Melbourne Botanic Garden

road sign warning of snakes
more disconcerting snake signs
yet another snake sign
view of the melbourne botanic garden
bubbling pools at the Melbourne Botanic Garden
road sign warning of snakesmore disconcerting snake signsyet another snake signview of the melbourne botanic gardenbubbling pools at the Melbourne Botanic Garden

As a bit of a snake-phobic, my introduction to the part of the Melbourne Botanic Garden which is sited outside the city and specialises in native Australian flora was somewhat unsettling. The numerous signs about snakes had me walking down the middle of the path at all times despite the curator’s assurances that they had only two things on their mind – a. food: I was too large and b. sex: they wouldn’t fancy me.
This is a garden that is beginning to mature and I found it both fascinating and informative. I particularly liked the part that showed the transformative effect of rising waters on a dry river bed. It is laid out in a very naturalistic way with water gently bubbling in a pool. Every twenty minutes the water rises up and pours down into the dry and stony riverbed, filling it so that it flows strongly, before it subsides once more.
It’s a garden that will get better and better and gave me a great insight into Australian flora at the beginning of our visitor. And no, I didn’t see a snake.

Sago Palms set the Gold Standard

the seeds of a sago palmApparently the seeds of the sago palm are of such  uniform size and weight that they were used by the gold merchants as a unit of weight in the early days of the trade.

The Perilous Life of a Young Monitor Lizard

a monitor lizard climbing a treeAs we pootled around the Botanic Garden in Nigel Taylor’s buggy admiring our surroundings we spotted a young monitor lizard on the trunk of a palm tree.  The reason that it was up there turns out to be that if they stay on the ground their parents will eat them!

The Street Trees & Shrubs of Singapore

a tree in flower on the streets of SingaporeGiven the crowded nature of Singapore it is wonderfully green with ribbons of trees and shrubs weaving through the streets.  They provide welcome shade and soften the hard edges of the contemporary buildings.Pink flowers in bloom on the trees in Singaporered flowering treepaperlike flowers on Singapore tree

Singapore Botanic Garden & Orchid Garden

We spent an entire morning at the Botanic Garden which includes the Orchid Garden within it. We had the huge privilege of being  taken round by Nigel Taylor the curator who was able to tell us what we were looking at – otherwise there would have been a great deal of guess work or consulting books.  The undoubted highlight was the Orchid Garden – the colour and variety was astonishing and some of them are also deliciously fragrant.  They were breathtaking in every way.orchids of singapore