I was lucky enough to be invited to stay with a fellow blogger on my visit to Australia at the end of last year. Meg very kindly took me on a tour of her region and knowing how much I enjoy visiting gardens, arranged a trip to the Eurobodalla gardens near Bateman’s Bay. It was a rather cloudy day, but we were soon lost in exploration and spent a pleasant few hours wandering around this site which has also become home to a variety of native animals providing them with new habitats; planted gardens, open grassed spaces and permanent water supplies.
The Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Gardens is situated within the Shire of Eurobodalla, approximately 270 kilometres south of Sydney, and 150 kilometres east of Canberra. The Shire extends over 110 kilometres of coastline from Durras Lake in the north to Wallaga Lake in the south. The Gardens grows only those plant species occurring naturally within the Collecting Region.
Bottlebrushes / Callistemon
The variety, sizes and colours of these plants fascinate me. From the buds bursting with colour and tiny tendrils escaping, to full brushes and exquisite tiny seed pods remaining. Some have a honey scent too.
Wildlife in the garden
The wildlife was unexpected. Seeing kangaroos lying across the pathways was an interesting experience for me, though I have come across them in previous visits inhabiting golf courses and the like. I didn’t get too close though. The rather cheeky fairy wren entertained us at lunch-time. Well actually there were three males and a couple of females, all vying for the attention of the camera. Unfortunately it was at this point that I realised that my batteries were dying.
These sculptures act as the Guardians of the trees, the lakes, the earth, the plants and the people, past and present, who attend these Gardens. This is reciprocated by Nature being the Guardian of Humanity.
The sculptures can also be seen as a family where we humans, as a family need to watch over our heritage of Nature’s beauty for the benefit of our children – our descendants.
It is this relationship of Guardianship which is most delicate and needs to be nurtured for Nature to continue to co-exist with us, and we with Nature
(“The Guardians” sculpture in Mt Gambier limestone by Kathleen E McKenzie in memory of David Rees 1920 – 2000 a founding member of the Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Gardens)
The Burrawangs (top left) belong to a very ancient group of plants known as CYCADS, which flourished along with ferns and conifers as far back as 260 million years, long before flowering plants evolved. Macrozamia communis is the only one which occurs naturally in this region. It is quite common, often growing in association with Corymbia maculata (Spotted Gum). The plant is very slow growing and often does not develop much of its short trunk above ground. The plants reporoduce by seed which develops within the cone-like structures. The seed is bright red when ripe and is poisonous. M. communis has been chosen as the Garden’s logo.
Burrawangs in the wild near Potato Point