Visiting Public Gardens: here and there
While in England groups and individuals like to visit the historic sites. Here in Australia there are some historic houses, but very few.
To find out more about the history of Australia it would be better to go to a museum, but another place is the Botanic Gardens. Here you find out about the longer history of the country. In Cranbourne for instance you can see plants that existed back when the country was part of Gondwanaland, long before the arrival of humans.
There is a park along the seafront in Myrina. This area, and lots of smaller bits of public land have this year been returfed. It does make the town look greener for the tourists. I noticed that the locals also liked to go there to sit on the grass as these sorts of open places for the public to enjoy (other than tavernas) are few and far between. This is because Lemian horticulture today is still mainly centered around plantings for practical purposes. In most Greek towns most houses do not have gardens as a house is usually set right on the roadway and close to the next house. The men tend vegetables but outside the town in their allotments, and the women grow flowers but with their herbs at home in pots on their balconies.
Here too there are not as many individually owned gardens, as there are in Australia and England. Some of the larger homes have gardens but, as in Athens, Greece, many live in apartments. However there are some wonderful large public gardens. I often visit the older garden and admire its orchid areas. Recently they have built some large green houses, similar to the Eden Project in England, and the large glass houses in Kew. In these building the temperatures and watering provide a habitat similar to some other places around the world. So I have been in a ‘Mediterranean Garden’ in Kew, in Singapore, and here in Australia.
There are many public gardens in Melbourne; the two main botanic gardens are in the city and outside the city in Cranbourne. To find out more go to <rbg.vic.gove.au>
Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
This garden covers 38 hectares and displays more than 50,000 plants representing over 10,000 different species from every part of the world.
Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne
This garden was established much later, in 1970. It covers 15 hectares and showcases Australian flora. There are more than 170,000 native plants representing more than 1,700 plant species.
When the Mediterranean Garden Society had its AGM in Australia last year a group came and visited this garden.
|A kindergarten group looking a the example of plants from the 'Red Center'|
I have just been for the first time to Cranbourne and was amazed at the combination of native plants, art installations and provisions for children and the disabled. Here though it is definitely a botanic aesthetics is important, and often flowers are used almost like paintings.
It is a late spring showing and the kangaroo paws were marvelous, as were the Grevilleas. I was particularly interested in the novel ways the gardeners here were displaying some of the creeping Grevilleas, training them as standards. It certainly displayed the flowers beautifully.