, mandarins (two varieties on the one tree), a lemon tree, a Kiwi fruit vine and another grapevine pergola; raised vegetable beds with frames; a compost heap; three large rainwater tanks;  a shed (for wine making, olive preserving and making tomato sauce) and two brick wood-fired ovens for bread and pizzas.BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdfeb2010 016BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdfeb2010 022BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdfeb2010 024BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdfeb2010 017 There are also two climbing roses (Lady Hillingdon and Iceberg), a mock orange, a jasmine and a honeysuckle. The raised vegetable beds are constructed with concrete and brick walls, to reduce water loss and insect nests, and are totally organic. Mark maintains high productivity with the use of compost, manure and green manure to improve the naturally sandy soil; crop rotation and companion planting: nasturtiums under the fruit trees; basil and stinging nettle in the vegetable patch; marigolds with tomatoes and zinnias with cucumbers and beans. In Summer, he grows tomatoes, capsicums and chillies; cucumbers, zucchinis and eggplants; marrows, corn and beans; and onions, purslane and amaranth. The Winter garden produces broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower; broad beans; rocket and coriander; and garlic, fennel and globe artichokes. Parsley, silver beet, celery, cos lettuce, spring onions and a huge variety of herbs are grown year round. I would highly recommend a visit to this garden, especially if you love home-grown food!

BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdfeb2010 011BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdfeb2010 013BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdfeb2010 025Hendrik’s Garden

9 Camden Rd Hughesdale, Melbourne, VIC   14km SE from Melbourne CBD  0.4 ha  15m x 48m

http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s3135331.htm

http://www.vanleeuwengreen.com/static/uploads/files/edible-eden-wfdgvdouwmov.pdf

Another very impressive, productive small garden, created by professional horticulturalist and landscape gardener, Hendrik Van Leeuwen, who bought place with his partner Nicole in 2005. Hendrik  started his landscaping business, Van Leeuwen Green (http://www.vanleeuwengreen.com/) with Jake Green in 1995. They design and construct, renovate and maintain gardens, so he had plenty of experience and design knowledge to put into practice. After renovating the Californian bungalow house, Hendrik and Nicole turned their attention to the bare front and back gardens, which afforded them a blank canvas with which to work. Design features include: foliage texture, colour and form; traditional seasonal flowering events; plant zoning for similar requirements; the planting of low water use, low maintenance species, which thrive in hot, dry conditions, and aesthetic food plants (vegetables, fruit and herbs). Sustainable features include:  the use of sustainable hard landscaping; rainwater harvest drip irrigation and recycled grey water; recycled red gum sleepers around the garden beds and chooks to recycle food scraps and produce poultry manure.

The formal front garden matches the design of the house and contains a front hedge of Lilly Pilly ‘Bush Christmas’ and two rectangular beds, edged with English box, containing central crab apples; Chinese Plumbago, Ceratostigma wilmottianum, echeverias and purple succulent, Aeonium arboretum ‘Schwarzkopf’; grasses and heliotrope. It has a restricted but effective colour palette, with bold massed plantings for visual effect and weed suppression and foliage contrast in colour and form.BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdgrampians 4 276BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdgrampians 4 280The south side of the house is cool and protected, and has the appearance of a lush tropical rainforest, with two types of Strelitzia, S. nicolai and S. reginae; clivias; native frangipani and giant liriope. All the plants were chosen for their low water requirements, longevity, toughness and ability to withstand heat waves. Away from the house as you approach the back garden are large bottlebrush trees; grasses (Poa and Pennisetum) and sedges (Lomandra); herbaceous perennials, both native (kangaroo paw) and exotic (salvias and red hot pokers). Citrus, stone fruit and a Natal plum, Carissa grandiflora, grow along the southern fence.BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdgrampians 4 244BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdgrampians 4 261BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdgrampians 4 260The back garden is highly organized and productive with an organic vegetable garden, edged with railway sleepers; a chook pen; fruit trees and shrubs and herbaceous perennials.BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdgrampians 4 248BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdgrampians 4 255 Bifold doors open out onto sustainably grown speargum decking, penetrated by a single olive tree, forming an outdoor living space. Salad greens are grown in boxes under the kitchen window for easy access and the deck is shaded by a pergola, clad with grape and kiwi fruit vines. A small bed in front of the decking contains cool climate bananas (Abyssinian banana, Ensete ventricosum), strelitzia and a bangalow palm. A low clipped rosemary hedge follows the decking near the outdoor toilet and a clipped lillypilly hedge screens the workshop and borders a small lawn, turfed with heat- and drought-tolerant Kikuya grass, which is watered with grey water. Key accent plants include a giant ornamental banana in the middle of the backyard and a lemon-scented gum at the very back.The northern boundary is planted with apple/ peach and citrus trees; mixed vegies and herbs (globe artichokes) and shrubs and perennials.BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdgrampians 4 273 The formal vegetable garden, near the chook pen, is heavily mulched with pea straw and chook manure to enrich the naturally sandy loam soil and is watered using drip irrigation and rainwater. I loved the red stems of the rainbow chard, the Russell lupins, planted for their flowers and soil nutrition, and the bamboo trellis of peas.BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdgrampians 4 274BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdgrampians 4 252BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdgrampians 4 251 There is also a round paved area with a fire pit (Castlemaine slate) for entertaining.BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdgrampians 4 272BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdgrampians 4 263 There were so many inspiring ideas in this small garden! I loved its illusion of the tropics, despite the fact that it is situated in the far south of Australia. The neighbours also had a great sense of colour!BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdgrampians 4 283BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdgrampians 4 284BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdgrampians 4 285Small Gardens

Marg’s Tropical Cornucopia

66 Prospect Hill Rd, Camberwell, Melbourne, VIC   45m x 20m

This garden is another wonderful, inspiring, highly  productive ‘tropical’ garden in a small space, containing many semitropical plants rarely grown in Melbourne! Ian and Marg bought their 1883 house in 1984, then the neighbouring property in 2003. There are no lawns, just brickwork and paving, and the relaxation spaces have a distinctly Moroccan feel, from the outdoor dining area surrounded by bamboo to the rooftop garden and plant selection, especially the orange and pink bougainvillea ‘Tango’.BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmar 2010 010BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmar 2010 001BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmar 2010 015BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmar 2010 002BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmar 2010 008 In 1990, they planted casuarinas, a big figtree in the backyard, persimmons leading to the front verandah and Lamarque roses by the seat in the front fence, but the rest of the garden was planted from 2004 on, after the installation of two rainwater tanks (10 000 litres). A hydroponic vertical garden was inspired by Patrick Blanc. They even have their own beehives, which produce 30 kg honey annually, right in the heart of Melbourne!BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmar 2010 021BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmar 2010 022

It is hard to comprehend the amazing variety and number of plants in this tiny garden : over seventy food-producing plants, forty different fruit trees and hundreds of medicinal herbs and perfumed plants, reflecting Marg’s background as a cosmetic chemist. Food plants include: three different types of avocado, seven types of banana, three fig varieties and three different grapes, apricots and other pome trees, limes,  guavas, a persimmon, a pomegranate, and a huge variety of tropical fruit trees like black/green sapotes, custard apples, mango, mountain pawpaw, jabotica and the delicious-sounding icecream bean!BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmar 2010 005BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmar 2010 012 There are bottle trees, candlenuts, plants with red/black and variegated foliage, cannas and bougainvilleas for colour, giant bamboo for sound and many many succulents for their hardiness, architectural structure and Winter colour.

BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmar 2010 011BlogPrivSpec50%Reszdmar 2010 007

Marg has achieved her incredible success by incorporating organic matter and weathered granitic sand, rich in volcanic nutrients and sourced from Dromana, into the sandy topsoil, as well as using her own foliar spray, Marg’s Magic Mix, a concentrate made from plant, fish and mineral sources, which is diluted and then sprayed on the plants.

The Nook

5 Tavistock Rd, Monbulk, VIC   0.2 ha (0.5 acres)

http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s3062916.htm

BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdgrampians 1 022Another garden packed with interesting plants and valuable ideas for small gardens, The Nook is situated at Monbulk, the centre for the horticultural industry in Victoria, especially flowers, which are exported all over the world and berries for jam making, and the 1920s cottage is part of that legacy, having once been owned by fruit pickers. Val and Don Jackson extended and refurbished the house after they bought the block in 1999. Don was a contemporary fellow horticulturalist of Edna Walling, the association marked by the planting of three silver birches, Edna’s signature plants, at the entrance.BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdgrampians 1 021 The design of the romantic English cottage style garden owes much to Don’s efforts, but sadly he passed away in 2007 and the garden became Val’s therapy.BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdgrampians 1 008BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdgrampians 1 016BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdgrampians 1 010 Design elements include:  arches, trellises and arbours, covered with roses and clematis; meandering brick paths, steps and paving; a small bridge to a rose garden; a secret garden; an alpine rock garden; a borrowed landscape of the neighbour’s chestnut trees; distinct microclimates; and separate areas to suit plants with different growing conditions.BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdgrampians 1 007BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdgrampians 1 006 BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdgrampians 1 017BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdgrampians 1 015BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdgrampians 1 019Azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, hydrangeas, cyclamens, cliveas  and hellebores are grouped in the shade of mature walnut trees and a hazelnuts, while roses, succulents and vegetables are in the sunnier parts of the garden.BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdgrampians 1 018BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdgrampians 1 012 I loved the herbaceous borders, filled with so many lovely cottage plants like foxgloves, delphiniums and salvias. Roses include: Mutabilis; Pink Perpetué; Clair Matin; Lavender Lassie; Paul Transom; and Graham Thomas , while Clematis ‘Belle of Woking’ and C. montana ‘Tetrarose’ cover the walkway. There are fuchsias and pieris; cordylines and ferns; many succulents; unusual evergreen plants like the aromatic Adenandra from South Africa and the burgundy Chinese Fringe Flower, Loropetalum chinense ‘Roseum’; and interesting bulbs like Hoop Petticoat daffodils and tuberous plants like Rhodohypoxis, which were new to me.BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdgrampians 1 020BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdgrampians 1 013BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdgrampians 1 014 This delightful small garden is packed with colour and perfume and is still open to the public through Open Gardens Victoria. See: http://www.opengardensvictoria.org.au/companies/25/62/The-Nook .

Coburn

134 Wooralla Drive Mt Eliza, Mornington Peninsula, VIC   0.2 ha (0.5 acres)

Finally, Carole Coburn’s delightful small garden, developed over 20 years, and fully deserving of the lyrical description by Open Garden Australia, back in October 2009 : ‘a Persian carpet, embroidered with rivers of jewel-like colours’. It did not disappoint!BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdoctober 150 The dense plantings include: lots of old-fashioned climbing and rambling roses, sprawling over pergolas, fences and arbours (eg. Mme Alfred Carrière);BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdoctober 172BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdoctober 148BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdoctober 168BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdoctober 169 Many small trees like maples, silver birches, a weeping cherry and palm trees;BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdoctober 149BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdoctober 130BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdoctober 126 And massed plantings of campanula, foxgloves and lamium; and Spring bulbs.BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdoctober 173BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdoctober 170BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdoctober 147BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdoctober 156BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdoctober 158 The winding paths are bordered by hedging plants and there is a tranquil lawn.BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdoctober 155BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdoctober 144BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdoctober 140 There is also a natural curved shaped pool with shallow stone shelving and an old timber decking, its edges softened by creeping plants, a spa and a pottery outdoor heater.BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdoctober 136BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdoctober 137BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdoctober 162BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdoctober 160 I loved the use of planters and pots.BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdoctober 131BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdoctober 157BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdoctober 164Visiting these amazing gardens has vastly enriched my knowledge of garden design principles and plants and all of them are prime examples of the huge potential in gardens, irrespective of garden size, climate and budget. I feel so lucky to have been able to access them through Open Gardens Australia, as well as various garden festivals, and look forward to getting to know some of the beautiful gardens in our new state. We have just returned from a weekend in the Southern Highlands, Sydney’s equivalent to Melbourne’s Mt Macedon, so I will finish the year with a December post about the fabulous gardens we visited. Next year, I am focusing on my beloved roses! Such wonderful dreamy gardens…!!!

 

 

 

 

The April Garden

Autumn is well and truly underway in Candelo. The view from our verandah has turned into a tapestry of different colours as the leaves turn and then fall for Winter.BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-14 13.56.05 Already our plum trees are bare and the poplar leaves are turning from green to gold.BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-07 13.19.13 The leaves of the snowball tree and the local Liquidambar trees are turning red.BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-14 12.13.00BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-08 12.35.16The Monbretia berries sport Autumn colours and our Japanese Maple is covered in red-winged seeds.BlogAprilGarden20%ReszdIMG_0201 (2)BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-07 13.20.36Our neighbour’s fence is also ablaze with vibrant reds of Virginia Creeper!BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-08 12.10.06BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-08 12.08.54Our cutting garden is providing a last blast of colour before Winter dormancy with its cosmos, zinnias and dahlias.BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-14 12.11.53BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-07 12.45.10BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-14 13.56.15BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-08 15.03.04BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-05 12.36.08Unfortunately, the cosmos were just too rampant and their intense purple clashed too much with the zinnias, so we pulled them out! I’m sure there must be a spot, which is just right for deep purple cosmos, but it’s certainly NOT the zinnia bed! BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-07 14.19.30BlogAprilGarden20%ReszdIMG_0178 (2)The dahlias and zinnias however complement each other beautifully with their wide range of colour and form.BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-14 13.56.30BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-10 18.31.38We are so impressed with the new dahlias, which grew from seed! Beautiful colours and forms and very fast growing! I love all the pinks, oranges and reds together!BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-14 12.09.47BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-13 11.05.35BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-14 12.10.30The zinnias are equally delightful with their long-lasting blooms. Even the dying ones exhibit beautiful faded hues.BlogAprilGarden20%ReszdIMG_0191 (2)BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-10 18.30.54BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-10 18.36.07BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-10 18.36.00BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-07 14.14.09And ‘Meadowlea’, our golden dahlia, just keeps on keeping on! Such wonderful value for money! Its days are numbered now, but we enjoy its splash of gold while we still can!BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-14 12.09.56BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-14 12.12.08BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-14 12.11.05The hydrangeas soldier on with their final days of blooming before the frost hits!BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-06 14.07.17BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-14 12.14.32BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-14 12.14.42The roses are also throwing out their last  blooms before Winter. Both the Soho Bed and the Moon Bed are well-established now.BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-13 11.04.42BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-10 18.36.54BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-14 12.09.13BlogAprilGarden20%ReszdIMG_0174 (2)BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-10 18.28.43BlogAprilGarden20%ReszdIMG_0198 (2)BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-10 18.28.56BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-10 18.27.56BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-14 12.09.20BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-10 18.29.43BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-10 18.30.12BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-10 18.35.15BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-11 17.23.51BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-14 12.09.35 On our recent travels, we collected lots of Flowering Salvia plants and cuttings. We potted all the cuttings and heeled in all the tiny plants in any spare patches we could find. It will be interesting to see how many survive our Winter frosts! I love the huge variety of colours and versatility of Flowering Salvias. Our Pineapple Sage has bright red flowers – see photo below. The golden Euryops daisy came from a cutting earlier in the year and is now a substantial bush.BlogAprilGarden20%ReszdIMG_0169 (2)BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-07 13.16.33 We also planted a pink Weigela between the Quince tree and the Michelia and a Choisya between the pergola and the Tahitian Lime in front of the deciduous Snowball tree. Eventually the crown of the lime will extend across to the pergola, so the Choisya will provide an evergreen block at the base of the lime to enhance the privacy of the garden from the road. Its sweetly scented white flowers will complement the white citrus flowers.BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-06 14.04.23The cumquat is covered in flowers and ripening fruit at the moment and fortunately no stinkbugs, so Ross’s efforts were well worthwhile!BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-11 13.51.30BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-07 13.17.43BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-11 13.51.51 The vegetable bed has been very productive with capsicums, lettuce and baby spinach.BlogAprilGarden20%ReszdIMG_0180 (2)BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-10 18.37.22We have also been busy planting out Spring bulbs in the lawn and the terrace bed : Dutch Crocus and Bluebells and Paper White Jonquils in the lawn, Erythronium ‘Pagoda’ under the quince and Snake’s Head Fritillaries, Grape Hyacinth , Miniature Daffodils and Delft Blue Hyacinth in the terrace garden bed. I’m waiting till Mothers’ Day to plant out my tulips, which are currently cooling in the fridge. In the cutting garden, all the old bulbs from last year are already sending out shoots and the cornflower seedlings have just been thinned out- see photo above.BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-06 14.07.04BlogAprilGarden20%ReszdIMG_0172 (2)The native plants are also starting to flower -the Pepperina tree is flowering, the Correa has a mass of pink bells and the Banksia is covered in golden candles.BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-07 13.19.34BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-11 13.56.12 The Protea is also blooming, however it is very slow-growing. I hope there is not too much shade in its current position and am really looking forward to seeing it grow a bit larger, as I’m sure the little native birds who visit the birdbath will love it! The Grey Fantail and Eastern Spinebill are two of my favourites!BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-05 17.34.56BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-05 17.35.03BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-10 18.27.36BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-08 15.05.39BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-08 15.06.19BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-06 14.13.19Larger birds like this raven and two Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos also visit the garden.BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-07 12.44.51BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-16 13.34.08And our Little Corellas have unexpectedly returned! Why we don’t know, nor for how long, but they are certainly very noisy!BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-15 18.59.14BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-15 18.58.40BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-15 18.54.27We have been doing a lot of garden planning and have made the decision to eliminate the backing hedge behind the Soho Bed, as we are worried there is not really enough room between the Soho Bed and the cutting garden and the larger plants could cast too much shade, even though they are deciduous. So, we have a few plants to transplant in the coming month. My poor Philadelphus shrub, which is already very confused, sending out ‘Spring’ blooms in Autumn, won’t know what’s hit it! We will probably also move a few of the rhododendrons forward from the fence, so they have a bit more light. We also have a few seeds to sow – more cornflowers, calendulas, poppies and stock- to fill up the bare patches in the cutting garden. So plenty of work in the garden ahead!BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-05 17.36.28BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-10 18.35.01Because we have been away this month, our creative endeavours have lagged a bit! The pergola is almost finished- we had hoped to join the final cross-piece this morning, but the sun in the photos below turned to rain, so we could not use our electrical power tools! But we’re very close to the finished product and I think it already looks amazing!BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-16 10.08.45BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-16 10.11.55BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-16 10.10.17 While the sun was out, I couldn’t resist picking some of our beautiful dahlias and zinnias to brighten up the house. I am revelling in their cheery colour! Their only drawback is lack of scent, but my rose bouquet with its stock and ‘Indigo Spires’ salvia made up for that!BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-15 12.08.52BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-15 12.05.08BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-15 13.10.57And I have finally finished my zinnia and cosmos cushion ! Very bright like its subject matter and complements my abstract flower cushion well. I kept the top layer of petals free, so they could reflex back and give a more three-dimensional look and feel.BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-10 18.10.32BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-14 14.02.11BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-14 14.01.48P.S. More photos of my beautiful new dahlia plants! Such treasures! Thank you Jane xBlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-14 12.10.42BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-11 17.21.53BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-10 18.33.04BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-10 18.31.51BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-10 18.31.54BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-10 18.32.34BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-10 18.32.47BlogAprilGarden20%Reszd2016-04-06 14.46.13

 

 

Favourite Late 20th Century Botanic Gardens

It is wonderful seeing the new directions in which botanic gardens are developing. Nature and environment are increasingly threatened as human populations continue to increase and botanic gardens are playing an increasingly valuable role as seed banks for the future and in the mitigation of climate change and environmental education of the public. As the pace of life becomes even more frenetic, they are also extremely important for relaxation and the soul!

1. Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Gardens, 42ha,  1986

http://www.erbg.org.au/

: Part of Mogo State Forest and leased back to the Eurobodalla Council for a Botanic Garden, it showcases the native plants of the Eurobodalla region and their diversity in form, colour, habitat requirements and sensory characteristics. It also explains their use as food and medicine by the local aboriginal people. Here are photos of their official map and interpretive board on the Aboriginal Heritage Walk:BlogLate20thCent BG 80%ReszdIMG_3636BlogLate20thCent BG 80%ReszdIMG_3641: There is a Visitor Centre , a Herbarium and 7km of walking tracks. It is a very impressive contemporary botanic garden.BlogLate20thCent BG 40%ReszdIMG_3690BlogLate20thCent BG 40%ReszdIMG_3691Above the lake, there is an amphitheatre for performances with audience seating set into the hill. I loved the random animal sculptures, including the little possum below, along one of the tracks.BlogLate20thCent BG 40%ReszdIMG_3706BlogLate20thCent BG 40%ReszdIMG_3709BlogLate20thCent BG 40%ReszdIMG_3725BlogLate20thCent BG 40%ReszdIMG_3713

2. Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mt. Tomah, 28ha, 1987

https://www.bluemountainsbotanicgarden.com.au/

: Located in the World-Heritage listed Greater Blue Mountains, it is situated 1000 metres above sea level and showcases many beautiful native and exotic plants not suited to Sydney’s climate. It places an emphasis on cool-climate plants from around the world, especially those from the southern hemisphere. This is the view from the Visitor Centre with a stone labyrinth in the foreground. The 3rd photo shows the view from the pond looking back up to the Visitor Centre.BlogLate20thCent BG 20%ReszdIMG_5029BlogLate20thCent BG 20%ReszdIMG_5011BlogLate20thCent BG 20%ReszdIMG_5086BlogLate20thCent BG 20%ReszdIMG_5045: One of the few botanic gardens where plants have been grouped according to their geographical origin, allowing  the visitor to see both the similarities and differences between the plants of each region and understand the evolution of the floras of the different continents.BlogLate20thCent BG 20%ReszdIMG_5060BlogLate20thCent BG 20%ReszdIMG_5037: There are wonderful rockeries, water courses and waterfalls and bog gardens in front of the Visitor Centre, (which incidently has a fantastic view!), as well as woodlands, camellia and rhododendron collections and 2 interesting display gardens and walks: The Gondwana Forest Walk and the Plant Explorer walk with excellent interpretive boards. They are so impressive in fact, that we always call in to visit these botanic gardens whenever we are in the Blue Mountains.BlogLate20thCent BG 50%ReszdIMG_5132 - CopyBlogLate20thCent BG 20%ReszdIMG_5118: There is also a World Heritage exhibition centre called the  ‘Botanists Way Discovery Centre’, which tells the stories of early botanists who explored the northern Blue Mountains seeking rare plants and trying to find a crossing to the west, as well as those of the local  Darug people. The bookshop is excellent!

 3. Australian Botanic Garden, Mt. Annan, 416ha, 1988

http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/annan

: Even though we haven’t visited these yet, we hope to soon! They are the 3rd botanic garden, managed by the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, and they are the largest botanic garden in Australia, so I had to include them !!!

: Solely comprised of Australian native plants, they showcase the diversity of Australian flora and will eventually include most of Australia’s 25,000 known plant species. It contains a Bush Food Garden and the Australian Plant Bank with  a seed bank and research laboratories devoted to research and conservation of Australian native plant species, especially those of NSW. See : http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/annan/Australian_plantbank.

4. Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne, 363ha,  1989 and The Australian Garden, 15ha, 2006

http://www.rbg.vic.gov.au/visit-cranbourne     and

http://www.rbg.vic.gov.au/visit-cranbourne/attractions/australian-garden

: Victoria’s equivalent of the previous botanic garden, it contains 363ha of remnant native vegetation, a protected site of state significance for biodiversity with 390 native plant species, 20 mammal species and 11 amphibian species. There are walking tracks through heathlands, woodlands and wetlands.BlogLate20thCent BG 20%Reszdmelbourne spring 184BlogLate20thCent BG 20%Reszdmelbourne spring 143

: The contemporary landscaped display beds of the Australian Garden contain 170,000 Australian native plants from 85 bioregions in Australia and follow the journey of water from the arid inland landscapes of Central Australia through dry river beds to major rivers and finally the coast.BlogLate20thCent BG 20%Reszdmelbourne spring 170BlogLate20thCent BG 20%Reszdmelbourne spring 148

: The art and architecture are very modern and Australian and the presentation of the garden is very stunningly dramatic.BlogLate20thCent BG 20%Reszdmelbourne spring 116BlogLate20thCent BG 20%Reszdmelbourne spring 106

: Display gardens also feature contemporary garden issues like the Backyard garden, for kids as well as adults, Lifestyle Gardens, the Greening of Cities, even the Weird and Wonderful! A day is not long enough to explore this amazing garden and it is constantly evolving, so there is always something new to discover!

5. Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden, Port Augusta, SA, 250ha, 1993

http://www.aalbg.sa.gov.au

: Located on the shores of the Spencer Gulf, with spectacular views of the Flinders Ranges, this coastal park features significant areas of natural arid zone vegetation including Western Myall woodlands (Acacia papyrocarpa) and chenopod (Saltbush) plains together with coastal vegetation dominated by Grey Mangrove (Avicennia marina) and samphire.

: There are many  highly evolved plant communities that are specially adapted to thrive in an environment where temperatures are extreme and drought prolonged and this botanic garden was established to research, conserve and promote a wider appreciation of Australia’s arid zone flora. In fact, it is  the only botanic garden in the world to specialize in the conservation and display of flora from the southern arid zone of Australia (where the annual rainfall is less than 250mm). Regional collections currently include : Flinders Ranges, Gawler, Eyre, Central Ranges and Great Victoria Desert, with further arid areas planned in the future.

: Sustainability is a large part of their charter and sustainable design and  practices has been successfully incorporated into these gardens including the use of : solar panels, a Waste Water Treatment Plant, rain water collection, underground evaporative air‐conditioning ducts,  an award winning energy-efficient Visitor Centre with rammed earth walls, LED lighting, recycling and the sale of locally produced ecoproducts. I am really looking forward to visiting it one day !!!

And finally, because it is a fairly new botanic garden and we have a personal connection :

6. Gold Coast Regional Botanic Park (Rosser Park), 31ha, 2002

http://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/documents/bf/promo-booklet-botanic-gardens.pdf

: The land for these botanic gardens was donated in 1969 by the Rosser Family, who are relatives of my husband. John Rosser was a very good friend of Ross’s uncle Alf, who was killed at Pozières in World War I and married Alf’s sister Essie. He was a man ahead of his times in so many ways and was vitally interested in many social issues from education to politics, peace activism, environment , self-sufficiency, gardening, beekeeping and  health.  John and Essie were both vegetarians and both lived well into their nineties. The couple led simple, non-materialistic lives and valued lifestyle over possessions.They raised 6 highly intelligent, well educated, high achieving children, who all returned to their self-sufficiency roots in later life.

: I remember visiting their daughter Jean and their beautiful old home and garden on a hill at  ‘Benowa’ when I was newly married. I struck my first successful rose cutting from their old bush of ‘Countess Bertha’. It was such an interesting place with 4 types of plumbing in the kitchen, lots of unopened packets of hardware on the backs of doors, bookcases of folders and folders of newspaper clippings and scrapbooks and a glass-less lounge window overlooking the beautiful garden and the blue Springbrook mountains beyond the Nerang River. Only now, there is a mass of brick houses between their property and those mountains, as the Gold Coast had grown and developed!!! If ever there was an antidote to the urban sprawl and concrete jungle of the Gold Coast, this garden is it and I think John would be very happy to know his donated land has been put to such good use!

: It includes a sensory garden, specially designed for the disabled, a native butterfly garden, a rose garden, native plants, a montane rockery, freshwater wetlands and a Mangroves to Mountains walk. There are also Commemorative Avenues of Queensland forest giants planted by the Curators of Australia’s Botanic Gardens and International Friendship Force, a nonprofit cultural exchange organization promoting friendship  and goodwill through a program of home-stay exchanges since 1977, a concept I’m certain John would have wholeheartedly embraced. We are really looking  forward to visiting this botanic garden next time we go to Queensland!

The 1st photo below shows my old rosebush, which I grew from the cutting. The 2nd photo shows my current ‘Countess Bertha’ rose bloom.

BlogLate20thCent BG 30%ReszdIMG_0626BlogLate20thCent BG 20%Reszd2015-11-22 17.16.40Next month, I will be starting to write about my favourite gardens, which are regularly open to the public, including historic homes and gardens, nursery gardens, specialty nursery gardens, education gardens and  sculpture gardens. In the mean time, enjoy all those wonderful botanic gardens!


 

 

 

Favourite Early 20th Century Botanic Gardens in Australia

This week, I will be describing some of the newer botanic gardens with their increased emphasis on native plant collections and  environmental sustainability. The first of these probably belongs to the previous century, though its origins are slightly different.

1.Araluen Botanic Park, 59ha, 1929

http://www.araluenbotanicpark.com.au

: Originally established as a holiday camp for members of the Young Australia  League. ‘Araluen’ is an Eastern States aboriginal word meaning ‘singing/ running waters’. It was sold in 1990 to the State Government, who undertook major restoration of the heritage structures and gardens.Blog Early20cent BG20%ReszdIMG_6824Blog Early20cent BG20%ReszdIMG_6834

: 14 ha of developed gardens and The Grove of the Forgotten, a series of terraces descending a steep slope, flanked by Pencil Pines in the shape of a lyre, a symbol of music.  A waterfall cascades through the terraces down to a calm reflection pond, a beautiful way to commemorate the 88  Young Australia League members , who were killed in World War I. It is a very peaceful spot.

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2. Australian National Botanic Gardens, Canberra, 90ha, 1945

https://www.anbg.gov.au/gardens/            and

http://www.environment.gov.au/topics/national-parks/australian-national-botanic-gardensBlog Early20cent BG20%Reszd2015-10-06 10.26.06BlogBirthday blessings20%Reszd2015-10-06 10.29.43Blog Early20cent BG20%Reszd2015-10-06 10.25.09Blog Early20cent BG20%Reszd2015-10-06 10.30.22: In the 1930s, Canberra was known as ‘The City of Flowers’, but there was no botanic garden. While preliminary research and planning occurred between 1933 and 1935, it was not started until after World War II and opened to the public in 1967. The plan specified that it was to be was built close to the proposed university and have a scientific basis, rather than “for ornamental purposes only”.

The gardens were developed on the foothills of Black Mountain, which is topped by the Telstra Tower and overlooks the city (see 1st photo above). The plants in the foreground are Grass Trees (Xanthorrhoea) and their flowering spikes were used by Australian aborigines to make spears. The following photos include :

Photo 1 : Waratahs (Telopea speciosissima), the official floral emblem for New South Wales and photo 2 : a hybrid waratah ‘Parry’s Dream’;

Photo 3 : Narrow-Leaved Drum Sticks (Isopgon anethifolius) and photo 4 : Rose Coneflower (Isopogon formosus);

Photo 5 : Homoranthus flavescens (gold) and photo 6 : Grevillea ‘Poorinda Adorning’ (red).Blog Early20cent BG20%Reszd2015-10-06 10.34.21Blog Early20cent BG20%Reszd2015-10-06 10.29.03Blog Early20cent BG20%Reszd2015-10-06 10.33.37Blog Early20cent BG20%Reszd2015-10-06 10.34.43Blog Early20cent BG20%Reszd2015-10-06 10.28.05Blog Early20cent BG20%Reszd2015-10-06 10.30.03: It contains scientific collections of 78,000 native Australian plants (one third of all Australian plant species), displaying the huge range of diversity of Australia’s habitats and flora. Plants are grouped by geographical regions from Coastal Rainforest to the Red Centre of Australia or by botanical plant families. The photos below show a Brittle Gum (Eucalyptus mannifera); Dendrobium speciosum plants in the tropical glass house; and a Water Dragon in his habitat.Blog Early20cent BG20%ReszdIMG_0677Blog Early20cent BG20%Reszd2015-10-06 10.40.06Blog Early20cent BG20%Reszd2015-10-06 10.39.35BlogBirthday blessings20%Reszd2015-10-06 11.31.16Blog Early20cent BG20%Reszd2015-10-06 11.24.01: It conducts research in plant classification and biology and includes :  the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research; the Botanical Resource Centre, which houses the Public Reference Herbarium with specimens which represent the native and naturalised plants of the A.C.T., the Southern Tablelands, Australian Alps and the South Coast; the Australian National Herbarium and the National Seed Bank. There is also a great library and bookshop.

These photos show the Red Centre (with the Telstra Tower in the background), its design plan, Porcupine Grass (Triodia pungens) and a sculpture of a Thorny Devil (Moloch horridus). It is wonderful to walk through the cooling rain forest after a visit to the hot Red Centre, seeing representatives of the ancient Gondwanan forests, which used to cover much of our continent 60 Million years ago, but now only grows in patches on the eastern fringe (less than 1 per cent of our total land area). The last photo is of a Wollemi Pine (Wollemi nobilis), one of the world’s oldest and rarest trees. It belongs to a plant family over 200 Million years old and is thought to have existed during the Jurassic era with the dinosaurs. It was thought to have been extinct for over 2 Million years, until a small patch was found by bushwalkers in Wollemi National Park in 1994.Blog Early20cent BG20%Reszd2015-10-06 10.43.16Blog Early20cent BG20%Reszd2015-10-06 10.46.12Blog Early20cent BG20%Reszd2015-10-06 10.44.44Blog Early20cent BG20%Reszd2015-10-06 10.43.31Blog Early20cent BG20%Reszd2015-10-06 11.34.52Blog Early20cent BG20%Reszd2015-10-06 10.50.433. Booderee Botanic Gardens, 80ha, 1951

http://www.parksaustralia.gov.au/booderee/people/botanic-gardens.html

: Originally started as a frost-free annex of the Australian National Botanic Garden, it was sold to the local Koori community in 1995 and is the only aboriginal-owned botanic garden in Australia. It became independent of the ANBG in 2000 and is jointly managed by Parks Australia.Blog Early20cent BG40%ReszdIMG_4424Blog Early20cent BG70%ReszdIMG_4415 - Copy

: It showcases the long relationship between the Koori people and the area and plants of South-East Australia with display beds of bush tucker and the medicinal uses of plants.

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Its a lovely peaceful spot with curving paths through woodland and a lovely ornamental lake.

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4. Wittunga Botanic Garden, 14ha, 1975

http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/botanicgardens/Visit/Wittunga_Botanic_Garden

Originally established around an old private homestead called ‘Wittunga’, these gardens show the close relationship between the water-wise plants of Australia and South Africa and include a Bog Garden, a Butterfly Garden and display beds of Erica, Proteas and Leucadendrons. There were so many unusual and dramatic looking plants, which I had never seen before !

Blog Early20cent BG20%ReszdIMG_9198Blog Early20cent BG20%ReszdIMG_9201Blog Early20cent BG20%ReszdIMG_9195Blog Early20cent BG20%ReszdIMG_9191Blog Early20cent BG20%ReszdIMG_9193Blog Early20cent BG20%ReszdIMG_92025. Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mt. Cootha, 56ha, 1976

http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/facilities-recreation/parks-venues/parks/brisbane-botanic-gardens-mount-coot-tha

: Became the main botanic garden in Brisbane after all the city flooding.

: Contains 20,000 plants of 5,000 species from all over the world, arranged in thematic and geographic communities. In 1985, the Australian Plant Communities collection (27ha) was added and contains native plants from all over Australia, but especially Queensland. A 4ha area for a conservation walk, kitchen garden, new lagoon and playground will be added in 2015.

: The Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium is also located in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens.Blog Early20cent BG20%ReszdIMG_06226. Mt Lofty Botanic Garden, 100ha, 1977

http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/botanicgardens/Visit/Mount_Lofty_Botanic_Garden

: Focuses on Cool Temperate Plants and has one of the richest collections of ferns in Australia.

Blog Early20cent BG20%Reszd2014-10-27 11.58.46Blog Early20cent BG20%Reszd2014-10-27 12.09.33: It is also the site of the ATCO Heritage Rose Garden with beds of Species roses, showing the history and development of the Modern Rose. It took some time and dedication to find (it is up the very top of the hill!), but it was definitely worth it !Blog Early20cent BG20%Reszd2014-10-27 12.34.57Blog Early20cent BG20%Reszd2014-10-27 12.56.56

 

 

Favourite Late 19th Century Botanic Gardens in Australia

The following botanic gardens were developed much in the vein of the early colonial gardens, but as the new century approached, garden styles changed from a layout of  systematic experimental trial beds to more landscaped park-like pleasure gardens with sweeping green lawns and display beds for general enjoyment.

1. Portland Botanic Gardens, 3.2ha, 1858

http://vhd.heritage.vic.gov.au/places/result_detail/1899?print=true     and

http://westerndistrictfamilies.com/2013/07/11/portland-botanical-gardens/

: One of the earliest regional botanic gardens in Victoria ( 3rd oldest in the state).

: Has retained the original squared layout of the traditional experimental trial grounds and systematic gardening, which is rare in Victoria. The Curator’s Cottage, 1859, is one of the oldest garden buildings in Victoria.Blog late19centBG20%ReszdIMG_4141Blog late19centBG20%ReszdIMG_4149: This botanic garden is of scientific significance for its collections of plants, characteristic of Late 19th Century Victorian gardens. It has garden beds of roses and dahlias dating back to 1857. There are 300 different roses and 170 types of dahlias, 13,000 of which are bedded out annually. I love their colourful patches, right next to the old Croquet Club House and lawns. It is a delightful step back in time!Blog late19centBG20%ReszdIMG_4155Blog late19centBG20%ReszdIMG_4150: I also really like the way they have incorporated native plants in amongst older exotic species.Blog late19centBG20%ReszdIMG_4168Blog late19centBG20%ReszdIMG_41742. Ballarat Botanical Gardens, 40ha, 1859

http://www.ballarat.vic.gov.au/lae/gardens/ballarat-botanical-gardens.aspx

: Located on the western shore of Lake Wendouree, this botanic garden is one of Australia’s most significant cool climate gardens. Here are some local pedestrians!Blog late19centBG20%ReszdIMG_4080Blog late19centBG20%ReszdIMG_4055: There are 52 mature trees listed on the National Trust Significant Trees Register  and many lovely heritage buildings and pavilions, housing beautiful classic Italian marble statues (dating from 1884-1888).

Blog late19centBG20%Reszdmid september 2012 108Blog late19centBG20%ReszdIMG_4060

:  The Prime Ministers Avenue is of national significance and contains a collection of busts of Australian Prime Ministers, set in the magnificent Horse Chestnut Avenue of the Gardens. The collection includes a portrait of one of the founding fathers of Federation, Alfred Deakin, who was the first Federal Member for Ballarat and the second Prime Minister, as well as giving his name to the future Deakin University, Geelong, where I used to workBlog late19centBG20%Reszdmid september 2012 097: There are  thematic collections of ferns, grasses and indigenous plants, a sensory garden and display beds of bedding plants, roses, rockery and woodland plants. We used to love visiting these gardens in Spring, when the Iceland Poppy beds were a mass of colour !Blog late19centBG20%ReszdIMG_3425

: Lake Wendouree is  also a great spot for bird watching and photography. We saw our first Crested Grebe (4th photo below ) and first Musk Duck (5th photo below) there, as well as plenty of cygnets (1st and 2nd photos below) and felt very privileged to watch the rare courting rituals of a Blue Billed Duck (3rd photo below)!Blog late19centBG20%Reszdmid september 2012 041Blog late19centBG20%Reszdmid september 2012 027Blog late19centBG60%Reszdmid september 2012 091 - Copymid september 2012 092 - CopyBlog late19centBG20%Reszdmid september 2012 1323. Hamilton Botanic Gardens, 4ha, 1870

http://www.visitgreaterhamilton.com.au/hamilton-botanic-gardens

: Another early provincial garden in Western Victoria with heritage-listed buildings and fountains, 8 trees on the Register of Significant Trees, sweeping lawns, rockeries, lakes and islands, a delightful sensory cottage garden (bottom photo), an aviary (where we saw our first Princess Parrots – see 1st photo below) and an Abutilon collection. It is a pleasant spot to picnic and play.Blog late19centBG20%ReszdIMG_4353Blog late19centBG20%ReszdIMG_4340Blog late19centBG20%ReszdIMG_4370Blog late19centBG20%ReszdIMG_4361Blog late19centBG20%ReszdIMG_4368Blog late19centBG20%ReszdIMG_43444. George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens, 42ha, 1886

http://www.parksandwildlife.nt.gov.au/botanic

: Set on Fannie Bay, it is one of the few botanic gardens in the world to have native marine and estuarine plants occuring in the garden naturally. It has survived the devastation of both cyclones and the bombing in World War Two.Blog Early19cent BG20%ReszdIMG_6263Blog Early19cent BG20%ReszdIMG_6286

: It has the oldest church building in the Northern Territory, the former Wesleyan Methodists Church, 1897, which was moved there in 2000.Blog Early19cent BG20%ReszdIMG_6267Blog Early19cent BG20%ReszdIMG_6268

: Plants include tropical orchids, bromeliads, cycads, palms, rainforest plants, native Top End plants and a Baobab collection.

5.Cairns Botanic Garden and Flecker Garden, 38ha, 1886

http://www.cairns.qld.gov.au/cbg

: A tropical paradise, renowned for its 4000 species of tropical flora from South-East Asia, South America, Africa and Far North Queensland, including orchids, bromeliads, tropical fruit trees, palms and ferns, bamboos and gingers (see 3rd photo below), aroids and Nepenthes (carnivorous Pitcher Plants – see 2nd  photo below). It contains some of the rarest plants in the world, including the tropical flower Amorphophallus titanium, which weighs 70kg and has a leaf diameter of 7m – only 1 of 2 in Australia.Blog late19centBG20%ReszdIMG_1347Blog late19centBG20%ReszdIMG_1269Blog late19centBG20%ReszdIMG_1285Blog late19centBG30%ReszdIMG_0682Blog late19centBG20%ReszdIMG_1249Blog late19centBG20%ReszdIMG_1369

: Comprised of the Flecker Garden (formal garden), salt water and freshwater Centenary Lakes, a rain forest boardwalk (1st photo above), the Gondwanan Heritage Garden showing plant evolution, an aboriginal plant use garden and the Mt. Whitfield Conservation Park, which contains 700 native plant species and has  lovely walks (Red Arrow 1.5 km and Blue Arrow 6.6km) with great views over the coast.Blog late19centBG20%ReszdIMG_0679I loved the variety in these tropical leaves – quite stunning!Blog late19centBG20%ReszdIMG_1262Blog late19centBG20%ReszdIMG_1270Blog late19centBG20%ReszdIMG_1282Blog late19centBG20%ReszdIMG_1255Blog late19centBG20%ReszdIMG_1258

6. Kings Park, 400ha, 1892 and Western Australian Botanic Garden, 17ha,  1967

http://www.bgpa.wa.gov.au/kings-park    and

http://www.bgpa.wa.gov.au/about-us/conservation/wa-botanic-garden/about-wa-botanic-garden

: Prime position on Mt. Eliza, overlooking the Swan River and the city of Perth.Blog Early19cent BG20%ReszdIMG_3410Blog Early19cent BG20%ReszdIMG_3414

: Originally designed as a European style garden, influenced by the English and Aesthetic Movements.

: Includes 267 ha of significant remnant bushland.Blog Early19cent BG20%ReszdIMG_3402Blog Early19cent BG20%ReszdIMG_3404

: Focuses on the conservation of the state’s unique and diverse flora.  Western Australia is home to half of Australia’s 25,000 plant species, most of which are found nowhere else on earth. The South-West region of Western Australia is a global diversity hot spot with more than 8000 native plant species. Beds are grouped by state regions, taxonomic groups or purely spectacular displays. When we visited WA in Spring 2008, we found that every region in WA had a totally different set of flora and it was great seeing the display beds with representatives from all these different areas. These include : Wheatbelt, Goldfields, Stirling Ranges, Rottnest and Garden Islands, Kimberley, Mulga, South Coastal and Darling Ranges.Blog Early19cent BG20%ReszdIMG_3398Blog Early19cent BG20%ReszdIMG_3431

: The Conservation Garden (4,600 square metres) contains 400 species of the most critically endangered and rare species in the state.

The photos below show Mangle’s Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthus manglessii) and Gilham’s Bell (Darwinia oxylepsis).

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Favourite Early 19th Century Botanic Gardens in Australia

Botanic gardens are excellent places to visit to get an overall view of the state’s flora and history. I love their size and scale, their sense of history and promise for the future. Not only are they repositories of all plants, including national collections of species, but they also provide green space in the cities- clean air, respite from the clamour of the city, enjoyment and relaxation, often being the stage for music, plays,  weddings and photo shoots, as well as providing education and inspiration. I always love their bookshops- a fantastic source of books about gardening and environment, both on local and global issues, as well as identification guides.

I decided to look up the official definition of ‘Botanic Gardens’ and found a great website : http://www.bgci.org  for Botanic Gardens Conservation International, which quotes a definition from the International Agenda for Botanic Gardens in Conservation as follows:

Botanic gardens are institutions holding documented collections of living plants for the purposes of scientific research, conservation, display and education.”

Apparently, there are currently 1775 Botanic Gardens and arboreta in 148 countries worldwide, maintaining over 4 million living plant collections of over 100, 000 plant species.

Their use has changed through history.  Originally starting as Physic Gardens to study and grow medicinal plants, they have evolved into pleasure gardens and scientific institutions, which are continually adapting to and serving the needs of their societies, as new challenges are met.

When Australia was first settled, they became instruments of colonial expansion and economic development. Curators planted imported plants to see how they would cope with the climate and soils of the new colony, as well as native species to educate the general public and determine their usefulness. They even had acclimatization programs for introduced species like sparrows ! Seed banks and herbaria were developed and seeds and plants exchanged between other botanic gardens all over the world. Many of our common garden plants were the result of discovery by plant collectors in remote areas during the Victorian era , who then transported plants, cuttings and seeds back home in protective Wardian cases (photo below) for propagation in Botanic Gardens.Blog Early19cent BG20%Reszd2013-06-21 13.21.11

Today, they play a key role in :

  • Plant conservation and diversity
  • Education of the public on environmental issues
  • Mitigation of the effects of climate change
  • Survival of the planet with seed exchange and helping ecosystems adapt to new climates in different regions.

H. Bruce Rinker has written a beautiful article titled ‘The Weight of a Petal: The Value of Botanical Gardens’ (see : http://www.actionbioscience.org/biodiversity) , in which he points out their vital role in the genetic protection of threatened species. Over 34,000 plant species are currently threatened – mainly due to the effects of increasing population : deforestation, habitat loss, the spread of invasive species and agricultural expansion – and 2/3 of the world plant species are in danger of extinction by the end of the 21st Century.

The first botanical gardens in Australia were founded in the capital cities and major regional towns in the early 19th century. As time went on, their roles and garden design evolved according to the fashions of the day. There was a lull over the first half of the 20th century due to the depressions of the 1890s and 1930s and two World Wars, but as economic times improved in the 1960s and 1970s, more money was allocated for the development of new botanic gardens, as well as improving the existing ones. Because there are over 140 botanic gardens in Australia, the following list (in order of their creation) is only a portion of them, most of which we have visited and I will include brief notes about their special attributes.

  1. Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, 30ha, 1816

http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/

: Prime location in the heart of Sydney at Farm Cove with sweeping lawns right down to the edge of Sydney Harbour.

: Oldest scientific institution in Australia

: Site of the first farm in the new colony (1788), its story recounted in the First Farm display . Cadi Jam Ora : First Encounters is a display which tells the story of the Cadigal people, the traditional Aboriginal owners of the Sydney city area, and features plants that originally grew on the site of the Royal Botanic Garden.

: Large number of early colonial buildings and structures, including the last remnant of the  Macquarie Wall (1810-1812).

: Many feature gardens of exotics and natives, including rare and threatened species from all over the world.

: National Herbarium of NSW and an excellent library and shop

: Many fountains, sculptures and memorials. See : http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/welcome/royal_botanic_garden/tours_education/self-guided_tours/art_and_memorials.

I have always loved the celestial sphere sundial in the herb garden.Blog Early19cent BG40%Reszdnov 2011 102Blog Early19cent BG40%Reszdnov 2011 105

2. Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, 14ha, 1818

http://www.rtbg.tas.gov.au/

: My first Botanic garden in my birth state, so will always hold a special place in my heart! Another superb location on Queen’s Domain overlooking the blue waters of the Derwent River. The photo on the right below is the view from the Burrow underneath the Visitors’ Centre over the Derwent River. The feature photo for 19th Century Botanical Gardens is of the entrance to these botanic gardens.Blog Early19cent BG20%Reszd2013-06-21 13.10.42Blog Early19cent BG20%Reszd2013-06-21 13.13.01: 2nd oldest botanic garden in Australia with a number of heritage listed buildings,  2 convict-built heated walls (1829) to afford protection for frost-tender plants and extend the growing period of fruit trees and a Lily Pond built in 1840. I have fond memories of a performance from the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party set on that lily pond! Les Winspear (see photo) played the Mock Turtle singing ‘Will you, won’t you. Will you won’t you. Will you join the dance? ‘.  There is also an iconic stone arch from the old AMP building ( Anniversary Arch, 1913) at the bottom of  the steps leading down from the Lily Pond terrace.Blog Early19cent BG20%ReszdIMG_0623Blog Early19cent BG20%Reszd2013-06-21 12.58.02: Historic plant collections, especially of plants from the Southern Hemisphere (including an early collection of New Zealand plants) and a large number of Significant Trees from the 19th century.

: Specialises in Cool Temperate Flora and has an important conservation collection of Tasmanian plants.Blog Early19cent BG20%Reszd2013-06-21 12.30.47Blog Early19cent BG20%Reszd2013-06-21 12.38.08 : There are beautiful green lawns  and display gardens. As a kid, I always loved the Floral Clock. There is also a Japanese garden, a Chinese collection,a French Memorial Fountain to commemorate the French explorers visiting Tasmania, an Epacrid Garden (Gondwana), a herb garden, a conservatory, a fernery, a Fuschia House and the world’s only Subantarctic Plant House! There is also a Community Food Garden, which is often featured on Gardening Australia on ABC with Tino Carnevale.Blog Early19cent BG20%Reszd2013-06-21 12.28.35Blog Early19cent BG20%Reszd2013-06-21 12.28.183. Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne, 38ha, 1845

http://www.rbg.vic.gov.au/      and

http://www.onmydoorstep.com.au/heritage-listing/12407/royal-botanic-gardens

: Also in the heart of the city on the banks of the Yarra River.

: Sweeping lawns and ornamental lakes and displays of more than 50,000 plants, representing 10,000 different species (31 plant collections) from all corners of the globe. See : http://www.rbg.vic.gov.au/visit-melbourne/attractions/plant-collections. The lakes are beautiful and form the backdrop to theatre productions like ‘Wind in the Willows’. Some have floating islands on them.Blog Early19cent BG40%ReszdIMG_0417Blog Early19cent BG40%Reszdjens visit jan 2010 135

: Site of the Melbourne Observatory built from 1861-1863;  the Plant Craft Cottage, 1850, which is the oldest building in a public garden in Victoria; 1854 Director’s Residence (now Gardens House) and 1901 Temple of the Winds , as well as numerous heritage gates, pavilions, lodges, nurseries and fences.Blog Early19cent BG40%ReszdIMG_0414