Friday, 10 October 2008

Canberra Botanic gardens

I love the way this tree branches out from the ground. Can't remember it's name.
This is the Paper bark forest. As the name suggests these trees have papery bark.
This is just one of the many grevillea flowers in flower at the gardens. The flowers on this one are about 8cm long.
My favourite Australian flowering plant of all time. The gymea lily or properly called, Doryanthes Excelsior. Aren't they wonderful. They look like something that you would have seen in a dinosaur movie. Huge. These plants are tough and grow along just inland from the eastern coast of Australia. They don't like it inland and are quite fussy where they grow otherwise.I don't know about western Australia though. When you drive through the Royal National park just south of Sydney they are scattered throughout the bush everywhere. Nowadays they are often seen planted along the median strips and roadsides around Sydney.
Another type of wattle. I particularly liked the way that the leaves were arranged on this specimen. They were stiff and spiky on the tips.
This is a small Waratah bush. They grow much bigger than this one. This is another plant that was difficult to grow in gardens until they grafted it. You can now get it it white and yellow and pink. I think its natural form is red and maybe the white specimen. The best specimen I ever saw of one of these was outside the front door of the cafe at the Sublime point lookout on the escarpment below the Sydney Royal National park. The flowers on it must have been 40 or 50cm across, and absolutely perfect.
This is the waratah again. Other, proper name is telopea. I think this specimen is indigenous to the Braidwood area.
A white waratah. A bit worse the wear but you get the idea.
This pretty red flower is called a net flower. It is on a small tree.I had not seen this before, the flower heads were a bit bigger than 10 cm across.
The spectacular Sturt's Desert Pea. The flowers on this one were about12 cm long. The size varies, probably depending on how happy it is with its conditions. I have seen bigger ones.
This shows the form of the plant. It is a low growing creeper type of thing which grows on sandy splaces like outback sand dunes or I have seen it on bare stony hard ground too. I talked to a lady in a road house years ago about this plant ( it grew in the area) and she was complaining how there is much less of it around than she used to see years ago because travellers would see it and stop to pick the flowers and therefore take the precious seeds away with them.Seed which wouldn't grow anywhere else easily anyway.
This pretty little bell was about 4cm long and I don't know what it was called either.
This one was a small low growing shrub.
Another one I can't name.Tiny flowers, less than a cm across.
Don't know the name of this but it was a big flower head, probably 10cm across, soft and fluffy.
Another one I can not name.Tiny flowers , delicate, about a cm across.
This is one of the everlastings. I have tried to grow these several times but never had any luck with them. The flower was about 4 or 5 cm across. For anyone who doesn't know these they usually grow one flower to a stem, up to 2 ft high and the petals are crisp and papery. You can dry them upside down in bunches and use them for dried flower arrangements easily. They will keep their color dried for ever. They come up in the desert and grasslands everywhere after rain in springtime to form beautiful wildflower carpets. I remember when I was a child not being able to resist wandering off into them to pick them. Once when we were driving from Darwin to Alice Springs I wandered off up a hill full of them and my family drove off without me thinking I was in the car. I was 9 yrs old. Picking wildflowers is strictly forbidden nowadays.
A pink everlasting daisy.
And a large yellow one. The flower on this is about 7 or 8 cm across.
This is a closer look at the Hardenbergia. It is also known as a Sarsaparilla.There were lots of plants around the garden with flowers in this pea form. I saw yellow, orange, white and red pea flowers on different plants. Some were bushes and others creepers and vines.You can also get a darker purple hardenbergia and a white one.
This is a Banksia flower. There are many different banksias in Australia and they are in the same family as Proteas which come from Africa. this one was around 35cm tall.
This is a seed pod that forms after the banksia flower is finished. This is not the same plant as the previous picture but the seed pod is similar. There is a series of famous children's stories by May Gibbs in which these seed pods are a character called "Big Bad Banksia Men". Many of the wood seed capsules look like scary faces.
Banksia seed pods only open after they are burnt in a bush fire and the seed won't germinate until after it has been burnt. Lots of our native plants have adapted to their environment similarly.
This is the famous Geralton Wax flower. It is a native to western australia originally and was hard to grow out of it's natural area until botanists grafted it onto a tougher roots stock making it available to home gardeners around the country.I had one of these doing beautifully in my Junee garden. Well, just look at it who would be without one. My plant in Junee flowered for 7 months of the year.
Don't know the name of this one either.The delicate flowers were 3cm across.
Don't know what this little bush is either.

This is a Hardenbergia. It is a vine or ground cover and is a popular garden plant here. Drought tolerant and tough.
Don't know what this one is called but it is in the asteracea family.
A Hibbertia.
Above is the National Carillon. It was playing while I was there yesterday morning. It has 55 bells and was a gift from the British Government to commemorate Canberra being 50 years old. It is on a little island in Lake Burley Griffin. Walter Burley Griffin was the bloke who planned the layout of Canberra.
Lake Burley Griffin. Looking back towards the city from beside the Carillon.
This is the Rainforest gully in the Botanic Gardens. Beautiful!
This is the tropical garden inside the glasshouse.
Don't know what this is called but it was pretty. The flowers were about 5cm long.
Please enbiggen the pictures for a better look.
It is Friday morning here. A bit cool inside but I am sure it is lovely outside in the sun, I have not been out there yet.
Yes! I went to the Botanic Gardens yesterday. Mum and I spent about 5 hours there. I absolutely loved it. Everything is either in flower or threatening to burst into flower in celebration of the new spring season. Lovely.I walked around everywhere and took pictures of all the flowers. My camera memory kept getting full so I had to stop several times to cull out the photos that were not so good so that I could keep taking more photos. He he. I now know that my memory card holds 75 pictures. I want a bigger one! We had lunch in the cafe there again, so I have designated Hudson's cafe as my new favorite place to have lunch here in Canberra.
The gardens here are dedicated to all Australian native plants. I read in the pamphlet that it contains 7000 of the 17,500 species of flora indigenous to this country. It is divided up into sections dedicated to specific areas like the Mallee, the Sydney area, the rain forest gully's, rock garden, Tasmanian rain forests, woodlands and grasslands and there is a few glasshouses that display tropical plants. That is not all of them just some.There are are also areas dedicated to specific genus. My favorites were in flower for me to ogle at too, some waratahs and banksias and the lovely paper or everlasting daisys were flowering in white pink and yellow. The spectacular Sturts Desert pea was flowering in big pots. They are very special needs plants and come from the desert areas inland so I thought it was great to see them here in Canberra. It is amazing what you can get to grow by tweaking special soil and climate conditions to suit. And the most spectacular one of all, Doryanthes Excelsior, commonly known as the gymea lily. Gymea is a suburb of Sydney.
I had better go do some cleaning as I have a house inspection next wednesday. I hope this does not put everyone off being such a long post about nothing but flowers.
Bye Love Linda.


Winterwood said...

Linda - I feel as it i've been to visit canberra now! I love all those flowers, the colours and particularly at this time of the year when they are at their peak!

Those sturt peas look like tiny red bats to me! What a lovely capital city we have! have you been to lake burly G yet?

Shadow said...

thanks for sharing your nature with me! those little red one's made me think of bats for some reason....

Peter said...

G'day Linda May, loved the botanic gardens and the lovely photos, also the two previous posts... Spring time is wonderful isn't it.Might be going through Canberra for a quick look early in Nov, on the way to see Merle in Shepparton.

ァク said...

Beautiful! I've been to Melbourne Botanic Garden, also bsautiful. I'm a Japanese landscaep architect living in Malaysia. You can see my tropical plants diary here.

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