Thursday, January 5, 2012

Flower Flaunt ... from our Australian National Botanic Gardens.

Something a little different for my flaunt this Friday... I've just returned from a little jaunt away from home and have been enjoying the sights of our nation's capital city, Canberra.  One of the highlights of the week I spent down there was my visit to the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

It's a place I've longed to visit for quite some time now, knowing that it's a showcase for some of our spectacular and unique Australian flora.  Originally opened back in 1970, our National Botanic Gardens was one of the first in the world to focus on the study and display of our country's native plant species.  You won't see beds of annuals or roses, and you won't see many of the plants that grow in my garden either.  Introduced plants and trees like Poincianas, Cassias, Acalyphas and Crotons, that are common sights here in the tropics, are nowhere to be seen in these gardens.

This garden is often referred to simply as 'Australia's Garden', as around one-third of our country's diverse native flora species is on display in a spectacular 40 hectare bushland setting.  That's around 6,000 native species, with a collection of over 74,000 individual plants.

Upon our arrival we were greeted by a stunning Crimson Rosella.  I've always wanted to see one of these beautiful birds in reality and I spent ages trying to get shots of this one before walking into the Visitors' Centre where my very patient husband was waiting with a rather resigned look on his face.

Anyway, after a quick saunter round the Visitors' Centre, we were off, following the 'Main Path Loop' which is a 1.5 kilmetre loop around only one small section of the gardens. We spent just over an hour walking the loop and I wish I could have lingered longer, but it was a rather warm day and we quite simply ran out of time.

We began our stroll at the Rainforest Gully, featuring rainforest plants of Australia's eastern coastline from Queensland to Tasmania ...

on through the conifers section, where we spotted an Australian King Parrot, which I've longed to see in the wild.

Our wander then led us through the Rock Garden,

where there's a terrific display of Kangaroo Paws or Anigoznathus, (which I just can't grow up here despite numerous efforts!)

opposite a beautiful display of daisies,

 including Chrysocephalum apiculatum

and Helichrysum bracteatum.

The Rock Garden area was one place I would have loved to spend a lot more time exploring, but time was short, and unfortunately I missed out on seeing the many treasures to be found there.

Luckily though, I did manage to spot this magnificent Ptilotus exaltatus, which I've only ever seen in photos before.

We continued on past the Acacia collection partly seen in the shot above,

where we spotted some fabulous wattle flowers.

Then we wandered through the magnificent Eucalypt Lawn,

where we spotted a Pied Currawong with its piercing yellow eyes.

The Main Path then took us past the Sydney Region flora section, where there were quite a few lovely plants in flower including ...

the Sydney Flannel Flower or Actinotus helianthi,

and Christmas Bells or Blandfordia grandiflora

We continued on past the Proteaceae section, containing one of the gardens largest and most decorative plant families.  It contains about 900 species in generas such as Grevillea, Banksia and Hakea.  Now I'm afraid I don't know the names of many of the plants I photographed in this section of the gardens, but I'm sure you will enjoy looking at them despite the lack of specific I.D.s!

There was a noticeable change in plant form then as we wandered on through the Monocotlydeon section which includes plants such as ...

the Gymea Lily or Doryanthes excelsa, which is summer produces a very tall flower spike topped by a cluster of large crimson flowers ....

and some of the Australian Grass Trees, the Xanthorrhoea species.

We then strolled rather hurriedly through the Myrtaceae section as it was now the middle of a summer's day and the sunlight was becoming rather fierce.   The family Myrtaceae dominates the Australian vegetation with about 1700 species, and includes prominent plant groups such as the Eucalypts, the Calliestemons or Bottlebrushes and the Melaleucas or Tea Trees and Paperbarks.

Our stroll then took us on to Hudson's Cafe, where we sat down to enjoy a cool drink before finally wandering through the Tasmanian Rainforest Gully.

The floor of this shady gully is dominated by Tree Ferns, Dicksonia antartica, and the difference in temperature and humidity strikes you immediately as you wander along the pathways. It was such a refreshing and delightful way to end our visit.

I'm joining Fertiliser Friday / Flaunt Your Flowers,

Floral Friday Fotos


  1. Cudowne miejsce. Jeden cały dzień, to też by było za mało, żeby wszystko zobaczyć. Piękne drzewa, kwiaty i cudowne paprocie. Dziękuję,że mogłam na to popatrzeć. Pozdrawiam.

    A wonderful place. One day, it also would be enough to see everything. Beautiful trees, flowers and beautiful ferns. Thank you, that I could look at it. Yours.

  2. OH WOW!!! Stunning. It's hard to find words to describe how I would love to walk through these gardens, I saw a TV program yesterday that showed the exact same gardens just breath taking to see such unusual plants. Some are familiar some I have recently seen in my special books! I think Australia is going to the top of the holiday list!

  3. Gorgeous, gorgeous Bernie! I have read that cities have parks but Canberra is a park! Quite correct! I went into the Parliament building and talked to one of the guards. I asked him if he could tell where I was from by my drawl. He said US....south! I said Tennessee and he replied..
    Jack Daniels Whiskey! Still laugh at that one!

  4. Just beautiful Bernie, so many fantastic plants that I would never get a chance to see.


  5. Thanks Giga. I'm only too happy to share the wealth of lovely flora flourishing in our country.

    Sueb, yes Australia had better be on your list!!! Lol! It is a wonderful corner of the world, what can I say! Not being one-eyed or anything.

    Jean, yes that sounds like typical Aussie humour .. recognising a state for its liquor!!!

    Eileen, glad to hear you enjoyed the wander as well.

  6. Happy New Year Bernie, that is a fabulous walk. You remind me of my 3-month stay in NSW. I am amazed at the passion of Ausies for their flora and fauna, and their environment. How i wish we have less population to also give our environment those attention! I remember going to a bushwalk the next day i arrived and be welcomed by that unusual top-heavy grass and cookaburra's laugh! My 2nd week we went to rhododendron festival on the way to Blue Mountains. Most weekend my lab mate took me to either beaches, lakes or forests and I am very glad to see waratah in its natural habitat. I've also seen those white flannel flowers carpeting the grounds to Nelson, where i rode a big horse, and the yellow carpets on the way to Nelson Bay. A prof-friend from Uni Sydney, and Macquarie also took me to walks showing me flowers and plants, and how to pick flowers without being fined, LOL. This is down memory lane Bernie. You can say i love and miss Australia.

  7. Oh, fantastic, Bernie! I'm so glad you went --- and even gladder ('s a word) --- that you took lots of photos. It looks like a wonderful spot.

    Have you ever been to the Points Arboretum, Coleraine, SW Vic? It specialises in eucalypts. It's not magnificently landscaped --- a rather smaller budget supports it --- but it has a wonderful range. And it's not far from the chocolate factory in town.

  8. Andrea, I know that Australia holds a special place in your heart. It would be terrific if you could get back for a visit so you can enjoy all our wonderful wildlife and flora again. While I do believe most of us are very aware that we are lucky to live in such a brilliant place, there's still a lot more that can be done to preserve what we have here. The National Botanic Gardens certainly does its part.

    Snail, I'm so glad I went too!!! Oh if only I had had more time to spend there, I would have meandered along all the other pathways. You could easily spend an entire day there and still not see everything. No I haven't been to the Arboretum in Coleraine, but it sounds like a place that should be on my must-visit-list.

  9. Fantastic shots, Bernie! It's amazing what variety of native flora we have here in Australia and in what unique forms. Seeing all your photos from this wonderful garden highlights the abundance of natural beauty we have here in our country. We should all think twice before we out planting the azalea bushes in our gardens...
    Many thanks for participating in Floral Friday Fotos!

  10. Delightful! I will try to visit (with my camera) when next in Canberra.....whenever that may be.

    Thank you for identifying my flower for me too!

  11. Wow, fantastic shots!
    What a beautiful place.
    Thanks for sharing.

  12. How wonderful to have a totally native garden to view. We have several that attempt the theme here.

    I wonder what it is about the Kangeroo Paw. I notice gardeners here have trouble with it also. I think our area is about the same as your home as we share a lot of the same successful plantings.

    Your post made me laugh as I, too, have a husband that silently tolerates my photo taking.

  13. wonderful flowers! thanks for joining us :)

  14. The trees are fantastic, as are the flowers, and the birds! Beautiful!
    Hugs, Beth

  15. What lovely blooms! I will have to save up and check out your Aussie garden.

  16. Wow - wonderful shots. What an awesome place to go for photos!

  17. great photos Bernie, it's truly a wonderful place.

  18. Hi there! Thank you for having the tenacity to 'hang in there' and capture that photograph of Crimson Rosella. It may be my only opportunity to see one in its environment and I appreciate you sharing it with me.

  19. beautiful! I would love to see it in person botanical gardens are always a great place to photograph!

  20. wow.. that's a lot of flowers.. very lovely.

    Pinkish Pink

  21. Great post with beautiful photos. I enjoyed them very much.

    Thank you for sharing.


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