On Our Day Out with Oscar – Brisbane Botanic Gardens
The City Botanic Gardens is the city's oldest park, originally planted by convicts in 1825 with food crops to feed the prison colony. These gardens include ancient trees, rainforest glades and exotic species. They run the full length of Alice Street, bordered by Parliament House on the one side and the Brisbane River's northern banks on the other. They provide a lush green haven for city workers and visitors.
The Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha (located on Mt Coot-tha Road at Toowong) are recognised as Queensland's premier subtropical botanic gardens, displaying distinctly different gardens arranged in thematic and geographical displays. Founded in 1970 and officially opened in 1978, the 56 hectare botanic gardens are open every day of the year. We didn’t have too much time to walk all over the gardens as we were due to lunch and listen to a talk, but what we did see was bright, healthy and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Thank you to Oscar for bringing us.
We walked through classic planting toward the river.
A knobby tree caught our eye. For pines are gossip pines the wide world through, And full of runic tales to sigh or sing. James Elroy Fletcher. The Bunya Pine is native to two areas of Queensland: around the Bunya Mountains in the south, and inland from Port Douglas in the north. This spectacular pine will grow to over fifty metres tall. Like all pines, the Bunyas carry their seeds in cones. A bountiful Bunya pine cone can weigh as much as ten kilograms, and contain up to eighty seeds. The seeds are edible and once represented a popular and important food for local Aboriginal tribes – taste like chestnuts as opposed to chicken......the seeds that is......
The softwood timber was well utilised by early settlers. Small plantations of Bunya pines are harvested today, though the longer lasting Hoop Pine is preferred. Bunya Pine wood was often used for making butter boxes, before cardboard and plastic came on the scene.
This species was named bidwilli, and planted here in honour of Sir John Came Bidwell, Commissioner of Wide Bay, and a significant colonial botanist at the time. This Bunya Pine Avenue was planted by Walter Hill, the first Superintendent of the Brisbane Botanic Garden, between 1858 and 1867.
Down by the river.
Loved the dangly bits on this tree. The rose garden.
Walter Hill Fountain. This was originally a functional drinking fountain and was designed in 1867 by colonial architect Charles Tiffin. Stonemason John Petrie built it using sandstone from Helidon and marble from Gladstone. The fountain formed part of the first reticulated water supply in Brisbane, and was the first ornamental drinking fountain in Queensland. In 1972 the fountain was dedicated to Walter Hill who, in 1855 was appointed the first curator of the Brisbane Botanic Garden, he served until 1881.
Opposite the water fountain was a sugar plant.......unusual..... In this area formerly the Botanical Garden the first sugar publicly produced in Queensland was in June 1862. Manufactured by John Buhot from locally grown canes. The plaque was erected by the Historical Society of Queensland and the Sugar Industry in 1962.
Then we walked through the impressive bamboo archway. Many had names carved on them.
Lovely bright flowers.
Lastly, we walked up past the ponds near the Albert Street entrance. The bottom pond was once a source of water for the gardens and nearby residents. Originally circular in shape and surrounded by bamboo it was remodelled in the 1930’s to the curvaceous lagoon it is today. In 2004 metres of mud and debris were removed, the lagoon cleaned out and a variety of water lilies were planted. We saw a chap having a conversation with a duck, then with a human........
The island is a refuge and it is an ideal home for many birds, some migratory.
Once a sporting field and then an animal enclosure the top lagoon and landscaped surrounds were created in the 1950’s by Brisbane City Council’s first manager of Parks and Gardens, Harry Oakman. A few more bits and bobs, then it was time to go to lunch at the Queensland Club and listen to Stacey, team member of SCA – the ladies team in the Volvo round the world race.
ALL IN ALL A HAPPY SPACE
A LOVELY COUNTRYSIDE WALK BY THE RIVER