I learned more about Australian plants in an hour walking around the Botanic Gardens, Canberra than I think I’ve learned in my life. Although I was a member of the Gould League as a child, most of the detail about banksias and grevilleas has never really sunk in. I love plants, I’m just not one for “detail”. Ask me to name a flower, and I’d struggle. This is despite having grown up with a garden of my own which I tended with regularity. But with a specialisation in Australian plants, and with a careful as I walked around taking photographs, I learned a lot more. I probably should learn more, eh?
To be honest, I never really intended to visit the Botanic Gardens. I’d caught an ordinary Canberra bus (though labelled it would take you to a bunch of tourist attractions) with a greater interest in seeing the new National Arboretum. Located on land that was devastated in the bushfires of about five years ago, the Aboretum features lots of amazing tree species. Although well attended, I probably arrived there five or ten years early. At the moment, most of the trees are saplings. At the moment, it doesn’t look “visually spectacular”, though it’s conceptually very spectacular. It’s a really great example of the forethought that goes into some of the “nation building” projects you find around Canberra.
Still a wander around the Botanic Gardens (along with lunch) made for a very pleasant way to spend my first part of this trip to Canberra.