Monday, April 14, 2014

At Royal Park

Good to know, but Zara wasn't with me.
Much of Royal Park's 180 hectares just north of the city centre look like this, a broad sweep of landscape largely native. And wonderful to roam or fly kites in. 
On one side is the elegant university precinct of Parkville, almost entirely intact.
And in the corner abutting Flemington Road the new Royal Children's Hospital has bitten off a wedge.
It was sad to see so many giants felled, but for the children obliged to be hospitalized here, the outlook couldn't be better.

 Such a vast space it is. I used to come through here often, about 25 years ago, when it was much more left to its own devices.
There's a great deal of native bird-life and many superb plants such as this Eucalypt.
And this native Hibiscus.
First set aside by Governor Charles La Trobe in 1845, there are ancient trees here such as this Peppercorn.
I don't know who gets to live in the Gatehouse above, but it'd be a nice kind of corner of the world.
This is the sort of tree I love most, an old, gnarled Eucalypt, seeming to thrust its branches into the sky.

Some of them have been here since before white settlement and before tram tracks were invented.
I'm still trying to work out what this specimen is, with its sausage-like seed pods, one of which I have with me.
However tough our natives are, many exhibit an almost effervescent delicacy.
So stroll-able it is, without the hordes you sometimes find in botanic gardens.
I can't pretend that I find the new architecture complementary to its surroundings, but the view is to live for...

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Shaking the Ghosts

 Though autumn's a time of dying, here where summer's been torturous, it comes as an agent of revival.
This being the Antipodes - where practice is sort of upside down - many native plants come into flower and magpies start to breed. Autumn comes as if it were spring. Our springs are not so much a re-birth as a riot.
So for the human gardener there's running around to be done, the clock of coldness beginning to tick. Above is the beginning of a new procession along a wall too hot and exposed to have been dealt with in summer.
And here a bit of a jumble...good to see because there's only been dessication and a sort of hard-held forbearance till this easing has come.
Aspidistras - which I shall keep flying - are one of my favourite plants, and it's now they seem to wake up - and wake up their neighbourhood.
There's a feeling of relief for me that so many things have survived and have now seemed to have got back their zoomph.
This above is the beginning of what will be filled with foliage. Makeshift, sparse, reduced; soon, as the glowing, glaring days grow shorter, life will re-colonise.
 I salute this land made to be barren, then made to go forth to multiply.
For out of nothing life comes.