Garden Portrait: Edinburgh Botanic Garden

It is almost 9 months since my visit to Edinburgh, where I finally met the restless lady who takes us on regular walks in the north-east of England and the Algarve where she spends all most some of her time. After a morning of walking the streets of the city we got on a bus and headed out to the Botanical Gardens for an hour or two.

The entrance gate is quite stunning.

Being the end of the summer season the main interest in the garden was seed heads. I found a few interesting ones.

Crab Apple – Malus sylvestris

Insects were still busy collecting the pollen.

We walked and we talked and we finally found our way to the Japanese garden area where the large lily pond enthralled us both and the red bridge enticed us further into the garden.

The not so subtle smell of candyfloss was in the air (Cercidiphyllum japonicum, known as the Katsura Tree) and the leaves on the acers were turning.

Eventually we arrived at the huge glasshouses, but decided against paying to enter as it was such a glorious day after the cold, damp, dreich day before and we wanted to make the most of being outdoors. Besides we really didn’t have the time needed to really take in what was inside.

The borders near the glasshouses were filled with late summer planting and a variety of colourful penstemons lined the pathway to the entrance, but deep in conversation we really only fleetingly took in the beauty of this garden.

Pausing to admire the view over towards Calton Hill and Arthur’s Seat in the distance. Places that in order to explore would mean another meeting as our time together drew to a close.

Calton Hill and Arthur’s Seat

It was lovely to finally meet up with Jo and to share a walk with her, so it is only fitting that this post is linked to her walks ūüôā


Oasis in the Suburbs

Stony Range Regional Botanical Garden is an oasis of Australian native plants and located at Dee Why in the heart of the northern beaches, Sydney. It is a perfect place to take a walk through a variety of microclimates and to enjoy the shade of the many trees in Sydney’s intense heat. The main circuit only takes around 20 minutes to complete and includes a sensory track and a rainforest gully.


Native plants from all over Australia have been planted in the garden which is located on Hawkesbury sandstone escarpment – hence the name Stony Range. It is a home to a host of wildlife including brush turkeys, brushtailed and ringtailed possums, owls, rainbow lorikeets, lizards and native bees.

On a hot and humid day the garden provides a delightfully shady place to walk and also learn about the use of some of the native plants and trees. For instance gum trees have several uses: their wood was used for implements such as shields and bowls; the nectar of the flowers made a sweet drink; the gum was used for relieving toothache and when boiled in water has good antiseptic properties for burns and stomach upsets.


The stiff leaves of the Grass Trees (Xanthorrhoea) below, next to a Eucalyptus, is a very useful plant too. The dried flower stems were used for fishing spears and fire making, the resin for glue, flowers for nectar and leaves for weaving or making twine.

An impressive Platycerium superbum/ Stag Horn fern (or sometimes known as elk horn) is found outside the entrance to the garden attached to a large red Gum (Angophera costata). A magnificent plant.


More lovely walks can be found over at my friend Jo’s place.

Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Garden

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. Continue reading

The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and the Domain: Part Two

After a snack and a drink we were revived to continue looking around the garden, although now it was quite a dull day. First we headed to the Herb Garden, beautifully laid out with areas for medicinal, perfumery and cooking herbs.


Choragic Monument of Lysicrates (copy)

  The Herb Garden

Herbs from around the world used for a wide variety of purposes Рculinary, medicinal and aromatic Рare on display here. A sensory fountain and sundial modelled on the celestial sphere are also features.

From there we wound around the perimeter of the gardens, passing by the Palace Rose Garden with its Federation style shelter pavilion (1897), the Pioneer Garden, the Morshead Fountain and towards the Tropical Centre which was unfortunately closed for renovation. So we walked through the Rainforest and Palm Grove to visit the Fernery and then on to the Succulent Garden. Continue reading

The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and the Domain: Part One


We had left it too late to catch a train up to the Blue Mountains after struggling to find the bus stop for the free shuttle service #555 and ended up walking to Central Station. After that we decided to take the train back to Circular Quay and slowly stroll around Sydney Harbour to Mrs Macquaries Point (Domain – Yurong Precinct) and then through the gardens to see as much as we could before the feet complained. The weather was warm, but very cloudy and we weren’t surprised by a shower or two which were very brief. A few large splats and that was that.


The walk really starts at Circular Quay where all the ferries depart from. It wouldn’t do to visit Sydney and not go on at least one ferry, but we’ll save that for another day. After admiring the bridge, it is impossible not to admire the Opera House and even go inside for a tour if you wish.

Continue reading