Let's see the world from so many color perspective
|: Damn! I admire this city (Royal Botanic Gardens Edition)
It’s been tooooooo long since my last post on July 2014. Business, laziness, or any ‘whatever-ness’… you name it, regardless of how colorful my last 3-months saga was, ranging from Saman Attack in Indonesian Independence Day Celebration, to various Melbourne inner city trip. But hell yeah! It’s me trying to back now…
Tram stopped,….a murmured woman, a patient gentleman, and a happy-feeted girl. Me with dragged footsteps, restrained breath, smothered smile in the tip of esophagus, making Bunyip was the best Gravatar of the day for me that time. NOT in the MOOD, if ‘black and blue’- mode was considered too exaggerated, but at least that was the substances of my ‘self climate’ which predominantly escorted my slothful ramble during that first half-day. Neither my lover nor my cobber can do much about it when that circumstance happen, occasionally. I had been not too interested to have sight-seeing or even just to hang out, right before my feet stepped into that Victorian-styled gate. Right before a splendour luring my gaze. Lines of trees, grasses as extensive rug covering all over the place, colorful flowers, and a jungle-ish scent greeted, making me felt like VIP guest.
For those who plan to visit Melbourne, don’t forget to put Royal Botanic Gardens on your list. It is located on Birdwood Avenue, in the inner-city of Melbourne, making it super easy to access (thanks to Charles La Trobe establishing this place in 1846). It has a very close proximity to Shrine of Remembrance.
This place has so many features to offer, starts from a myriad amount of collections of plants (more than 10,000 species) for scientific, educative, conservation or aesthetic purposes, to some research projects and education programs. I reckon that it would be too much to give detailed highlight for each of what’s on there. So here’s “ the tour guide map to explore what’s inside” available on it’s official visitor centre.
Oak, Palm, Eucalyptus, Bamboo, Rose, Camellia, rare and threatened species are only some of among it’s varied collection. There are also Southwest Pacific, Southern Africa,New Zealand, and Southern China Collection. Not to mention numerous of gardens from California Garden where many species of flora from California are grown to Canna Bed Rain Garden where heaps of Canna are breed there. From magical Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden where children can explore while studying about natural biodiversity to ornamental Grey Garden where silver or greyish colored plants thrive there. Stands robustly, The National Herbarium of Victoria, a house for approximately 1.4 million dried plant, algae and fungi specimens from all around the world.
The joys won’t stop there, as this place provides us with plenty of ‘natural attractions’ such as lake system (includes Central Lake, Fern Gully, and Ornamental Lake) and floating islands. The lake system equipped with reservoirs which provide integrated water management and demonstrates sustainable reuse of water for the sake of water self-sufficiency of the entire garden. Around 60 megalitres of storm-water are estimated to be captured from neighbourhood adjacent to the Gardens and flowed directly to the lakes and wetlands. That kind of smart irrigation system is akin of body’s circulatory system, where those lakes and wetlands become the provider of water for entire garden.
More surprise and excitement were both rendezvoused as we got deeper. I was exited like an ogre bog in heaps of foods when I got ‘Camellia’s attack’ once I was at Camellia Garden which showcased diversity of species of beautiful yet gracious Camellia. Then I was awfully stunned by the charm of Geisha and Mei Hua, flowers of Prunus mume or Japanese apricots or chinese plums which ornamentally blossom in late winter, also famously named as cherry blossom or plum blossom. Those flowers are semi-double, ranging from white to rose-pink and have prominent central stamens. It’s vibrant colors tone up the garden as if a star jazz up a party.
|Mei Hua…la bonita!||Camellia japonica – ‘Margaret Davis’||dangerously beautiful Geisha|
|dangerously beautiful Geisha (2)||
a mystical gloom
Not only a conservation for flora, this garden is a habitat for ranges of exotic fauna as well, from Australian native bird species such as Black Swans, Swamp Hens, Indian Minahs, and Blackbirds to varied of frogs, insects, and foxes.
Following the map, we arrived at south-east corner of the garden: Guilfoyle’s Volcano, a spectacular area endowed with striking landscape design, historic water reservoir, remarkable boardwalks and viewing platforms which showcased low-water plants. You’d find various of cactus ( such as Cleistocactus winteri, and Golden Barrel Cactus), so many species of Crasulas (such as Echeveria zorro, Candy Cane, Coral Bead), succulents, and many other arid plants here.
Thanks to raindrops made us seeking a shelter, that finally we found Tropical Glasshouse. A place where plants from tropical region were nurtured. I was quite familiar with some of them, namely Kantong Semar (Nephentes sp) or monkey pitcher who dangerously wellknown for it’s carnivor behaviour, enticing its prey (usually insects) into the pitfall trap with odor and color. Once inside, the prey finds it can’t get a grip on the walls of the pitcher due to a flaky wax plus digestive acid produced by the plant. Even the biggest of them (Nephentes rajah) can eat mice! There you’d also find many stunning orchids from Asia, and wide ranges of Aglaonema. Wait….. I thought I planted some of them in my front-yard in Indonesia. And yes,…the temperature, humidity, and the scent of those tropical vegetation reminded me so much about my lovely home country.
Royal Botanic Gardens is more than a luxurious garden, it’s a gala library. A library in which we can find so many literature of nature through it’s lining trees, it’s excessive amount of plantation varieties or species, it’s ornamental lake, it’s dashing observatories,it’s elegance pavilions, and … (ahhhh heaps of things to be mentioned). They are living books, a 3D version of flora database.
It’s more than a garden, it’s a heaven, a habitat, a home for biodiversity, a gigantic laboratory for researchers, a living museum of ecosystem, a good place to instill sustainable-education for our children. It’s more than a place to relax, it’s a conservation, a luxurious entertainment, an inner-city oasis where public can entertain and immerse themselves to tranquility, knowledge, beauty, and wisdom of nature.
To me, the little journey was somehow boil-over. And I was guessing that my black and blue-mode had gone by the end of the trip at the arvo. And I confessed that the beauty of Geisha, the comeliness of Mei Hua, and the elegance of Camellia alone ware capable to evoke my smile (again). And the garden was overall a little imprint of heaven in my opinion.
Damn,… I think I have to admit that I admire this city even more. Fair dinkum!
_Ira Febriana Sari_