In Flower This WeekA weekly news-sheet prepared by a Gardens volunteer
Numbers in brackets [ ] refer to garden bed 'Sections'.
With the winter solstice only a few days behind us, a brisk walk might be in order. The walk this week follows the Main Path and will use the section numbers and also the new numbered markers on the path, so MP29 will indicate number 29 on the Main Path.
We can start at Hudsons Café. Just past the entrance to the Ellis Rowan Building Crowea exalata [MP8-9, Section 13] is looking cheerful. Nearby the cultivar Correa Betts Red [MP8-9, Section 13] is displaying its red bells. At the end of the building three Banksia spinulosa varieties [MP11-12, Section 131] are flowering well. Stand back and you can see the different flower colours of this spectacular group. Continue along the path to where Banksia ericifolia var. ericifolia [MP29, Section 30] is in flower. This species is crossed with Banksia spinulosa to obtain cultivars such as Banksia Giant Candles and Banksia Birthday Candles which are both well represented in the Gardens. Further on you will see Correa alba var. alba [MP31, Section 30] in flower. This is the pink-flowered form, look closely and you will see the rich pink throat of the white bells. At the end of the section look for Banksia integrifolia var. integrifolia [MP32, Section 30] and the prostrate form beside it.
As soon as you cross the road you will be overwhelmed by the profusion of pink flowers on Hakea cycloptera [MP39, Section 24]. It is worth pausing here to look closely at the delicate little flowers. A little further along the path you will come across Grevillea paniculata [MP48, Section 24] with its creamy-white flowers so similar to Hakea cycloptera. Walk on towards the Sydney Region Gully. There is a seat in the alcove at MP56, why not take a break? In the sandstone wall beside the seat you will see slabs with fossil leaves in them. They are Glossopteris species and are about 260 million years old. These fossils come from NSW and similar leaves have been found in South Africa, India, New Zealand and Antarctica so you are looking at some very primitive Gondwanan plants!
When you get to MP69 turn up the road toward the Nursery and then turn left onto the road going through the Eucalypt Lawn. In the bed on the corner you will see the spectacular Leptospermum squarrosum [Section 44] covered with salmon-pink flowers and the even more spectacular Epacris longiflora [Section 44] with its brilliant red and white tubes. Carry on down the road and rejoin the main path at MP88. At MP94-95 you will find Dampiera linearis [Section 15r] showing off bright blue fan flowers. Now is a good time to walk up into the Rock Garden, you will be surprised how many plants you will find flowering there.
Just take time to look around and enjoy you wont regret it! Norm Morrison
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'In Flower' Weeks