Thursday, June 16, 2011
An Expedition to 'Guilfoyle's ( non-erupting ) Volcano' at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne
Constructed in 1876 by the second director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne, Sir William Guilfoyle, the bluestone-lined volcano named after him was intended to be a reservoir.
Hidden away and virtually forgotten since the 1950s, it had an exhilarating transformation last year by landscape designer Andrew Laidlaw.
Plantings of cacti, natives, succulents and rare species from arid regions suggest the flow of lava from the crater. These are set amongst crushed rock studded with boulders.
In the image above, a Cabbage Tree ( Cussonia paniculata ) is on the left, and Euphorbia triangularis on the right.
I didn't get all the names, but below is Aloe marlothii.
Below is the Dragon Tree ( Dracaena draco ).
The image below includes Golden Rat Tail ( Cleistocactus winterii ), Our Lord's Candle ( Hesperoyucca whipplei ), Spider Aloe ( Aloe x spinosissima ) and a native Everlasting.
A spiralling boardwalk takes you to views from the top and a pool of floating islands - not seen here due to current works being carried out.
In the background below are several of many Barrel Cacti. You can also see the rusted and crooked railings that define the rim.
In the last image below are some Airplane Plants ( Crassula perfoliata var. minor ) and some wonderful, crimson Bromeliads.
These gardens have always been extraordinary, and continue to develop in extraordinary ways.