Sunday, December 1, 2013

The new Red Centre Garden at the ANBG

Today we spent the afternoon in the Australian National Botanic Gardens. Among other things we also had a first chance to see the newly inaugurated Red Centre Garden.

This nicely designed section of the ANBG showcases the unique flora and landscape features of the arid centre of the Australian continent. There are several elements visible in this picture: red sand areas, a desert river (to drain the water from the slopes in the background), and rock outcrops. There is also an area of saltbush outside of the picture to the left.

Obviously the section is still young and will look much more natural in a few years when the ephemerals have had time to find their niches and the shrubs have grown a bit. But there are already some nice carpets of daisies and chenopods. In this case you can see the stunning 'Swan River daisy' Brachyscome iberidifolia in the foreground.

Beyond the Red Centre Garden, at the moment also appears to be a good time to see several impressive monocots in flower. Many of the grass trees are in full bloom, here Xanthorhoea glauca near the parking lots.

And this is the massive 'Gymea Lily' Doryanthes excelsa from the Sydney region. The budding stalk on the left shows that it will still continue to flower for some more time.

Finally, we were delighted to see a male Gang-gang Cockatoo closer than we ever have so far (the picture would have been better if there had been more light but this was in the understorey). They are very attractive and likeable birds that constitute the faunal emblem of the Australian Capital Territory, but unfortunately they are not exactly common.

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