Sunday, 24 May 2015

A walk in the park- Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney

This garden located next to the Opera House at Farm Cove does have an interesting history.
In 1788, it was the first farm ever to be cultivated on the Australian Continent. This corn farm was a failure and so were the subsequent farms that were cultivated, mostly, due to poor soil conditions. In 1816, the Governor, Mr. Macquarie founded the Botanic Gardens at this very location for his family while keeping it open to the privileged class of people. In 1817, the appointed Botanist, Charles Fraser began acclimatizing plants brought in from different regions into this Garden. However, it was Charles Moore, who in 1848, as Director of the Gardens worked on the soil conditions, water management issues and converted it into much of the present day Garden that stands today at Farm Cove.

The Garden is now used as a place for relaxation, walking, picnicking, wedding venue, activity center or simply, a tourist spot.

It has huge lawns from where we could view both the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.

Walking along the waters at the Farm Cove was indeed refreshing. There were sections in the garden which housed many trees around which benches were arranged. We spotted some very unique looking banana plants, on which, the banana bunch was growing upwards instead of the more common downward direction that we see in our home garden.

Through the morning, we saw the residents busy with their workout, some practicing Pilates while still others practicing Yoga. It truly was a walker’s paradise! As the day progressed, the lawns began filling up with picnickers; a couple of family celebrations too were in order.

Del enjoyed the company of his winged friends who seemed rather excited to be photographed by him, considering they flew across the lawn and began chirping as if talking to him!

It was interesting seeing Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair which is a seat that was carved off a rock for Mrs. Elizabeth Macquarie, the wife of the then Governor to enjoy the view of the ships passing by.

The garden houses the St. George Open Air Cinema (the screen of which looked really massive) which screen shows seasonally. Again, we missed out on making for any of the shows.
There is also a Herbarium which we did not visit.

The Royal Botanic Garden Restaurant, which is a café had both vegetarian and gluten free sandwiches. We chose to have our lunch on one of the benches on the lawn. While at it, a couple of sea gulls and an ibis began inching closer to grab a bite of food. Looking at the huge beak that the ibis has, I was scared that it would peck me, so I could barely enjoy my delicious sandwich. Having said that, I was so taken up and lost while eating the flourless chocolate brownies that I looked up for the recipe on the internet and made these brownies on two occasions while still in Australia!
The Garden also ran a toy train of sorts, “Choo Choo Express”, a facility which could be availed for ten dollars.


P.S. : The park houses some lovely sculptures. From modern day works like this 'Mirroring' from Danish artist Keld Mcseholm

to some aboriginal art work on tree trunks. 


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