We had a few hours left in Melbourne but with suitcases packed to the brim, shopping was off the menu. We opted for a stroll to the Royal Botanic Gardens, passing through the Queen Victoria Gardens on the way and it’s colourful flower beds.
The floral clock contains over 7,000 flowering plants that are changed twice yearly.
The roses were past their best but still presented a bright display
and the lake offered some lovely reflections.
The little mynah birds are cute but apparently a bit of a nuisance.
With limited time we only saw a small portion of the stunning 94 acres of gardens. The path we chose took us through a cactus garden
to the Temple of the Winds. Built in 1901, the grey masonry structure has 10 columns, each one crowned with a sculpted elkhorn fern
and a gorgeous ornate ceiling.
The Grey Garden was interesting
and the Plant Craft Cottage had a quaint garden of its own. The cottage, built as a gardener’s home in 1850, is heritage listed.
We followed the path around the lake
to the William Tell Rest House. Built in 1897, it was destroyed by accidental fire in 1994 and rebuilt in 1997. Last year, it was obliterated by arsonists (the mental acuity of our so called ‘intelligent species’ never ceases to astound me!) and has been resurrected yet again.
After a coffee and muffin stop at The Terrace, we continued our circuit of the lake past stunning flowers,
and amazing trees.
I have never seen a smiley face tree before
We exited at the historic Lych Gate, originally built in churchyards to shelter coffins awaiting burial.
I hope to return to The Botanic Gardens one day with a lot more time to explore.