My Town: Botanical Gardens

 Rain forest walk

On Monday (New Year Day public holiday) DH and I went for a stroll through the Botanical Gardens in Canberra.  After a few hot days, Monday was very cool and overcast and it couldn't quite decide whether to rain or not.

This particular Botanical Gardens does not grows pretty roses, rather has a focus on native Australian  plants.  At this time of the year very little is in flower but that was ok as I had plenty of other things to look at and photograph.  As for wildlife, we saw kangaroos, different varieties of birds, 100's of butterflies and the cutest little bunny ever (which of course is not an Australian native and can be very naught indeed).  It was a very enjoyable walk, quite romantic in fact and we left just as the crowds started to arrive.  We then enjoy a hot chocolate (me) and a coffee (DH) at a local coffee shop.

 I think this belongs to the Banshia family?
Breakfast time
Hidden paths to discover
Somewhere to sit and contemplate
We use to call these Blackboys (because they looked like an Aboriginal boy holding a spear) but I believe their correct name is Xanthorrhoea or Grass Trees. Very difficult to grow domestically.
Reflections in the pond
A flower from the Grevillea, a native of Australia

Finally . . . at the end of our walk we passed this sign that informed us that the Eastern Brown Snake . . . the second most venomous snake in the WORLD may be roaming around the Botanical Garden.  The advice on the sign reads "don't approach the snake.  If you encounter a snake STAND COMPLETELY STILL and then move slowly away".  Yep. . . not sure about the slow part . . . more like a rapid run with arms waving violently in air screaming loudly (as I use to do as a child).  You may be pleased to know that we did not see any Brown Snakes as it was too cold.

Confession - DH walked in front of me on the narrow paths in case a spiderweb was across any of our paths, therefore he could "tackle" the spider and not me!!!



  1. hahahaha!!! I confess to laughing a lot when I read the part about the "rapid run with arms waving violently in air screaming loudly"!! If you make enough noise, the snakes won't disturb you anyway (a good reason to walk noisily and crash through the bushes when you go walking in the bush)- even though they are a very aggressive snake their preference is to get away from humans. It's part of the curse from the fall of man...
    That sign really isn't a comfort though, is it??

  2. How gentlemanly of your husband to tackle those webs for you! Mr. Santos is a fan of ornamental grasses. I'll have to show him your pictures when he comes home. Thank you for sharing a bit of Australia with us in this cold wet corner of the world.

  3. oh, and I meant to say that those photos you took of the wildlife are beautiful! :) That one you're not sure of does look like a banksia to me - the leaves look the same as a lot of the other 169 banksia's out there. :)

  4. Clara - thought it was part of Banskia family due to the leaves, it is really nice and looked like candles.

  5. Hi Jo,
    What a nice day you had at the gardens. It's great your hubby went ahead of you to clear the way of spiders and perhaps that dratted snake!! That WAS chivalrous romantic of him - our men certainly come in handy in situations like that lol!
    Not sure I'd be able to stand still either if one crossed my path. We've had a copperhead and a black snake in our yard before but I stayed well away and called the snake-catcher to come and deal with them :-(
    NOT my favourite creatures!!!
    Your photos are wonderful - I really love the ferns reflected in the pond. Beautiful!
    We were out bushwalking at Leura and Katoomba yesterday and had a lovely day exploring and taking photos too.
    bless you ..Trish

  6. Beautiful pics.
    Your husband is very gallant!

  7. Jo: I thought you were a country girl & would be able to tackle your own snakes & spiders! ;P

    The Blackboys are really hard to grow. We acquired some from a land clearance. Out of the 6 we tried to re~establish only 1 survived & is very slow growing. After 15 years it is still really small & has never flowered. They must take forever to get to the size of some of the big ones you see in the wild.

    Sounds like just my sort of a day. You are blessed.

  8. Ganeida - I am a country girl and when I was young I would scream and yell (and carry on) whenever I saw a snake and my dad would come running to deal with it!!

    As for spiders, my brothers use to pretend to chase me with spiders which didn't help my fear of spiders AT ALL!!!!!

    I watched a gardening show once that planted Blackboys but kept them in their pots (without bottoms) as they said disturbing the soil was one of the problems.

    The ones at the Botanical Gardens may have been native anyway and the garden built around them - not sure.

  9. Blackboys are very slow growing!
    "These remarkable plants have a lifespan of 600 years but are very slow-growing. The trunk takes a decade to form initially as it is composed of a mass of old leaf bases held together by a natural resin. It is then a further 20 years or more before the mass of thin, linear leaves rises above it. From then on, it grows only about 1-2cm (0.4-0.8in) in height per year. We have observed plants which have taken 27 years to grown 30 centimetres (one foot)."

  10. Those pictures are beautiful and so clear! Sounds like a great way to begin 2011. What I would have gotten upset about is that the sign about the snakes was towards the end of the walk and not at the start!!!

  11. Ruby - that is amazing patience!! I don't think I will try and grow a Blackboy in my garden as it will certainly outlive me!!

    joyfulmum - may be we walked the wrong way, but I don't think so. Perhaps having the sign at the end meant I could enjoy the walk and not be on the lookout for snakes.

    But I won't be going to the Gardens on a warm day!

  12. Pardon my small-mindedness, but it's so odd to think of a placed where kangaroos are part of the normal landscape! They are such an oddity for us here in the States - certainly zoo animals only.

    Love the picture of the ferns reflected in the water.


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