Monday, October 10, 2011

Australian Rockery plants at Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens

Sydney Sketch Club went to the Australian Rockery at the SydneyRoyal Botanic Garden. It is Spring here at the moment and some of the Australian native plants are in flower.

I drew Xanthorrhoea (grass trees) which are a unique Australian plant. They have a large base of grassy leaves and a long flower spike. As with many Australian native plants these plants can quickly regenerate after a bushfire, with new leaves sprouting from the blackened stump. The indigenous aboriginies used the spear shafts and also resin from the plant for tools.

As I drew this, I made notes on my page of all the sounds I could hear around me. Kookaburras, children playing and fighting, the tourist train, party boats on the Harbour, a helicopter, jetboats, tourists. sketchers chatting.. and in the moments of quietness I could hear leaves falling or the water lapping against the sea wall.

I then drew Gymea lilies

Kerry ( RBG staff) told me of the signifigance of everything in my drawing.

In the background, beyond Sydney Harbour are the headlands, where the ships carrying the First Fleet of European settlers arrived in Sydney in 1788.

In the mid-ground is the sea wall, a sandstone wall built in 1848 as about 3 acres of tidal land at the edge of the Gardens was reclaimed at Farm Cove.

In the foreground are Gymea Lilies, which are a plant of the Sydney region. They have a flower spike of about 6 meters, which flowers in Spring and Summer. They were used as a source of food for the indigenous Eora pople. They are now being used as indicator as part of climate change project as their flowering time is so precise.

1 comment:

  1. Alissa, what a wonderful post...knowing all that will make thess sketches a treasure for years to come.


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