The botanic gardens in Toowoomba are a pleasant stop on a road trip
I’ve been traversing the East Coast of New South Wales, Australia, in a campervan with my wife and our dog. One of the many stops was to visit some relatives living in the West of Brisbane. We spent a day heading into the cooler hinterland where a higher altitude brings a relief from the humid conditions nearer sea-level. The higher, more inland, towns of Australia have a feel much more familiar to us Brits and show a wider range of street trees and historic buildings. Waiting for us there was the unexpected Toowoomba Botanic Garden.
Queens Park Gardens
To the East of the main town centre sits the Queens Park Gardens which contain the botanic gardens, playgrounds and cricket pitches.
The highlights were the mature trees and the fountains.
These space-ship fountains looked great in the sun. What’s clever is that they’re all different sizes but that’s not so easy to see from the photo. The largest fountain is closest and they get smaller the further away they get. This clever trick of perspective makes them look like they’re stretching away into the distance. Such a clever design trick I’ll have to remember.
The best thing about botanical gardens, apart from the free day out, is the opportunity to get close to some plants you wouldn’t have space for or may never have come across before.
The Wollombi Pine is an extremely interesting bit of botany of recent times. It was thought to be extinct and to only be found as fossilised samples but was rediscovered by chance in the 90s. Its natural location is a closely guarded secret to avoid people raiding the wild population for plants. More work is being done to understand the genetics at play to inform research and conservation efforts. You’ve got ancient history, botany, science, conservation all unfolding in our lifetime – what could be better?
The native grass trees are impressive with their soft fibre-optic-like foliage radiating out from the main stem. It can take 100 years to turn into the tree as it’s so slow growing. It adds an interesting addition to a mixed border.
This Chestnut was a strong impressive specimen just begging for a photo.
I always find it funny seeing such large blooms on a tree. A very elegant specimen.
This tree looks like a white rose has been on steroids. I had never seen it before.