Japanese stroll gardens are places of contemplation and harmony where visitors can wander along meandering paths through thoughtfully planned landscapes. The Japanese Garden at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba is the largest stroll garden in Australia. Its traditional design includes large rocks, a tumbling waterfall and a central lake surrounded by sweeping lawns and sloping beds of Japanese and Australian native plants.
Children come to feed the resident ducks, artists can often be seen recreating the serenity on paper and, on most weekends, wedding ceremonies take place here. Whatever the activity, the garden lives up to its name – Ju Raku En – public place of peace and longevity.
The Japanese Garden is located in Regent Street, Darling Heights, Toowoomba and is open daily 6:00 am to dusk. Entry is free.
In the last full week of September, Toowoomba celebrates all things floral during its annual Carnival of Flowers. Australia’s Garden City confirms its reputation with a grand floral parade, competition gardens and colourful exhibitions featuring everything from teapots to quilts.
Every year, St Luke’s Anglican Church hosts a beautiful floral display created by the Toowoomba Floral Art Group. Spectacular arrangements featuring both everyday and exotic blooms fill the church and thousands of visitors come to enjoy and admire.
There are more than 700 species of Eucalyptus and almost all are native to Australia. Commonly known as gum trees because of the sap that oozes from any breaches in the bark, they grow almost everywhere, from the inland deserts to the alpine areas of the southern states.
The flower of a eucalypt is not composed of petals. Instead, a large number of long feathery stamens are held together by a colourful operculum. As the stamens dry and fall away from the clusters of blossoms, seeds form in the opercula which dry and become hard – we call them gum nuts.
When the gum trees are flowering, we know summer has begun.