An Oasis in Sydney Part 1

One of the most memorable gardens I visited on a recent trip to Australia was Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens, right along the harbour front in the heart of the city. Established in 1816, it is the oldest botanic garden and scientific institution in Australia – home to an outstanding collection of plants from around the world with a focus on Australia and the South Pacific.

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I rose early on a quiet Sunday morning and walked from our hotel, The Establishment, just a few blocks with a camera and journal in hand. While I didn’t explore the pavilions or exhibits, I was able to parcel out a generous walkthrough the property from one end to the other before lunch. The scale and situation of the RBG is spectacular with such diversity of stock and landscape. I particularly remember the Cacti Cactus and Succulents area – a terrific selection of specimens, many of which were in full flower.

The architecture and sculptures were also fascinating and diverse, providing great visual anchor points as I toured through. I’ve highlighted some of my favourites in this Garden Adventures feature. If you ever have the privilege to visit Sydney, I’d highly recommend some time in your plans for this magnificent urban oasis.

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The Huntsman and Dogs” bronze statue by Henri Alfred Marie Jacquemart in front of the Conservatorium.

The Huntsman and Dogs” bronze statue by Henri Alfred Marie Jacquemart in front of the Conservatorium.

Government house

Government house

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The Rose Garden and Pavilion.

The Rose Garden and Pavilion.

This seed sculpture was created by Australian Sculptor Bronwyn Oliver (1959 to 2006) in 1999 to commemorate the location of the first farm in Sydney.

This seed sculpture was created by Australian Sculptor Bronwyn Oliver (1959 to 2006) in 1999 to commemorate the location of the first farm in Sydney.

The Yellow Masked Lapwing takes a stroll across the grounds - posing for the camera.

The Yellow Masked Lapwing takes a stroll across the grounds – posing for the camera.

Every garden needs a shop - so English and mid-century.

Every garden needs a shop – so English and mid-century.

The crowning top of Fiona Hall’s sculpture “Folly for Mrs. Macquarie” – The idea came from a suggestion in a sketch book from the colony's early history that a folly was built for the Governor Macquarie's wife and contains various references including a component of the Macquarie coat of arms at the apex.

The crowning top of Fiona Hall’s sculpture “Folly for Mrs. Macquarie” – The idea came from a suggestion in a sketch book from the colony’s early history that a folly was built for the Governor Macquarie’s wife and contains various references including a component of the Macquarie coat of arms at the apex.

Every turn of the path provided a floral infused vista, punctuated by sculptures, architecture, and in this case, an Australian White Ibis.

Every turn of the path provided a floral infused vista, punctuated by sculptures, architecture, and in this case, an Australian White Ibis.

A lonely Pomegranate left behind for me to photograph.

A lonely Pomegranate left behind for me to photograph.

Love the Lion Gate with its Asian influenced gate and fence post detail.

Love the Lion Gate with its Asian influenced gate and fence post detail.