Albury’s botanic gardens were established over 130 years ago. While many botanic gardens seek to grow as wide a variety of species as possible, this garden takes a different approach. The garden focuses on displaying plants that do well in the climate in ways that gardeners might use them in their home garden. As a result, it’s easy to understand why the gardens have won a number of prizes over the years for layout and design.
We recently visited the gardens on a holiday and I have to say, this would have to be one of my favourite botanic gardens. We seem to be pretty unlucky with our visits to gardens because it always seems to rain! But hopefully you’ll get an idea of just how lovely this garden is despite the overcast conditions.
In our climate, there aren’t too many plants that flower in winter. Even plants that are supposed to flower in winter usually don’t flower until early spring for us. As a result, we were pleased to see lots of plants in flower despite the fact we visited the garden right in the middle of winter.
Even better than that though was the fact that the garden designer has clearly selected some flowering plants to attract wildlife. I always love watching honey eaters and other such birds twirling around kniphofia flower stems to gather nectar from each individual flower.
We saw other birds too like this friendly ibis that clearly hangs out in the garden regularly as it wasn’t bothered by the many Pokemon Go devotees who were wandering the garden when we were there (despite the rain).
I was also pleased to see that the garden is designed to have colour throughout the year, even when there aren’t any flowers open. I must say, I look forward to our gold dust plants one day growing this big!
As with most botanic gardens, this garden contains a few handy features, such as benches and a gazebo, to make visiting more comfortable.
The gardens are quite small but the designers have managed to pack a lot into the space they have. There are lots of open lawns for picnics and, of course, a water feature completes the feature set.
The garden also illustrates one good technique for keeping grass out of your garden beds (provided your lawn isn’t composed of grass that spreads via runners – think couch and kikuyu). The photo below illustrates how metal garden bed edging can be used to good effect. Unfortunately, the photo also shows what happens when you don’t build garden beds, especially lowered garden beds, with adequate drainage. Those poor rose bushes would not have appreciated having such wet feet!
As you can see, the gardens are indeed lovely but it is the newest addition to the gardens that I enjoyed the most and my next post will be about that part of the garden.
Until then, I hope this post has given you some tips on good garden design, from layering plants, to selecting species for year-round colour, to edging garden beds and the benefits of good drainage.