Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Within the Arthur Wall


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.

12 comments:

altadenahiker said...

I don't think it's all that unusual for a person to show exceptional cruelty towards the animal kingdom, yet be kind and loving to the vegetable kingdom.

I might kill for some of the orchids on your sister site.

Lois said...

What a beautiful day to enjoy this lovely place!

brattcat said...

Each of these shots is a little gem in the necklace of this post but that one in the middle, the reflective pond with that lush botany gazing at itself (and at us), that is the jewel in the center of this. Beautiful.

Joan Elizabeth said...

A warm wall in the garden, that's an interesting thought. I realised the other day that now "winter" is back I just don't feel inspired to get out there. Glad is was a bright spring day for your visit to the gardens.

Jacob said...

Well, people can be quite contradictory in motive and action...but what a gorgeous place! I was hoping, though, for a photo of those "slinkiest couple dancing the tango!"

Re: your comment about the kayak - anything in Florida left outside will be leached of color by the sun! Or grow into a tree!

J Bar said...

The gardens are so lush and green in Tassie.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

diane said...

Great shots and interesting commentary. I read "Wanting" by Richard Flanagan. It was about the early days in Tasmania as well as what was happening at the same time in England.

Julian Davis said...

Stunning pictures.
What a relaxing place! Wish I was there.

AB said...

A beautiful garden and an interesting bit of history.

Julie said...

Diane, I met Richard Flanagan at the Sydney Writers' Festival this year. Now that is a piece of chiselled Aussie man-hood! My daughter squinched her nose at his writing ... probably means I should read it!

Jacob, I will try to slip two posts in tomorrow to tango through the tulips!

Stephany said...

Wow. Double wow on the RTBG.

Vogon Poet said...

To call thi s place lovely, seems diminuitive but, in my limited English, this is the first word that popped out. This looks really as 'perfect'as a garden can be...