I'm a regular visitor at our city Royal Botanic Gardens. I LOVE the sweeping lawns, majestic broad trees under planted with species from around the world, and the various scenic panoramas as you traverse the pathways up and around and across. There's a cafe down by the lake with Melbourne's best scones with jam and cream. My friend Anne & I spend hours skirting the lily pond, puffing up the hills and then commandeering a table in the shade for a well earned cake & coffee.
But this time Rob and I visited the Botanic Garden's other campus, the Australian Garden at Cranbourne on the city's South Eastern fringe. It was ANZAC Day (the day that's become a day to express Australian identity) so a fitting time to visit a garden dedicated to showcasing Australian plants from around the country. By late April we really should be seeing Autumn leaves but instead it was essential to keep the sun away. Lucky thing I had a FishPetals Pepperberry hat!
As you can see from the photos the Cranbourne garden places an emphasis on dry environment plants and has replicated the outback with a huge dish of red dirt. This bowl is the central feature of the gardens and everything spirals around it. The idea is to educate Australians to appreciate the plants already adapted to harsh conditions, essential given that Australia, already the driest continent on the planet, is becoming even drier due to climate change. And if our unseasonal warm and sunny April weather is anything to go by, it looks like we're already entering another drought only a few years after the last one packed up and left.
For more details go to: http://www.rbg.vic.gov.au/visit-cranbourne