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...


  1. Hello Faisal,

    We have always held the belief that trees are the purest form of gardening. And, how wonderful these ancient specimens are.

    Your photographs capture beautifully the delicate tracery of the branches against the sky and the ballet dancer grace of their trunks. What a joy to be able to wander amongst them without any disturbance. As you say, a view to live for.

    It is rather sad that. The architecture of the new buildings could not have been accommodated within the landscape more sympathetically. It does jar on the eye. Still, if one is on the inside looking out......well, that is a different perspective entirely!

    1. Hello Jane and Lance,
      I'd happily have a garden of trees and grass: something to wander in, without any of the work!
      A shame, yes, about the monster building looming over all. I'd have thought something more subtle would have been the go.
      The staff of the hospital seem to be the ones using the park more than anyone else, so for their sakes alone, the respite would be beneficial.

  2. while in the grampians i got to spend some time with the trees. not much, but despite being so different from our trees, they were still and always trees. magnificent!

    1. Yes, the Grampians are a special place. I've climbed almost to the top of Mount Sturgeon. So good, to me, to be able to get to somewhere where human presence is undetectable.

  3. I do hope my eucalypts grow into beautiful old specimens. At the moment they are so vigorous and tall, I fight to stop them toppling over. Dave

    1. I hope your Eucalypts make it, Dave. Is the wet soil a problem? I get some growing way too thin and tall here all depending on climate/soil, etc.
      Is it a snow gum you've got, you once said? ( which should be able to cope with England! )

  4. Faisal, what beautiful trees! Such a delight to be able to wander amongst them. Yes, the hospital building is out of place but as you say, the staff have a wonderful place to go to relax. We have had to de-limb a bit in our garden and I'm only just getting used to its much safer but it does make me sad. However, I'm now able to plant things in what was full shade and is now dappled so there is an upside. Happy Easter, Carol

  5. lovely pics of a lovely place. Sorry to be a downer, but I kept thinking of how things are going to change when - presumably it'll happen in spite of the opposition to it - the new road will be built.