Kevtoberfest #14 The Campbell Rhododendron Gardens and The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden
With plans to visit two cool climate mountain gardens in springtime, I had visions of daffodils, bluebells and tulips in all their glory. We did see all of those, but both gardens had much more to offer than just displays of spring bulbs.
While rhododendrons are the main feature at the Campbell Rhododendron Gardens in Blackheath, many other plants help to fill the 18.3 hectares of parkland. Gently sloped walking tracks are also lined with camellias and azaleas. These exotic plants blend seamlessly with the existing native bushland.
At the top of the garden, shelter sheds provide quiet picnic areas and lookouts reveal the pretty lake bordered with native ferns and shrubs.
Closer down, the air is filled with the melodic sound of frogs, heard but not seen, and the still water of the lake reflects its lush surroundings.
Spring flowering plants and trees colour every part of the garden.
But it’s the rhododendrons we’ve come to see and, even though we’re a month too early for the main flowering season, many bushes are already laden with blooms.
The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden also features plants from many of the world’s cooler climates. Located 1000 metres above sea level at Mount Tomah, this is the highest botanic garden in Australia.
Meandering paths, some paved with local granite and others grassed, lead through each themed section of the garden. In one area, we marvel at the proteas – some as large as dinner plates. Further on are dozens of grevilleas, each with its own distinctive shape and colour.
We wander through arid gardens overflowing with drought resistant plants,
past the Brunet Meadow filled with bluebells,
along avenues of trees laden with spring blossom.
The flowering trees and shrubs attract native birds including king parrots, satin bower birds and kookaburras.
Waratahs, native to the cooler south-eastern parts of Australia and related to the proteas we saw earlier, bloom in many parts of the garden.
Camellias are native to the mountainous areas of Asia but have long been favoured in Australian gardens. In this region, the cold winter temperatures encourage perfect blooms.
I came to these two spectacular gardens expecting to see spring flowers, and I got exactly that – and more!
Join Jo for more Monday Walks
Becky has lots of #MarchSquares