I finally got around to visiting the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens this week. I’ve driven past sooo many times and always wondered what it was like. Well, it’s beautiful, and inspiring. I spent about an hour and a half wandering around, and there’s still plenty I didn’t get to. It’s gorgeously laid out, and well maintained, without being too manicured. There are labels on pretty much everything, which is very handy for someone like me who’s planning all sorts of plantings at home. And doesn’t really know what will grow here!
I loved the area with all the oak trees; it reminded me of the UK. It’s autumn here, well winter this week in fact, so the leaves are falling. Even at this time of year there was still loads to see, I look forward to visiting in Spring, when no doubt there’ll be tons more colour. And I’d love to visit on a sunny day, I reckon blue skies and sunshine would highlight it all fabulously! Ooh, and there’s a lovely café / restaurant where I ate some delicious ricotta cake. It was chocolately too 🙂
Favourite bits (in no particular order, and photos at the end!):
- Sub-antarctic garden – bring your woolies for this! Includes sound effects. Will post a video separately, hopefully…
- Community garden, with loads of fruit and veggies. Includes several olive trees, with one huge old one. This seemed to be hosting a party of birds high in the branches who were busy trying to drop olives on my head! This area also had a kiwi fruit vine which I’ve never seen before. And several tamarillo trees. I’ve got no idea what they taste like, but they look really cool!
- Conservatory – Fabulous stone building crammed with plants, including some fantastic orchids.
- Brick walls – I’ve always had a thing for walled gardens – and The Secret Garden was one of my favorite children’s books. This wasn’t a walled garden as such, but I loved the more formal garden on one side, with the huge trees towering beyond it. A little more research tells me that this is the Arthur Wall. Convict built, and originally heated! Until they discovered the climate was mild enough without.
- A really big tree! At the entrance. One of several absolute monsters.
- A Huon pine. At 35, a few years younger than me, and only about 1m tall. These amazing trees are terribly slow growing, and highly valued for their beautiful timber. It has a very high natural oil content which makes it very resistant to water, and they only grow in very restricted environments, so they’re now quite rare. Tahune Airwalk has an area where you can see more of them (I’d totally recommend this place too – it’s fab). FFx