On my recent walking tour of the Orkney islands, our walking guide, Nigel had told us to be on the lookout for the elusive Primula scotica or Scottish Primrose. It was sharp-eyed Elaine who spied it first. Declared to be nationally scarce, it was indeed a lucky find! It is only small, about 13 mm across and maybe 7 – 8 cm tall. This one found on the walk from Skara Brae to Yesnaby.
Being a tourist in your own town has its advantages. It’s quick, inexpensive and you don’t need much planning. I took myself off to the Wollongong Botanic Gardens on a glorious spring day in search of colourful flowers and interesting textures. I was not disappointed!
It seems like ages since I have been out for the express purpose of taking photos. The Gardens are one of my favourite places for a close-to-home photo safari.
The Gardens are across the road from the University of Wollongong, but it’s best to park in Murphy’s Avenue, Gwynneville. (click here for a map of the area) Because it is right near the Uni, parking can be a bit tricky during Semester time. There is a small designated parking area in the gardens itself. (Enter on Murphy’s Road)
The Gardens are free and a fabulous place for a picnic. There are limited BBQ Facilities near the entrance. An “all-abilities” children’s’ playground with a big sandpit, climbing web and maze will keep kids occupied for ages. The design ensures that is accessible for everyone including those with limited mobility.
In summer, you can take along your family, bean bags, cushions and a picnic dinner and catch a movie on a big outdoor screen as the sun sets and the birds twitter in the trees. Not all movies are suitable for kids but many are, so best to check the program here Sunset Cinema first.
The highlights for me are the Dryland Gardens (good all year) and the rose garden (you need to pick the season). In spring, of course, you will find the garden in full bloom. Since most trees in Australia are evergreen and our Autumn’s are not very cold, there is not much leaf colour as you would find in colder climes.
If you wanted to make a full day of it take a packed lunch, include a walk around the Uni which has pleasant grounds and have a peek at Glennifer Brae, the stately home of the Wollongong Conservatorium of Music, both within an easy stroll from the Garden itself..
There are guided tours run by the Friends of the Botanic Gardens and there are various gardening workshops advertised on the website.
These photos were taken on September 30th and while its officially been spring for a whole month the weather was only just starting to warm up.
I have edited some as black and white to emphasise the textures; especially in the cactus.
These photos were all taken with my Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 and edited in Lightroom. Some frames where further edited using Nik software or Jixipix.