Sunday, 27 August 2017

Garden inspiration: National Gallery of Australia sculpture garden

I love wondering around the sculpture garden at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra. The vegetation of the Illawarra and the ACT are very different, but there is enough overlap that quite a few of the plants in the sculpture garden also grow well around Wollongong. 

Here are a few plants being used in interesting ways to give you some ideas. 
Here's White Correa (Correa alba) as an informal hedge,
with She-oaks providing some shade
A mix of Tussock  (Poa billardieri) and
Sedges (Carex spp.) provide an appealing 
soft edge to a sandy path through the gums
 
Believe it or not this is an Austral Indigo (Indigofera
australis
) that has been grown as a tiny tree. When
in flower it makes a truly stunning sight.
Also quite impressive is this large bed of Spiny-headed
Mat-rush (Lomandra longifolia), bordering another of
the garden's sandy paths and backed by She-oaks.
 
Yes, Canberra has ferns! This is a Shield Fern
(Polystichum sp.). A couple of species of Shield
Fern occur in Illawarra, though not the one that is
most common in the ACT area. It's a handsome plant!
And if you want landscaping ideas, here are a couple of interesting uses for eucalypts.
Here are some Brittle Gums (Eucalyptus
mannifera
) gracing a paved courtyard, and
surrounded by Spiny-headed Mat-rush. The
gums help soften the stark lines of the building.
These gum branches have been used to form a
decorative background to some young Hairpin
Banksias (Banksia spinulosa), a plant that grows
on the plateau west of the Illawarra escarpment.
The wattles and many other plants were in flower but I couldn't see any species from the Illawarra area. Local plants that would grow well with these species include Coastal Wattle (Acacia longifolia subsp. sophorae), the winter-flowering Sunshine Wattle (A. terminalis) and the low greyish Straight Wattle (A. stricta). Blogger won't let me upload any more photos right now but I'll try to add some shots later!

With a bit of rain at last, plants in gardens and bushland around the region will be happy today. 
   

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