Melbourne’s Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) has developed considerably in the last 10-years, so if you’re into garden inspiration and a meandering wander give yourself a few hours here to see what’s new.
You can become complacent with what you’ve got when it’s on your doorstep. While not completely necessary a comparison between Melbourne’s Royal Garden and other city/country Botanical Gardens reveals it to be a spectacular, creative appreciation of micro garden environments. Anyone who has tried and failed to grow a citrus tree in the backyard under the wrong soil or light conditions can appreciate the level of skill used in creating this diverse collection of plant-life.
Established on a marshy, tract of land by Charles Latrobe in 1846, the original design echoed a formal, Victorian era garden with straight line garden beds and a penchant for symmetry. The year 1873 saw William Guilfoyle sit in the RBG director chair. He went about creating a garden full of mystery, that better mimicked nature with flowing, curved lines that led the eye and invited further exploration. More recent times has seen his memory honoured with the revamped Guilfoyle’s Volcano, a true testament to the creative possibilities at hand when dealing with succulents.
For those short on time and wanting a quick-fire highlights package of the garden a great starting point is Jardin Tan Cafe beside the Observatory. Walk 1-minute along the garden path and stop on your right at the Children’s Garden which takes the theory of tunnelled pathways and hidden enclaves to a new level. Continue to Guilfoyle’s Volcano on the garden’s eastern fringe for city views and inspiring designs for the humble and oft maligned cactus family. Finish with a stroll past ornamental lake before ascending to The Temple of Winds where a fresh viewpoint can be taken across the Yarra to Melbourne’s sporting precinct taking in the MCG, AAMI Park and the tennis centre complex.
All images can be purchased as prints through the gallery portal, search “Royal Botanical Gardens”.