The Australian Garden is located within the Royal Botanic Garden, Cranbourne and is a garden that has been especially designed to reveal the beauty of Australian plants by using specific designs to explore the relationship between the land, the culture and the stories of Australia and Australians.
Most of the text to accompany my photographs has been taken from one of the excellent brochures I picked up during my tour. They also have one of the better audio tours that I have encountered where the young member so the gardening staff enthusiastically tell what they are trying to achieve at The Australian Garden. These photos show Stage 1. Stage 2 is due to commence construction mid-way through 2010.
Austraia's landscape is diverse, both in look and botanically, and yet historically, European settlers tended to characterise the land as empty rather than full. This garden aims to dispel this myth. The Diversity Garden leads visitors on a journey through the 85 bio-regions of Australia.
The Water Saving Garden explains issues of water conservation and the wise use of water in home gardens. This garden conveys the significance of water and its relationship to plant selection and suitability. A range of terraces demonstrate three distinct watering regimens and the plants suited for low-water use.
With vibrant red sand, circes of blue-grey saltbush and crescnet-shaped dunes, the design of the Red Sand Garden is inspired by the shapes and colours of arid Australia. A hightlight of this area is the seasonal flush of wildflowers along the north line. The 90m long Escarpment Wall sculpture is inspired by iconic red sandstone escarpments, such as those found at Uluru and King's Canyon.
The Arid Garden and Dry River Bed Garden explore how plants have adapted to dry conditions and how water shapes the land by both its presence and absence.
The Eucalypt Walk explores the many varieties of Australian eucalypts such as Stringybarks, Bloodwoods, Box and Ironbarks and how they in turn have shaped our perceptions of Australia.
The design of this garden explores the reality and dilemmas posed by the artificial manipulation of plants to achieve particular commercial or aesthetic effects. This includes horticultural techniques such as grafting, hybridisation, the development of cultivars, and most recently, plant bioengineering, all seeking to alter the naturally occurring form of a plant.