Monday, 27 July 2009

Why call it Garden Island?

Raising the Union Jack on 26 January 1788, Governor Philip quickly sent a party out looking for areas suitable for growing fresh vegetables for the colonists. It had been a long, arduous journey from Portsmouth and scurvy was rife. Garden Island stood about 300m off Potts Point as can be seen in this undated image taken from The Domain showing Potts Point on the right and Garden Island in the left middle distance.
Weathered over the years through neglect but now encased behind perspex and glass, the first rock graffiti by white man (WB, IR and FM) indicates that a party of 3 had endeavoured to till the land as early as 11 February 1788, eventually growing turnips, carrots, lettuces, onions, leaks, parsley, celery, corn, five sorts of cabbages, artichokes and beets. However, as the island was not particularly arable, the colonists not particularly adept and the weather unforgiving, the infant colony was plunged into two years of severe deprivation waiting upon every arrival from "home" for basic foods.
Wednesday: When and why did it cease being an island?

10 comments:

BlossomFlowerGirl said...

What beautiful photos - they look like thay've been painted in oils. The golds and greens are lovely.

brattcat said...

What a story! What a great series of photos. I really appreciate when you include the historic shots in these posts, Julie.

Joan Elizabeth said...

It's quite amazing how they survived those early years, with only what the brought in on those tiny ships ... given that they weren't keen on the local food.

J Bar said...

Great photos and very interesting reading the history. This island tour you are taking us on is brilliant. I haven't had a chance to visit these yet.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Megan Coyle said...

Your photos are lovely! I really like how you've captured the natural environment and including information about the history really adds another dimensions to them.

Lois said...

Interesting history Julie. I really like that first picture. The light is amazing!

altadenahiker said...

And after 2 years the situation improved?

Mirela said...

I want to go there... now! The first photo calls you to lie down and enjoy its shadow on a weekend...

AB said...

It looks like a very pleasant place.

I wonder what the natives ate before the white guys turned up with their turnips etc.

Stephany said...

Garden or not, it's lovely. If only the old trees could talk. Can you imagine the stories they would tell?