We recently spent a couple of days celebrating our anniversary in a beachside area of Sydney.
Sydney on a summer’s day is full of sunshine, colour and birds. I had fun taking photos of the suburban gardens and our ferry trip into the city..
This small tree is one of the most widely planted ornamental eucalyptus trees in Australia. It only grows about 5 metres tall so is suitable for gardens in Sydney. It has a pretty cluster of flowers dripping with nectar for the birds…..a win/win for any garden.
This grassy ever green (and purple) plant is used in many gardens in Australia. (alas not Canberra as it is not suitable for cold winters.)The wispy feathery grass is also often seen in public parks and gardens or embankments, but I have rarely seen one so healthy and well placed. It was tempting to run my hands along it every time we passed by…
Relatively speaking Sydney did not have many COVID cases or lockdowns during this last year, however the lack of tourists and people moving around the city was very obvious. Only three people boarded the ferry with us, and we chose to sit outside…absolute bliss on a sunny day!
After the ferry ride, we went to an art exhibition, had a quick lunch, and then a stroll through the Australian native section of the Royal Botanic gardens .
Banksias are well suited to Australian conditions, not only do they provide food for birds, but they can re-sprout after fire! A fellow gardener told me that after the Canberra fires, a Banksia in her garden, quickly re-grew, and two or three gardens in the street also found they had new Banksias in their gardens too!
The Royal Botanic Gardens of Sydney spreads from the city centre to the edge of the harbour.
How very enlightened were the city planners to save this slice of heaven for all to enjoy!
Once we were back at Balmoral beach we stopped off at a small restaurant, and had some lovely fresh fish and dessert.
When I showed Paul the photo he pointed out that I had also taken a photo of the old quarantine station.
North Head is known as Car-rang-gel by the Gayamagal People and was once used for spiritual ceremonies and rituals. This land was part of the setting for the earliest interaction between Aboriginal people and early European settlers and explorers.
This quarantine station was in operation from August 1832 to February 1984. It was established to regulate the risk of disease, with the arrival of free and convict Europeans and the merchant trading ships.
The practise of quarantine began in the 14th century in an effort to protect coastal cities from plagues and epidemics. The word quarantine was derived from the Italian words ”quaranta giorni” which meant ”forty days” Ships arriving in Venice from infected parts were required to sit at anchor for 40 days before offloading on shore…at least the ships coming to Australia did not have to wait quite so long!
During the period 1910-1950 the facilities increased and improved and in 1918-19 the centre held the maximum number of people following the influenza epidemic.
Despite our beautiful surroundings it was a timely reminder of the epidemics of the past and the fragility of the world we live in.
Thank you for visiting my blog today, and I hope your days are filled with sunshine and gardening, and perhaps some left-over chocolate from Easter.
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