Mount Annan Botanical Gardens

Image via Akseli Koskela
The view from Mount Annan out towards Menangle.
Image via Akseli Koskela
Another Southerly view from Mount Annan.
Last weekend, Esther and I visited the “Australian Botanic Garden: Mount Annan”, which along with the “Blue Mountains Botanic Garden: Mount Tomah” and the “Royal Botanic Garden” make up the three Botanic Gardens in Sydney. The three gardens have something of a division of labour -- the Blue Mountains garden is a “cool-climate” botanic garden; the Mount Annan garden is an “Australian natives” botanic garden; and the Royal Botanic Garden, is of course the original botanic garden built on what was previously the Governor’s “demesne” or “domain” and converted into a botanic garden in 1816.

Image via Akseli Koskela
Gum trees in the afternoon sun.
Image via Akseli Koskela
The beginning of the Southern Highlands.
Walking around Mount Annan last week, I could see why they chose it as a site to specialise in Australian natives, it’s just such a dry-looking place. You will notice from the photos that the landscape looks typically Australian. But you will not get any clue from the photos that the week prior to us visiting had been a week of almost incessant rain across Sydney. In fact, I was walking around the garden in a pair of plimsolls, because my more trusty everyday shoes were at that moment sitting at home in the balcony in the hope that they might dry-out. I must have put those old shoes back in their box when they were still wet, because when I took them out they had a good covering of mould and a green shoot sprouting from under the soles!

Image via Akseli Koskela
The Blue Tree -- don't ask...
Another thing you wouldn’t notice from the photos is that it is the middle of Winter down here. Australian natives don’t tend to lose their leaves and if you do see a tree without its leaves it’s most likely dead. Like the blue painted tree that we came across out in the middle of the garden just before leaving.
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12 comments:

Judie said...

The photos look somewhat like some areas of Arizona. Unfortunately, we have not had any rain in over two months, and are suffering quite a drought. The gum tress really do look beautiful in the afternoon sun.

JJ said...

Fabulous! However, since I cannot ask, I now must do some research on the blue tree. I am not sure if it is an illusion, or if there is such a phenomenon. I am intrigued.

smallgardendesign said...

All these are fabulous. looking nice. small garden design

Akseli Koskela said...

That doesn't surprise me Judie -- I've often thought that the landscape around the Macarthur region of New South Wales looks quite similar to some parts of southern California. In fact, when I was reading "The Grapes of Wrath", this particular area of NSW was exactly the landscape I pictured in my head.

I always imagined that Arizona would be a bit drier though. In 2007 I visited the Coachella Valley near Palm Springs to see a music festival, that place looked like a proper desert! You'd have to go quite a distance West from Sydney to get that kind of dry landscape down here (further West than I've ever been anyway -- probably into the next State)!


JJ, well I said "don't ask", but actually I do know what it is. It is a dead tree that's been painted blue as "art". And I vaguely remember reading on a sign somewhere that dead trees actually still play an important role in the environment as many birds, lizards and insects make their homes in them. But I don't know where the inspiration to paint the tree blue came from!

Arti said...

The garden looks very inviting. Fabulous pics and description! The last pic really caught my eye with the blue painted tree! Never seen anything like that...

Arti said...

Incredible images, loved the Gum tree one the most!! Wonderful place to visit no doubt!
Have a great month:)

Francis Hunt said...

Personally, I love that panorama of the Southern Highlands. And what can one say about Australian trees other than - by gum!?:-)

Akseli Koskela said...

Thanks Arti, yes that painted tree looks quite striking doesn't it?!

Francis, yeah that panorama is one of my favourites too -- it has a good mix of human cultivation and wilderness.

I was lucky the photos came out so well. I only took them with my camera phone which has no zoom and is generally rubbish at landscapes. That's why most of the photos focus on that dry grassy foreground.

nelson peltz said...

Great post. thanks for sharing these beautiful posts.

bill ackman

Kokoda said...
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wasp control melbourne said...

There are many beautiful outdoor areas in and around Sydney. The Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, are located on Sydney Harbour at Farm Cove next to the Opera House. The parkland sits on 75 acres of meticulously manicured gardens and lawns. The scenery is amazing and a lovely place to have a picnic and relax.