George Arthur is a puzzlement: the instigator of the dreaded convict settlement that forever bears his name; the administrator of the early colony (from when he was 40 until 52) that saw a tight control wrought upon the police, the government and the criminal classes; and, the banishing of the last of the island aborigines to Flinders Island.
Yet he also oversaw the erection of a hollow wall around the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens that had three furnaces heat the bricks to enable the espalier of exotic fruits such as apricots. He would have been better served learning the weather patterns of his island home and realising that botanical necessities of the north of England were unnecessary in the Antipodes.
The RTBG was carved out of what would eventually be declared, in 1860, to be the Queen's Domain and is tucked in between the Tasman Bridge and the central docks of the city of Hobart.
God was in his heaven on the day of my visit which turned out to be the first day of the Spring Tulip Festival, when the gardens were dressed and looking in their prime, children rolled down grassy slopes and kicked up their heels to brass bands, taiko drumming troupes, flamenco guitarists and the slinkiest couple dancing the tango!
Read this post in conjunction with A Spray from Tassie up on my gardening blog.