Australian National Botanic Gardens
A weekly news sheet prepared by a Gardens' volunteer.
Numbers in square brackets [ ] refer to garden bed Sections. Plants in flower are in bold type.
23 May 2008
The Rock Garden is a place of mostly small colourful plants so this walk is all about finding them regardless as so many are laden with young buds awaiting warmer spring days. So, commencing below the waterfall walking in a clockwise direction where Gymea Lilies, Doryanthes excelsa [Section 15C] with large buds on top of tall spikes surrounded by large sword-like leaves. Edging the steps Banksia integrifolia subsp. integrifolia [Section 15C], the Coastal Banksia, is a prostrate plant, spreading across the path, with silver backed leaves and many upright cylindrical lemon flower spikes. Opposite, Correa ‘Ivory Bells’ [Section 15D] has ivory coloured flowers in profusion over the dense shrub while behind it is Banksia ‘Honeypots’ [Section 15D] supposedly a dwarf shrub presenting its long honey coloured flower spikes.
In the centre of this garden is an emu-bush, Eremophila maculata var. brevifolia [Section 15F] is an upright shrub with bright crimson flowers mixed with its leaves. Lomandra leucocephala subsp. robusta [Section 15F] is a small tufted plant with rounded clusters of woolly cream flowers surrounded by the grass-like leaves. Hibbertia serpyllifolia [Section 15F] is a small upright shrub bright with open yellow flowers cradled between rocks.
Grevillea lanigera [Section 15W] has a dense coverage of cherry red buds maturing to spider-like flowers over this groundcover plant which flows down the slope while up the stairs, Grevillea ‘Masons Hybrid’ [Section 15H] is a grand old shrub with large terminal flower spikes coloured cream with long red stamens on its long meandering branches. (These two well established shrubs are some of which were mentioned in this news sheet as far back as 1997.) Edging the top road Scaevola albida var. albida [Section 15H] is a low spreading plant conspicuous with its coverage of small white fan-shaped flowers. Close by is Dampiera sylvestris [Section 15H], a suckering plant with blue flowers on upright stems. Close to the corner Olearia astroloba [Section 15H] produces mauve daisies over the medium dense shrub while at the corner Cryptandra sp. [Section 15H] covers its small dense shrub with cream buds which will mature white flowers.
Taking the path down between the Grass trees, Xanthorrhoea johnsonii [Section 15J,14] Banksia ‘Birthday Candles’ [Section 15L] dwarf shrub bears many golden flower spikes above its dense foliage. This other small garden bed is clad with Scleranthus biflorus [Section 15N], attractive low spreading moss-like cushion plants.
Following the downward path, Lysiosepalum involucratum [Section 15R] has dark centred pink flowers over the low compact shrub while opposite, Correa pulchella ‘Pink Mist’ [Section 15S] displays pendulous soft pink tube shaped flowers. Lower down, Correa ‘Cane’s Hybrid’ [Section 15S] is also dense with flowers coloured red with pale green mouth. Thryptomene denticulata [Section 15S], behind the seat, is semi-prostrate with arching branches clad with tiny pink flowers. In front of the waterfall the small garden has numerous emu-bushes which include Eremophila christophori [Section 15V], an upright shrub displaying its soft mauve bugle shaped flowers.
Sit awhile, enjoy the beauty of the waterfall and its surrounds… its just magical especially with the blue wrens which seem to spring along the paths, and the wattlebirds which now are bathing in the pool.
Really a magical place … Barbara Daly.