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

Posts tagged ‘Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne’

Australian Native Botanical Garden Visit – Part 2

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!

A Native Australian Botanic Garden

This post should possibly be titled ‘A Short visit to a Native Australian Botanic Garden’ because the day did not turn out quite as planned, but never mind, there is still something to share.

My daughter gazing across the 'ephemeral lake' in 2006. This arid 'red dirt' scene was made to evoke central Australia. Not a typical Victorian landscape!

We are very fortunate in Victoria to have had a new addition to the Royal Botanical Gardens in recent years. The new addition is at Cranbourne on Melbourne’s South Eastern outskirts. What makes these gardens special is that they consist only of native species.

Grass Trees 2006

The gardens opened in 2006 and our little family visited soon after the opening. All but the last photo here are from 2006 (click on any to enlarge). Note the blue sky.

Today we returned to see what had changed and to hopefully get some ideas for developing a garden of  bird attracting species of our own.

Today’s visit was cut short. We had headed off on a sunny warm afternoon  for the hour and a half trip toward Melbourne without checking the weather. It is unusual for us to head out without having some idea of the forecast, but there you go, it happens.

Sculpted creek bed with space for future garden development at rear 2006

By the time we had reached the gate of the garden the clouds had rolled across the blue sky. After a very belated check of the weather radar on D’s phone it was clear a storm front was rolling in. Oh. After a quick conference we decided we had come this far, we might as well have a look and we could beat a hasty retreat to the café if need be and pop back out when the storm passed. After all, it’s only a bit of rain isn’t it?!

Reflection from sculpture 2006

Ha! This was a storm to be reckoned with and we were soon heading for the car and home. At one stage we drove through an area that looked like it had been snowing. Further investigation revealed hail the size of large marbles. In the end we were just happy to get home safe and sound.

March 2010. The start of the storm...looking tame at this point!

So, although I had plans of sharing with you a whole series of posts focusing on different native species, the trip resulted only in a few hurried snaps as the sky darkened and the wind began to whip up. But I did manage to snap a few interesting plants and I’ll be back tomorrow to share them!