Discovering a hidden haven in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria, Australia

As promised, here are a few photos of the Australian native plants we did manage to snap during yesterday’s ill-fated trip to the Royal Botanical Gardens – Cranbourne Australian Garden.

Corymbia Summer Glory

It turns out that this Corymbia is a grafted hybrid, which was a surprise. I’m not used to thinking of our native plants as the sort of thing that gets grafted!

Banksia spinulosa 'Birthday Candles'

Don’t these Banksia ‘Birthday Candles’ look great in this tub? Like they were no trouble to grow? Banksia is one of the many Australian native plants I have killed with great efficiency. I’ll come back to my lack of success with native plants another time, but something tells me it’s time I learnt about phosphorus!

A closer look at Banksia 'Birthday Candles'

unlabeled prostrate Banksia

Acacia cognata - 'Lime Magik'

I don’t want too much grey-green for my – so far – imaginary native garden.  I was very taken with this soft looking acacia cognata. It is a pretty lime green that the photos don’t quite capture.

A closer look at Acacia cognata - Lime Magik

Eremophila Longiflolia - sorry about the poor photo, the wind was shaking the flowers!

I am not familiar with Eremophilas and have since learnt that they are arid region plants, which might explain my ignorance. I did like the look of this red one and a white one we looked at. The flowers are pretty and the plant has a lovely soft look. My reading so far suggests that they cope ok with a temperate region, so I might try my hand with it if I can find one to kill grow.

Eremophila longifolia

Grass Trees 2010

I don’t think my garden will ever be sculptural enough to accommodate  Xanthorrhoeagrass trees. But we did enjoy looking at them in this setting and if you have a look at the link, you will see they are a plant our community has not cared for well in recent years.

Don't touch, you'll get a paper cut!

Freak storms aside, now was probably not the ideal time to visit this garden. It was opened to the public in 2006, but is effectively only half its eventual size. The garden is undergoing major earth works in preparation for a mid 2011 opening of stage two, as you will see below.

Things to come...if you click on this you can read more.

Stage two of the garden will be very muddy today!

So, best plan your visit for 2012 to get the most our of this emerging Botanic garden!


Comments on: "Australian Native Botanical Garden Visit – Part 2" (17)

  1. Truly unique those plants …. understandably so for most islands, big or small. The first flowers resemble “jambu air” grown in Malaysia, with edible fruits.

  2. We sell Banksia as a cut flower at the shop, interesting to see how it grows.
    I guess you have some incentive to get back and see how the new gardens they are building turn out.

    • Hello Deborah, we have a banksia forest in our region made up of tall banksia trees. I like them as a feature plant, but there is something ominous about a forest of them.
      They do look good in a floral arrangement, but I’d imagine they would be a bit tricky to work with!

  3. I am glad you got home safely despite the bad storm. The photos of theses exotic plants are lovely. The grass trees remind me of shaggy-headed people! I hope to see more of this lovely garden through your future posts on days with better weather.

    • Hello Deborah, the grass trees are certainly interesting aren’t they?!
      I do hope to do a follow up post one day when the weather is better and I’m not racing through the garden at high speed!

  4. The Corymbia flowers are stunning! I’ve always loved the Birthday Candles … wish I could grow that one … I’ve tried growing acacias, banksias and melaleucas before, but haven’t had much success at all up here in the tropics. Now I just appreciate the ones that grow naturally in the bushland around me!

    • Hello Bernie, I was quite taken with the corymbia too, but it doesn’t sound like it’s terribly hardy, so I think I’ll hang off trying to grow one myself!
      I’m determined to try my hand at growing some banksias again and maybe some melaleucas for the first time too. But I have lots of reading to do first!

  5. Ah, the imaginary garden…. sounds like mine. 🙂

  6. sorry the trip was truncated by weather tantrums, but the photos you did get are wonderful! Hardly a plant amongst them that I’ve ever seen for real, except in photographs.

  7. Hello Jodi – I’m glad you enjoyed the few photos I managed to take!
    Hopefully one day I can present some more sequenced posts about the plant groupings and so forth at the garden…on a day when I’ve checked the weather!

  8. I see some of my favorites that grow here as well…Eucalyptus and Eremophila. Both are in my Arizona garden :^)

  9. Heidi, thanks for sharing! It all looks wonderfully exotic to my eye, and I’d say the Corymbia “Summer Glory” was aptly named. It’s like fireworks in the landscape, I bet. Glorious indeed. 🙂

  10. Hi Meredith – that stunning corymbia shone out on the day, even as the clouds darkened! I wonder if the flowers are still intact after the storm.

  11. 40 + roses…WOW! And confusion will reign?!?! What fun! LOL! Fabulous photos!

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