Canberra, as with many young cities, is growing rapidly, and sometimes the rush to build overtakes the need to plan long term….so thank goodness the National Botanic Gardens were planned and planted in the 1960s and it is now in the heart of the city.
During summer I joined a walking group to re-discover some of the joys of the National Botanic Gardens. I have written a few posts on some of the diverse parts of the gardens, The Red Centre Garden, and the Rainforest Gully.
The walks are coming to an end this week, so here is a last snapshot of some of the plants and places we have passed by.. …
This is the Wollemi Pine, one of the world’s rarest and most ancient tree species.
The Wollemi Pine belongs to the 200 million year old Araucariaceae family. It was, until 1994, believed to be extinct. David Noble, a National Parks and Wildlife Officer was bushwalking and abseiling in 1994, and came across an unusual plant in a National Park close to Sydney.
Scientists and Horticulturalists were amazed, as is the general public…because the Wollemi Pine comes from the age of dinosaurs…there are very few left in the wild..
Palaeontologists say it is likely that the dinosaur crossed paths with the Wollemi Pine and may have eaten Wollemi leaves….amazing!
There are a small amount of Wollemi Pines still in the wild, and they are protected, both from human intervention and from fire, to ensure their survival.
However, people can now buy and grow a Wollemi Pine (if you have a very large garden!) and become part of one of the most dramatic comebacks in natural history.
The trees that do dominate the landscape of the Gardens are the Eucalypts.
In summer visitors enjoy concerts under the trees, children come for ”Eucalyptus by Gum” educational adventure, couples get married, groups meet to have picnics.
There are more than one hundred species to be seen if you wander across the Eucalypt lawn.
As we’ve walked around the gardens we were amazed at the colour and texture of bark on the Eucalypt trees……
The tree below is called a Smooth-barked Apple…it is eye catching and smooth as silk to feel..
It was one of the earliest Eucalypts collected by Europeans, Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander who travelled with Captain Cook in 1770. It is quite easy to see why they wanted to take a sample home.
The Gardens are also the perfect place for photography enthusiasts …..
…where else would you see King Parrots looking so beguiling….
This shy New Holland Honey Eater is darting between the banksias….hard to catch..
Autumn is a wonderful season in Canberra, and I hope to write a few more posts about my home town before winter begins!
Copyright Geraldine Mackey. All rights reserved.