South Australia offers three botanic gardens to the visiting public: the Adelaide Botanic Garden, Mount Lofty Botanic Garden and Wittunga Botanic Garden. On a mild summer morning, I was able to stroll around part of the Adelaide Botanic Garden, which contained many delights. The Kaurna and Peramangk are the First Peoples and Traditional Custodians of the lands and waters of the Adelaide Plains. The site for the gardens was selected in 1855, and has been open to the public since 1857. This was the fifth site chosen after a couple of false starts, and it has been the main botanic gardens in South Australia since that time.
Located on 50 hectares in the heart of Adelaide, there are several different gardens and botanic landscapes to explore, including the Cactus and Succulent Garden, Dahlia Garden, Australian Native Garden and SA Water Mediterranean Garden. This features plants and garden design that work well in a water wise garden, an important consideration in the warm, dry climate of southern South Australia.
The Palm House shown above was designed by German architect Gustav Runge and imported from Germany in 1875. It is the second oldest glasshouse in Australia, and now houses a collection of plants from Madagascar. It has a number of unique architectural features which were considered advanced for its time, including hanging glass walls.
This glass sculpture, called Cascade, was created by Serbia Redegalli with precision cut glass in the shape of a cascading wave. It is one of many sculptures located throughout the gardens. Some, like the one below, are waiting to be discovered in small pockets of the garden, a delightful reward for meandering along the various pathways.
Birdlife also make good use of the garden, and pied cormorants, waterhens, white ibis and various ducks were seen enjoying the lake near the cafe, along with turtles. One of the more surprising exhibits was the Victoria amazonica , shown below. It is the national flower for Guyana, and the largest lily pad grown in the Amazon Waterlily Pavilion measured 165 cm in diameter. The waterlily flowers only last a couple of days but are spectacular.
It is part of the mission statement of the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium of South Australia to ‘build an understanding and appreciation of the botanical world’ and to create an ‘urban oasis of peace and tranquility’. From my brief wander through part of these beautiful gardens, it certainly left an imprint of natural beauty and will be a place I’ll be sure to revisit.
Have you had a wander around a botanic garden lately?
Photo: some of the extensive cactus displays in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens
3 thoughts on “Five Photos: Adelaide Botanic Gardens”
Not lately, but I have a vivid memory of a visit to the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. It seems forever ago now, but there was a time when airlines marketed ‘mystery flights’ and one of my friends celebrated her 50th birthday by inviting us all to join her on one. We had no idea where we were going to end up but were delighted to find ourselves in Adelaide. We hired a minibus and did touristy things, ending up at the ABG just before lunch.
So it was not a case of alcohol relaxing inhibitions that led to some of our number leaving handbags and wallets on full view in the bus. It was just stupidity, and of course someone broke into the bus. So instead of lunch we were off to a police station to report the theft where (despite the stupidity) they were lovely and helpful. Somebody had a mobile phone to leave a contact number with them. We were just settling down to lunch when a call came through that the thief had strewn the unwanted goods nearby and off we went to collect them! The cash was gone, but nothing else was missing and we were very impressed that the case was closed so promptly!
Bouquets to the SA coppers!
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What an experience, Lisa! I remember the days of mystery flights and what a surprise it would have been to find Adelaide as a destination. What a disappointment to have someone take advantage of a lapse of security, but good to hear that the items were located, even if the money was gone. Certainly a memorable day out!
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We still love Adelaide. One of these days we’re going to do a wine tour in the Clare Valley or McLarenvale, with a side trip to the capital, of course!
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